Monday, April 16, 2012

Sweet Confections!

Hobby of the day: Baking

I have decided that I am going to attempt to work through both the Martha Stewart Cupcake Cookbook as well as the Cookie Cookbook. However, I will NOT be doing it everyday. I have neither the time, nor the energy, or the money for that matter.  Thankfully both Gary and I are teachers and have students who would love to consume goodies, as well as co-workers.  Unfortunately, the summer is coming, good thing, I have more time, bad thing, who will eat them?! 
Thus begins my challenge. My goal: to bake 2-4 times a month.

I made these sweet treats for my grandmother's birthday this past weekend.  She can't really have chocolate, so..... I made Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes, pg. 26 in the cupcake cookbook.  I topped them with a vanilla butter cream recipe that I got from here.

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks- room temperature
2 cups buttermilk- room temperature (** if you can't find buttermilk you can make your own, crazy I know it's really simple 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon lemon juice of white vinegar)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
I heart my kitchen aid
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium.  Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly combined.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
I love my cookie/cupcake scoop
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes (I did 18 and it was fine, I also forgot to rotate- I did less time because I like my cupcakes to stay moist) Transfer to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupakes onto racks and let cook completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

On to the icing: For Christmas my mom gave me a great icing tip set, most of which I have yet to use.  I wanted to make the tops of the cupcakes extra special, go that extra mile. Enter Youtube......

It took me probably 1-2 hours to make the roses.  I had never ever made icing roses before, so it took me awhile to perfect them. Then transfer them to the cupcake and add the leaves. I tried to make my leaves like the guy on the video, but then I discovered I had leaf icing tips. I still can't figure out how to get my leaves to be fully pointy, but practice makes perfect/  

My grandmother has always had a green thumb. So I made, her own edible garden.  I really wanted to make more than roses, but when all was said and done, with coloring and filling bags and finding the right tips.... I didn't have the time or energy.  Until the next time....
First Successful Rose!

Grandma's Garden

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