Red/White/Blue Cupcake Poppers

Happy 4th of July to you all.

It’s going to be at least 100 degrees today with the heat factor.  So stay at home, turn up the air (hoping you have it) and bake!  Bake some red/white/blue cupcake poppers.

I’ll admit, I cheated big time with this.  My intent was not to stop at the store and buy the box cake or the can of frosting.  However, I have been so busy with kids, sports, and keeping up with house stuff that I just gave in and thought, what the heck.   These will look good no matter if they were home made or from a dang box!

I have to laugh because when Craig came home and tasted the cupcakes, he asked me what I did differently when I made these.  I had a little giggle inside as I listened to him tell me these were the best that I’ve made.  A little ego buster but nonetheless, a smile appeared on my face.  After he finished giving his praises I told him to open the cabinet and see the extra box of cake mix.  He laughed and called me a cheater.

No, I’m not a cheater, I just wanted to make something fun with the kids and post it in time for July 4th!!

What you need:

1 box of Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake mix

1 can of Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla frosting

Red/Blue food coloring

How to:

Mix the cake batter according to the box.  Pour 1 tbs of batter (colored blue in one bowl and red in another and the vanilla in yet another bowl) into small muffin tin pans.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely and cut off top off cupcakes.  Use the bottoms for snack time for another day!!  I piped the whipped frosting onto each top of the cupcake and add the other top to form a small little cake!!!  (I think the whipped frosting may not be as thick as I wanted).

These fun little things, if you get creative can be made for a bridal shower, a kids birthday or for the forth of July!

Be safe, have fun, enjoy the fireworks with your friends/family.  Stay cool.

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free – Thomas Jefferson

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

Lucky Charm Cupcakes

Oh Yum is all I can say.  Craig found these on the AOL main page and  I, of course had to see if I could make them.

Two times I had to make the cupcakes due to misreading the recipe and putting the cereal portion in the mix instead of the milk from the cereal.  Either way the first batch tasted a bit too much like flour, so back to the beginning I went.

I thought the kids would have fun making these with me, but once Caleb saw that his job was picking the marshmallows out of the cereal, I’m not sure he was happy  about that.  I think he thought he’d be licking the bowl clean or something!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were pretty time consuming, and I ended up in the kitchen for a good part of the day.  Mostly due to my lack of learning how to follow directions.

Here’s what you need and what you do:

Ingredients for Cupcakes

11.5 oz. box Lucky Charms Cereal (or bigger, but then you may not need all of the marshmallows)

1 1/2 c whole milk

2 t vanilla extract

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

2 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

Directions

1.  Preheat your oven to 350°F, and put liners in cupcake tins.

2.  Pick the marshmallows out of the box of Luck Charms.

3.  Combine 1 c of the Lucky Charms (after removing the marshmallows), the milk and vanila extract.  Let soak while you finish assembling the other ingredients, about 15-20 minutes.

4.  Grind 1 c of the Lucky Charms (after removing the marshmallows) into a powder using a food processor, or just crushing them up really well.  You should be left with a little less than half a cup of cereal powder.

5.  Sift together the cereal powder, flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

6.  In a large bowl, cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

7.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition

8.  Drain the milk mixture off of the cereal.

9.  To the butter and sugar, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture in thirds, beating until smooth after each addition.

10.  Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it springs back when you touch it.

11.  Let cool before frosting.

Now, if you look at the link below where this recipe came from, those cupcakes have color to them.  Mind did not have color to them.  So that leads me to believe that I didn’t follow directions again or something was missing (almost like marshmallows were in fact added??)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe for the frosting that was posted was for Buttercream.  I love buttercream frosting.  However, the last time I made it, it felt like I was eating a package of butter.  It was a bit too much.  Easier to frost than the whipped cream (only from my experience or lack there of).

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  1. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.

My frosting did not seem to hold a stiff peak at all.  I ended up adding powdered sugar to thinken it up for frosting the cupcakes.  But it didn’t get the same effect I wanted had I used the Buttercream.  So I’m not sure if I’d have been better off with the original recipe that this came with.  I wanted to pipe the frosting on the cakes, but the marshmallows were too big to fit through the tip.  So I put them on top of the icing.

They sure do look pretty.  And they tasted pretty good too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approval from Brooklyn as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t get much help from the kids with this.  But they each ate one or two!  They were fun to make and taste.  And very pretty indeed.

Have a great week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 🙂

Cupcake Source

Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Frosting Source

All Recipes

Vanilla Heath Cupcakes

It is Mother’s Day (this will past after it’s over though!!), I’m not feeling very well.  Brooklyn and I had to stay home from my brother’s house because we are sick, so we decided to give another try to increase our piping frosting on to cupcakes.

I watched so many videos on You Tube this past week and even today as I was frosting the cupcakes and yet I become so frustrated.  I blame it on the $5 piping set that I buy at Target.  The bags are too small.  I try to follow the directions and twist the bag, but it always flows out of the top of the bag.  Which I end up eating!

I will say that this round turned out much better than the last time I tried.  I just don’t understand the reason why I can’t do what I’m seeing on a video.  I just don’t.  It looks so easy to do.  Yet when the frosting comes out of MY bag, it sure doesn’t look how it supposed to!!

I found the Vanilla Cupcake recipe from “Brown Eyed Baker” and just added a half of bag Heath candies.  I used the Buttercream Frosting that I used on my “Lemon Cake”.  Both of them tasted wonderful.  It’s not the food itself, it’s my dang technique.  I am going to keep on trying until I get it.  I’ll make frosting and practice over and over until I get it the way I like!

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg yolks , room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

Basic Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • 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.)

I’ve grown confidence in just baking alone, but this…..this still scares me!

Cupcakes = great!

Frosting = great!

Frosting skills = still not so great.

Don’t stop this from trying the recipe though!  That is worth the effort.

One day I’ll get it. One day..

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking  ; 0

Source

Brown Eye Baker

Strawberry Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Today I’m ready to give my piping skills yet another try.  I ran to Michaels and got more bags and two new tips.

I watched the video from My Baking Addiction to make sure that I got it right this time (which may mean nothing at all!!)

I found a vanilla cupcake recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and some Cream Cheese Frosting from a Martha Stewart recipe.

First I started with the cupcakes.  I followed her directions but only changed the Vanilla to Strawberry Extract.  I added a bit more after tasting it with 1 1/2 tsp.  Just another dab!  The cupcakes appeared to turn out ok.  I’ve left them to cool completely before even starting the cream cheese frosting.

For the Cupcakes:

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 20 to 24 minutes

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg yolks , room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract – I used Strawberry Extract (about 2 tsp)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

When making the frosting I added a bit of red food coloring to match the strawberry flavor of the cupcakes.  The topped with a bit of sprinkles.

Frosting:

  • Yield
    Makes about 2 cups
  • Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine

I’ve done a bit more baking and becoming a little less afraid of attempting new things.  The true test is when the family comes home and tries them.  If I get the thumbs up or the “it’s pretty good”.  Then I know I can try again!

I will say I am having fun expanding my horizons in the kitchen from just breakfast, lunch, dinners.  I may have some failures and I may not have my own recipes, but I am having fun!!

They taste really good.  I do think that the frosting wasn’t as thick as I’d hope to have it be for piping.  But it’s Craig’s favorite kind so it’s good either way!

 

Happy Wednesday!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Cupcakes – Brown Eyed Baker

Cream Cheese Frosting – Martha Stewart

Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes

I’m sure that the Brown Eyed Baker is getting tired of me making some of her desserts!  Or hopefully she’s taking it as compliment that I love what she bakes and want to try..try..try!

I have to give myself credit for attempting these.  This is my other gal pals area of expertise, not mine.  It actually makes me feel uncomfortable going in the kitchen and baking.  I’m not sure why.  I made those scallops yesterday with the avocado sauce  with the scallops without one worry if it would turn out or not.  I just don’t have the confidence quite yet when it comes to baking.  Not sure if I’ll ever get there, but I will keep trying.

So here’s a picture of my attempt at baking these cupcakes.

I will say that they taste better than they look!  I will admit that I should take a photography class to get familiar with my new camera.  But along with that I think that I need to practice getting the piping of the frosting  down a LOT better!

But I’ve always said that I would post my good and bad attempts.  I’m putting this in between.  They taste pretty good.  They just don’t get the star on the looks!

Here’s what you need:

For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder – Craig doesn’t care for chocolate cake so I used white cocoa
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup Coke (don’t use diet)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

For the Glaze:
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Coke

For the Icing:
1 cup heavy whipped cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Maraschino Cherries, for garnish

1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.

2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and butter and beat on medium-high until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beating for an additional minute. In a large mixing cup or small bowl, combine the buttermilk, Coke and vanilla extract. (Make sure you wait for the foam to go down when measuring the Coke and don’t worry if your mixture looks curdled when you add the buttermilk.)

4. Beginning with the flour mixture, add in 4 parts to the butter mixture, alternating with the Coke mixture. Beat each addition just until incorporated. Give the final mixture a good mix with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffins tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Fill the Cupcakes: Once cooled, use a paring knife to cut out a cone shape in the middle of each cupcake. Add a spoonful of cherry mixture (2 to 3 cherries) to the well.

7. Glaze the Cupcakes: In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and coke. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. It should drip off of a soon very slowly. Using a small offset spatula, drizzle a little of the glaze onto the middle of each cupcake and then gently spread it over the top.

8. Frost the Cupcakes: Beat the heavy whipping cream in a chilled bowl with whisk attachment (or hand mixer), beginning on low speed. Once the cream gets frothy begin adding the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, increasing speed as the cream comes together until you reach medium-high speed. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks (if you dip a spoon in it, the whipped cream should stay on the spoon when you turn it upside down). Pipe the whipped cream onto cupcakes as desired and top with maraschino cherries for garnish.

(Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef)

I showed my sister and my niece the original picture from The Brown Eyed Bakers site and they both wanted to try them.  Brooklyn spent the night at her house on Saturday so she dropped her off in hopes of getting to try these!  My nephew came with her to try them as well.  Which is the only reason he came with her!  He said they tasted awesome but my frosting job was not so good!  Way to make me feel good there nephew!

I will continue to work on the piping and come back with better photos with the new camera!

These are incredibly good.   There were 3 out of the 12 left after I finished frosting.  If you’re a cake love, these are a must try!

Happy  Monday!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I love strawberries, so when they go on sale I tend to lose my head and buy too many.  This week I found myself with 4 lbs to use up. While I don’t mind just eating a handful as a snack, I wanted to get more creative to use them up before they go bad. Today I found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, My Baking Addiction, I just had to try.


I decided to just use a box mix for these vanilla cupcakes to save time. Normally I’m not a big frosting person, I’ve never been the type that could just eat frosting out of the bowl. This frosting is so tasty, it might be the exception for me. It tastes almost like strawberry ice cream. It is a bit soft, but keeping the cupcakes in the fridge does the trick.

from My Baking Addiction

1/2 cup whole strawberries
1 stick unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, slightly cold
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
22 ounces of confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1.4 pounds)

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In a medium bowl beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat until combined. 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 over mix or frosting will incorporate too much air.


Next time you want something other than the traditional chocolate or vanilla frosting, give this one a try. I know I will be making it again!  🙂

– Jodi

P.S. What’s your favorite way to use Strawberries?

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Fall always makes me want to bake apple dishes, especially if there’s caramel involved. I found this recipe for Caramel Apple Cupcakes and just couldn’t resist giving it a try last night. This was an easy recipe to make, and they came out great! Very moist with really good flavor. Judging by the fact that there are only a handful left in the kitchen this morning, I’m not the only one who thinks so!
– Jodi



Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Cupcakes Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp apple pie spice
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup Half & Half
3 Eggs
2 small (1 cup) apples, shredded

Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tbsp Half & Half
2 tbsp Butter
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 24 muffin pan cups. 

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice in medium bowl. Combine all remaining cupcake ingredients except apples in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes). Add flour mixture; stir until just moistened. Stir in apples. 

Fill each prepared muffin cup with about 1/4 cup batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pans; cool completely. 

Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 4 tbsp half & half and 2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved (4 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in enough powdered sugar for desired frosting consistency, adding additional half & half, if necessary. Stir in vanilla. Frost cupcakes.