Week 18: Nut Butter Cuppins with Peanut Butter and Maple Icing

If you love peanuts, then look out! Not only peanuts, but cashews, too. And, maple! I call this a Cuppin (combination of Cupcake and Muffin). It's definitely meant for mornings with coffee. One modification to the recipe, I added maple syrup to the icing. It seemed to need a little boost. And, this addition proved to be the answer. The peanut flavor and the maple syrup icing together are a sweet delight!

It's a very easy recipe to make, but it does require some things that you might not have on hand...like chunky peanut butter. We did have regular peanut, but not chunky. The recipe called for golden caster (superfine) sugar. I did manage to find that at a store around here called Balduci's (used to be Sutten Place). Of course, I found some other cool baking things there that I just HAD to have...Oh well!

This recipe is from Simple Home Baking by Carol Pastor. You can download my PDF version of the recipe here.

Barnes and Noble Refueling...New Cupcake Recipes!

Tonight after dinner I was thinking about next Sunday's (week 18) cupcake. I'm getting bored with the cupcake books I have so I took my self to Barnes and Noble in Rockville. They have a pretty large cooking/baking section. Once again, I can't imagine my self hanging out in the cookbook section of any store, but I'm going along with this desire...I was there over an hour, pouring (ha ha) over the "baking" cookbooks, checking every book's index for "cupcakes." Not that many to be found. Also, I like the books with really beautiful photos of the end product (God forbid that I have to use my own imagination at this stage!

Long story short: I found two really cool books...yes, they are baking and cake books, but each has a handsome section on cupcakes with very nice color photos and pretty easy to understand recipes. The first one is called Simple Home Baking, and it's by Carol Pastor. The other book is Cakes From Scratch in Half the Time, by Linda West Eckhardt. Tonight I go to sleep full of cupcake ideas!

Week 17: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom makes me a devil's food cake for my birthday every year...with vanilla icing. It's my favorite! So I thought I'd try a red velvet cupcake to see if it's similar. This receipe is so cool. The batter was bright red. I've never seen that before. I was like OMG! what is this going to look like? It was awesome looking! Then it darkens up but still has a reddish tinge...pretty cool! If you make these, you don't need cupcake liners. Just be sure to spray the pan so they are easy to get out. I used that Pam spray for baking and they literally fell out of the pan.

The frosting is creamy with a hint of vanilla and was very easy to work with on the cupcakes.

Recipe Downloads:

Thursday Night Experiment: Polka Dot Fondant Cupcakes

Tonight I decided to try to make fondant. I saw a recipe in my new book (The Artful cupcake by Marcianne Miller) called Polka Dot Fondant Cupcakes. I thought this might be fun and it was. I made the cupcakes just using a cake mix...I didn't want to waste time on that part of it. The recipe called for making Royal Icing and Tasty Fondant. The first cupcake was ugly...but by the second and third, I was really getting the hang of it. And, I would definitely do them again. I used hot strawberry jelly as the glue on the cupcake and then put the fondant circle over the cupcake and formed it around the cupcake. I'll post the recipe tomorrow. They tasted yummy!

You Are Your Own Cupcake!

Help me out here! It's Week 16 and interested dissecting the cupcake...like figuring out what people like in their cupcakes...I mean, what sort of texture do you like in the cupcake itself...dense, fluffly, light? What kind of cupcake do you like best? Chocolate? Vanilla? What? And, how about the frosting? Creamy? Thick? Thin? None? And what about decorations? Does the frosting color matter to you? Stuff like that.

So, what about you?

Week 16: Chocolate Cupcake with Pink Mint Frosting

This week I wanted to concentrate on the frosting part of the cupcake and to learn how to work with it to make the cupcake look cuter! The Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes, from cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans, that I made this week did not work out for me. They were so fragile that I couldn't put frosting on them. I'm sure that I messed something up, but then I had to think fast, so I used a chocolate cake mix to make the cupcakes you see here.

I did use her recipe for Peppermint Icing, with some embellishment. I wanted the frosting to be more stiff, so I added more confectioners' than she called for. The frosting turned out to be a lesson in the ultimate in decadence! You can eat it all by itself. The combination of the chocolate and the pink mint frosting did make for an outstanding cupcake.

Recipe Downloads: PDF | WORD | TEXT

Another Midweek Foray ala Cupcakes: Brownies as a Cupcake Test

There was much demand for dessert after dinner last night...all I could find was a brownie box mix. I thought I'd see how they would turn out as cupcakes...they actually worked really well, especially with vanilla ice cream!

Cakelove Man's Gotta New TV Show!

Warren Brown, who owns Cakelove in Washington, DC, (practically the only cupcake place in town!!), is going to have his own show on the Food Network beginning in October. It's called "Sugar Rush," and "each episode follows Brown as he visits restaurants, pastry shops and bakeries around the country to talk with pastry chefs and chocolatiers, then returns to his kitchen to cook a recipe he's learned from them."

Click here to read the article.

Week 15: Vanilla Bean Cupcake with White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

Another cupcake recipe from "Baking from the Heart," this one is packed with real vanilla beans and smells so great while it's baking! I found the Mascarpone at Whole Foods!

Went outlet shopping in Leesburg with some of my family and got a really cool dark brown platter from Crate and Barrel to display the cupcakes on at work. Had dinner and then began to work on the frosting for the cupcakes. Half way through, one small problem: recipe calls for a four hour period to chill the frosting half way through. Grrrrrr, as my dog Layla would say! Okay...so I gave it an ice bath (believe me, I've never even done this before), covered it over and stuffed it into the fridge until this morning when my dog Layla and I woke up at 5:45 a.m., and I poured myself a cup of coffee, and finished the frosting (which turned out very nicely)!

The end result was well worth the wait. These can be eaten in one mouthful, as the guys in our family proved, but I liked like it, bit by bit! And, it's very nice with a Kir Royale!

Recipe Downloads:

X-Tra Curricular Baby Cake Activity

I know it's not a cupcake, but I just couldn't help myself! I saw a photo of these Croissant Cranberry Baby Cakes and just had to try making them. Turned out to be so easy and fun! I know it's not really a cupcake, but it is a cute little cake. I made mine with dried cranberries but you can use fresh blueberries or strawberries...or what ever you like best. They are nice and crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Hope you like them!

Croissant Cranberry Baby Cakes Recipe Download:

Am I (CUPCAKE) Crazy?

I feel like I'm obsessed by cupcakes! I just had to write it down...even now I'm thinking about which one I'll make this weekend. Does anyone else feel like this?