Sunday, April 18, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I'm not usually a cupcake person. I like the chewy comfort of a cookie; the delicious, satisfying, toothy wonderfulness. I find that cupcakes are more often than not simply used as a vehicle for some kind of horrific sugar laden topping. Some people eat cupcakes JUST for the frosting. I am not one of these people. However, I am trying to break out of my own mold a little and try something a bit different. As a result I made these red velvet cupcakes. The recipe is out of The Hummingbird Bakery book that I received for Christmas last year. Sadly, I don't often have cream cheese in my house though and decided instead to top these babies with a meringue frosting found elsewhere in the book. The frosting was alright as far as frostings go, but just to crank it up a notch I decided to utilize my creme brulee torch making the top into a veritable toasted marshmallow. I think I would still prefer the more classic cream cheese frosting in the future, but these were okay after all.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Merinque Frosting


  • 4 tbsp room temp butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Beat butter and sugar with paddle attachment of mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Turn mixer up to high, add egg, and beat until incorporated.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa, vanilla, and red food coloring to form a dark paste. Add to butter mixture and combine thoroughly until everything is an even color.
  5. Turn mixer to low and add buttermilk and flour and beat until well incorporated. Turn mixer to high and beat until smooth.
  6. Turn mixer back to low speed and add salt, baking soda, and vinegar, beating for a couple more minutes.
  7. Fill cupcake cups 2/3 full with mixture and bake 20-25 minutes or until cake bounces back when touched. Cool slightly in pan before cooling completely on rack.
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Put egg whites, sugar, and 2 tbsp of water into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Beat with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in vanilla.
Frost cupcakes only after completely cool.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Muffins

I have a lot of posts to catch up on so most of them are going to be pretty short. I stole the recipe for these muffins from Tracey's Culinary Adventures and you can find the recipe there if you are so inclined to make these. They were pretty delicious as far as peanut butter baked goods are concerned, but as a muffin I thought they were too dense. I was having a crazy day when I made them though so maybe I didn't achieve the optimal result. In fact, if you go to Tracey's website you can see that her muffins look fluffier and a whole lot less like peanut butter bricks.

Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever

Sometimes I like to try new recipes so I can experience new tastes and textures, but sometimes you have the urge to just find the best of a particular recipe. I know there are endless posts on the best chocolate chip cookies, for instance. This urge is what led me to try these so called "Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever" found here.

I changed the recipe around a LITTLE. I added more cinnamon than called for (and ground it fresh instead), I left out the ginger because somehow I was out, and put in 1/2 tsp of cloves in its stead. I also decided against letting the raisins soak forever in the vanilla egg mixture, and simply added a very small quantity of milk to the raisins in a very small saucepan and heated gently until it plumped the raisins up. After all that, I don't know if these were the best oatmeal cookies EVER, but they certainly are friggin fantastic. I brought most of them into work with me and instead of simply disappearing (which is what baked goods tend to do at work) people were actually coming up to me and asking, "What is in these cookies?! They are amazing!" This recipe is copied over from the above linked website almost verbatim so the comments included are the originators, not mine.


  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 TBSP (yes tablespoon) vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinammon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned, not instant)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat to 350 F
  2. The key is to soak the raisins. This makes all the difference in the world. Beat eggs and vanilla together and then add the raisins, stir. Soak for an hour or two. I just walked by a few times and stirred it while I waited.
  3. Cream butter and sugars with mixer. In a seperate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinammon, ginger & nutmeg.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients until well blended.
  5. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix well. Now add in the egg & raisin mixture (I used my hands). Then add oatmeal and chocolate chips/nuts and combine well.
  6. Form into balls on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2-5 minutes or until firm enough to transfer to wire rack.