Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Valentine's Cupcakes


So I know that Valentine's Day was last month but these are too cute, too easy and too tasty to not post.  Plus they could be modified to fit any celebration/holiday and did I mention they were super easy!?! 

To start print out an easy design, where these are for Valentine's Day I am using a heart (creative I know).  Place the printed paper on a flat surface and cover with parchment paper, what you don't have any?  Then you obviously did not read this Tool Tip Tuesday

To make chocolate hearts melt good quality chocolate chips in the microwave.  I used ghirardelli chips because I love how they taste, I think it is a good quality for the price.  Microwave in small increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  To create the lacy design you can chose to do this a couple different ways.  You could pour the melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle, use a decorating bag with a small opening cut off or use a decorating bag with a tip.  I used the decorating bag with a #3 tip.  *Most of the time I would say you could use a sandwich bag for piping but not in this case.  The chocolate gets too hot and can melt the bag some making the chocolate have a funny taste and I love chocolate too much to do that to it.  Okay, so pour chocolate into bottle/bag (to get the hot chocolate into the bag without burning yourself stand the bag up in a glass and then pour chocolate in) and trace hearts with the melted chocolate.  Then fill in hearts with squiggles that overlap a little, make sure to have the squiggles contact with the sides you traced so that you heart will be structurally sound (never thought you would hear that term with baking did ya).  Let hearts harden (ohh that sounds so cruel). 

 
I put my completed cupcakes in the cutest little bags but I wanted a base for them to sit on so I got coordinating scrapbook paper.  I measured the base of the bag for length and width, I then added 1 inch to each side so that there would be a 1 inch lip all the way around.  To make it easier to fold the sides up cut a 1 inch square from each of the corners.  Fold sides up and then slide your base into the bags.  I used plain, cheap cello bags. 


To top the bag off I used the coordinating scrapbook paper and cut a piece that was 1 inch wider than the bag measured so my paper measured 5 inches by 3 inches.  I then folded the paper over and attached a sticker with a saying on it, or you can write something, or leave it...completely up to you.  Fold the top of the bag over and place folded paper over it, then punch 2 holes through paper and bag (this is for the ribbon).  


With cupcakes it does not matter how they look if they taste nasty so use what you are comfortable with.  With these I was pressed for time so I used a box mix that I added to.  I add a tablespoon of vanilla and a couple drops of lemon extract to the white cupcakes and I added 1/2 tablespoon vanilla, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract to the chocolate cupcakes.  Now the icing is a different story, canned icing just does not work well for piping and honestly homemade tastes loads better.  But fret not my pretties, it is simple to make. 

Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup shortening (i.e. Crisco)
1/2 cup UNsalted butter (trust me on this one)(room temp.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups confectioner's sugar (about 1lb.)
*8-10 tablespoons of water.

Cream shortening and butter, add extracts and water.  Slowly add sugar. 
*The amount of water you add will vary.  You want barely soft peaks to form.  If your icing is too stiff it will tear the cake, too soft and it will not hold its form.   


Chocolate Buttercream Icing

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp.)
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup of cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/3 cup water

 Cream butter, add extracts and salt.  Slowly add cocoa.  Mix in water and then slowly add sugar. 
* The amount of water varies but this is a good estimate. There are times I use more and times I use less, again you want soft peaks to form. 


To pipe icing I used a decorator's bag with no tip, I just snipped the end the size I wanted.  You could use a gallon ziploc bag as well for this.  Place hardened hearts on top *giggle* (you would think I was a school girl or something).

To package these I placed a piece of double sided tape on the bottom of the cupcake and placed in the bag.  These are tied closed with a ribbon. 


These make wonderful gifts for teachers or for you child to take to school on their birthday.  These are also great for take home treats at baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, etc.  You can make the cupcakes as plain for fancy as you would like.  These are simple, fast and adorable, not to mention too yummy for words.

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1 comments:

Wife to the Rockstar said...

So cute. I will have to share this recipe with my daughter. She LOVES to bake.

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