September 15, 2009

Mini Cupcakes

I made these a while ago - actually the week I also made the wedding cake - and just now got around to posting them. I realized that I haven't posted anything of substance for a while and thought before you all forgot about the Lady Baker I must post these fast!
Like I mentioned before, I made these during the wedding cake week - which was a bad idea - but they turned out wonderful. They were also for a paying customer, so I wasn't just being silly in the kitchen during one of the most stressful weeks of my baking career. I actually turned down part of the order (good idea) because the request was for french macarons. I have not tried making them yet, but I swoon over them each time I see them. There is a special bakery in San Francisco which sells only french macarons. They are super expensive but gorgeous. Definitely worth it if you are looking to impress some guests. Sometime in the near future I will attempt pistachio macarons. I decided to try and make it easier on myself limiting the order to 2 flavors. They chose Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Cookie Dough Frosting.
I used my favorite carrot cake recipe and subbed currants for raisins since they were mini cupcakes. Also used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe and used my new star tip to frost these cuties. I decided at the last minute to change the chocolate cupcake recipe so I didn't use up the buttermilk I needed for the wedding cake. I thought the cakes were just ok. I don't think I would use the same recipe again (which is why I am not sharing it) because they were just too sweet. I like sugar, but these were overly sugary. Perfect for a girly bachelorette party though. (At least I think that is what I made them for). I was most excited about the new frosting recipe I stumbled across a while ago. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting. Fantastic. No eggs, just cookie dough mixed with buttercream frosting to get the right consistency. I added some mini chocolate chips in the batter and decorated the tops with them too. Cute and simple. You can't really go wrong with something so small... like babies or puppies....
Here are my favorite recipes for you to try, a few of them I really like come from the cookbook written especially for cake:
Carrot Cake
(Full Recipe for 3 - 9" Layers)
1 C dark raisins
1 lb carrots (about 4 C shredded - you can leave skins on)
2 C minus 2 T flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 T cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar
1 C dark brown sugar
1 1/4 C oil
1 1/2 C walnuts - roughly chopped
divide oven into thirds. Preheat to 350˚, butter and line 3 9" pans with parchment. dust with flour. steam the raisins covered 10 mins (alternately add some water to a heat proof bowl and microwave covered for 30 seconds or so to plump). Drain and reserve.
Sift dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat eggs, then beat in vanilla, sugars, and oil. Mix in dry ingredients until just incorporated, then stir in the carrots, raisins, and nuts.
Divide among pans. Bake about 35 minutes - until the cakes start to pull away from the edges of the pans. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks for 3 minutes. Turn onto a rack right side up. Once completely cool, wrap and freeze for one hour. (Overnight works great). Frost using Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! This cakes serves a crowd. It is really dense and tall so you can get a lot of slices from one cake. If you half the recipe you can make 3 6" cakes, or 18 regular cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese (full fat)
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 C powdered sugar
Beat butter and cream cheese (room temp please!) for a few minutes until fluffy. Add vanilla and sugar. Continue beating on high speed until smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Makes enough to frost 3 layers of cake plus sides.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

1-3/4 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

Eggless cookie dough (recipe below)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Add milk and continue mixing until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary. With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mix until well combined.

At this point you can mix in the eggless cookie dough. Mix in enough cookie dough to suit your taste. Any cookie dough leftover you can gladly eat! There are no eggs in it so it is safe. Yum!

Eggless Cookie Dough

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons

2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Cream the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add water and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and stir to combine. Stir in mini chocolate chips (optional).

Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

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