Not From Concentrate

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Well the day of love is upon us. I’ve got my nails painted red, my Valentine’s outfit picked out, and reservations made for Valentine’s dinner. Of course for us that means Wednesday night instead of Thursday; we go out to dinner either right before or after actual Valentine’s Day to avoid the crowds. As of last year, my favorite way to celebrate actual Valentine’s Day is with a heart shaped pizza from Papa Johns. Call it what you like, but I’ve been looking forward to it since sometime in mid-January. So on the note of  love, here is a fun treat to make for your sweetheart!

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A few weeks ago, I posted in Foodie Failures about the red velvet cake that I attempted to make for my mom’s birthday. Well red velvet anything seems like a cool for this time of year, so I gave it another go with red velvet cupcakes. And this time, I can happily say that my failure has turned into a success! I used a recipe from my mamaw, which is pretty cool because it’s basically typed onto an old yellowed index card a zillion years ago using a type writer, with little notes here and there about technique. Not that I can prove any of that to you since my mom wouldn’t let me take it. So a photo taken hastily with my iPhone was used to recreate this recipe.

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Once again I find that I’m not really the baker-type. I kick myself because I think of delicious fun ideas in my head and then remember that I don’t have a single tool to icing cupcakes other than the thing that’s used to spread it around. And then I remember that there’s so much time involved; I mean baking cupcakes is really tiring business. I was so exhausted I had to sit down for a while before I could finish icing them all; kind of like a 90 year old.

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It’s times like these that I really wish my sister in law lived closer because she is a baked goods goddess. When she’s around, I don’t worry about how anything is going to turn out because she knows what she’s doing and she tells me to calm down and just keep mixing. She’s also scary good at coming up with ideas for birthday cakes and then executing them, but more on that later. Since she isn’t here, this was a solo mission. One day I’ll have to commandeer her awesome icing tools. And her.

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Even though I’m on a healthy diet kick right now, I couldn’t resist taking a bite out of one of these guys. I mean they were practically calling to me. I gave all but two away. (Well three if you include one sad little fellow who was my icing tester that ended up in the trash can.) Some went to friends but most went with Pasan to work, so I feel less guilty about making delicious treats and just staring at them all day trying to avoid temptation. We did split one last night and one tonight (though to be fair that was all Pasan’s idea. I have no problem eating whole cupcakes all by myself.)

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield

About 22 cupcakes

Ingredients

1/2 cup Butter

1/2 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 Oz. Red Food Coloring

2 tbsp Cocoa

1 tsp Salt

1 cup Buttermilk

2 1/4 cup Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp Baking Soda

About 22 baking cups for muffin tin

Directions

1) Combine butter, sugar, eggs, food coloring, cocoa, salt, buttermilk, and flour into a mixer. It’s important to add each ingredient one at a time in the order that they are listed. It’s especially important to add the food coloring before the flour. Blend until smooth.

2) In a small bowl, combine vinegar and baking soda. Mix with a spoon and then add the mixture to the cake batter. Do not turn on the mixer after you have added the vinegar and baking soda mixture, just stir together.

3) Insert the baking cups into your muffin tin and spritz each one with cooking spray. Fill each cup half way with the cake batter and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.

4) When the cupcakes are finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool until they’re ready for icing.

Icing

Ingredients

1/2 cup Milk

1/4 cup Flour

1 cup Confectioners Sugar

1 cup Butter

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

1) Cook milk on medium heat and slowly add flour, fully blending the flour into the milk. Allow it to thicken while stirring constantly. Once it reaches a heavy cream consistency, pour the mixture into a heat proof bowl and let it cool completely.

2) Beat sugar and butter in a mixer until it’s fluffy.

3) Once milk has cooled, add it to the sugar and butter, along with the vanilla extract. Mix all ingredients together until a light and fluffy icing forms.

4) Icing each cupcake once they’re completely cooled from the oven and enjoy!