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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Look and a Giveaway from Wilton!!!

TA DA!!!!

My blog has a new look! What do you think? I really loved my old blog template, but I felt like it didn’t actually fit my blog. I contacted Dena at The Photo Spot on Etsy and she made me this gorgeous header! Isn’t it lovely! If you’re in the market for a new header, I highly recommend her. She is such an amazing artist, she’s a pleasure to work with, and her prices are great! I changed a few of my settings to make my blog a little easier to read too. And I added pictures to my recipe list to make it easier to find things. So, what do you think of my little makeover???

I’m still sort of ‘trying to find myself’ in the kitchen. I don’t really know what I think my baking specialty is, I love baking everything! Cookies, cakes, breads, cupcakes, pastry, pies, tarts . . . I’m not saying I’m a pro at any of them, mind you. Just that I get enormous pleasure out of baking them! Jay thinks my specialty is cupcakes. I did get a bit obsessed with them about the same time I started my blog. I mean, I’d made them before, lots of times even, but I’d never really given them a whole lot of thought. Then Amelia got Crumbs Bake Shop in a Box for Christmas from her Auntie Kristi. She loved the story it came with and immediately asked me to make the cupcakes for her. So we put on our matching aprons and got started.

Mommy and Amelia2

Isn’t she cuuuuuuute? Anyway, we LOVED these cupcakes. And then I went a little nuts making them. I made them for any and all occasions! First, the batch for Amelia. Next for Reese’s birthday, and again for him to take to preschool. Then my friend had a baby, so she got a batch. Then another friend had a baby. Then is was a Wednesday, or cloudy, or sunny . . . any reason was a good reason to make some more cupcakes!

To frost them, I broke out a cupcake kit I’d recently bought from the Wilton aisle at Walmart. (Thank Heaven for the Wilton aisle at Walmart, by the way! The closest thing to a baking shop I had when I lived out in the middle of NOWHERE! I think I have one of every Wilton product that Walmart carries!!!) Anyway, I promptly fell in love with the large star tip in the kit. I think it’s so much easier to frost a cupcake with a big tip than it is to use a knife and spread it on by hand. You can just fill the bag with frosting, make a few big swirls on top of the cupcakes and you’re done in no time!!!

The other thing I love in the cupcake kit is the Bismarck tip. You fill things with it. Like cupcakes. Or doughnuts. Or cream puffs. It. Is. Awesome!!!! I’ve used it to fill cupcakes with frosting, jam, caramel, ganache, pastry cream, marshmallow, custard cream. . . . . seriously, you’re going to LOVE IT!!!

2104-6667_m1

Wilton has graciously offered a cupcake kit to one of my readers! How cool is that!?!?!?! I was SO doing the happy dance when I got the email! This cupcake kit really started me on the road to making awesome cupcakes! And since you’re going to need a great recipe to go along with the cupcake kit, I’m going to give you the recipe that launched a thousand cupcakes (in my house, anyway)!!! It’s the one from the Crumbs baking set. It’s SUPER sweet and kids just gobble them up! (I’ve moved on to a different recipe for grown ups.)

Cupcake

The Crumbs Cupcake

3 sticks of butter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

 

Preheat the oven to 325 and line two 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.

In your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.

Add the eggs, vanilla and almond and mix thoroughly.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Then add a third of the buttermilk.

Continue with the next third of flour and buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining bits.

Scrape the mixing bowl well, them mix for another minute to make sure everything is incorporated.

Fill each liner up 2/3s of the way to the top.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

 

Crumbs Frosting

1 pound of butter (4 sticks)

1 pound of cream cheese (2 bricks)

2 pounds of powdered sugar (a whole bag)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

In your mixer bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese.

Sift in the powdered sugar. Cover the mixer with a towel and turn the power on to the lowest setting until the frosting starts to come together. This will avoid the inevitable mushroom cloud you’d get from adding that much sugar all at once!

Scrape the mixer bowl down, add the vanilla and mix for another minute to incorporate.

*If you’re going to fill your cupcakes, now’s the time! Then proceed to the frosting instructions.*

Insert the large star tip from the Wilton Cupcake Kit into one of the included disposable bags. Scoop frosting into the bag and squeeze it all down to the end, making sure to expel any air bubbles. Start at the outside of the cupcake and swirl frosting onto the top, applying even pressure to the frosting bag. When you get to the center, stop applying pressure and lift the bag up and away from the cupcake. Done! Easy peasy, right???

 

P.S. The cupcake pictured is a mini. I really like making mini cupcakes from this recipe. Beware that you will get about 500 cupcakes per batch. (I exaggerate, but just a little.)

P.P.S. Little ones will love you forever and ever if you make them mini cupcakes. And there’s less guilt in eating a dozen minis than there is in eating a dozen regular cupcakes. Just sayin’.

 

*********The giveaway is now closed! Thanks for playing!**********

And now. . . . . . .

The Wilton Cupcake Kit Giveaway!!!!!

Let’s make this easy, shall we??? All you have to do to enter is. . .

leave a comment on this post!

That’s it. Easy peasy! I’ll pick a winner on Friday, so get your comment it by 11:59pm Thursday evening. Be sure to keep checking in with me this week, I have some other surprises too!

19 comments:

Nikki said...

I would love to win this kit. I want to get better at decorating cupcakes, and I think this kit would help a ton.

ps love the new look

Megan said...

I love the new look. Now I have to check out the recipe index!

Rebecca said...

Looks great, Jennie! It fits you wonderfully.

Claudia said...

I love cupcakes too but have never tried other than frosting by knife before.

I can't wait to make some for my son who you have cooked for more often than I have in the past two years :)

Carol said...

Any cupcake with that much butter has to be good! Cute picture of you and Amelia! Oh, don't pick me, I think I have the same kit, and I do live kind of nowhere too! lol!
I love the new look! All those recipe pictures are just evil! lol!

Jenna said...

Love the new look! Wilton is so fantastic- we had a party shop that closed last year and when they clearenced everything to 50% I bought all I could!

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

I love reading your blog and the new look is very nice!

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

I love reading your blog and the new look is very nice!

Nancy's Couture said...

We love cupcakes!!! We love making them and especially love eating them!!

RubiPumps said...

LOVE the new look & ever so jealous about the give away. I can't seem to win a mixer from PW maybe I can win a cupcake kit from TUFFET!

Chuck & Sue said...

Pick me! I love baking, but haven't had a lot of time to recently! This would definately help get the mojo flowing again!! Love the new look!

Katrina said...

I am a cupcake addict! Great giveaway!

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

stacey said...

Oh, Jennie. Big mistake checking out your blog at this hour (after 10 in the evening). Now I want to make cupcakes!!

Your pictures are wonderful. Too bad I don't have a scratch and sniff computer screen. Or maybe lickable screen like in 'Willie Wonka'.

jakiesmom said...

i would love to make some cool cupcakes with my son, thanks for the chance
nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

megan in poulsbo said...

First I have envy of the shampoo ad hair and now I have to envy that super-cute cupcakes? Have you tackled pain au chocolat? I am scared to take that one on!

Dawndelion said...

Love the new look! I need to win this set, my Walmart hasn't had it in stock since you told me I should get one last fall (and I'm a slacker who hasn't ordered it yet).

Miranda said...

Looks great, Jennie! I would love to win the cupcake set, as it seems to have several things that I'm lacking in my cake-making equipment. Pick me!!!

mhunter at rochester dot rr dot com

Miranda said...

I lied above; it's actually mhunter002 at rochester dot rr dot com

meeyeehere said...

What a beautiful little girl. She is so pretty,she looks like my sister when she was little,makes me miss my sissy.
Please count me in too. Thanks for letting it be easy
jacksoncrisman@yahoo.com