Cupcakes

Go Pink! Strawberry Cupcakes

I’m very excited to announce that today I am guest posting over at Frosting for the Cause. An awesome project that began January 1, 2011 and will end December 31, 2011 with a total of 365 guest posts by bakers, decorators, and bloggers all taking turns sharing wonderful cookie and cupcake recipes with you, while helping raise breast cancer awareness and committing to make a personal donation towards this cause.

Although I’ve been fortunate enough that no one in my immediate family has had to battle breast cancer; I haven’t been immune to the disease, sadly I lost my father and three uncles to it.

So please do me a huge favor and check out these strawberry cupcakes, I think you’ll like them. 😉

To learn more about what you can to to help or if you are interested in “Baking a Difference” please visit Paula at Frosting for the Cause.

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Today I am going to share a story with you.

This story is about an amazing couple Drew and Mikalle, and their beautiful baby boy Holden Milo, who you see in Mikalle’s arms.

Drew and Mikalle were made for one another, not only do they share many great qualities, they also share the same love and passion for the outdoors and adventure. Mikalle is a triathlete, she has over 20 marathons under her belt can you believe that? And Drew as you can see from the picture above loves to surf, he has practically traveled all over the world in search of the perfect barrel, and I’m not talking wine here.

Drew and I work together, and can I tell you… he’s one of the nicest guys in the office, always has a smile on his face and although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mikalle yet, I can easily guess she is as kind, generous and genuine as Drew.


Drew grew up here in Southern California but attended the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) and Mikalle grew up in Longview, WA. They met here in So. Cal and got married August 12, 2006. In April 23, 2009 little baby Holden Milo was born and at the very tender age of only 8 months he passed away 12/31/2009.

Drew and Mikalle have setup a website to honor and remember baby Holden, as well as “Holden’s Fund” which will help raise funds for very worthy organizations that help families and children in need of medical care. To learn more about Holden’s Story or to donate please visit his website.

Celebrating Baby Holden Milo Weddle’s Life

These Pacific Northwest inspired cupcakes are dedicated to the memory of baby Holden…






Pear Hazelnut Cupcakes
adapted from Oregon Grower’s & Shippers

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter- room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 homemade pear hazelnut preserves (or Oregon Growers & Shippers Pear Hazelnut Fruit Spread)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a small mixing bowl sift flour, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand up mixer with a paddle attachment, cream room temperature butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add one egg at time, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula after adding both.

Add vanilla and the Pear Hazelnut Fruit Spread. Mix well.

Add half of the milk, and then alternate with the flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining milk, finishing with the flour. *Just blend until everything is incorporated, be careful not to over mix or your cupcake batter.

Divide batter evenly, filling each liner about 2/3 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in through the center of your cupcake until it comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin, then remove and cool on wire rack.



Hazelnut Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
3 cups of powdered sugar – sifted
2 teaspoons frangelico liqueur

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and incorporated.

Add Frangelico and slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended.


Homemade Pear & Hazelnut Preserves

2 ripe pears pealed and cored
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 pod cardamom freshly ground
1/3 cup finely ground toasted hazelnuts

Add all ingredients to a medium heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat, and cook for 40-45 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Allow preserves to cool run through the food processor a few seconds


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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Today I am going to introduce you to a friend of mine, Angela AKA SpinachTiger. We met just a few weeks ago during the FoodBuzz Festival in San Francisco and although I haven’t known her for an extended period of time, I feel like we’ve been long time friends.

Angela happens to be a very talented, creative, funny, and outgoing food blogger. To help put that into perspective, she was nominated as one of the Bloggers we would most like to see have their own show on the Food Network. (Yep, that pretty much says it all…)

Saturday afternoon as we were waiting for the chartered bus to take us to the FoodBuzz Dinner & Awards Ceremony she casually mentioned that she was planing on hosting a “Cooking Red to Remember” day on her blog December 1st in honor of World AIDS Day and asked of I would like to participate.

Being that we had only met that same morning, I had no idea how deeply impacted she has been by this disease. I told her I would love to show my support and told her that I would be making Red Velvet Cupcakes, and we left it at that.

Once I went to her blog and I read her story I was speechless…

If you look at the top picture, you see one cupcake in the foreground, there standing strong is Angela, the cupcake in the background to your right is her brother James, and the one to your left is her cousin Sam. Although no longer in the foreground with Angela, they are forever present.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups cake flour (not self-rising) sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened ductch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together sugar and butter until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake about 18-20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes before removing the cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.


 
Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar ½ a cup at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.


 

Virtual Red Ribbon

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Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

It was Thursday night, I was checking out Facebook looking for a good laugh, a cute picture, an interesting post, someone ranting over someone else’s meaningless post, you know some good stuff.

I was about to log out when I came across a post from one of my co-workers in which he was updating us on his status.

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cupcakes

Guess what I got in the mail yesterday… yeah, it’s probably best if I just tell you, I received the September issue of Gourmet… yay!

The best news is, that I’ve decided to pick one recipe from each new issue I receive to share with you.

This month I chose Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cupcakes the recipe in the magazine didn’t include frosting. But I say, hey… if you are going to add “cupcake” to the title, frosting is a must!

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