Thursday, December 8, 2011
I Baked, I Conquered...I Cheated...
Lately, I’ve been trying to bake a little more. This is partially due to the fact that the stuff I want to eat isn’t easily accessible in stores near me. However, it’s also because I simply know I’m not particularly good at baking and want to be a more well-rounded cook.
While I lack the patience to ever be a very good baker, I will admit it’s rather fun to bake something, pipe frosting onto it, decorate it and give it to people to eat. This is particularly why I like making cupcakes.
When it comes to cupcakes, I have a confession: I’m a dirty rotten cheater. Sure, I can make the cakes from scratch but, well, I’m a bit lazy. Also, due to the fact that I’m not the most precise baker, my cakes never quite taste right or rise right. So, I use a box of cake mix. When I make the mix, I do often embellish as was the case on Saturday with my peppermint chocolate cupcakes. I added peppermint extract and mini chocolate chips to my devil’s food cake box mix.
Now, I do make the buttercream icing myself. It’s easy and tastes fantastic. Oh, fine, it’s terrible for you because it’s pretty much just butter and sugar but I wager it’s no worse than those cans of frosting that are made primarily from Crisco and corn syrup.
Recently, I’ve had a couple of people ask me for recipes. Thus, I decided to try something new and paste them on my blog. So, I’ve put my whoopee-pie recipe below. The filling is my own recipe based on my buttercream frosting. The Candy Cane Kisses do make it rather rich but if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you probably won’t mind.
They’re super easy and quite fun to make. Also, people think they’re pretty nifty if you take them to a party. When people are fighting over the last one and someone steals it to take home, you know you’ve got a hit on your hands:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
• 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 large egg
CREAM FILLING INGREDIENTS
• 2 egg whites , beaten
• 4 tablespoons milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 4 cups powdered sugar (10x)
• 1 cup shortening
• 12-14 Hershey Candy Cane Kisses
Instructions for the Cakes
• Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.
• Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.
• Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.
Instructions for the Filling
• Mix together egg whites,vanilla, milk and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Beat in the butter and the remaining sugar. Chop, grind or mince the Candy Cane Kisses until they're in small pieces and add to the sugar/butter mix and stir/blend until smooth.
• When cookies have cooled, spread a dab of cream filling on flat side of cookie and top with another cookie to form a pie. Voila!