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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How do I love thee Hostess let me count the ways...

My favorite, all-time cupcakes are Hostess.

My very first memory of eating a cupcake is eating a Hostess. I've even been eating them the same way since I was 6 years old (I am now, 31).

First I eat the little white swirl. Then I eat all the chocolate, the I break the cupcake in half and with my tongue scoop out the white cream. Then and only then do I eat the cake.

I even think that the new Hostess 100 calorie cupcake packs are the best thing since sliced bread. However, can't we just add another 25 calories and add the white swirl?

With that said two weeks ago I had to attend a Surprise 50th Birthday celebration for my aunt. I was asked to make cupcakes (of course!). With that said, I wanted to stay in a true 50th birthday fashion and decorate the cupcakes black and white.

On the day I was to make the cupcakes I came across this recipe in the Taste of Home Cupcake & Muffin issue and switched to it!

They were absolutely perfect! And so easy to do!
I know there is a recipe floating around the internet for "Faux-stess" cupcakes and these would be the equivalant. I am now calling them "Faux-stess".

They were a huge hit at the party and have quickly become my number one most requested cupcake now!
What follows is the recipe...ENJOY!

Cream Filled Cupcakes:

1 package Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 teaspoons hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 jar Marshmallow Creme
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ganache Frosting:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Prepare and back cupcakes according to package directions, using paper-lined muffin cups. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

For filling, in a small bowl, combine water and salt until salt is dissolved. Cool. In a small mixing bowl, beat the marshmallow creme, shortening, confectioners' sugar and vanilla on high until light and fluffy; add the salt mixture.

Insert a small round pastry tip (#230) into a pastry or plastic bag; fill with cream filling. Insert the tip halfway into the center of each cupcake and fill with a small amount.

In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate chips with cream. Cool. Dip cupcake tops into frosting; chill for 20 minutes or until set. Store in the refrigerator.

Yields 2 dozen.

P.S. I used the remaining cream filling to pipe the swirl on the top. I have also used white fondant and put that on the top as well. For example, for the birthday party I had exactly 2 dozen cupcakes and there are exactly 24 letters in the phrase, "Happy 50th Birthday MaryAnn". So I cut small letters out of fondant and used them for the garnish. But by doing the swirl you get the true "faux-stess look!"

Think Pink!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month the first Saturday of October I made "Think Pink" cupcakes.

I've been meaning to post about them for quite awhile now but just have not gotten around to any blogs in the last 3 weeks I believe.

But I am back on track now.

So...Think Pink!

The recipe I found in the book 500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly. I haven't used this book before but all the recipes in here are ones that I eventually want to try. A lot of different kinds but I am not sure how they would sell at the market.
But I digress.

The cupcakes themselves came out a little dry. But I think it was more problems on my part than anything else. The recipe calls for superfine sugar. Of course I didn't notice this before I was going to make them so thanks to the internet I found what to do if you don't have superfine sugar. Guess what....I also did not have self-rising flour. So because I had to use the substitute for two main ingredients that could be the reason for the dryness.

Next time I will make sure I have superfine sugar on hand (most of the recipes in the book call for it!)

But other than that....

Think PINK!

For the cupcakes:

1 cup sweet butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all cupcake ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

For the frosting:

3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 cup sweet butter, softened
Pinch of salt
Pink Food Coloring

To make the frosting, cream the confectioners' sugar, butter, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Add a few drops of food coloring, and mix well. Spread the frosting liberally onto the cooled cupcakes.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Welcome Fall!

For the first weekend of Fall I found a recipe in the Taste of Home Cupcakes & Muffins issue. They looked relatively easy and delicious so I went ahead with my "Welcome Fall Cupcakes".

The recipe is below and all I can say about these is they were not delicious. They were scrumptious! Absolutely stunning presentation wise, I got so many compliments on these at the market and they were a wonderful seller.

I hope you get a chance and try them!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

1 package spice or carrot cake mix (I used carrot)
2 cups chopped, peeled tart apples
20 caramels
3 tablespoons of milk
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
12 popsicle sticks

Prepare cake batter according to package directions; fold in apples.
Fill cupcake pan 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
In a saucepan, cook the caramels and milk over low heat until smooth. Spread over cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted pecans. Insert popsicle sticks in the center of each cupcake to resemble caramel apples.