Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's Favorites: Cupcakes

I love desserts. You name it, I like it. Cakes, pies, cookies, bars, ice cream and anything chocolate. I grew up learning how to make all sorts of delicious desserts my mom, aunt and grandma would make. I could probably make chocolate chip cookies from memory by the age of 12. One of my favorite memories as a child involved the ritual of making cupcakes for my birthday. Each year I would request cupcakes, chocolate mostly, to take in to school for birthday treats. I would help my mom mix up the batter and I can still remember her pouring some of the batter into a cupcake liner for me to eat. The other day I was at Barnes and Noble and saw the February edition of Martha Stewart Living and it caught my eye because there on the front cover in the shape of a heart were the most delicious looking cupcakes.

I bought the magazine immediately.

I have been reading through it and have been amazed at some of the recipes it contains. Things like peanut butter cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and jelly. Have you ever heard of that? It sounds incredible! or Brownie heart cupcakes...brownie batter baked in cupcake liners that look like cupcakes with cut out brownie hearts on top of a buttercream icing. Wow!

So, I thought that for today's Friday's favorites I would share two of my favorite recipes I found in the magazine. In case you already have the February 2009 copy, you can find the recipes on page 148. If you don't own this copy, you may just want to run out and get yourself a copy!

(makes 36)
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs plus 3 large yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
2. Reduce speed to low. Mix any remaining wet ingredients in a bowl if needed. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days, unless otherwise noted.

(makes 18)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
2. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks, and let cool. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

(makes about 4 cups)
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (after every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

Happy cupcake eating! Have a great Friday! See you all on Monday!
Take care,


Suzie said...

IM staying away form you and your tempting cupcakes

Kristin said...

oh julie - you know i like to cook : ) these are right up my alley - espcially with jeremy needing to bring in sweets for his valentine party. thank!!

Debbie said...

Yummy. And you cannot beat buttercream. It is the best thing ever.

D... said...

Mmmmm....cupcakes. One of my favorite things to eat.

The brownie cupcake sounds divine also!

Bubba's Sis said...

Oh. My. Gosh. Just make them all and send them to me! My sweet tooth will love you forever.