Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cupcakes

Merry Christmas, everyone! Last week, we had a family over for dinner. They have four young children, and we have three, so I thought a perfect dessert would be cupcakes. One of my Christmas presents is a great new cookbook. I needed a good cupcake recipe; one that wasn't dry or crumbly or tasteless, so I turned to that book to find one. (I got it out of it's hiding place for the occasion.... and haven't put it back yet, lol! I need to do that. It's a great book, and that is why I just couldn't wait until Christmas!) Well, this cupcake recipe is great- easy to put together, and tender, tasty and moist. We all loved them!!

I then used a simple butter/powdered sugar frosting I found in my Good Housekeeping Cookbook. Most times I dont' really use a recipe for this type of frosting, but I wanted it to be a perfect consistency. I frosted the cupcakes, using my 1M Wilton tip, and decorated them with various Christmas sprinkles, or crushed candycanes. The kids loved them! (I loved them too ;) ).

When you are making these cupcakes, the recipe calls for just dumping the wet ingredients into the dry, without mixing first. Do it (although it goes against everything you think you know about baking), but do it carefully. I dumped everything in, turned my mixer to medium, and had a flour explosion all over my kitchen. Fun times! Start your mixer out slowly, and increase to medium. ;) By the way, this is the first time I have ever weighed my flour and sugar when baking. I measured out 1 1/2 cups of flour, then weighed it, but had to add more, as it wasn't 7.5 ounces. I want to bake this way more often- I think it produces better results. I'll say it again: I love my kitchen scale!!

Yellow Cupcakes

1 ½ cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 cup (7 ounces) white sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temp.
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper or foil liners. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla to the dry ingredients. With mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of the bowl with spatula and stir by hand until smooth and no flour remains visible. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin tins using a 2-oz ice cream scoop. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool to room temp, about 45 minutes.

Classic Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 package (16 ounces) confectioner's sugar
4-6 tablespoons milk, half-and-half, or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In large bowl, with mixer at medium-low speed, beat butter, sugar, 3 tablespoons milk or cream, and vanilla until smooth and blended. Beat in additional milk as needed for easy spreading consistency. Increase speed to medium-high; beat frosting until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.


HoneyB said...

They look beautiful Dishy! Great to see you again! :)

Allie said...

You are such an outstanding food photographer. I really stink at photography food.

These look really good. I might make them tonight for my husband's coworkers tomorrow.

Linda said...

Dishy, the icing looks so sturdy, yet creamy--I will have to steal your recipe!

Great point about weighing the ingredients.

LadyJayPee said...

I've wanted to bake using weights rather than measures too. Dishy, did your hub buy you that cookbook for Christmas? Uh, does he know you know and used? :)))

What A Dish! said...

Lol JPee, he does know; as I STILL haven't returned it to it's hiding spot! I need to use it again tomorrow, and then I'll put it back!

HoneyB said...

Dishy, I have these in the oven as I type! I wanted to do a red/white/blue cupcake like I had seen on another blog but they didn't have a recipe. I remembered you had one that sounded interesting so I came back here! If they look photogenic I'll post photos and link back to you for the recipe!!

HoneyB said...

Ok, these turned out wonderful and I am blogging them tomorrow and linking back here to your recipe!! Thanks Dishy!