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Posts Tagged ‘Icing’

One thing we do not lack for in medicine is exams.  As such, finding ways to make studying more exciting is a constant occupation.  Somehow carrot sticks just don’t aways cut it.  A surefire way to liven up any study session is cupcakes.  Who doesn’t love cupcakes?  They are the perfect sugar boost in anyone’s day – especially when covered in delicious chocolate icing!

This particular study session happened to fall on my cousin’s birthday, so to make them more fun, I decided to add sprinkles to a Martha Stewart Recipe.  The chocolate buttercream icing is a time-tested family recipe.  I suspect the confetti will be a regular addition to my future cupcake baking adventures 🙂

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Vanilla Confetti Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

(Makes 24 cupcakes)

 

Ingredients

Vanilla Confetti Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (or 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

Multicoloured sprinkles

 

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

3ish tablespoons butter, room temperature

3 or 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2-3 tablespoons of cold coffee (the stronger, the tastier)

A lot of icing sugar

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated; scrape down sides of bowl, and beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.  Add as many sprinkles as you desire (I used about 1/4 cup).

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and coffee.  Incorporate icing sugar until chocolate-mocha icing is thick, yet spreadable.

When the cupcakes are cool, generally frost with the chocolate buttercream icing.  Top with a few extra sprinkles.  Delicious with a cold glass of milk!

– Catherine

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Brunch is unquestionably my favourite meal.  Always eaten in the company of your favourite people, this is my excuse to go crazy with delicious breakfast and lunch foods.  I only wish I had an excuse to make scrambled eggs with smoked salmon every morning!

And when it comes to brunch, cinnamon buns top the list.  I find shopping at a mall dangerous because of the alluring waft from Cinnabon’s tantalizingly placed near the exit.  I’ve concluded that it is an unavoidable Pavlovian conditioning linked to my  mother’s Ford genes. Despite my love of these gooey treats, I had yet to actually attempt baking them.

I have been eyeing Whitewater Cooks’ cinnamon bun recipe for a while, so last weekend I invited a few friends over to brunch as guinea pigs.  Having never before worked with active dry yeast, I found the recipe easy to follow.  The alluring waft of cinnamon began with the second rise.  While the buns were nice and cinnamon-y, my one complaint is these buns were not quite as gooey as I desired.  More butter perhaps next time?

Waiting for the cinnamon buns to finish rising

Whitewater Cinnamon Buns

(makes 12 buns)

 

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter at room temperature

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp salt

2 eggs

2/3 cup milk

1 1/8 cups warm water

2 Tbsp active dry yeast

5-6 cups flour plus extra as needed

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1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup raisins

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water.  Let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is bubbly.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, 2/3 cup brown sugar, and salt.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix in the milk, dissolved yeast mixture and flour, 1 cup at a time mixing until smooth.  Add enough flour to make soft dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured board.  Knead dough until smooth and springy, about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Place in a large greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough.  Roll out into a large rectangular shape, about 12 by 18 inches.  Brush with melted butter and remaining brown sugar.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, pecans, and raisins.  Roll lengthwise into a long log, and slice with a sharp knife into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place slices in a greased 9 by 13 inch pan about one inch apart. Let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 350 F oven for approximately 45 minutes.  Let cool and ice with your favourite butter icing.

Bon appetit!

– Catherine

 

 

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Before I have you convinced that all I ever cook is Christmas cookies, I wanted to share one last recipe. These snowball cookies are made from a rich pecan-flavoured shortbread and then rolled in icing sugar. As the cookies cool, the sugar melts creating a pretty, white glaze. I already am awaiting next December to begin cooking more tasty Christmas cookies!


Pecan Puffs
 
Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vanila
Ground pecans (1 generous cup pecan meats, measured before grinding)
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
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Icing Sugar
 
Directions
Cream the butter and sugar throughly together. Mix in the vanilla and salt, followed by the ground pecans and flour. Knead slightly to blend dough throughly. Allow to refrigerate until dough is chilled, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Roll dough into small 1-inch balls. Bake for 12 minutes or until the bottom of the puffs are golden brown, rotating the trays half way through.

Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the tray, before rolling them individually in icing sugar. Allow to cool completely on a cookie rack.

Bon appetit!

– Catherine

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