Tuesday, June 26, 2012

And she bakes!!!

People I know who don't teach are always getting on my case about how much time we have off in the summer.  My response is typically, "It's not as great as you might think."  Even though this isn't actually 100% true (because, yes, it IS great!), I would have to say that overall, it does get awfully boring at times.  For the most part, I am bored. I find ways to fill my time.  I DON'T have tons of things to do during the way and I definitely don't have enough hobbies to occupy the extra time.  I'm not sure if this is something I should be sorry for, feel bad about, or if this makes me a loser, but for now I will settle for just having that much more time to be extremely lazy.

In the meantime, I have decided that this extra time has made me able to try baking.  For my birthday this year, my mother-in-law gave me the cutest cupcake holder and cupcake recipe pack.  The holder holds 2 dozen cupcakes and the recipe pack has about 12-15 different recipes in it.  I had looked through them upon receipt of them, but the other day I looked at them and decided I would actually try one of them!....and today I did!

I tried the Luscious Lemonade cupcakes with butter cream frosting.  And I am pleased to say they turned out amazing.
The cupcakes themselves were super simple to make.  But the frosting was quite an ordeal.  I was just pleased with myself that I was able to pull off a semi-complicated recipe.  I have NEVER been a baker and typically I am disappointed with anything that I try to bake, but this particular recipe I was pleased with.  It was enough of a success that makes me want to try another recipe again very soon.  There are so many flavors to choose from though...it's just a matter of which one?????

Luscious Lemonade Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
zest from 1 lemon
4 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a big mixing bowl, add the sugar, lemon zest, and butter (room temperature).  Cream three minutes or until light and almost fluffy.  Add the extracts, eggs, and buttermilk, and stir until combined.  Add the flour mixture slowly, scraping the sides of the bowl, until thoroughly mixed.  Divide evenly in muffin tin, and bake 18-22 minutes.  Makes 12.

Buttercream Frosting:
In a large metal mixing bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Heat a saucepan of 1 inch of water until simmering.  Hold mixing bowl over water and continue to whisk until mixture becomes similar to the texture of a custard.  Remove from heat and beat with mixer for 5 minutes.  Then add 2 cups of butter (1 tablespoon at a time, which is 2 sticks) until combined.  Continue to beat until mixture thickens and becomes smooth and satiny. If for some reason frosting will not set, place in the freezer for 5 minutes.  It will NOT be the texture of a cake frosting.  It will be very smooth and buttery.  Delicious!!!

I used the Pampered Chef decorating "gun" to frost my cupcakes, so it looked really pretty but either way you could use a spoon or spatula to frost them.  They turned out amazing.  Can't wait to try another flavor!!!!

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