Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday...

     Today is my birthday...Happy Birthday to me!  And yes, I did make myself some cupcakes.  My family did offer to make them or even buy me a cake, but I couldn't sit there and let a good cupcake be wasted, let alone eat a cake for my birthday,  So I made Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate and hot pink vanilla buttercream frosting.  "Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday..."okay, you know the rest.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

Red, "White, and Blue" Velvet cupcakes
     I can't say enough about our dedicated military men and women, but I do know that I truly appreciate all that they do and have done for this country.  In my experiences in meeting military families, I realize how much the family sacrifices for those serving for us.  To raising children on their own to moving all over the world, I commend them for their sacrifice.  So I hope that today will not be the only day we think of those who have served, but that we will give thanks every day for those who fight and have fought for our freedom. 
     Lots of cupcake shops are honoring troops such as Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C. who has launched "Operation Cupcake" this year!  They will be sending thousands of cupcakes to our members of the military overseas this holiday season.  See, cupcakes show up just about everywhere!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

National Vanilla Cupcake Day!

So pretty!
     Happy National Vanilla Cupcake Day!

     Now you may ask yourself , "Why haven't I ever heard of this day, National Vanilla Cupcake Day on November 10th"?.  Well, maybe because technically it is not an officially recognized holiday, but here in the United States, we recognize it.  There are lots of food holidays we unofficially recognize which I never knew existed.  For example, National Cotton Candy Day is December 7th which is my favorite indulgence.  You think of the food and there is probably a day it will recognize it.  Check out the list here.
     Back to National Vanilla Cupcake Day...the key to a great vanilla cupcake is the vanilla you use in the recipe.  Imitation vanilla you by in the store is okay but when you use Madascasgar Vanilla extract or a good quality vanilla beans, your vanilla cupcake recipe will be elevated to a new level of flavor.  Don't get me wrong, this flavorful addition can be expensive, so use these for special occassions.  I like to use Wilton's clear vanilla extract in all my recipes especially my frosting.  I want my frosting to be as white as it can get, so adding the brown-colored imitation vanilla extract really dulls the white color.
     Here's an interesting to the smell of cinnamon, vanilla is one of the top scents that men are attracted to the most!

Vanilla Oh-La-La Cupcake courtesy of Cupcakes With Class

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Talking Whoopie...pies!

     I encourage my kids to help in the kitchen and learn how to cook.  I think all 3 of my children have potential to cook.  My oldest, Tyra, makes the best biscuits in the morning.  And my youngest, Terri, has the best taste buds and will tell you when something is good or not-so-good.  Now, my middle child, Selena, makes the best Whoopie pies ever!  So, today I will share our recipe for Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Vanilla buttercream frosting.  I encourage you to make some with your children or just make some yourself...

     Chocolate Whoopie Pies:
(yields about 10-15 small whoopie pies)
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
     Preheat oven at 350 F.  Combine all dry ingredients.  Stir in melted butter, egg, vanilla, milk, salt until smooth.  Drop by tablespoons on cookie sheets.  Bake 12-14 minutes until puffy.  Allow to cool completely prior to filling.  With 2 whoopie pies the same size, put about 1-2 tbsp of buttercream frosting in middle of 1st pie.  Place 2nd whoopie pie on top and roll the middle section in desired topping like sprinkles, peanuts, chocolate chips, etc. 

Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
     Whisk butter until smooth and creamy.  Add vanilla until combined.  Add confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time until well incorporated.  Add 1 tbsp of milk if frosting is too thick.  Whisk on high speed for about 2 minutes until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Chocolate Whoopie Pie courtesy of Selena Powell


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cupcake Wars meets TLC's DC Cupcakes

     Ever wonder how they made the commerical for Cupcake Wars?  Do you remember when it first aired and they featured an exploding cupcake coming back together?  Well, check out this video of how they made this commerical.  How awesome is that!  Don't forget to check out Cupcake Wars on Food Network.  It is amazing how they come up with the ideas using those outrageous ingredients.  When I watch it, I always think of the ingredients and call out a recipe.  Someone on there always seems to make a the recipe I put together!  I wonder what they do with the leftover cupcakes from the loser?  (Okay, we're on it to find that answer!)  That's 1000 cupcakes!  Where do you think the cupcakes end up?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Celebrating Birthdays...with Cupcakes!

Brandon and me
     We are all excited to celebrate our birthdays each year...well, I guess kids are excited to celebrate their birthdays, not so much on the adult side.  As my birthday approaches, I think about how my parents would get me a birthday cake which of course was pink and white with pink roses on it.  The best part for me was eating the pink roses!!!  You may say Yummy or Yuck...but it was good to me.  Cakes aren't the only thing to have on your birthday.  My nephew Brandon requested for Chocolate cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting...and that is what he had to celebrate his 13th birthday.  Wonder what I will have this week for my birthday?  Let me know what you have had to celebrate a birthday? 
Brandon's 13th Birthday with cupcakes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Cupcake Sunday

Can one cupcake sweeten a whole relationship?
     I went to the library last week and forgot that I had requested the book The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler.  So, I picked up the book and absolutely love the front cover with the tower of pink cupcakes just tumbling over.  I sat in my bed Sunday morning and began to read this quirky teen-read.  The book is centered around a young teenager who is uprooted from her home in the city due to her parents separation, and puts in a quaint little town of Hog Hollow with her mother.  Her mother decides to open up a bakery dedicated entirely to cupcakes...yes cupcakes.  The bakery is called "The Cupcake Queen".  The story follows the typical drama of a teenager including friendship, boys and life lessons.  What I liked about the book is the main character, Penny, hates working in her mother's bakery, but she is really good at decorating cupcakes. 

     Here's an excerpt from the book I found amusing as Penny talks about the secretary of her new school:  "Her name is something no one names their kids anymore, like Ester or Geraldine or Margery." name is Geraldine.  It made me laugh.  The book was an easy read and rather entertaining.  I definitely recommend it for all ages, plus, it does include cupcakes!