Follow Me on Pinterest The Cupcake Files: February 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese icing and caramel

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl mix both cups of sugar, oil, pumpkin, eggs, salt, spices, baking soda and baking powder.  Slowly add in the flour.  Mix for 2 minutes.

Line muffin pan with cupcake liners, fill each cup 2/3 full.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

***These cupcakes are also super yummy if you add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips**

Cinnamon cream cheese frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5-6 cups powdered sugar
2.5 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla

cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add in cinnamon and vanilla.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Pipe onto cupcakes and drizzle with caramel.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chicken fajita penne pasta

 This is delicious and the best of both worlds.  I love fajitas and I love pasta, so I combined the two and this is what I came up with!  I hope you try it and love it as much as I do.  Enjoy!

1 box of penne pasta
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1.5 packets of fajita seasonings (or taco seasoning)
1 8 ounce block cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Monterrey jack cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 green, 1 orange pepper, chopped
1 can diced green chiles
1 cup pasta water
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips (can also use streak or shrimp)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, set aside.  In a large skillet, heat 2 table spoons of olive oil and cook chicken, steak or shrimp. Remove from pan and set aside.  In the same pan add 2 table spoons of olive oil and add onions, tomatoes, garlic, green chiles, and peppers, saute on medium heat for 4 minutes or until veggies are cooked.  Add 1 cup of pasta water and fajita seasonings.  Stir well.  Add cream cheese. cook for 3 minutes stirring to break up cream cheese, if you need to add a little more water you can do so.
add sour cream and stir.  Add in pasta and meat and toss until pasta and chicken are coated with the sauce.  Add in Monterrey Jack Cheese and cilantro, give one last toss.

I like to set all kinds of toppings out when I serve this, so people can "build" their own pastas.  Some things I will set out...
sliced black olives
diced tomatoes
Shredded cheeses
Sour Cream
crushed tortilla chips
Extra chopped cilantro

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cupcake decorating part #5

These are cupcakes that I made for my cousin's bridal shower.  The butterflies were made from gumpaste and dusted with edible petal dusts.  The butterflies were cut out using a PME plunger (I will post a picture below).  I love making these butterflies, you can paint them any color you want with petal and luster dusts and they turn out beautiful.  They are so easy and fun.  The little flowers were made the same way, with a PME plunger and dusted with petal dusts, I will post a picture of that plunger below as well!
This is the PME butterfly plunger.  It comes in 3 different sizes, this is the largest size.  The smallest is sooooo cute for making tiny butterflies on mini cupcakes.

This is the PME flower plunger and it also comes in 3 sizes, this is the largest.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Easy cupcake decorating part 4

Classic icing swirl with a #1M tip by Wilton.  Starting on the outer most edge of the cupcake, swirl in clockwise motion while building the icing up.
In part 4 I will be showing you some easy decorating tips using the Wilton #1M tip, this is the most common tip you will see used to create those signature icing swirls on cupcakes.
Create roses with a 1M tip for a cupcake bouquet.  Start in the center of the cupcake and work your way out in a clockwise motion.

Easy cupcake decorating part 3

It's SO easy to make cupcakes look fancy, to make it look like you worked sooooo hard on making them look fabulous.  Below you will find some decorating tips to use to take your cupcakes to the next level...

First up, decorating cupcakes with a Wilton #2D tip.
To get this ruffle look, as your are swirling clockwise and up, shake your hand gently, it will create beautiful ruffles on your cupcake.

With a medium pressure squeeze your pastry bag, then lift.  Do this over and over until the cupcake is covered.  It will create a hydrangea type flower.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mint chocolate chip cupcakes

In my house mint chocolate chip ice cream is a favorite...Well, I of course had to make a cupcake version and make it I did. Whenever I make these, they are gone within a day! 
Use my chocolate cake recipe and buttercream recipe, adding 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract and 1-2 drops of leaf green gel food coloring to the buttercream.  Use a Wilton #1M tip for the icing swirl and sprinkle with semi-sweet chocolate chips!  YUM!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chocolate chip cookie dough dip! Major noms!

I've seen this recipe all over the place but I made some changes to it to make it even yummier!

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
3 Heath candy bars, chopped
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 TBSP brown sugar

Cream together butter and cream cheese, add chocolate chips and chopped heath bars, and 2 tsp of vanilla, cream together.  Add brown sugar and powdered sugar, mix until well combined.
Serve with chocolate graham crackers, cinnamon sugar graham crackers, Nilla Wafers and apple wedges.

There are a million different variations you could try...Add a 1/2 cup peanut butter and some chopped Reese's Cups...Add 1/4 coconut and chopped Mounds bars, chopped almonds!  Make your own creation and let me know how it is!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Easy and quick cupcake decorating #2

 This is a very easy way to decorate holiday cupcakes.  Everyone will love these, you will get tons of compliments and everyone will want to know how you did it!  Kids love them, they're festive and you will end up feeling like Martha Stewart...That's a very rewarding feeling, haha!

What you need (tips, bags, gel color, luster dusts, gumpaste and star cutter can be found at Hobby Lobby and Michael's)
2 pastry bags (I like 20 inch disposable bags)
Wilton 1M tip
Large open star tip (Wilton #199 will work, Ateco also makes one you may also see it called a "French tip")
Green tinted buttercream
Blue tinted buttercream
Gumpaste or fondant
yellow food coloring gel
Gold and silver luster dusts
PME SnowFlake plunger
Wilton fondant star cutter (medium size out of the set of 3)
small paint brush
Colored round sprinkles

First you will want to tint some of your gumpaste yellow.  Put some cornstarch down on a clean flat surface and roll out the yellow gumpaste or fondant.  Cut out stars, lay flat and allow to dry.  If you used gumpaste they will be dry within an hour, if you used fondant allow them to dry overnight.

With the white gumpaste, roll out the same way as the yellow. Once you roll the gumpaste out, allow it to lay out for about 15 minutes.  Because the PME plunger is so detailed, you will need for the gumpaste to dry a little bit.  Dip your PME cutter in cornstartch, once the gumpaste is ready, push the snowflake cutter into the gumpaste, pressing down and pushing the plunger.  Pick the cutter up, hit the release and allow snowflake to dry on a flat surface.
Brush the gold luster dust all over the stars and brush the silver luster dust all over the snowflakes.  (A little goes a LONG way with luster dust.)  Set aside.

Once you have your pastry bags fitted with the decorator tips and filled with the icing (The bag with the 1M tip gets the green icing and the French tip gets the blue icing), you can begin to decorate.

For the Christmas trees
With the 1M tip, to create the tree look, with a medium pressure holding the tip above the cupcake, start on the outside and swirl your way in and up, I like to go in a counter clockwise motion.  You just made a tree, yay!  If you didn't quite get it the first time, it's ok...Just scrape the icing off, into a bowl and try again.
Sprinkle your tree with some colored round sprinkles, to mimic lights and top with a sparkly gumpaste star.

For the snowflakes
With the open star/french tip fitted bag with the blue buttercream, you want to start on the outside of the cupcake and work your way in but not up.  Place a sparkly snowflake in the middle and you're finished! 

Easy and quick cake decorating

The next few days I am going to post easy and quick ways to decorate a cake or cupcakes.  I will also include some quick fondant/gumpaste decorations! This is my first post in that series, I hope you enjoy it!

This is an 8inch double layer lemon cake with a strawberry cream cheese filling.  I will post the recipe soon.

Once your cake is baked and completely cooled, go ahead and level it, fill it and put a nice crumb coat on it. *TIP** to keep my cake board from sliding around as I ice a cake, I take a small square of non slip shelf liner and slip it under the cake board*

In a 20 inch pastry bag fitted with a Wilton #21 tip, fill with your buttercream icing that you have colored with gel food coloring.
 Starting at the bottom of your cake and working your way around, create a swirling motion with the piping bag.  Start in the center and swirl your way out.  You may want to practice on a plate a few times until you get the hang of it.
Decorating this cake took me about 15 minutes once I had the crumb coat finished.  If you plan on taking this cake somewhere, I suggest freezing if for 30-45 minutes, to allow the icing to hardened so it doesn't smear or smudge during transport.