Tuesday, December 27, 2011

North Pole Cupcakes

Please forgive my absence. I intended to publish this post yesterday but the internet was down at my parents' house and I had no way to get it online. My posts will be a little less regular this week and next. I will be traveling and cramming in as much bf and family time as possible before the new school quarter begins. I will resume my regular Monday-Friday posting on January 9th and will do my best to post frequently until then, but I make no promises.

As with most holidays, I enthusiastically volunteered to take care of desserts. I love to bake and having an excuse makes me giddy. Since I wasn't distracted with work and other obligations, I really went all out on the detail for these babies.

Here is my inspiration photo from Pinterest. I thought these would be so fun for Christmas Eve. I found a vanilla cupcake recipe online and then used my usual cream cheese frosting. I would highly recommend the recipe for the vanilla cupcakes. They were moist and delicious.

Vanilla Cupcakes
recipe from here

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, I made the North Pole signs on my computer. I just used Microsoft Word and made little red rectangles with lettering on the inside. I printing out a  bunch and cut them out.
 Next, I created the "poles". The candy canes were quite the challenge. Evidently my Safeway ran out of candy canes weeks before Christmas. My mom happened to have a few leftovers, so I was able to cut them up and make do. Unfortunately, many were already cracked, so I was only able to make about 8 of the North Pole cupcakes. The rest looked like snow.
 To make the cupcakes, I started by creaming together the sugar and the butter. In a separate bowl I whisked together the flours.
Then I added all of the eggs and beat again. Once the eggs were incorporated, I added about 1/3 of the flours and mixed. Then I added 1/3 of the milk and mixed. Repeat until all of the flour and milk is added. I just added the vanilla during the first milk addition.
Here is how the batter looked when it was all done.
 I filled all of the cupcake tins and baked for about 20 minutes at 350. Be sure to test early and switch around you pans. As you can see, some of my cupcake edges got a bit burnt because I didn't rotate the pans enough, but the frosting covered it and they tasted great!
 Once the cupcakes were cooled I frosted them. I cut a larger-than-normal hole in the plastic bag I was using to frost the cupcakes and the frosting came out in nice thick swirls. I will definitely use this method again. Once the cupcakes were frosted, I stuck the candy canes into some of them and sprinkled clear sprinkles over the top to look like snow.
Then, using small dabs of frosting, I added red hots to the top of the candy canes to really get that pole look and adhered the signs to the candy canes with frosting.
I love how they turned out!
The sign in the picture above looks a bit wonky, so here is another shot. These weren't that hard to make and the outcome was just awesome.

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