Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mini Cupcakes...

Last week was "girls night in" again (we try to get together once a month) and as usual I brought dessert. I wanted to make mini cupcakes because I had purchased a mini cupcake pan and, I have found, they are easier to eat...say you just want a bite of a cupcake but feel obligated to eat a whole one.  With a mini cupcake you can eat just one or if you really like 'em eat a dozen and not feel guilty at all...I mean they are SO small how bad could they be??? ANYway...I really like filled cupcakes...I guess because it adds an element of surprise. Like you are expecting just a plain chocolate cupcake when you bite into one but BANG! SURPRISE! you get a caramel in the middle or a melted chocolate it!  I really like chocolate and caramel and LOVE Rolo's so I thought why not add it to the middle???  I went online as I am sure others have felt the need as well and I found several blogs.  One in particular I liked because it involved using a cake mix. Since I had devils food cake mix left over from my cake pops I thought it was perfect! I added the Rolos in the end as didn't have the time needed to freeze them and also I didn't want to risk them sinking to the bottom (with my luck they would).  I went on my quest to find mini Rolos...I know they exist but after two stores I couldn't find them...yeah, I could have kept looking but figured I would just cut the big Rolo into smaller pieces.  I'm a genius I tell ya!  ANYway...the cake came out so light and moist....and the frosting....forget about it!  My mom is not a frosting person (I know, weird huh) but loved the Salted Carmel Buttercream.  My girlfriends also enjoyed them, so not bad for my first mini cupcakes (definitely will not be the last...I see many mini cupcakes in my future).

So cute!

Chocolate Cupcakes w/Rolo Centers
Adapted from My Baking Addiction (love this blog!)

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1 Devils Food Cake Mix
4 eggs -- lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (4.8 oz) package instance chocolate pudding
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages of Rolos -- cut each Rolo in half

Ingredients for the Frosting:
1/2 cup caramel syrup (or to taste)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (I added 1/2)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar

For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I didn't use paper liners preferring to spray the muffin tin with Pam.  Worked perfectly!

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat all cupcakes ingredients together minus the Rolos.  Mix until well combined and smooth.

Add batter to the prepared mini muffin pan (I used a teaspoon measuring cup).  Bake in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes (mine were done in 11 minutes).  Insert toothpick -- if comes out clean they are done.  Take out of oven onto a wire rack.  Immediately start inserting the Rolos to each cupcake.
Not very attractive, but that's OK the frosting will cover the whole in the center!

Now for the Frosting:
To the stand mixer add the butter and cream until pale yellow and smooth looking.  To that add the vanilla, carmel syrup, and salt and mix until combined.  Add the sugar a half cup at a time and mix throughly (I sifted the sugar before as mine was a bit clumpy).  Keep adding until you get the consistency and flavor you want.  You may want to add additional syrup if want a sweeter taste.  If add more syrup you may need to add more sugar to make the frosting thicker.

The end.

Until next time!

Luna looking sweeter than the cupcakes!  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lemon-Lime Whoopie Pies

Did I ever mention how much I enjoy reading Joy the Baker's blog.  I dig her writing style. She just came out with a cook book and I can't wait to snag one up....I mean I would pay for it first.  Anyway, she had posted a recipe for Lemon Whoopie Pies a while ago and I had bookmarked.  I finally got to make it but had to make a change...I didn't have enough lemon for both the cookie and filling and didn't feel like going to the store.  I did have lime so I used both.

Everyone that tasted them loved them. The cookie portion looks like golden clouds...they are puffy and so good.  And the filling a perfect compliment to the cookie...umm...pie...hmm, why do they call them Whoopie Pies?!?!  I didn't make them as big as hers so I was able to share with lots of people.

Lemon-Lime Whoppie Pies
from Joy the Baker

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (you can omit this but I like a stronger lemon/lime flavor)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (I made my own as I didn't have buttermilk on hand -- add 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar to a measuring cup then add milk so that it comes up to 1/2 cup.  Let sit for 5 minutes.)

For the filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
cream cheese, butter & zests
Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray or butter the paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a bowl and set aside.

Add the butter, sugar and zests in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, mix together on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until smooth.  Make sure to scrape the sides of bowl as needed during mixing.  To the mixture add eggs, lemon and lime juices, and vanilla extract.  Mix until blended for about a minute.  On low speed add half of the flour mixture, mixing until just blended.  Add the buttermilk and mix until just incorporated.  Then add the remaining flour mixture and blend until the batter looks smooth again.

Drop a full teaspoon of dough onto prepared baking sheet.  Make sure to space them about 3 inches apart.  Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes -- until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops feel firm.  I used 3 big baking sheets to bake all the cookies.  You have to bake them one cookie sheet at a time...I'm not sure why but that's what Joy recommends.  Cool cookies on baking sheet for 10 minutes and then move to wire rack to completely cool.

Now for the filling:
Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, zests, and juices until completely blended and smooth -- about 1 minute.  Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  If the filling comes out too soft, you can chill it in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

To combine:
Get one cookie and using the bottom side, add filling and then add other cookie and press both flat bottoms together.  I didn't measure the filling.  I think you can pretty much figure out how much to add so that the filling isn't completely oozing out.  I wrapped each cooking in plastic wrap, as suggested, and refrigerated them for at least 1 hour (actually overnight for me).  I think I made like 19 cookies, but I am not sure as had visitors invade my refrigerator before I could count them.
So good!
Until next time,