Monday, May 30, 2011

Cupcake Obsession!!

My kids say that I am obsessed with cupcakes!!  Well, I say why the heck not!  I thought I would post some pictures with ideas so you can either try these or take some of my ideas and expand on them!  Would love to see some of them if you come up with some new varieties!

I have to say that after trying several home made recipes for cupcakes, I have decided unless it is a crazy flavor that I can't buy in a box, I am sticking to the box! They are so much lighter and fluffier and most people who try both prefer the box mixes!

I have found that if I use a simple buttercream recipe, I can add just about anything to it and it tastes great!

Buttercream Icing:
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C Powdered sugar

Cream first 3 items together in mixer and add milk as needed for the proper consistency.

Chocolate Buttercream- add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa to above recipe.

The easiest way that I have found to ice cupcakes is to get some disposable cake decorating bags.  They are just a heavy triangle shaped bag.  I roll the top over and fill up the bag.  Cut about 1/2 inch off the tip and pipe the icing on!  It is that easy and no messy tips or bags to clean.  Just throw away the bag! If you want it to look a little more formal, you can use a decorative tip in the bag.

Now that you have the two basics- you get to get creative!

This assortment has my chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, rocky road, and strawberry vanilla bean.

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes, I add about 3 TBSP cream peanut butter to the buttercream icing.  Top with chopped Reeses Peanut Butter cups and enjoy!  You can also drizzle melted peanut butter or melted peanut butter chips for a more elegant look.

The Rocky Road cupcakes just have the chocolate buttercream with marshmallows and chopped nuts (I prefer pecans or almonds).

The strawberry vanilla bean is a vanilla cupcake that I scraped some vanilla beans into.  Do the same with the vanilla buttercream and top with fresh strawberries.

Sometimes I am looking for stuff to use up in my pantry.. as is the case with the above cupcake.  We took some Girl Scout Samoas along with some toasted coconut and topped the chocolate/chocolate cupcakes!  YUM!

 Last but certainly not least are my personal favs!!  Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes!  Even the name sounds divine!
These started out with a vanilla cupcake or I have seen recipes for caramel cupcakes online..  Topped with a caramel sauce that I made- I will find and post the recipe if anybody is interested.. it was a caramel candy recipe that I just didn't thicken all of the way.  I put that into a squirt bottle and pushed the tip into the cupcake and filled.  I then topped with the above buttercream icing that I added some of the caramel to.  I also added a tsp. of sea salt.  I then drizzled the tops with more caramel and a light shake of sea salt.  My daughter got creative and talked me into making the sugar scuptures on top!  They didn't taste as good as they look, so probably a bit more trouble than they are worth!  This cupcake is to die for!


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