Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

Here’s one we made a while ago, Pineapple upside down cupcakes! Being great fans of pineapple and cupcakes, we decided that the classic pineapple upside down cake needed a “cup-date.” What would be better than individual, highly portable, pineapple upside down cake.

For our cupcake format ,we discussed whether to do a pineapple cupcake with frosting, or attempt to stay true to the cake format. We went with the latter, attempting to stay true to form.

Instead of using rings of pineapple we opted for the small pre-cut wedges that would easily fit in our muffin cups.

All in all these little gems were amazing! Perfectly crisp on the outside, ooey gooey delicious on the inside, and perfectly darling all over.

  • FOR THE BATTER: (recipe was adapted and modified from family fun magazine)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs  
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • 1 can diced pineapple

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Drain pineapple chunks, reserving ½ a cup of liquid.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Cream together the butter, and sugar, add eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until the flour is incorporated. Add the remaining pineapple juice and stir until a smooth batter forms.

Melt a 1/3 cup of butter over low heat and add a 1/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark will work). Stir until the brown sugar is well incorporated.

Quickly spoon the melted sugar mixture in the cups of a well greased unlined muffin pan. You don’t want to use cupcake liners; you’ll hide the pretty pineapple and cherry design.

Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each cup, and surround with pineapple wedges. Fill your cups ¾ of the way and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake come out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack over the top of the muffin pan and invert. The cupcakes will land on the rack pineapple side up.  Serve as is, or place on a cupcake liner.

Let cool completely and enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Childhood is calling

Think back to childhood, what memories come to mind.  Perhaps rainy days and baking with mom, or rushing off of the school bus into the kitchen where the heavenly aroma of chocolate chip cookies wafts through the air.

With those childhood memories we decided to make chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes!  These delightful chocolate chip cupcakes, have a chocolate chip cookie dough filling, topped with a brown sugar "cookie" butter cream.

The secret to these cupcakes is to make an egg less cookie dough batter, this way the delicious filling can be served raw!  You can either make your own, or purchase one from the grocery store.
 We made a vanilla cupcake, using brown sugar and mixed mini chocolate chips into the batter.

Creaming together the butter and brown sugar.
When creaming together your ingredients keep going until your butter-sugar mixture is light and fluffy.

Adding the eggs...

When making light, fluffy, delicious cupcake, slowly mix in your flour.  Alternate flour additions with wet ingredients.

Remember to mix only until your flour is incorporated.  Over mixing causes the formation of gluten, the resulting cake will be tougher and rise as well

Make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled.  Cut out a triangular wedge and insert a rolled ball of your cookie dough.

Frost and Decorate!

Enjoy and keep on cupcaking!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Icing on the Cake

Nothing comes close to the explosive flavor of an extra large dollop of creamy, sugary-sweet frosting.  Perhaps that is way so many people (myself included) are huge fans of mini cupcakes.  With their small size, and favorable frosting to cake ratio they make frosting lovers near and far rejoice.

We created our favorite buttercream after some trial and errors (all yummy :) )

1 Cup butter (room temperature)
1/3 Cup Shortening
*1/2 - 1 Tbl vanilla extract
2 Tbl water (more if needed)
4 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter and shortening together, incorporate water and extract.  Slowly add your sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

More sugar can be added for a stiffer and sweeter consistency

*Depending on the quality of your extract you may need less or more.  Remember always use the highest quality ingredients you can afford.  Amount of extract depends upon your preference. Clear extract should be used if you wish to have white frosting.

I have found this version of buttercream to not only be very yummy, but very forgiving.  Play around, add cocoa powder, melted chocolate, peanut butter, mint, raspberry, etc.  This recipie can easily be adapted to suite your palate.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apple Cupcakes

Last weekend we were fortunate enough to be able to spend a perfect Saturday afternoon at a lovely little apple orchard in Middelfied, NY.
There are few things in this world that are as relaxing as birds chirping, the sun shining, the scent of fresh apples wafting through the air.  What is better than when your biggest concern is finding the perfect apple!
 Of course one generally goes overboard picking natures wonderful bounty.  Of course you soon come to realize you have no idea what to do with all of those apples! 

After eating our fill of Macs, Honeycrisp, Jonagolds, and Courtlands all week we naturally settled on making Apple Cupcakes!

For our cupcakes we choose to use a variety of apples, mixing sweet and tart giving us the fullest flavor profile.

We finely grated four fresh, scrumptious apples, yielding close to two cups of fruit and liquid. 

I feel  most good vanilla cake recipes could be adapted for apples.  Simply decrease or omit the liquid ingredients, depending on how juicy your apples are.  Also pay attention to the amount of sugar, some apples are extemely sweet.

Lastly you're going to want to add traditional apple pie spices!  Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.  Don't be afraid to experiment, try adding raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, or perhaps orange extract!

Fresh from the oven

    Our cupcakes were dressed in a rich vanilla butercream and coated with white chocolate shavings and a rich drizzle of caramel.

All in all, these gorgeous cupcakes were a huge hit!  They were moist, tender, and delicate.  The taste of fresh apple was highlighted by cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla.

What better way to spend a beautiful fall day then eating cupcakes that highlight the season!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Every Beginning Has a Story.....

First we begin with the why we are doing this....

Fortune, fame, surely not to loose a few pounds.  Simply put, this is for the love of all things cupcakes.  Nothing evokes fuzzier feelings then biting into a freshly baked cupcake, licking globs of icing from your upper lip, making sure you extract every single last crumb from the cupcake liner.

Chocolate, vanilla, and a thousand more flavor combinations, we love them all.

This blog will serve to discuss our new creations, techniques, popular opinion, and help us on the road to cupcake domination.  

Every week we will be trying at least one new cupcake variety so stay tuned.