Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4th of July Baking

So, I realize the 4th of July was a week and a half ago, but I have been very busy!  I was house-sitting that weekend, so I was not on the computer much.  And since then, when I have not been at work, I have been at the river or the gym!  The weather has been absolutely amazing for the river. 

For the 4th of July, my family held a yard sale at our house.  I thought it would be a great idea to bake tons of cupcakes to give away or sell. Long story short --- timing and everything did not work out.  I did not end up selling them, but my family (my mom, and my sister and her boyfriend who had temporarily been living with us) and I ate them up!

I baked a pouch of Betty Crocker's Sugar Cookies and I made White and Red Velvet cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream frosting from scratch.  Everything turned out delicious.  First, I baked the cookies, because I knew I could do those a day or two in advance.  I cut them into cute star shapes to go with the theme !

I found a new attachment that worked like a charm on mixing the dough!

Then I baked the familiar white cupcakes from Tish Boyle's "The Cake Book".  While they taste delicious, I decided I need to try out a few more recipes until I find my go-to white/vanilla cake recipe. 

The ziploc bag is a great tool for evenly distributing the cake batter into the paper baking cups!
My favourite part was baking the Red Velvet cupcakes.  This was my first time working with a Red Velvet recipe so I searched around online before deciding on one.  Of course, I chose the original recipe I wanted that I had found on Lindsey's blog Gingerbread Bagels.  I used her Red Velvet Fondant Cake recipe.  I love reading her blog, because you can tell she has a fun time sharing her experiences and personality through her posts!  I used Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcake recipe for a temperature and time guideline.

Now, the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of Red Food coloring --- which turned out to be two bottles of the food dye you buy in 4 packs at the grocery store.  I barely had two, so my cupcakes did not turn out as deep of a red as I had hoped. 

More of a cherry red, maybe?
They tasted very yummy though! Again, I'll have to try multiple recipes before I find my go-to recipe, but I have plenty of time ahead to do so. 

The next step was the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.  Common sense should have told me that baking --- especially something with frosting --- is not the best idea on the first super hot weekend of the summer.  In an already full refrigerator, I now had to store 4 dozen cupcakes... The frosting was worth it though, it was simple to make, smooth and tasted delicious.

I used different frosting tips --- it was so warm in the house that I did not have time to clean and reuse the first one!