Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Not Just Cupcakes!

When I started this blog, I intended to discuss cupcakes.  But then, I did not want to limit my blog to just cupcakes since I don't just bake, but I can also "throw down in the kitchen"!  So, my readers can expect not only to read about cupcakes and all things "Frosted" as the name of this blog suggest, but can look forward to other recipes. 

My daughter, Tyra, came home with a recipe for biscuits that she made in her home economics class.  I have struggled with making homemade biscuits for the longest time.  I can make yeast rolls which I learned from my mother, but not biscuits.  Until one day, Tyra made biscuits for breakfast.  She cut the shortening into the flour, kneaded the dough, rolled it out, and cut the biscuits into perfect circles.  I was impressed.  The biscuits rose to perfection as they waited to be put in the oven.  The end result...we enjoyed the best tasting biscuits that were flaky and darn right Delicious!  Some of us just put butter on them, others put raspberry or strawberry jam on them, while my husband and I put some homemade honey from BeeCause ( I received this honey as a gift from one of my clients who, yes, has a bee farm ) all over the top of our buttery biscuits.  I must brag...I have a biscuit maker in the family! 

Here's goes Tyra's recipe and go is not a cupcake recipe!

(makes 12-16 biscuits)

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Measure and sift dry ingredients together.  (Sift flour before measuring)
  3. Cut shortening into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives until it looks like bread crumbs.
  4. Make a well and add all the milk at once.  Stir with a fork until the dough follows the fork around the bowl. 
  5. Knead biscuits on a floured countertop about 25 times.
  6. Pat out dough about 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Cut out with a floured biscuit cutter or small glass.
  8. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Brush with melted butter. 
I hope you enjoy this Not-A-Cupcake recipe from my kitchen to yours...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Are Cupcakes a Fading Trend?

Visit to Sprinkle Cupcakes in DC
     Cupcakes are one dessert I have always loved as a child and even now as an adult.  I have recently read articles discussing whether cupcakes are a trend that is fading.  Cupcake shops and storefronts are popping up everywhere and really are thriving well.  Some talk about what will be the next trend.  Others even talk about cupcakes only being a trend for now and it will end eventually as talked about in this article.  I think cupcakes have always been popular but with shows like TLC's DC Cupcake, WE tv's The Cupcake Girls, and Cupcake Wars, cupcakes have become nationally recognized and is the happening dessert. 
     I am always inspired to see new cupcake shops open up.  Cupcakes Take The Cake had a blog post about a 18 year old boy who recently opened a cupcake bakery after graduating from high school.  How amibitous is that!  I had the oppotunity to visit Sprinkles Cupcakes in DC.  Sprinkles Cupcakes is the original cupcake bakery to open in 2005 in Beverly Hills by Candance Nelson and her husband.  She had the idea that it was "time for cupcakes to stop being the backup dancer to cakes".  She started her bakery with nothing but cupcakes and that's all.  No cookies, cakes, or even brownies...just cupcakes. 
     Speaking of cupcake bakeries, I can't forget to mention Magnolia Bakery which opened in New York in 1996.  They serve all kinds of desserts, pastries and of course, cupcakes.  Magnolia Bakery became noticed when it was featured in Sex in the City with Miranda and Carrie eating one of their cupcakes.  (Note to self...add Magnolia Bakery to my Cupcake bucket list)

     What do you think will be the next trend in desserts?  Some say that the pie is the new cupcake.  Not sure I could part from my cupcakes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

To Eat or Not to Eat?

     That is the question!  I think about cupcakes all the time, and one question came to my mind...What ingredients or topping are less desirable on cupcakes?  If you think about all the toppings that could go on a cupcake, the list never ends.  But I do think there are some that will turn someone away from a cupcake.  For instance, take nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds.  These are the most used nuts to put on most cakes or cupcakes, but for some, the addition can be a turn-off.  Then there is coconut.  I find this topping to be the least favorite for most of my customers.  You either love it or hate it.  I like the taste but not the texture of coconut.  Don't forget about raisins.  When I make Carrot cake cupcakes, the one question I ask is "Do you want raisins in the them".  And the answer always seems to be "No".  So, maybe that is what it is...Texture!  Nuts, sprinkles, nonpareils, dragees, candy, crystal sugar, fruit, fondant, marzipan, and the list goes on and on.  These all add texture to a cupcake.  And when you make a cupcake, you have to remember a good cupcake has to be tasty, but you can always make it better by adding texture.  Just be careful what texture you choose...

Here is my favorite Carrot Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes:
Carrot Cupcakes:
(yields 24)
  • 1 Pound carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line muffin pan with paper liners.  Whisk together carrots,eggs, buttermilk, sugar, oil, vanilla-bean seeds, and raisins.  In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.
2.  Divide evenly into lined cups, filling three-quarters full.  Bake for 23-28 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. 
3.  Top each cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting and garnish with toasted coconut.

     See, this particular recipe has all the textures we talked about...raisins and coconut.  I make carrot cake cupcakes and just put chopped pecans on top.  There we go again...Texture!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with no pecans, raisins or coconut courtesy of Cupcakes With Class

So, that the question becomes...Texture or no texture?  What do you think?