Archive for May, 2011

Favorite Shots: Birthday Candles and a Limerick

Today is my sister‘s birthday. And now, a limerick for Hannah.

Myers-Briggs

by Lauren Huisinga

Waynes, your mind it is famous.

And with looks like that who could blame us?

For loving you still, even when you’re a pill,

And testing us ’til you can name us.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Happy Birthday!

Love,

Loli

Pipe Dream #28: To Make Cupcakes Healthy – Carrot Cardamom Cupcakes with Citrus Mascarpone

So those Maple and Pecan Cupcakes I told you about before? These cupcakes are from that book. This is one of the more interesting flavors in it I would say. Cardamom is so awesome. Pairing it with citrus and carrots? Neato.

A word on cardamom. Please try it. I discovered its virtues on a trip to a farmer’s market up north with Rachel. This charming little boy was selling cardamom bread out of the back of a truck. We asked him where his parents were, then watched benevolently, unresisting as he snatched our cash and stuffed it in his pocket with sly eyes. Ok, so nix the sly eyes part, but that little boy knew how to work a crowd. It would have been a totally unfair play on our hearts except that he was only nine and the bread was fantastic. And we made cardamom bread french toast.

Cardamom is kind of like nutmeg or cinnamon in that you would use it in sort of the same way, like in bread or cookies. Or at least, in my limited knowledge of cardamom, I’ve seen it used that way.

All this to say that these cupcakes are flavorful and interesting. And bonus, they are practically healthy. I am using that word pretty liberally, but let’s be real: there are carrots involved. And mascarpone is the health nut’s version of cream cheese frosting. Um, sort of.

Healhty cupcakes will forever remain a pipe dream, but I’m posting about it anyway,

L

Carrot and Cardamom Cupcakes with Citrus Mascarpone

Adapted from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake

For the cupcakes:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup sunflower oil (or whatever, I used canola)

2 eggs

grated zest of one orange

seeds from 5 cardamom pods, crushed (or just grate some, or buy an ounce pre-grated)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

2 carrots, grated (about one cup)

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

For the frosting:

5 ounces mascarpone

finely grated zest of one orange

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the ove to 350° F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Put the sugar in a bowl and then beat in the oil and eggs. Stir in the orange zest, crushed cardamom seeds and ginger, then sift the flour into the mixture and fold in, followed by the carrots and nuts. Spoon the mixture into muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To decorate, beat the mascarpone, zest, lemon juice and powdered sugar together in a bowl and spread over the cupcakes.

Pipe Dream #6: To Make The Perfect Snickerdoodle, Revisited – Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

I once posted about Snickerdoodle Muffins as a non-cookie substitute for the real thing. But I forgot! that I had already made a snickerdoodly thing. It was this last autumn. With my old camera(…). And I piped them pretty ok.

My dad liked ’em a lot. He actually requested them a second time. How nice of him, don’t you think? My dad loves me. I know because he tells me. Plus, he eats my baked goods and tells me when I have grammatical errors on my blog. I can take the criticism. Usually.

The cake in this recipe is really springy and happy–it requires cake flour, but I don’t know how much of a difference it would make if you used all-purpose flour. The frosting is really good for piping and slides down the hatch real easy. Like how a watermelon would slip out of your hands if it was greased and you were playing with it in the water.

(I know that that was a really irrelevant and weird analogy. In an attempt to jazz up my writing and use descriptive language, I am attempting to use more analogy. I realize this may not be very successful, but I’m willing to give it a go. Like the slimy politician who makes ridiculous promises because his poll ratings are on their last legs. Ok, Lauren, you can quit now).

I hope you like cinnamon because I write about it a lot,

L

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

For the cupcakes:

1-½ cups cake flour
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-¾ cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 whole eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-¼ cups milk (whole is best)

For the cinnamon buttercream:

½ cups unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
⅛ teaspoons salt
1 pound powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line  a muffin tin with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored for up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen for up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To make the buttercream, cream the butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt together. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk until creamy. You may need to add in some more milk or sugar until you get the right consistency, the consistency of awesome hatch flow. Then pipe on the icing or glop it on with a spoon or whatever.

To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a fine sieve (or a spoon like yours truly), dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar.


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