Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sweet Sunday, Easter Edition!

I am currently trying my first cupcake/wine pairing (which, I just realized, could prove to be a problem as I need to take Benadryl tonight for some killer allergies I've been having...oops!) but regardless, I am thoroughly enjoying it. To make things even BETTER, it's the Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay, and the glorious little Easter cupcake I'm about to show you... It's gorgeous outside, it's been a fantastic Easter Sunday (I hope yours was as well), and this seems like the perfect way to end the night. So here it is... the ultimate Easter cupcake. This recipe series will be a long one, I've added my sugar cookie recipe (which is an old Southern recipe that's been handed down through my family for years...) Here we go!

Easter Egg Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcake
  1. 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  6. 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, both at room temperature
  7. 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350*. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and egg white one at a time, beating well on low speed after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds, do not over beat.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 the way full. Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean (about 18-21 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Marie's White Buttercream Frosting:
  1. 1 & 1/2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 box of 10x Confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar)
  3. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
Beat butter well until smooth & creamy, gradually add powdered sugar, blending well after each addition. Gradually add milk (you can use less or more milk than 2 tbs, depending on the consistency you want the frosting to have. Adding more milk will make the frosting thinner, using less will make it thicker). After well blended, add vanilla extract.

*Note: I love vanilla flavor, so I have a tendency to put more vanilla extract than most people. Just add the ingredients to taste, & get creative- I have a few ingredients I always add that make the frosting interesting, this is just the basic buttercream recipe. Also, If you want colored frosting, just add a few drops of food coloring until you reach the desired shade.

Southern Sugar Cookies:
  1. 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temperature
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 eggs, room temperature
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350*.

Cream butter until light and fluffy, add sugar and blend well until mixed thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time and blend. Add vanilla, then add sifted dry ingredients gradually, blending well with each addition. Dough will be loose and sticky. Refrigerate overnight, if possible (if pressed for time, stick the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes). Roll dough thin on a lightly floured board (keep adding flour to the dough if the rolling pin keeps sticking). Cut with cookie cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes.

To assemble the "Easter Egg Cupcakes", I piped the buttercream frosting onto the cupcake, and iced each cookie individually with Easter colored pastel buttercream (I had cut some of them into small easter egg shapes). I set the cookies in the mound of buttercream frosting on the cupcake, and Tada! Easter Egg Cupcakes. This process takes AWHILE, and I'll admit, I got too tired towards the end... so I ended up only assembling a few of the cupcakes! Both the cookies and the cupcakes are very buttery & rich, so don't eat more than one at a time- you WILL make yourself sick. :)
Happy Cupcake-ing!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A few goodies that came my way...

To show how truly incredible my family really is, I just wanted to post a couple pictures of some lovely things I've recently acquired. :)

I'm at home in Spartanburg, SC for Easter, and was out doing some grocery shopping with my dad for tonight's chips/guac/margarita night. I spotted this wine at our local Food Lion, and about flipped my lid when I saw the name of the vineyard! AAAAAND it was on closeout- way cheap. (Which probably is not good news for either the vineyard or the wine itself, but I didn't care, the name sold me.) My sweet dad promptly picked up the bottles and bought them for me. ("You just have to have them, Marie...") I'm so pumped to try them! I love wine anyways, but Cupcake Vineyard wine just HAS to be incredible...

In addition to this...
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my Mimi on the phone, and mentioned to her that my hand mixer was getting quite a workout, even to the point of giving off this horrible burnt smell as the motor struggled against my cupcake batter (almost every time I bake.) My Mimi is the most giving and kind woman in the world (it's her love language), aaaaaand she really loves garage sales and QVC so she always has like, literally 3 of everything, so she IMMEDIATELY said, "Oh, I can give you my standing mixer, dear! I don't ever use that thing, your Aunt Doreen has had it for a month or so, and she doesn't use it either. Plus, I got it on a closeout special on QVC, it's really top of the line and a great mixer and I got such a great deal on it (etc, etc, morphs into "deal mode" to tell me all about all the things she's gotten on sale lately- a trait that I see myself reflecting often...)" So, because I have such a wonderful, kind, giving Mimi, I have a new stand up mixer!!!! I am SO pumped, and am ready to try it out! :)

I'm actually trying it out TOMORROW!!! Since this "Sweet Sunday" is Easter, I'm making a special batch of cupcakes tomorrow! You are NOT going to want to miss this recipe- I've been planning this one for awhile. :) Let's just say, you're going to get more bang for your buck with this recipe. Check back on April 4th, Sweet EASTER Sunday, for the recipe & pictures!