Finally, Grape Cupcakes!

March 17, 2010

I have been dying to make these for months. I knew as soon as I got my bake it pretty gift card, I was buying grape flavoring, and a large round icing tip. To add to that, I bought purple cupcake liners to match.

Grape Cupcakes

I really do love these. They’re is something super good about these small things. And do you see how vibrant the liner still is? It stayed so bright after cooking! I’ll be returning to bake it pretty.

I made this from a vanilla bean recipe but left out the vanilla beans this time.

Ingredients

Yields about 50 mini cupcakes

1 stick of butter

1 cups sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 3/8 cups flour (use a 1/8 cup)

3/4teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 grape extract from Bake It Pretty

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

Beat butter until nice and fluffy.

Add sugar and beat until well combined. Do I ever have all the ingredients I need? Nope. So I used 1/2 C sugar and 1 C of powdered sugar.

Add eggs and of course, beat.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.

Add milk and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients you mixed in a separate bowl slowly.

Lastly, add grape flavoring!

Well, I didn’t want my cake to be kind of purple, so I went ahead and added purple food coloring.

Scoop batter into cupcake liners. My mini muffin pan was missing temporarily, but these liners are so sturdy they stood up fine.

Cook for 15 minutes on 350.

Let cool on a wire rack. Let the power go out. Wait…what? Yeah, the power went out after I had already lined and filled the next set of cupcakes. I eventually went and hung out with Stephanie and we baked, and ate cupcakes, at her apartment.

Once they were all baked, I stored them in the freezer, sealed with saran wrap. and foil. Then I let them sit out to thaw before icing them.

Now,I’d be lying if I pretended everything turned out perfectly. I would tell you what I did to ice these cupcakes but I messed up badly. It was fine, but I got gutsy and tried to add more cream cheese after it was done. I really wanted to finish these, so I went and bought pre-made frosting. I like cream cheese store bought icing anyways. Just like I like my slice and bake cookies better than any homemade cookie.

See this icing? I even had to strain it to get the lumps out. I just wasn’t happy. To Kroger’s I went.

Now this icing tip is the one I was talking about. Its huge!

After icing them, I put lilac sugar peals (also from bake it pretty) on the tops and stored them in an airtight container for BCM.

Oh, and this tag…

It’s from Bake It Pretty too.

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Awhile back I found a High-Hat recipe on Martha Stewart. I looked into it and so many people said they had problems with it. Maybe it was beginner’s luck… but these maybe just one of my favorites. Again I made them for iteams. I just used Martha’s icing recipe and made my own cake mix. Here it goes!

Cookies & Cream cuppycakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk ( I always use almond milk. Dairy hates me!)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup crushed Oreo type cookies (about 11 cookies, cream center included)

For the icing

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate coating

  • 2 cups chopped (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. I choose to do mini cupcakes. I liked it best this way.I had to make many of them and you will want to as well! They are definitely a favorite!

2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in bowl. Stir well.

3. Add milk, butter, and vanilla. Please be proud, I didn’t use an electric mixer! I just stirred and stirred and stirred!! I wanted to be quiet. =) Either way, just make sure you mix it super well, just until its moist.

4. Add egg whites and beat for 2 minutes.

5. Stir in 1 cup of crushed cookies.

6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. For nearly anything I make, I don’t go by measurements too strictly. Just eyeball it, but when I fill cupcakes, I like to be precise… sooooo I used 1 TBS, making sure to clean out each scoop with my finger. Besides, at the end I get to lick my finger of all that uncooked goodness. I probably eat more of my treats before they are cooked than after!

7. Cook for 18 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to cool further.

Don’t these just look nice and puffy! We all ate quite a few of these cupcakes just like this. They too were perfect. You could just add vanilla frosting and then add some smashed up Oreos on top, but let’s take this a bit farther!

Directions for frosting

  1. In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. I had a small metal pan that I use as a double broiler. I defiantly spilled some over the side… But go to pick it back up since I forgot to add water and just scooped it out of the water it was in!
  2. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160 degrees.on a candy thermometer. Although it says 12 minutes, just do it until you notice it getting very firm. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting thickens. I decide that it is finally done when I can pick up the mixer and act like I’m trying to make swirly tops and they stay in place. Sorry for the lack of photos here, but I really had to use all hands around me!
  4. Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a plain medium sized frosting tip. Pipe rings on top of one another to form a stack.

You could stop here.. but who doesn’t love chocolate!? Okay.. not everyone does, but I sure do! Go ahead and place these on a cookie sheet in the fridge while you clean up and prepare your coating.

Don’t you think they look like Ghosts from Ghostbusters? Or Michelin tire man?

Directions for Coating

1. Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth.


2. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.

3. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to something for them to drip onto. I sat them on wax paper. Make sure all of the frosting is covered. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.


Place them in the fridge for at least two hours before serving!

Whats the best part about these? When you cut them down the middle!

Whats the best part about these? When you cut them down the middle!

TOMS Shoes.

November 12, 2009

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I remember seeing the AT&T commercials for Toms Shoes. I didn’t really think it was a legit organization at first. Once I learned more about it, I realized that it is a great opportunity for people to help out in ways we never thought possible. If you aren’t familiar with Toms Shoes, visit his site and buy some super comfy shoes.

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This is my first real experience with fondant. And honestly, I’m so happy, thrilled, ecstatic, you name it, with these cuppycakes. I chose the lazy way out and bought pre-made fondant, namely because I had a test to study for today. I wanted to bake something that I could take to BCM on wed. night.

My wonderful boyfriend surprised me at work one day with a cupcake book. I flipped through it and found a recipe I thought would yield fairly flat top cupcakes. I did get to taste these cupcakes since I cut off the tops of any that started to form a peak.

I started with the Mini Cocoa Cupcake recipe. Since it was meant for mini-cupcakes, it only made 12 cupcakes. Don’t worry, I made more than 12.

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Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup Cocoa

3/4 teaspoon baking power

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt. I love this stuff!)

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup boiling water

Directions

Heat oven to 350. Either spray muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking power, baking soda, and salt in bowl.

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Add egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes.

Stir in boiling water. This will make the batter very thin. Make sure to stir it together very well.

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Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Really try hard not to put that little bit extra in there to overfill it. It is tempting, I know.

I used a 1/3 cup scooper to fill it, but I didn’t make sure the scooper was all the way each time.

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Bake for around 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes then set out on wire rack to cool.

Make sure the tops of each are nice and flat. If they aren’t, just slice it off slightly and feel free to eat the scraps! Yum! I sure did.

Once the cupcakes are absolutely completely cooled, ice them with buttercream icing. Do this buy dipping the

tops of them. Let the excess drip off back into the icing mix.

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Now is time for the fondant. So much patience comes with these steps. While the cupcakes were baking, I took the time to dye and flavor the fondant. For me, fondant is rather bland, so I like to add some plain flavoring to it. Since I needed three colors for these cupcakes, I divided the pre-made fondant into three sections for about how much I felt I would need for each section. To die and flavor, I took a toothpick, dipped either in vanilla extract or food coloring, and kneaded it into it and kept adding color until I got the color I was aiming for. Usually it’s best to buy fondant that is already dyed black. So¬† I tried to use the littlest amount of black as I could. For true black, it’ll take a whole bottle of food coloring and then will leave it tasting funny. Make sure to add plenty of confectioner’s sugar to your work surface and keep picking up the fondant so it doesn’t stick.

Whew! Now moving on…

I started with the white covering. I took a large round cookie cutter and cut out circles to fit around the cupcakes, smoothing it around the edges to be even with the edges. After doing every single one of these little cupcakes.

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Then I made these nice trident looking strips. To attach these I brushed the back of them with water, either with your finger, or with a paint brush. Then press it onto the top and bottom of each cupcake.

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Next come these itty bitty letters. Let’s see. TOMS.. that’s four letters. 4×26= 92. 92 letters that is. Whew.

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This isn’t even half of the letters… more pressing and cutting.

I just did the same with these letters. Add water. Usually with these I dipped them into the water to get all the powered sugar off of them.

And Viola! Fondant TOMS shoes cupcakes. I hope everyone at BCM thoroughly enjoyed them!

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