Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy holidays!!!

48 cupcakes, 4 batches of frosting, and 7 hours later, I decided that I don't have the energy (or proper tools) to be a professional cupcake baker. *SIGH*. Oh well, there's always teaching music! :p

I decided to go with the idea that I should bake cupcakes for presents this year. Do I regret that decision? Absolutely not. Was I tired? ABSOLUTELY. Will I be participating in another baking marathon? Weeeeell, maybe. But not for awhile :)

I was really thinking about Christmas and the different flavors that you see around the holidays, and I did some searching to see which of those flavors could be incorporated into cupcakes. I finally settled on 4 winter-themed cupcakes...and here's the first one up!

Cinnamon Cupcakes

I used this recipe to create the Cinnamon cake base, but I decided to add to the cinnamon flavor by making a butter-cream cheese cinnamon frosting! Unfortunately, I can't really help you with the frosting recipe; I ended up improvising most of it. I CAN tell you that I forgot to add the buttermilk to the cake...oops. So for those of you who ate these, I'm sorry if they tasted kind of bland! I would definitely make these again, but next time I won't forget the buttermilk, and I would probably throw in some apples into the batter. These would be DELICIOUS for breakfast :)

Next in the line-up is another cupcake that is suitable for breakfast, especially with the Maple syrup cream cheese frosting that I ended up using on top.

I had A LOT of batter; so much, in fact, that I ended up making a dozen of these cupcakes, and 20 mini cupcakes (which were served for breakfast the next day). I don't have a recipe for the frosting, but I can tell you that I used about a half a block of cream cheese, and added maple syrup and powdered sugar to taste. You may want to add more cream cheese, but if you're not a fan of tooth-decaying gobs of frosting on your cupcakes, half a block will be enough.

The next dozen is a recipe that I experimented with earlier in the month, and I took these cupcakes (in mini form) to the Annual Fund potluck (whoo, shout out to the AF team!)
One of the things that I love the most about the chilly weather is that I get to bundle up and enjoy a nice steaming cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. I tried to capture this flavor in cupcake form, and here's the result:

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

I revisited the chocolate cupcake recipe that I used for Jonathan's birthday which were suitable for even those who aren't real chocolate fans. For the frosting, I used this light and fluffy Martha Stewart recipe for marshmallow cream frosting, and I added mini chocolate chip morsels for decoration :)

Last but not least, I made...


To be completely honest, I'm not a fan of eggnog. It's too thick, too sweet...just too much. I was skeptical about making these cupcakes, but who doesn't think about eggnog when Christmas is mentioned? These turned out to be AMAZING, which only proves that things are always better in cupcake form. The cake was light and fluffy, and paired very nicely with the just-sweet-enough frosting.

Oh yes, the frosting. The recipe calls for powdered sugar. 2 cups of it. I'm sure everyone knows by now that I don't like sugar overpowering my cupcakes, and as mentioned above, I already think eggnog is too sweet. While I understand that the sugar is meant to make the butter cream nice and thick, I also think that there are other ways to make your frosting nice and thick without sacrificing a couple of good, healthy teeth. I opted to put in cream cheese instead (yes, cream cheese saved the day once again!) and ended up with a very delicious frosting. I highly recommend that you steer clear of the sugar option and just add cream cheese until you get the right consistency :)

Okay, so there you have it! Those were the cupcakes that I decided to make for the holidays. School starts next week, so I think it's safe to say that I won't be baking again for awhile. Maybe I'll be inspired by something during the quarter, though...and maybe I'll end up coming back. In the mean time, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Best wishes for 2010, and happy baking! :D


Have I been neglecting this blog or what? I certainly hope that this doesn't meet the same fate that my Xanga did...(R.I.P....I know you're floating around somewhere in Internetland...)

Anyway, needless to say, I haven't been doing a great job keeping up with this, but I also haven't been baking much, either. Who knew that getting your Masters degree and teaching credential could be so gosh darn time consuming?! I sure didn't. That's pretty much what I've been up to. I just completed my first quarter as a graduate student, left my post as teacher and orchestra conductor at the local music conservatory (I will miss those kids!), and have wandered my way back into the kitchen during my winter break (which, by the way, is ending all too quickly).

I'm sure most of you know what the holidays mean....stress, shopping, and more stress! Which is why I came to the conclusion that I should show my loved ones that I love them...by baking cupcakes! I managed to bake 48 in one day...that post is coming up soon! ...

...which brings me to my next item on the agenda. I logged into this thing realizing that I had an entry that I meant to publish back in September. I'll go ahead and finish that one first, and then I will publish my holiday cupcake adventures :)

Happy baking, everybody! :)