Monday, May 28, 2012

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
I like to grate the carrots by hand — actually, that’s a lie, I don’t enjoy it one bit — because I want it very finely grated for a soft batter. The food processor works, too, but the pieces are a bit thicker.
Makes 24 cupcakes (or one two-layer cake, instructions at end)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 24 cupcake molds with papers, or butter and flour them.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.
Bake cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.
To make a carrot layer cake: Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans instead of cupcake molds. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Ingredients -

1½ cups of cake flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups applesauce
1 stick of real butter
2 eggs
1 ½ cups apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces. (I used granny smith ones)
12 sugar daisies with green leaves attached.
1 cup white frosting***
pastry decorator bag and tips of your choice
To Make the Cupcakes:
Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter, the eggs, and the apples to the mixture.
Using a mixer, beat on medium speed for about two minutes.
Turn to high speed and mix for about 2 minutes more.
Scrape and beat again for about 1 minute more.
Pour the batter into cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick that has been inserted into the center comes out clean.
Set on a cooling rack until the cupcakes are completely cool.
Fill your pastry bag with vanilla frosting and attach the tip of your choice. In a circular motion you will fill the cupcakes to the top with white icing.

***To frost these, I used the same frosting at the Oreo Cookie cupcakes, but I think they would be better with a lighter frosting such as a Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting.
Here's the recipe for that:
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar1/4 cup cornstarch1/2 cup powdered sugar2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate and Oreo Cookie Cupcake

Chocolate and Oreo Cookie Cupcake

Ingredients -
1 ¾ cup flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa
1-½ teaspoon baking soda
1-½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
30 Oreos
For the Oreo Frosting:
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup warm water
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line muffin pans with paper liners.
Split the Oreos in half and put an Oreo, cream side up, in each liner. (Use remainder for cookie crumbs or single chocolate cookies)****
Sift the cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine sugar, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add the flour mixture to the large bowl. Beat two minutes on medium. Stir the boiling water in.
Pour batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
Bake 23 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool.
Makes about 30 cupcakes

****With the Oreos at the bottom of the liners, they may get stuck when you try to peal the paper off. Either use the tin(ish?) style liners for the cupcakes, or drop the half cookie into the cupcake batter once it's poured!
Beat water and shortening together. Add the confectioners' sugar gradually and beat until creamy. Add the vanilla; beat well. Add water a tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Fill the piping bag about half full and frost the cupcakes, adding more frosting when needed. Unused frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.