Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Tale of Two Cupcakes

You didn't think I was going to forget, now did you?

I'll admit, I've been a little slack on my posting lately, but there's a good reason behind that.

You see, my sweet little baby girl turns two in a week.

 Two years old. Can you believe time flies that fast? I certainly can't. To be honest, since the moment she was out of the womb, it has been a constant race against time. I turn my head for a second----She's walking, talking, singing, dancing, and performing random acts of insanity (think back flips out of her high chair) and time doesn't seem to be slowing down any. I just wish I could keep her this little forever, so that I can always hear her belt out renditions of her favorite Annie songs, while eating marshmallows, saying Ya'moo instead of Love you, and addressing me as "Hey beautiful." (she likes repeating every thing I say to her, it melts my heart!) Oh, what I would give to keep her this little. I can certainly wait for those lovely teenage years every mother has been telling me about.

 Anyways, this week we've been preparing for a little birthday party we're throwing her, and I've been  scouring the Internet finding ideas for barnyard theme party stuff (we're having a mobile petting zoo come by for the party, hence the barnyard theme). So needless to say, I've been pretty busy. And I'm about to get even busier once I start making cupcakes decorated to look like farm animals (what have I gotten myself into) and a flat barn shaped sheet cake. I'm probably even going to cheat with some of the cupcakes and use box cake mix, just to save myself some time, because this is going to take time. But it will be well worth it in the end. After all, my baby only turns two once, right?

So for the time being, here's two from scratch cupcake recipes, a fudgy chocolate, and my very first vanilla cupcake that I made a few weeks back. Hope you enjoy!

 Best Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 6 Tbs butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (small one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a medium heat proof bowl, combine butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk together until fully melted and smooth.

In a second medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars, vanilla, pudding mix, and coffee until fully combined. Slowly, mix in the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk together. While whisking, add in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time until fully incorporated. Mix together until fully combined throughout. Evenly divide batter among muffin cups. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool completely, preferably 3-4 hours before frosting. Frost with icing of your choice. I recommend this cream cheese icing or my favorite chocolate frosting.

Vanilla Cupcakes:
  • 6 Tbs butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 340 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix in the eggs, half and half, butter, sour cream, and vanilla. Divide cupcake batter evenly among the muffin tins. bake 20-24 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Frost with icing of your choice.

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