Friday, July 25, 2008

Strawberry Cupcakes

I love holidays because it gives me an excuse to bake up something special. I have been eyeing these cupcakes for awhile and because it was the 24th yesterday (our state's holiday), I decided it was high time to make them. And boy howdy! Am I glad I made them. The cupcake has more of a muffin feel, so you could easily leave off the frosting and use as strawberry muffins. And I absolutely LOVE strawberries. My kids certainly loved them too. I found this recipe on Genesis of A Cook. She has some great ideas.

For the Cupcakes

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup strawberry sauce
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

For the Strawberry Sauce

2 cups of fresh strawberries, stem removed
Sugar to taste

For Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup of strawberry sauce

1. For the Strawberry Sauce, macerate (for those inexperienced cooks like me, macerate is simply let sit and soak with the sugar. Don't you wish they would have just said that in the first place? But now you know a fancy new word to show off!) strawberries with about 1-2 tbs sugar for 15 minutes. Put strawberries in a small saucepan and heat under medium heat with lid on. Cook strawberries for approximately 15 minutes till strawberries cook down and become soft and saucy. Adjust sweetness with sugar until you get the desired sweetness. Using a hand blender, puree until you get the desired smoothness or chunkiness. Cool before using in recipe.

2. For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grab a large bowl and beat the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Measure out milk and strawberry sauce together.

3. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter mixture and beat to combine. Add about one third the milk mixture and beat until combined. Repeat, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture. Scoop into cupcake papers about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

4. For Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting, bring cheese and butter to room temperature. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add half of the sugar, beat until combined. Add strawberry sauce until you achieve the right color and flavor but making sure not to add too much or the frosting will be too soft. Gradually add any remaining sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.
* Don't be like me, I saw all that succulent strawberry sauce and just had to add more. I couldn't stop myself. The frosting was very soft and practically dripped off the cupcakes. Not that I didn't lick every single strawberry drop from the counter! So be smart, don't use too much, save the extra and use it to top vanilla icecream. Now that would be heavenly!

Of course my girls NEEDED to put sprinkles on them.

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