Posts tagged sprinkles

indecisive (chocolate & vanilla) birthday cupcakes

let it be known that i am obsessed with birthdays. not just my own birthday but anyone’s birthday. i love balloons and cupcakes and thoughtful cards, dinners with friends and massive amounts of facebook wall posts. so the other night when i got home from a basketball game at bentley, i knew that bedtime was not in my immediate future: i had BIRTHDAY CUPCAKES to make.

the one and only wobbie walton (who is awesome because he’s tolerated me calling him that for well over a year and patiently waited approximately three months for his share of buffalo chicken dip) was turning the big 2-1 the following day, so i wanted to make some birthday treats to help him celebrate. i asked what kind of cupcake he’d like (let’s be honest, i can get pretty creative, as seen here, here and here), but other than the fact that he’s anti-coconut and chocolate frosting, he couldn’t decide what flavor he wanted.

well fear not, captain indecisive, because i, too find it difficult to make choices and instead of picking just one, went for a mix of flavors. robbie got chocolate AND vanilla cupcakes, all rolled into one celebratory mini treat. i layered chocolate and vanilla batters and then topped it with a quick glaze (since it was late on a weeknight and i didn’t feel like breaking out the piping bags) and a variety of festive sprinkles.

i think this method could easily be used for any great pair of flavors - coconut and chocolate, strawberry and vanilla - take your pick! also, if you pour the batter in smaller portions, you could have lots of pretty layers instead of just two. maybe next time i’ll try that!

side note: in other news, speaking of birthdays — my friend tara recently pointed out an article declaring that if couples want to aim to have a baby on 11/11/11, they need to get busy tonight. just sharing in case that’s in any of your plans…

alright, i’m done sharing an abnormal amount of links with you all and ready fork over the recipe.

2 cups cake flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup skim milk

6 Tablespoons butter (3/4 stick) room temperature

1/3 cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

[this recipe yields about 15 cupcakes]

get started by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and line the cupcake tin with liners. i went for some fun birthday balloon ones that i had on hand! other side note - one of my favorite things about food blogging is that i can do something like this - decide at 10:30 at night that i want to make birthday cupcakes and just do it. no need to run out to the store thanks to a well-stocked pantry and plenty of baking supplies :)

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. set aside.

in a larger mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until they’re light and fluffy. then, add the egg, yogurt, vanilla extract and mix until well-combined.

add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, to the bigger bowl, alternating with adding the milk 1/4 cup at a time. mix in between each batch.

pour half the cupcake batter into a second bowl and mix in the cocoa powder so you’ve got one bowl of chocolate batter and a bowl of vanilla batter.

evenly distribute the chocolate batter into each cupcake well until the batter is gone and then do the same with the vanilla batter on top of the chocolate layer.

bake for 20 minutes in the 350-degree oven until they’re just slightly golden brown on top or a toothpick is inserted into the center comes out clean. let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

my lazy glazy consisted of: 1.5 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 egg white, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. i mixed it on high with a hand mixer for about two minutes while i briefly popped the cupcakes in the fridge and packed my lunch for the next day. i tried to buy myself as much cooling time as possible!

once i couldn’t wait any longer, i dipped the tops of the cupcakes in the glaze, let the excess drip off and rolled the tops in the sprinkles before flipping them over and let them dry overnight.

then share and devour :) boy am i glad there are still a few of these sitting on my desk. i think i’ve found my afternoon snack!

click here for a printable version of the recipe!











valentine’s day sugar cookies

growing up, my parents made sure that valentine’s day was special. hand-picked cards from my dad, treats and presents from my mom and constant reminders that the day is to tell the people you love how much you love them always made me love february 14. as time goes on, i feel like people get increasingly bitter about cupid’s holiday. unreal expectations, loneliness or pity parties have no place on my valentine’s day!

just as the quote i posted earlier from love actually, i think it’s important to remember that valentine’s day doesn’t have to be strictly reserved for romantic love. and while i think it’s important to make people feel loved on valentine’s day, know they’re appreciated on thanksgiving or special on their birthday, don’t forget to do these things every day.

in addition to valentine’s brunch with my friends yesterday, a BRIGHT PINK manicure and pedicure yesterday and wearing pink and red today, i wanted to spread some valentine cheer with cookies. obviously. i took the same sugar cookie recipe i used when i made holiday stars and candy canes in december, but took a different approach to the decorating. i must say that they took a while to chill, roll out, bake, decorate and cool. and i did whine a bunch in between each frosting shift… but in the end, i think they’re bright, fun and a sweet treat for the day.

1/2 batch sugar cookie recipe

2 cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon meringue powder

2 Tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

food coloring

sprinkles (optional)

make the sugar cookies, according to the recipe. roll the dough out and use heart-shaped cookie cutters to shape them.  let them cool completely on a wire cooling rack before you attempt to frost them.

while the cookies are cooling, get started on the icing. mix together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, water and almond extract using an electric mixer for five or so minutes until it thickens up.

divide the icing into separate cups or bowls based on how many different colors you plan to use. add food coloring to each and load up your piping bag.

carefully outline the shape of your cookie before flooding inside the outline. repeat for each color you’re decorating with.

originally i was planning to do 4-5 colors and making them look like necco conversation hearts, but after cleaning the piping bag and going through each step, watching the clock near midnight, i got far less ambitious.

if you want to do a glaze to go under some festive pink, red or heart-shaped sprinkles, take any remaining white frosting and add another 1-2 Tablespoons of water. whisk until it’s runny and more of a glaze.

dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze and then flip them upright to dry on the cooling rack. while they’re still wet, sprinkle the glittery stuff on top.

let the cookies dry overnight before packaging. as i was advised… you’ll think they’re dry before then. they’re not.

spread the love! happy valentine’s day, everyone :)



ps: click here for a printable version of the recipe(s)!

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#valentine's day




#sugar cookies