Thursday, May 10, 2012

Orange Cream Cupcakes

When I was a child, my favorite ice cream bar was an orange creamcicle. Actually, it still is. I love all things flavored orange. I love oranges, orange juice, orange couscous with chicken, orange chicken, and orange and vanilla swirled ice cream.

This recipe is a combination of two recipes I found online. The cake part comes from Sweet Little Details and the frosting from Dolcedo.

Tip on filling your cupcakes: Practice makes perfect. This is the first time I've tried filling cupcakes. Some worked; some didn't. But I'm not giving up. Some day, I'll do this like a pro. I've seen it. It will happen.

Ingredients for cakes:
1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 C granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of pure orange extract
Zest of 1 orange
1-1/2 C all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C milk

Ingredients for frosting:
1 C  unsalted butter, room temperature
5-6 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 C orange juice
splash of milk or cream
Food coloring

Making cakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Place the sugar and orange zest into the bowl of your mixer and blend until moist and fragrant.

Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and orange extracts.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Evenly fill the 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. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

Making frosting:
Beat butter at medium-high speed until creamy.

Add 3 C of sugar, vanilla, orange extract, milk, and juice. Beat until combined.

Gradually add remaining sugar until the frosting is the desired consistency. If you want a color other than slightly not white, add food coloring. On medium-high speed, beat for another 5-7 minutes, until icing is fluffy.

Filling and frosting:
Put frosting in a decorating bag fitted with a round hole tip.

Insert the tip into the top of the cupcake and squeeze frosting into the cake. You don't want to go too far into the cake. When the frosting starts pushing against the tip, it's probably enough.

Tip from one crazy girl: As I stated above, this was a first-time experiment for me, and when I have a better understanding (aka more experience), I'll post about my findings.

When all of the cupcakes are filled, frost the tops.

If you aren't consuming these right away, I would suggest putting them in an airtight container in the fridge because of the juice in the frosting. If you use a different frosting recipe, you can store the cupcakes in a non-refrigerated airtight container for 5 to 7 days, depending on how fresh you and your family like your cake.

Printable version

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grilled Sancwiches

Love a good panini? They're very easy to make at home, especially if you have a sandwich grill. However, it's not necessary. You can grill sandwiches on the stove, you just won't get the cool grill marks. And they don't make it taste any better, anyway.

Two slices of bread per sandwich
Dijon mustard
Cheese of choice
Meat of choice
Sliced tomato

Butter one side of each slice of bread.

On the non-buttered side, spread mustard and mayo. The amount you use is up to you.

Place meat, cheese, and tomatoes on mayo/mustard side of bread.

Cover with other slice of bread, butter side out. Place on grill (or in heated frying pan).

Close grill and cook until golden brown. 
 (If using a frying pan, cook until both sides are golden brown.)
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