Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Blakely and Santa!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cupcakes Galore

Tis the season for sweets, sweets, and more sweets! I've been baking like crazy lately and want to post all the great recipes I have found. First up.... cupcakes!! I'll post more wonderful recipes later.

Since last week was the last week of school before Christmas break, we had a little holiday party at school. I got this wild idea to make cupcakes for all my students....all 105 of them! However, I miscounted and accidentally made 140 cupcakes. Oh well, it was certainly fun trying new recipes and the kids loved the cupcakes. In fact, their exact words were "Man Mrs. Stidham, these cupcakes are off the chain!" I love my kids!!
I made vanilla and chocolate cupcakes filled with marshmallow peppermint cream and topped with cream cheese frosting. YUM!

Vanilla Cupcakes (Sprinkles recipe)
Servings: Makes 1 dozen cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk , room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg , room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites , room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a small bowl, mix together milk and extracts; set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2-4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use. 

Marshmallow Peppermint Cream Filling
  • 1½ cups marshmallow cream
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon (start with a ¼ teaspoon first, taste, if you want a stronger mint taste add the extra) organic peppermint extract
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed beat together the marshmallow fluff and butter until smooth.
  2. Add the peppermint extract and beat until combined.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill until slightly firm, 20-25 minutes, before using.
  4. Scoop out the center of the cupcakes and use a piping bag to fill them with the cream.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes 


Makes 24 standard-size cupcakes
  • 1¾ cups plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cup caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line 2 standard muffin tin pans with paper liners, set aside.
  2. Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt into a medium-sized bowl.  Whisk together until well combined, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
  4. Reduce to low-medium speed and add the eggs one-at-a-time, and beat until well combined after each addition, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
  5. Add the sour cream and vanilla and continue to beat on low-medium speed until combined, scraping sides of bottom of bowl as needed.
  6. Reduce speed to low, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, and mixing until just incorporated after each.
  7. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.
  8. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.
  9. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool for a few minutes.  Remove cupcakes from tins and return to wire racks to cool completely.