I’m alive! It may not seem like it since my last post was a week ago, but I swear – I’m still breathing. It has just been a hectic time…well still is but I needed a bit of light writing since I am cranking out many papers right now. It seems that my finals are upon me now instead of the usual month’s time – I guess I will be thankful in May when everyone else is stressed to the max and I am able to coast.
Many things have happened this past week, here is a little bit of an overview (not to mention this also proves that I am in fact alive and well)
7.Thursday night I had my first soccer game of the outdoor co-ed season – and we won!
6. Went home Friday morning through Sunday morning where all the following happened
5. Made two types of cupcakes – pink champagne (which I will post next) and red velvet (but no ordinary red velvet – red velvet in the shape of lady bugs – ohhhhhh yeahhhhhh).
4. Got a haircut – much needed
3. Went and saw The Hunger Games! Pretty good, except they made a few changes from the books and I am not completely down with them
2. Got my birthday gifts from my family since I turn the boring 23 this Thursday and won’t be home again for a while. Really 23 sounds a lot older rolling off the tongue than 22.
1. ANNNNNDDD the main reason I went home and the reason why I made ladybug cupcakes was to attend my sister’s baby shower!!!! She is about 8 months pregnant and I hadn’t seen her for about a month and a half so couldn’t believe how big she had gotten. They call the baby “ladybug” thus the inspiration for the cupcakes. I even took some maternity (belly) photos for her but with most including the baby’s name which is secret, I will have to wait to share those.
So here is the recipe for the cupcakes – they came out decent enough – the decorations were great, but I felt that the cupcakes could’ve been a bit more moist. Oh well – until next time.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Ingredients: (24 cupcakes) from the barefoot contessa (the recipe said 15, but I wanted to make sure my cupcakes were flat and not mounded so put less batter in each cupcake)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
Red Velvet Frosting, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute, until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients alternately in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Stir with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter is mixed.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups with a 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop or large spoon. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans and then remove so that you can frost (cream cheese frosting) and decorate.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (3/4 pound)
red food coloring
Place the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium speed just until combined. Don’t whip! Add the sugar and mix until smooth – add in the red food coloring to desired color (be ware food coloring can give off a bitter taste)
24 malt balls
mini brown candies (I used mini M&Ms)
mini red candies (optional)
1/2 cup melted chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
wax paper lined baking sheet
Microwave chocolate chips until melted – transfer into a piping bottle or bag. Onto the wax paper, pipe the chocolate into antennae pairs. Put in fridge to harden. Set aside the remaining melted chocolate for the next step.
Frost the cupcakes so that they are smooth. With your piping bottle or bag, pipe a line down the center of the cupcakes.
At the top of the line place a malt ball (head of the lady bug).
On each side of the line place the mini candies (ladybug spots). I did 3 on one side and 4 on the other, randomly placing a red candy in the mix for a a little flair – you can get creative here and do whatever you like.
In the end you will have 24 adorable ladybug cupcakes!
Cheers to hopefully posting again soon (: