Death to Cupcakes: A New Era Begins (Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes)

Last year, I called it. Just saying.

Its official Crumbs, one of the nation’s largest cupcakes chains, has closed its doors. It seems Americans are tired of this once trend. We no longer feel the need to have a portion sized, personal cake with frosting decorated to wow us. We no longer want art on a platter, we no longer feel the need to pay $3.00 for a cupcake. Americans are tired of your shit cupcakes, you’re out.

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So that leaves me wondering, what’s the next trend? Cheesecake on a stick would be awesome! But then we would have to find portable ways to keep it cool. Gourmet Brownies, that’s something I can get on board with. What about good ol’ fashion cookies? Nah, too… ordinary.

What do you think the next food trend will be? Well if you figure it out let me know… in the meantime…

Chocolate and peanut butter go together like Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, Tom and Jerry and Beyoncé and Jay-z. It just works, the salty and sweet, sweet and salty, throw a little sea salt on top and you have an edible euphoria unlike any other.

According to The thechocolatestore.com Americans consume 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, which is approximately 11.6 pounds per person.  On the other hand according to the National Peanut Board (yes this exists), Americans spend $800 million a year on peanut butter, that’s a lot of jars! Obviously this paring is not going out of style any time soon!

Courtney’s coworker requested chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for his birthday and I am always more than happy to deliver. I made a rich chocolate cupcake using both dark chocolate coco powder, and regular coco power. I also decided that this needed a peanut butter filling, so a mock Reese’s filling was pumped into the middle of these suckers, topped off with a peanut butter butter cream.

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Chocolate Peanut butter cupcakes:

If you are allergic to peanuts, these will surely kill you. But if you are a chocolate peanut butter fanatic, these are sure to melt your heart!

Makes 24 cupcakes

The cake was adapted from: Hersey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” chocolate cake recipe

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup Hersey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa powder

1/2 cup Hersey’s cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

 

Filling taken from a Wilton recipe:

1 1/2 Tablespoons warm melted butter

1/2 cup peanut butter room temp

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

 

Peanut-Butter, Butter Cream adapted from the wonderful Martha Stewart:

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick of butter, softened

2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons whipping cream

 

 

 

Directions:

Cake:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
  3. Pour into cupcake liners or greased cupcake tins, fill 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle come out clean

Filling:

  1. Core the cupcakes using either a knife or a cupcake corer if you have one
  2. Melt the butter and mix into the peanut butter and confectioner sugar till combined
  3. Resist the urge to eat all of it
  4. Using a spoon, or a bag fill the cored cupcake with this mixture.

Frosting

  1. Mix butter and peanut butter together, add in confectioners’ sugar, and add in whipping cream.
  2. Whip till desired consistency
  3. Again resist the urge to eat it all
  4. Either pipe, or spread on cupcakes.

 

 

 

 

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A Lemon Christmas (Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins)

I used to wish my Christmas tree would burn down.

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Using an old grater for my zest

I hated Christmas. I hated the fact that after Halloween (my favorite holiday), Christmas music would start. I hated the fact that it got cold. I hated slushy snow. I hated speeding hours in a kitchen with my mother. I hated spending countless hours, or multiple days, decorating an 11+ foot tall Christmas tree that we would get every year.

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Lemon and sugar mix

I guess you can call the child me a Grinch. I didn’t understand it. Why bother cutting down a perfectly good tree (as if humans aren’t doing that enough already), and spending countless hours arguing about how to decorate it, only to throw it out the week after Christmas.  Sure it looked pretty for that occasional family member that wandered over to drop something off, but what was the point?

We spent evenings that felt like eternities manipulating cookies to taste just like the ones from the store. What was the point? Couldn’t you just, I don’t know, buy them?!?! During the Christmas season everyone just complains about their diet anyways.

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Someone was interested in the Sour Cream mixture.

Looking back to how much of a Grinch I was, it makes me wonder how I got to where I am today. I cannot wait until snow hits the ground, this means Santa’s coming!!! The smell of the tree, while sitting next to the fire, looms my dreams for the rest of the 11 months. Don’t get me started about cookies; I think it is obvious what happened there (if not feel free to read my post on Chocolate Chip Cookies).

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Batter

An Odd thing about me and Christmas, for some reason I always associate Lemon with the holidays. Perhaps it is because almost every Christmas morning my mother would make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. Or perhaps it has something to do with the lemon drop cookies that I spent hours recreating. It could just be my obsession with zesting things and the smell that lingers on my fingers afterword’s.

Anyways, last night (while dancing to Christmas music) I made mini lemon poppy seed muffins for breakfast at work. These guys love when I bring in treats for them, and it gives me an excuse to eat all day. Throughout the morning I had countless people exclaiming how I am ruining their diet, while stuffing three mini muffins in their mouth and taking two for after they swallowed.

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My mini muffins in my cookie jar, almost gone that is

Looking back at my childhood I am almost 97.2% positive that my mother never made these from scratch. I think she cheated and used a mix. Well that cheater, cheater, pumpkin pie eater; try this one next time!

Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2/3 Cup sugar

2 cups AP flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 Cup sour Cream

2 large eggs

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Stick unsalted Butter, melted

2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees, grease muffin tins (or use liners, your call)
  2. In a large bowl mix the lemon zest in with the sugar. This is easiest done with your fingers. Mix until all the sugar is wet with lemon.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix this together well.
  4. In a medium size bowl whisk together sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and butter.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and mix until wet.
  6. Add Poppy seeds then stir to combine
  7. Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way and bake for 10 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Optional Icing

For icing I did not have any lemon juice, or lemons lying around. I only had 1 which I used for the muffins. I used a vanilla glaze, but a lemon glaze is what I intended on doing so I’ll give you both options.

Lemon

1 Cup Confectioners’ sugar

2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice (preferably fresh)

Mix till combined, drizzle over cooled muffins.

Vanilla

1 Cup confectioners’ sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix till combined, drizzle over cooled muffins

Makes 4 dozen mini muffins, almost 1 dozen normal sized muffins (amount ranges on size of the tins)

Welcome to America, Its National Doughnut Day

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Today is June 7, 2013, tropical storm Andrea is drowning the east coast, my diet has officially failed, and oh yeah, its national doughnut day. Dear America, THIS IS WHY YOU’RE FAT.

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I had no plans in taking part of this apparent national holiday. I avoided Dunkin Donuts, drove past Wawa, and I even planed to make anything other than donuts. But it happened, my father called me. “Hey Lauren it’s your Dad!” His message went on, “Hope everything is well with you, and well, I wish you were here to make some doughnuts for the girls at work, they really miss your baking…” I was guilt tripped into making doughnut by a man who works 100 miles from me. Thanks Dad.

I do have a few recipes for some good baked doughnut, like apple cinnamon, or coconut, but I am still 100% against this holiday, so I rebelled without rebelling. Chocolate Chip Cookie Doughnut, that’s what I’m calling them and I’m sticking to it. Cookies that are made in a doughnut pan, so is it a cookie or doughnut? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

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These little circles of confusion would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream in the middle, or broken apart to dip in milk. They are simple as well, just take a chocolate chip cookie recipe (my favorite and the one I used can be found here), and a baked doughnut pan. Spray the pan generously with non stick cooking spray so you can get these conundrums out. Roll the dough between your hands to create a snake like figure and then lay it in the doughnut pan. Plop it in the oven at 375 degrees for 12 minutes and you have a chocolate chip cookie doughnut.

Also For those of us who were wondering here is a list of US national food days:

January

January 2 National Buffet week

January 3 National Chocolate Covered Cherry day

January 2 National Creampuff Day

January 20 Cheese Day

January 23 National Pie Day

February

February 9 National Pizza Day

February 15 National I Want Butterscotch Day

March

March 7 National Crown Roast of Pork Day

March 8 National Crabmeat Day

March 9 National Blueberry Popover Day

March 10 Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day

March 12 National Baked Scallops Day

March 13 National Coconut Torte Day

March 14 National Potato Chip Day

March 17 National Corndog Day

March 23 National Chip and Dip Day

March 31 National Clams on the Half Shell Day

April

April 2 National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

April 12 National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

April 17 National Cheeseball Day

April 24 National Pigs in a Blanket Day

April 25 National Zucchini Bread Day

April 26 National Pretzel Day

April 29 National Shrimp Scampi Day

May

May 4 National Candied Orange Peel Day

May 11 National Eat What You Want Day

May 17 National walnut day

May 24 National Escargot Day

May 28 International Hamburger Day

June

1st Friday National Doughnut Day

June 16 National Vinegar Day

June 17 Eat Your Vegetables Day

June 25 National Catfish Day

July

3rd Sunday National Ice Cream Day

July 3 Eat Beans Day

July 6 Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day

July 7 Macaroni Day

July 15 National Tapioca Day

July 15 Gummi Worm Day

July[when?] Fresh Spinach Day

July 18 National Caviar Day

July[when?] National Daiquiri Day

July[when?] National Junk Food Day

July 28 Hamburger Day

August

August 3 National Mustard Day

August 3 Watermelon Day

August 8 National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day

August 23 National Sponge Cake Day

August 26 National Cherry Popsicle Day

August 28 Crackers Over The Keyboard Day

August 29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day

August 30 National Toasted Marshmallow Day

August 31 Trail Mix Day

September

September 4 National Macademia Nut Day

September 5 National Cheese Pizza Day

September 7 National Acorn Squash Day

September 13 National Peanut Day

September 14 National Eat a Hoagie Day

September 15 National Linguine Day

September 16 National Guacamole Day

September 18 National Cheeseburger Day

September 19 National Butterscotch Pudding Day

September 26 National Better Breakfast Day

September 28 Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children

September 30 National Hot Mulled Cider Day

October

October 4 National Vodka Day

October 20 National Brandied Fruit Day

October 24 Bologna Day

October 24 National Food Day

October 25 National Greasy Food Day

October 28 National Chocolate Day

October 29 National Oatmeal Day

October 30 Haunted Refrigerator Night

October 30 National Candy Corn Day

November

1st Thursday National Men Make Dinner Day 1998, Sandy Sharkey

4th Thursday Turkey Day (informal name for Thanksgiving Day)

Day after Thanksgiving Sinkie Day

November 1 National French Fried Clam Day

November 1 National Cook For Your Pets Day

November 2 National Deviled Egg Day

November 3 National Sandwich Day

November 4 National Candy Day

November 5 National Doughnut Day

November 6 National Nachos Day

November 7 National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

November 7 National Eating Healthy Day

November 8 National Harvey Wallbanger Day

November 8 Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day

November 9 National Scrapple Day

November 10 National Vanilla Cupcake Day

November 11 National Sundae Day

November 12 National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

November 12 Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

November 13 National Indian Pudding Day

November 14 National Spicy Guacamole Day

November 15 National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day

November 15 National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

November 16 National Fast Food Day

November 17 National Baklava Day

November 17 Homemade Bread Day

November 18 National Vichyssoise Day

November 19 Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day

November 20 National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

November 21 National Stuffing Day

November 22 National Cranberry Relish Day

November 23 National Cashew Day

November 23 National Eat A Cranberry Day

November 24 National Espresso Day

November 25 National Parfait Day

November 26 National Cake Day

November 27 National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

November 28 National French Toast Day

November 29 Throw Out Your Leftovers Day

November 29 National Chocolates Day

November 30 National Mousse Day

December

December 1 Eat a Red Apple Day

December 1 National Pie Day

December 4 National Cookie Day

December 8 National Brownie Day

December 13 National Ice Cream Day

December 19 National Oatmeal Muffin Day

December 21 National Hamburger Day

December 25 National Pumpkin Pie Day

December 27 National Fruitcake Day

December 30 National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

December 31 National Champagne Day

Cheaters Coffee Cake

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The Journey of the Crumb Cake

                I was never one for cheating, but I like to win. Family monopoly games turned into battles to the death, unless I was the dealer. If I was the dealer, it was always a landslide victory in one direction. I’m not saying I cheated; I just helped out my cause a little.

                Cheating in sports is another thing, I never cheated, but cheaters always made the game more interesting. There was always that one team at the softball field that counted too many runs, or sent someone up to bat to early. This was always resolved with at least one coach being ejected from the game, parents screaming obscenities, and at least one girl crying. It’s not a game unless someone cries.

In baking I can proudly say my cheating is minimal. I prefer homemade everything, to premade anything. Cookies in the bag don’t cut it, box cakes can suck it, and store bought can remain in the store. There is an adventure involved in cooking from scratch, a sense of accomplishments, and pride.

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Don’t cheat and use a stand mixer, DONT DO IT! Do what I say not what I do.

Today, I confess, I cheated. Today I made coffee cake and used (gulp) Bisquick. I could have made homemade Bisquick, but I’ll save that for another story. This was one of the easiest recipes I could have ever followed, and at 7:00am easy is what I need. I even accomplished this recipe without my morning cup of coffee.

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                Apparently, this Bisquick coffee cake is a classic. My mother commented how her mom used to make it, and on mother’s day, tradition is the only thing that mattered. The cake part is light and fluffy, sweet and moist, comparable to a slice of cloud from the heavens. The crumbs, if you are a coffee cake fiend, like myself, I recommend doubling or tripling the crumb topping. I doubled it, and still could have used a little more. But the small balls of sugar will forever satisfy my early morning sweet tooth.

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The crumbly finished product

Without further ado, here is my slice of early morning goodness. Remember, cheaters never win, but at first they do succeed.

Cheaters Coffee Cake:

Ingredients:

Cinnamon streusel

1/3 Cup Original Bisquick mix

1/3 Cup packed brown sugar

1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons firm margarine

Coffee Cake:

2 Cups Original Bisquick mix

2/3 Cup milk

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Egg

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375*F. Grease a 9 inch round pan.
  2. In a small bowl, stir streusel ingredients until crumbly. If you like big crumbs try using your hands. For smaller finer crumbs use a whisk.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix coffee cake ingredients until blended, then spread evenly in pan.
  4. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the cake batter.
  5. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Taking on the controversies: Chocolate or Vanilla

Vanilla with choclate frostingIt is the ultimate culinary showdown, the battle of all battles, the controversies of all controversies. Which would win: chocolate or vanilla?
Oddly enough, chocolate and vanilla were introduced to the modern world at the same time. Hernán Cortés in 1520 brought the chocolate and vanilla spices back from the Aztecs to Spain, almost spontaneously the controversy started. Well, not quite.
Before discovered by Cortés, Aztecs used coco beans as a form of currency, 100 beans could buy a good sized turkey. The Aztecs even believed that coco beans had divine properties, similar to many women’s feelings about chocolate once a month. When good ‘ol Cortés first tried chocolate he described it as “a bitter drink for pigs”, but after it was mixed with cane sugar it spread like wildfire across Spain.
While chocolate blossomed and spread over Spain, vanilla remained centralized in Central America. Why you may ask? Because that was the only place it could be successfully grown. When vanilla grows it produces a flower and only if that flower is pollinated by a certain type of bee will it produce beans. It wasn’t until 1841, when a French slave girl discovered that vanilla could be hand pollinated, therefore produced globally and used in abundance. Today we have vanilla everything: vanilla cupcake, vanilla ice cream, vanilla candles, vanilla body spray, vanilla soaps.
In a way, vanilla won. Vanilla has psychological effects that can calm you down and can prevent you from getting over anxious, it is the number one ice cream flavor in the world, and it is my mom’s favorite cupcake flavor.

My half-birthday presents! Wisk, Bowl scraper and heat resistant mat. Thanks Mom!

My half-birthday presents! Wisk, Bowl scraper and heat resistant mat. Thanks Mom!

Today I decided to test out a few things. My half birthday was April 18, and my mom sent me some cool baking supplies that she found. I got a rubber coated whisk, a bowl scraper and a heat resistant mat, all in pink, my favorite color. Also on my half birthday, my homemade vanilla extract was done sitting!!! After two months of waiting what a better way to try out some vanilla cupcakes than use homemade vanilla!!!
Making homemade vanilla extract is pretty simple, and can be cost effective. Vanilla extract is two beans per every 4 ounces of vodka, that’s it, nothing fancy just beans and vodka. Vanilla beans in quantities greater than 2 can be found online at Amazon. Twenty-four beans can set you back as little as sixteen dollars, and 4 ounce jars can also be found online for as little as nine dollars for a 12 count. Cheap vodka can be used for this, the cheaper the better! McCormick vanilla extract can cost up to ten dollars for a 3 ounces bottle. When made at home each bottle comes to costing around four dollars per 4 ounce bottle.
To make your vanilla extract take two vanilla beans and split them long ways, and then cut them in half. Next submerge the four pieces of vanilla beans into vodka in a four ounce glass container. Place your vodka and bean mixture in a dark cool place for about 2 months. Once a week shake the containers for a few seconds and then put them back. That’s it, in two months you did it! You created your very own homemade vanilla.

Homemade Vanilla

Homemade Vanilla

Anyways back to the cupcakes. These cupcakes are basic beginner style cupcakes, nothing fancy, anyone can do it. I decided to pair them with a chocolate frosting so the whole chocolate vs. vanilla controversy could come to life in my cupcake.
This chocolate frosting was probably the best tasting chocolate frosting ever, but one problem, its heavy. It was extremely hard to pipe this frosting out. I would use this frosting again, but I would use it for a cupcake filling, not a frosting. If anyone has a fabulous light chocolate frosting and they are willing to share, please, I am accepting donations.

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This vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting is the reason that there is a controversy over which flavor is better. The cupcake itself is air. The vanilla flavoring comes through very well, it is sweet but not candy land gone suicidal sweet, with undertones of the cake my mom made for my eight birthday party. The frosting on the other hand, it might as well be chocolate fudge. This is a chocolate lovers dream! With just cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar and butter, the chocolate comes to life. It is sweet, rich and smooth. I was going to drizzle the cupcake with white chocolate but an incident with a plastic bag and the microwave said that milk chocolate would have to suffice.
For a beginners vanilla cupcake, or a cupcake to show off your homemade vanilla skills I highly recommend using this fool proof vanilla cupcake recipe.

Cooling Cupcakes

Cooling Cupcakes

-Cheers!

Recipie:
Fool proof Vanilla Cupcakes: Makes 12
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup softened butter
1 Cup sugar
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup cold milk
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 *F
2. Cream together butter and sugar.
3. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
4. Mix in vanilla.
5. In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.
6. Mix wet ingredients to dry.
7. Add butter and milk, Mix until combined.
8. Bake 18-20 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden.
Chocolate Frosting: NOTE comes out heavy, see warning in paragraphs above
Ingredients:
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
1. Sift sugar and cocoa together in larger bowl
2. In another bowl mix together 4 tablespoons heavy cream, vanilla and butter, beating till smooth.
3. Add sugar and cocoa mixture 1 cup at a time until all combined.

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Granola Bars 101: A Lesson in Summer Weather Snacks

 

Personally I love summer weather. I love going for long runs in the heat of the day, to be drenched in sweat upon my return. I love lying on the grass with friends all around me, playing guitar and singing nonsense songs. I love summer nights with camp fires and s’mores, and the wandering smell of wood burning. The weather we are currently having (mid-80’s in April) is a little early for the season, but watching lobsters crawl to class never gets old.

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As spring temperatures creep from freezing to mid-80’s, everything on a college campus changes: classes move outside, clothes are shed, and our meals become a little more health conscious in preparation for summer. 

Never in my life have I made any type of granola bars. I have made breakfast granola to put in yogurt and in fruit parfaits, but never in the form of bars, so today with desire to learn (and with hungry friends on the go asking for snacks), I’ve decided to try.

Dry ingredients ready to be mixed!

Dry ingredients ready to be mixed!

Granola Bar Lovin’:

Depending on how big you cut the bars, makes around 12 bars.

Ingredients:

2 Cups rolled oats

3/4 Cup packed brown sugar

1/2 Cup wheat germ*

3/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 Cups mini chocolate chips (or raisins for those who are super healthy)

3/4 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Cup honey

1 Egg, beaten

1/2 Cup vegetable oil

2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and generously grease a 9×13 baking pan
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, chocolate chips, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mixture will be still, mixing using your hands is easiest.
  3. Pat mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bars begin to golden. Cool for 5 minut4es, then cut when still warm or else they will be hard to cut.

*Wheat germ, I could not find it anywhere for the longest time, If your food store has specialty four or a gluten free section you may find it there.

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Red.

2 cupcakes

I hate it. I hate how teachers circle wrong answers in red. I hate how red grabs attention. I hate how it is the color of the store I used to work at. I hate how it was the color of my high school’s mascot. I hate how it is the color of the one cupcake that haunts my dreams. Red velvet, everything about the name is so suggestive. It just screams love, lust and desire, but to me it taunts me with an F marked in red pen.

Red velvet cupcakes and I have a past. They are my one culinary failure, the one cupcake I could not serve, the one thing I have ever been ashamed of. The first time I attempted them nothing worked out right, the red was wrong, the batter was too soupy and the cupcake wrappers were wrong. Yes, I have a thing about cupcake wrappers, and the only ones I had left at the time did not match the cupcakes, it drove me crazy.IMG_1216

I was sitting at work on Monday and was thinking it was time for redemption. A girl I work with is obsessed with red velvet cake, and I asked her what she liked about it so much. “The color, duh.” I asked a girl who wants to be a kindergarten teacher, I should have known better.  The one thing I can’t stand, is the one thing she likes the most.  She went on to explain it was the icing that made it, the perfect contrast of a light chocolate cake and super sweet cream cheese.red batter

I went for it, took an idea and dove in. I took the recipe I had and threw it out the window (quite literally in fact). I started from scratch with a wonderful cream cheese frosting recipe my mom had and went from there. The results shocked and surprised me. After I made the batter I tasted it, my friend once said that a good tasting batter leads to a good tasting product, it also gives her an excuse to eat my unbaked goods, but the batter was good. I knew these cupcakes were going to be the best red velvet anything I ever made.IMG_1308

And they were, everyone agrees.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

2 ¼ Cups of flour

1/2 Cup unsweetened coco powder

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.

2 Cups sugar

4 Eggs

1 Cup sour cream

1/2 Cup milk

1 Bottle (1 ounce) red food color

2 Teaspoon vanilla extract

For vanilla cream cheese frosting           

1 Package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temp.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.

2 Tablespoons sour cream

2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

16 ounces (3 ¼ cups) confectioners sugar

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat Butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low, until blended
  3. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, about 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 tablespoon, sour cream and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 16 ounces confectioner sugar.