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Red Velvet Cupcakes

The photos at the end of this post could be construed as NWS for many people. Do not look if you don’t like seeing penises or if you are at work.

Yesterday was Gunnar’s (my brother in law) birthday. He requested red velvet for his birthday cake flavor. I had never made it so I spent the morning looking around for a good recipe. I lean toward cupcakes instead of cake because they are self-serving sized. I found a few that looked good but ended up settling on Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting because I have made a bunch of different cupcakes from her site and they have all come out pretty awesome.

The only change I made to the recipe was to add an extra 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to the mix. I added more chocolate because in her notes, the author mentions that the cupcakes were not chocolatey enough for her. I figured, if they weren’t chocolatey enough for her, chances are I would want it to be more chocolatey as well. The cocoa powder seemed to make it a little too dry though. They tasted pretty perfect but maybe if we do liquid chocolate or add a little more butter to the mix, it will make them more moist. I will definitely make them again! 😀 The frosting, as usual, was amazing. I used the baking soda and baking powder version for mine instead of cream of tartar.

Chockylit wrote an extensive post on the difference between the two at the link above. I highly recommend reading it! I will post the recipe here for ease of use though.

Recipe courtesy The Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 36 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3-3/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cups cocoa (I used 1/2 cup total in mine)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
3/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
3 teaspoons vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 ounce red food coloring paste
2-1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups butter
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder (or cream of tarter), and salt into medium bowl.
Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring in small bowl to blend.
Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well fluffy, 3 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition, about 30 seconds.
Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
Scoop into cupcake tins and bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove and finish cooling completely on racks.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours. (I ended up letting mine sit
for at least 2 hours to get it soft enough)
Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment (I sifted the 4 cups of sugar into a bowl. I only needed that
much for the frosting.)
Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy.
Add 4 cups of the sugar and beat until combined.
Add vanillas and beat until combined.
Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

While the cupcakes were cooling, I went to work on the decorations for the cupcakes. I had gotten some marzipan for stars on my 4th of July cupcakes and had some leftover. I took a bit of that and shaped 36 small penises out of it. They looked adorable but I thought some needed to be different colors. Originally, I was going to make them a peachy flesh tone but the food coloring mixed with a little vodka I used for paint made them look like they were coming from the Jersey Shore! I colored 9 that color, 9 a darker color, and left the rest almond paste colored. They were a HUGE hit. Everyone thought they were hilarious. 😀

Cupcake batter:

Baked cupcakes:

Penises:

Completed cupcakes!

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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in The Bakery!

 

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April Fool’s cupcakes!

Last night, I decided to do something different for April Fool’s day.  Usually you get a bunch of people pulling stupid pranks on their friends.  I didn’t want to do that.   I wanted everyone to be excited but puzzled when they saw my April Fool’s Joke and then once they realized the joke, be happy!

I went through my cupcake books because I remembered seeing a TV Dinner made of cupcakes. I found that and more! I seriously considered making the spaghetti and meatballs cupcakes from the same book, Hello Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.  Then I opened up their second book What’s New, Cupcake? There I found what I thought would be the best cupcake for April Fool’s Day.  I went out yesterday and picked up the supplies I needed.  The recipes in the book call for various candies and I couldn’t find all of the exact things I needed. (apparently green nonpareils are hard to find in regular stores! I settled for Dark Green Sugar)  I ended up getting Starburst for the colored things like carrots and egg. I got Jelly Bellies for the peas. Airheads were the only green candies I could find so that is what makes up the broccoli. The cupcakes are vanilla with vanilla tinted frosting. I tried to take my time making them so that the details wouldn’t be lost.  Some of the other times I have made cupcakes from the books, I was in a hurry and something always came out off by a bit, which seriously made me angry. 😛 They took me around 4 hours from start to finish! 😀

Pork Lo Mein and Vegetable Fried Rice with Fortune Cookies for dessert (complete with fortunes!)

We put the Fortune cookies at the bottom of the Red Take Out boxes and delivered them to the guys working in the Halliburton office as well as, Ratalon’s family. Everyone thought they were adorable and said they were delicious as well! Score! 😀

Happy April Fool’s Day!!

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in The Bakery!

 

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Carrot Cake

I decided tonight to try Alton Brown’s Carrot Cake recipe again. I tried it once before but I turned it into cupcakes. When I took the cupcakes out of the oven, they were entirely too greasy. I didn’t like the oily taste they had. So this time, I thought I would use applesauce instead. I have used applesauce a bunch of times as a replacement for oil to make boxed cake mixes a bit less fattening and it works out perfectly. This time however, it did not work out at all. The cake came out completely dense (more dense than a bread) and it was basically inedible. The frosting was fantastically delicious as usual but I think I am going to call this recipe a failure. I might try it again when I have a food processor but honestly, I don’t think that will make a difference. The only things I didn’t do exactly as the recipe said were replacing the oil and using my stand mixer instead of the food processor. When I made the cream cheese frosting, I whipped a bit of air into it so that I would have a bit more.

Carrot Cake
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005

Ingredients
* Unsalted butter, for the pan
* 12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
* 12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
* 2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
* 3 large eggs
* 6 ounces plain yogurt
* 6 ounces vegetable oil (I substituted 6oz. of applesauce)
* Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.

In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.

With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.
Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using. I made it as soon as I put the cake into the oven so it was in the fridge for most of the baking time plus the cooling time of the cakes.
Yield: approximately 2 cups

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2010 in The Bakery!

 

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Relay for Life!

I wanted to make a quick post to tell everyone that I am doing the Relay for Life here in Bakersfield tomorrow and I made some devil’s food cupcakes for the event! I made homemade buttercream frosting and used some leftover cream cheese frosting from the red velvet cookies for the pink ribbons on top! They came out so adorably that I thought I would write it up before I go to bed.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in The Bakery!

 

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First Christmas Cookies

These are my first christmas cookies of the season! Alton Brown’s sugar cookies. They are actually very very delicious. Probably the best sugar cookies I have ever made. I didn’t make his royal icing but I had Pillsbury vanilla frosting in the spray can that I used for decorating plus a bunch of different colored sprinkles. Enjoy!

Sugar Cookies

Recipe courtesy: Alton Brown
Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 9 min
Level: Easy
Serves: about 3 dozen-2 1/2 inch

Ingredients
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 tablespoon milk
* Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Directions:
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
© 2009 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in The Bakery!

 

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Pumpkin experiments

I wanted to make something different with pumpkin. I have done pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes and pumpkin cheesecake and of course, pumpkin pies. I am not usually a big fan of pumpkin but when I finished with these cookies, they were delicious. Apparently, there is a shortage of canned, purreed pumpkin right now so I had a hell of a time all day looking for it. I finally decided to just use the canned pumpkin pie mix. The only difference is that the pie mix has spices and sugar already in it. To compensate for this, I only used 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar. This made the cookies the perfect sweetness. I also made a frosting to go on top with confectioner’s sugar and milk. I used craisins instead of raisins because they are supposed to be better for you and because cranberries seem to go well with pumpkin. Next time I might add chocolate chips to the recipe as well. I am very happy with these and will be making them again before the end of the season for sure.

Pumpkin Cookies I
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 Allrecipes.com
Ingredients:
8 ounces butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and pumpkin.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, raisins and flour. Stir into pumpkin mixture.
4. Drop cookies by the heaping teaspoonful on to cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly browned around edges.
5. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Frost with your favorite powdered sugar glaze or leave plain.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2009 in The Bakery!

 

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