Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We make other things, too...

So we know this blog is all about cupcakes, but we like to bake other things as well. For Cara's shower, we also made some really great cookies- white chocolate macadamia nut- as well as brownies. They were all so good! And we made a diaper cake, too!

The recipe for the cookies can be found in this book. I definitely recommend buying the book; it has every cookie recipe you can think of and more! If you just want this recipe, find one online and add 1 cup of coconut (because most don't have that in them). Emilie doesn't like coconut, but even she thinks it makes them taste great.

Ocean Cupcakes!

This past weekend we did two new things we've never done before with our cupcakes: 1, we made fondant decorations, and 2, we put them in this cool stand Emilie and Chrintina's mom picked up at Marshall's (what CAN'T you buy there??). Our cousin Cara is having a baby boy, and since her husband loves fishing, we decided to made sea-themed cupcakes for her shower. We have a big family and attend many baby showers, so we utilize it as an opportunity to try out new ideas. The cupcakes were a moist chocolate espresso cake with a light blue vanilla buttercream. We also lightly sprayed some of the cupcakes with Wilton's food color spray, which was a similar but slightly darker color than the frosting, to create a cool effect. We ran out of powdered sugar while making it, so it didn't shape as well as we wanted it to, but it still tasted great. The fondant was Duff Goldman (the Ace of Cakes guy)'s buttercream fondant; we bought it at Michael's. It was really easy to shape and color, and we didn't even need to buy special food coloring for the fondant, as we just used the gel food coloring you get at the supermarket. It took a while to shape the fondant and make all the different sea creatures, but in the end everything looked and tasted great!

P.S. we figured out how to embed slide shows, so we can add more pictures without making the post HUGE. Hooray!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

There was a small family gathering at our aunts house on Friday, so we made some chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with caramel brown-sugar frosting to bring along. They were quite delicious! The frosting contained brown sugar, which made the frosting a bit granular and crunchy, but it was still smooth and piped out very well. The cupcakes were cake-mix-doctored, so they weren't from scratch but they were more special than straight from the box made cupcakes. And they only took about an hour!

Here is the recipe for the buttermilk cupcakes (adapted from the Hello, Cupcake! Cupcake Book; see link below):
1 box of Chocolate Cupcake Mix (any other flavor works, too- just not angel's food)
1 cup of buttermilk in place of the water called for on the box
4 eggs (it's usually just 3)
The amount of oil it says to use on the box

Follow the directions on the box, and bake the same amount of time! The batter may seem more watery, but it's supposed to be that way.

And for the frosting, this is adapted from the More From Magnolia recipe book. It says caramel frosting, but it tastes more like a brown sugar frosting that true caramel. Oh well, it's still lip-smacking good!

2 sticks of butter
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cream the butter and both sugars on low speed in a bowl for 2 minutes until it's smooth. Add the milk, corn syrup and vanilla and beat until creamy (3-5 minutes). When you first add the milk, vanilla and corn syrup, it seems to make the frosting too watery and weird looking, but keep mixing it and it will turn into fluffy, workable frosting. Enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes.

Hello, Cupcake!: Click Here
More From Magnolia: Click Here