Friday, June 24, 2011

White Cupcakes with Sprinkles Cupcake's Strawberry Frosting!

So last week, I told my boyfriend that I would bake dessert for dinner with his family.  I was dreaming up different cupcake/frosting combinations, and I finally decided I would use white cake batter and strawberry frosting (white cake batter is my favourite, and I just LOVE strawberry anything!). I went with my semi-newish book, The Cake Book by Tish Boyle, again for the cake recipe.  However, I had to search around on Google for a good Strawberry Frosting recipe.

Google brought me to Oprah's website, where there was an article on Sprinkles Cupcakes, the "world's first cupcake bakery" located in Beverly Hills.  Lucky for me, the owner shared a recipe AND video  for strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting.  I figured this MUST be trustworthy, so I went for it!

Again, I have made a few cakes using the recipes in Tish Boyle's book, so I am used to the process and consistency of the cake batter.  Her directions are quite simple to follow, and there are multiple chapters in the beginning explaining everything including accessories, different types of ingredients, methods for frosting and decorating, and even a troubleshooting guide.

As I looked for inspiration for my cupcake and frosting flavor combination, I knew I had to check out Danelle's blog.  She writes about her personal baking and graphic design experiences.  In one post, I read that she put white chocolate chips in vanilla cupcakes.  I was sold --- I knew it would be the perfect addition to the white cake batter.

I totally forgot to mix them IN the batter for the first dozen...

But I did remember to sprinkle them on top for both at least!

They settled in nicely after baking, they were such a tasty addition.
 Now strawberry frosting obviously requires pureed strawberries.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to try out the food processor my best friend's mom found for me at a yardsale!  The food processor worked perfectly, looks like someone just needed to clean out and make more room in their kitchen! 

The flecks of strawberry look pretty!

The strawberry puree gave the frosting a lovely pink color, but I would have loved to add a tiny drop of red food dye for some more color. However, I forgot since I didn't give myself enough time.   Piping the frosting on was pretty simple.  After my first attempt, I had gotten used to using the Wilton frosting bags and 1M star tip.

Not kidding --- I could eat probably about 4 in one sitting, because they are so delicious.

The recipe for the frosting is listed below, but the whole article on Oprah's website can be found here.  It DOES say that the frosting "makes enough for 1 dozen", but I found that I had plenty for two dozen the way I frosted them.  You should consider visiting the site, because the recipe for the strawberry cake batter and another cake batter can be found there, yum! 

Sprinkles Cupcakes - Strawberry Frosting
 .5 C frozen whole strawberries
1 C unsalted butter, firm and somewhat cold
Pinch of salt
3.5 C confectioners' sugar, sifted
.5 tsp. vanilla extract

"Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix, or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream."

All done!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rainy Days Mean Time for Baking!

It has been a rainy week. Non-stop thunderstorms and rain, boo.  The one good thing as a result of such days? Baking.

Well, it WAS my driveway...

So I was able to check another item off my baking to do list. The other morning, my boyfriend and I made these Double Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins.

The recipe made 2 dozen. It was more than enough to share with my boyfriend's family!
I found the recipe on a blog that I follow called Sprinkled With Flour.  I really enjoy reading this blog because the author, Amber, is always seeking ways to make recipes healthier and tastier! She tweaked the original recipe that was printed in the Oprah Magazine Cookbook.  I followed Amber's suggestion (or rather, original mistake) of adding the entire can of pumpkin.  The result was a wonderfully tender and yummy muffin.  Mmm these were quite delicious, and the raisins really added to them! I can't wait to try more muffins!

This is before I added butter... it is a weakness of mine.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Strawberry Smoothies and Blueberry Pancakes!

Today --- I have the entire day off. No work, no plans, just me doing what ever I want.  Unfortunately, it has been a little bit since we have gone grocery shopping, so we are low on some key baking and breakfast ingredients.  My options this morning: cereal (love it, but let's be real --- it gets old when you can have this any day at school, but at HOME you can make anything your little heart desires) and Bisquick pancakes (I halve the batch, meaning I only need the ONE egg we have in the house).   So, I chose the pancakes.

Yummy - Blueberry Pancakes!

The other day, my best friend said she was craving Strawberry Daiquiris and that we should make them when we hang out.  I LOVE strawberries, SO much --- so obviously I agreed.  We were a little short on strawberries so we added a peach, and I brought a key ingredient to add as well...  Anyway, we enjoyed them on her patio in the sunshine.  So on this bright shiny morning, all I could think of were those daiquiris. 

Mmm Strawberry Daiquiris are best shared with your best friend <3 We did not have any leftover strawberries to garnish with, so we were unique and used lemons?

I thought I would try my luck at the freezer, since I know we also have no fresh fruit at the moment.  And there they were, two bags of frozen fruit. I defrosted them while doing laundry, then made the smoothie to enjoy as I made my pancakes (Which I added blueberries to, from the frozen berries!). 

I ended up blending 5 ice cubes first (my blender is one of the cheapest you can find, so you have to be smart about it).  Then, I added about:

1 cup frozen berries
3 oz. Yoplait Stawberry Cobbler flavored yogurt (.5 of the container I had)
1/3 cup Dole Orange Pineapple Banana juice

You must always use color-changing Friendly's straws for all occasions possible.

 I will probably never repeat this exact recipe again, because of the way I created it.  I created it with my imagination and what I had on hand.  That's the fun part about smoothies --- you are allowed the joy and fun to create absolutely anything you can think of with any of your favourite fruits, yogurts, and juices (or honey as an alternative to take out the bitterness).  And obviously, I would have preferred FRESH strawberries, but they are not quite ready to be picked yet!

All in all, I would say that was a fairly healthy breakfast. And, I used strawberries, as I said I wanted to more this summer! I absolutely can't wait to go pick fresh strawberries soon!!