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November 9, 2010

Guest Blogger: Kaitlyn Fergus (my sister-in-law)

Because I am the daughter of one of the best dessert-makers I know, I guess you could say baking is in my genes, but it was only recently that I developed an obsession with all things sweet… more specifically: cupcakes. I know I’m a little late the party on this trend, but the way I see it, savory round frosted treats like these can never go out of style and the creative decorating possibilities are endless. I recently stocked up on a crazy amount of cupcake baking supplies (I kid you not, I don’t think there is anything left at Wilton’s!) and plan to bake up a storm during the holidays. I couldn’t wait to test out all of my new tools, so this weekend, I baked yellow cupcakes from scratch with white butter cream frosting and decorated them with all kinds of girly-cuteness in honor of my niece! Here is the cupcake recipe which is from one of my favorite cook books, “The Art and Soul of Baking.”

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Ingredients:
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sour cream

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the pan with melted butter, oil, or high-heat canola-oil spray and fit it with a round of parchment paper.
2. Cream the butter with the sugar: Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium until very light—almost white—in color, 4 to 5 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape down the bowl with the spatula.
3. Add the eggs: Beat the eggs and vanilla in the small bowl to blend. With the mixer on medium, add the eggs to the butter mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each addition to completely blend in before adding the next. About halfway through, turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl, then resume adding the eggs. Scrape down the bowl again.
4. Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately: With the fine-mesh strainer, sift the cake flour, baking soda, and salt into the medium bowl and whisk together. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately, beginning with one-third of the flour mixture and half the sour cream; repeat, then finish with flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl and finish blending the batter by hand, if necessary. Bake the yellow or white batter in a standard-size muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners, filling each cup to ¼ inch from the top of the liner. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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I did use a butter cream mix for the frosting (due to the chaos that was this Halloween weekend!) I then sprayed half of them with pink color mist and dusted those with silver baking dust. For the other half of the batch, I decorated them with pink and yellow sugar flowers, perfect for the pretty little girl we all can’t wait to meet. My favorite part of this process? Licking the batter from the bowl, same as my greedy dog ;) Enjoy!

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