Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baby Shower Cupcakes

OK, let's have a collective "ahhhh." This cupcake runs the risk of being a little too adorable, no? But when you're planning a baby shower, you get a free pass to pull out all the stops on cuteness.
 Ditto for these little feet. I had a lot of fun making these, and munching on the extra pudgy little toes.
No, I'm not going to be a grandmother (someday, I hope), but along with my daughter Christina, I threw a baby shower for her best friend Lauren, who's expecting a baby boy shortly. But I'm sure you figured that out from the blue frosting.

Making the decorations for these cupcakes was a lot of fun and easier than you think. For the little bears, I melted some Hershey's chocolate bars and spread the chocolate on a sheet of waxed paper. I let it chill a bit (but not so long that it was hard to cut into the chocolate), then used a small cookie cutter to make the bears - something I found at a local craft shop that sells cake-making supplies.
The hands and feet cookie cutters were made using some pastry dough I had in the freezer, but I think they'd taste even better with cookie dough. These tiny cookie cutters were part of two different sets that included larger hands and feet, and I bought them at Fante's in Philadelphia. They do a great mail order business with every cooking and baking item you'd ever want and you can find their website here.
I used a pastry pag to pipe the frosting on top, with several different tips. Sprinkle with additional toppings if desired. Step back and wait for the "oohs" and "aahs."
OK, let's give a hand to the mom-to-be. (sorry, couldn't resist).

From Joy of Baking 
Printable Recipes Here

Chocolate Cupcakes:

1/2 cup (50 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (240 ml) boiling hot water
1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
4 ounces (120 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups (160 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and thecocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. You can either spread the frosting on the cupcakes with a small spatula or if piping, use a large Wilton 1M open star tip to make lovely swirls. These cupcakes are best the day they are made, but can be covered and stored for a few days.
Chocolate Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy (about 2 -3 minutes).
Makes about 16 cupcakes



White Cupcakes:
large eggs
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Butter Frosting:
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk or light cream
Assorted food colors (if desired)
Garnish: (optional)
Colored Sprinkles


White Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
While eggs are still cold separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add 3/4 cup (150 grams) of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape downthe sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract. Then, with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  
In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.
Evenly fill the 12 muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. With a knife or offset spatula, spread frosting on each cupcake. If you want to pipe the frosting, I like to use a large Wilton 1M (open or closed) star or a large plain decorating tip. Garnish with colored sprinkles. These cupcakes are best served the same day, but they can be stored at room temperature for a few days.
Butter Frosting: In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add themilk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Tint the frosting with desired food color (I use the paste food coloring that is available at cake decorating stores and party stores).
Makes 12 cupcakes




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16 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Cute cupcakes! I really love the decorations.

Cheers,

Rosa

Daniela said...

Sono bellissimi questi cupcakes. Un abbraccio Daniela.

Paola said...

Adorableness (I probably just made this word up!) times 1.000.000-
And look at the mom-to-be, she's rocking it.

And, how cute is your daughter?

Claudia said...

Mmmm chocolate. Feeling deprived. I really love those little toes - baby toes "up" the cuteness factor! If I ever see "footsie" cookie cutters, I'm buying them - just because. The photo outside just sings friendship.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Cutting little figures out of melted Hershey bars is a brilliant idea, Linda. I can think of all kinds of ways to use that fun decorating technique. Those little hands and feet are soooo cute. Baby showers are such joyful events.

Linda said...

Those are just the sweetest little cupcakes I have ever seen! I love your decorations...really adorable!
Love the pics!
L~ xo

AdriBarr said...

Oh my, but aren't those darling! And you are spot on with your observation about baby showers: one can never do too much nor go too far. They are darn fun, celebratory events. Life is renewing itself, and so we ought to proclaim it as loudly and with as much vigor as we can muster.

lisa is cooking said...

The little feet are fantastic! And, what a great idea to cut shapes from chocolate. Very adorable.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Congratulations to Lauren!

The cupcakes you made looked adorable, Linda, and I bet they taste so good as you made them from scratch. The little hands a feet came out so cute!

Chiara Giglio said...

che deliziosi cupcakes Linda! non li ho mai fatti, vorrei provare...buona giornata, un abraccio....

mr. pineapple man said...

This is so sweet of you! Congrats to your friend!

Ritroviamoci in Cucina said...

Ma che belle tutte presentate in questo modo. Bravissima!!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Awwwh, I love baby showers, what a cute idea, and easy too, just melt chocolate and cut!I'm with Cathy you can use that technique for lots of other ideas. You're the best hostess!

Beth said...

Ahhhhh! So cute! What a great way to welcome a new baby.

Kathy said...

Linda,
What a beautiful job you did with the baby shower! The cupcakes were the "icing on the cake" to a beautiful and delicious array of food! Best of all was the fun and relaxing atmosphere that made for such an wonderful afternoon. Lauren is very fortunate to have you and Christina as her dear friends! Thank you so much!
The future grandmother,
Kathy

Gracie said...

They are really delicious to look at and I'm sure they were delicious to taste too!