Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Adventures

What a whirlwind of weekend adventuring! It was overall a complete success and a lot of fun. Saturday, I went to my hometown and spent a lovely day with my close lady friends. We watched a few episodes of Buffy and got sushi take-out as per Simone's request. It was her b-day on Friday, so what she wanted was what she got! Not that I'm complaining - I love both of those things! Before I got together with them, I spent the early afternoon with my parents at my mom's house. She recently returned from a nearly 2 week trip to Ireland and had lots of souvenirs for me to ogle over. We hooked her camera up to her tv and ran through her 700+ pictures as a slideshow while she narrated. It worked out quite nicely, actually. She hadn't deleted the bad pictures yet, but it was ok overall.

I made Simone Rainbow Tie-dye Cupcakes from my new fave food blog I posted last week (see her post with pictures here). I thought they were perfectly perfect for Simone and they turned out really well!

I think I probably got the most compliments on the frosting, which was some kind of butter-cream. Maybe because it was so dark in the bar? I have to say, however, that the frosting was DELISH! Now I am no baker, so I was extremely proud of the final product, even though Ryan did the sprinkle job:

I just had to share, since I am so proud of how they turned out! So here are the recipes, from

Perfect White Cupcakes
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

makes 12


1 cup cake flour

½ cup whole milk, at room temperature

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

1teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard size cupcake tin with paper liners. Spritz each with nonstick cooking spray.

Lightly whisk milk, egg whites, and vanilla extract in large glass measuring cup.

Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand electric mixer and add butter; beating at low speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no large clumps of flour.

Add 3/4 of the milk mixture to the crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 20 seconds longer at low speed.

Evenly distribute the batter in the cupcake tin. (for rainbow cupcakes: divide the batter into 4 or 5 bowls and carefully mix 2-4 drops of food coloring into each one. I used red, blue, green, yellow, and a 5th bowl for red+blue=purple. Layer each color into the tin until about 3/4 full and slightly swirl with a toothpick - not too much or else it can turn brown.)

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the pan carefully and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

The Best Whipped Frosting
makes enough to frost a 9″ layer cake or one dozen cupcakes generously (she says, "generously", and TOTALLY means it - I had waaaay too much frosting leftover for cupcakes!)

Recipe adapted from Missy Dew on TastyKitchen

1 cup milk

5 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (not powdered sugar)

In a medium saucepan, whisk one cup of milk with 5 tablespoons of flour. Heat over medium until the mixture begins to sputter, whisking constantly. Continue to stir as the mixture thickens. You will know it’s done when it reaches the consistency of thick cake batter, after about 7 minutes of heating and whisking. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and set aside to cool COMPLETELY.

Now, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a hand held mixer, beat 2 sticks of softened butter (1 cup) with 1 cup of granulated sugar until light, fluffy, and white in color, about 3 solid minutes of beating on medium-high speed. You want the sugar to be totally incorporated into the butter.

Be sure that the milk/flour mixture has completely cooled, and add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat all ingredients for about 1 minute on high speed, scraping down the bowl halfway, until they are smooth and well blended. The frosting should be as light and fluffy as whipped cream.

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