Friday, May 11, 2012

Ten on Ten :: May 2012

Ten on Ten: Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments. Then share your beauty with us! 

Since the 10th was also a Thursday, I'm posting my Ten on Ten a day late this month.  It's also my first Ten on Ten without Picnik.  I need to get another way to edit photos STAT.

9:00 - While You Were Out

10:00 - Ring, Ring

11:00 - Office Dance Party

12:00 - Wisconsin Mac & Cheese

1:00 - Fill 'er Up

2:00 Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

3:00 - Butter Bagel

4:00 - Leftover Cupcakes for Sale

Okay, this is crazy.  I'm not sure how this happened, but after 4:00, I forgot to take the last two pictures.  I thought about making some up--staging it, if you will--but I wasn't even doing anything interesting.  I talked to Rachel for about 30 minutes before eating dinner and watching Stepmom on ABC Family.  I can't believe this!  For the first time in almost two years, I forgot to finish.  Silly, me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


I previously mentioned that I baked all weekend.  I made four different types of cupcakes.  I used the old recipe for Irish Carbomb cupcakes for my aunt and cousin's birthday celebrations.  I found three other recipes on Pinterest to make for my sister's bridal shower: Champagne Cupcakes, Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, White Wedding Cake Cupcakes.


Champagne Cupcakes:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup champagne (the sweeter the better – even strawberry would be great!!)
  • 6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.  This recipe yielded 20 for me.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites.  Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Champagne Frosting:

  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.  Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.

*The original recipe says she had to double the frosting recipe in order to frost all 20 cupcakes.  I had enough to frost all 20 of mine, with some left over.  I also used strawberry champagne--actually, sparkling wine, because I'm cheap--and added 3 drops of red food coloring to the frosting to turn it pink.  I topped it off with a strawberry wedge.  They turned out delicious!  Although, I would probably bake for 18 or 19 minutes, they were a little brown on the bottom 1/2 inch.  As with all the frostings in this post, I put it in the piping bag and then in the fridge while I washed dishes (about 5 minutes).  It helped hold the shape and stiffen the frosting just the right amount.


Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  This recipe yields about 22 cupcakes.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.  Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, water, and mint extract and whisk until the mixture is smooth and all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Distribute the batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each well about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove the pans to wire racks and let the cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and cool completely on the wire racks.

Mint Buttercream:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • green gel food coloring (optional)
  • semisweet chocolate chips  
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the confectioners' sugar and butter (first on low and then increasing the speed to medium) until evenly distributed and crumbly, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the cream, extracts, and salt and beat on high speed until light, fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.  If you want green buttercream, beat in a little bit of food coloring at a time until you achieve your desired color.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost as desired.  Garnish with chocolate chips.

*I only had enough frosting to frost about half of the cupcakes, so I would recommend doubling the recipe.  The original cupcake recipe also doesn't call for any mint extract, but I was feeling a little adventurous and added 1/4 of a teaspoon.  All I could smell was mint in the batter and while they were baking, so I would recommend 1/8 of a teaspoon.  If you don't want that much mint flavoring, just use it in the frosting.  Once I put the frosting in the piping bag, I stuck it in the fridge while I did dishes (about 5 minutes) so it had a stiffer consistency.  I added about three drops of green food coloring to create the mint color we're seeing so much in fashion right now.


White Wedding Cake Cupcakes:
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).

In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.

Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.  Add vanilla and milk, beating on medium for another minute.

*The link on Pinterest didn't actually have a frosting recipe, so I just modified the recipe from the champagne cupcakes, switching out the strawberry champagne for milk.  As soon as I added the vanilla extract, I realized I should have switched it for almond or coconut extract to change the flavor a bit.  As with the other two frosting recipes, I put it into the bag and then stuck it in the fridge for about 5 minutes while I did the dishes.  I topped the cupcakes with the same pearl sprinkles as in the picture.