First of all, let's not waste any time in announcing the winner of the spice kit from Under the High Chair's second birthday dinner. Rest assured that the selection of the winner was done in a most thorough way, overseen by my husband, the engineer in the family.
And the winner is...Jill!!!
Whoot! Whoot! Congratulations!
Jill, please contact me via email with your address and information and I'll get your present out to you as fast as I can!
A big thanks to all who participated and left such great comments! This was the first giveaway I've done, but it certainly won't be the last--it was so much fun to see people popping in from the four corners of the globe...and two hundred comments is such a nice round number for the draw.
And now for some of the most girly-girl cupcakes you will ever see...
My self-appointed mission was as follows: bake cupcakes for two-week-old Amber's baby shower and make them as pink and girly as possible, because with three men in the house, we never get to play with glitter, sprinkles and pink food coloring, let alone even make cupcakes.
Yep, life would be different if I had girls. Oh, it's not that I'm complaining, you've seen my boys and I love them fiercely, but let me put things into perspective for you:
This is the first time homemade cupcakes have been featured on UtHC.
That's right, we just celebrated two years of posts and all this time you have been deprived of cupcakes. Everywhere else, cupcakes are flaunting themselves, blogs are devoted to them, boutiques specialize in them and celebrities crave them. I mean, it's practically the decade of the cupcake and although I've kept you up to date with the best cupcakes in the city, I haven't been baking any myself.
Why such a dearth of the pretty little things? I'm not quite sure, but there must be a reason, and I intend to get to the bottom of it. Is it just because I have no girls to bake with? A husband who demands "Give me a real cake, woman"? (okay, kidding about that last one, he'd get a lot more than real cake if he called me 'woman'.)
Anyway, enough with the introspection, I've finally made some cupcakes and although they came out rather garish (I might even say ghastly), I had a heck of a lot of fun playing on my Pretty in Pink theme.
I was bemused when one girl at the shower turned to me, half eaten cupcake in hand, and said
"So what flavor would you say these were anyway?"
Hmm, good question. Vanilla? Buttermilk? Is pink a flavor?
Here's how I arrived at my final product:
For the cupcake itself, I adapted a recipe for Buttermilk Red Velvet from Joy the Baker, using less red food coloring and doubling the amount of vanilla; it was fluffy and moist, not to mention hot pink!!
I frosted the cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting which Joy frequently pairs with Red Velvet Cake and I am in full support of that marriage. Yum!
Edible glitter and sprinkles adorn the frosting and finally, the cupcakes are topped with cut-out hearts of rolled fondant. The baby's name is hand painted onto the hearts with food coloring. Voila.
Long after these cupcakes were consumed at the baby shower and the leftover frosting eaten with a spoon, I happened upon foodbeam's Sugar High Friday event: Cupcakes, the final chapter.
(You can read more about the SHF, the 'international sweet tooth blogging extravaganza' here)
It crossed my mind to submit these cupcakes, but then told myself, naw, who am I kidding? It's Fanny, for pete's sake! I didn't even get to do an official photo shoot for the cupcakes, what you see was snapped at the shower while I ignored Mateo's complaining from his car seat in the corner. (Bad mother) There was no way I could send my insanely pink baby girl cupcakes in response to her call for "delicious cupcakes, baked with flair, sophistication and novelty'.
But then I kept reading Fanny's post and somewhere in it she said 'most importantly, have fun', and that's precisely what I did with these cupcakes. I mean, edible sprinkles and light pink fondant? I had a blast.
So be sure to check out foodbeam.com at the end of the month for the round-up of cupcakes, and please, go easy on my entry, okay?
Here are the recipes if you are interested in making your own really pink cupcakes.
Buttermilk Pink Velvet Cupcakes
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoons Red Food coloring
1. Preheat the oven to 325. Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the kosher salt after sifting and set aside. Measure out the buttermilk and red food coloring. Add the dye to the buttermilk for easier incorporation later.
2. Cream the butter and the sugar using an electric mixer, until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, letting the eggs beat for 1 mintue in between additions. Scrape down the bowl in between additions. Add vanilla and beat well.
3. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients. Start by adding one third of the flour mixture. Mix just to incorporate. Add half of the buttermilk. Add another one third of the flour mixture. Mix to incorporate. Add the last half of buttermilk, followed by the last third of flour.
4. Spoon into paper lined cupcake pans. Check the cupcakes after 12 minutes.
Makes 16 small or 12 large cupcakes.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk depending on desired consistency
Cream the cream cheese in an electric mixer for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add the butter, beating for 1-2 minutes, or until incorporated. (Be sure that the two are at room temperature. Cold cream cheese or butter can make your frosting lumpy.) Add the brown sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated. Turn off mixer and add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl. Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency.