Because We (the royal "we") couldn't be there for the contest, the Cupcake Princesses...Deb and Meg (see below)...took over for the Cupcake Queen last night at the Washington Club, location of DC's First Cupcake Contest! Nostalgia Cupcakes from Annapolis won the contest!
Meanwhile, CQ was sharing a beautiful dinner with University of Maryland Pres. and Mrs. Mote and other awardees of the President's Distinguished Service Award and the President's Medal. We had such a great time that I hardly missed not being at the Cupcake Contest! Meanwhile, everyone at the dinner was asking for cupcake updates!
Everyone had a great time! The cute little skull and crossbones thinggies are from Martha Stewart!
These were the cupcakes I made for the event:
You're the One for Me Cupcake
(Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting)
I Need You in My Life Cupcake
(Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Frosting)
I Love the Way You Look at Me Cupcake
(Cranberry, Apricot, Date, Walnut, Pecan, Almond Cupcake with Vanilla Rum Frosting)
It was definitely a fun day all the way around!
Thanks for all your good wishes!
The Cupcake Queen is entering three cupcakes tomorrow night in the "Pro" group of bakers at the Washington Club (15 Dupont Circle in DC) tomorrow night...Sept. 25th! All of the other pros are bakeries! Baked and Wired, Nostalgia Cupcakes, The Baltimore Cupcake Company, Sweet N Sassy Cupcakes from Newark, Delaware and more! We all make yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and the third one if the "wild card" cupcake...one of your own choosing.
I'll let you know what happens on Friday!
The yummy cupcakes above came from a recipe I found in Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O'Connor, while I was in Durham, NC last weekend visiting new grandbaby, Genny, last weekend! What a cool, fun book this is! I found it at Parker and Otis, a specialty food store located in downtown Durham. I bought a shirt there that just says "Frosting" ...so cute!
The cupcakes are so chocolate-EE and moist. They are to die for. I found the cute coffee cup and saucer at my fav place: Home Goods! Can you see me eating this??? YES!
This weekend we're heading to Bar Harbor, Maine for a wedding. Can't wait. the weather is supposed to be beautiful. Hope you have a great weekend!
Here's the Recipe:
2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mayonnaise (not low-fat)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups boiling water
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, combine the sugar and eggs and beat with an electric mixer set at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the mayonnaise and vanilla just until combined. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in half of the flour mixture just until combined.
4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add half of the boiling water and beat at very low speed, just until the batter is smooth, 5 to 10 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat just until combined, 5 to 10 seconds longer. Beat in the remaining water. The batter will be somewhat thin.
5. Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake cup liners, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer the tin to wire racks and let cool completely.
I topped my cupcakes with both buttercream frosting and whipped cream!
Okay! This week the Washington Post has pitted "Buzz" (in Alexandria, VA) against "Pasteries by Randolph" in Arlington, VA. They really like the Buzz vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting...pictured above. They rated it 5.5 out of 10, whereas the Pastries by Randolph red velvet was only give a 3.5 out of 10. Yikes...these people are rough!
These pictures are making me hungry! Tonight I'm making a special cupcake I've never tried before.
Oh, did I tell you that I won the family football pool this past weekend...mostly because picked Maryland and nobody else did!
Washington Post's photo showing a cupcake from Sticky Fingers
Thought you'd like to know that the The Washington Post has launched a series called "Cupcake Wars" in its Food section today.
It will continue for six weeks...facing off two bakeries each week. This week the bakeries are CakeLove and Sticky Fingers. These are the categories they judge on: About, The Range, Price, Size, How Do They Taste?, and Best of the Bunch.
Check it out and "judge" for yourself!
What a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts: Dark Chocolate Mounds Bar Cupcakes With Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Inspiration! How to get the coconut flavor into the middle of the chocolate cupcake with out mixing it all into the batter? Well, I went out and bought two packages of the little Mounds Bars...which believe it or not...are already in the grocery stores ready for...Yikes!...Halloween...That scared me!
I put the packages in the fridge when I got back home. I didn't want to freeze them, just make them cold so they wouldn't melt as much. So, when I was finished making the batter, I used a crescent moon cookie cutter on the little bars and placed the moon onto the top of each cupcake before putting them into the oven to bake.
The cool part was that when I took them out, the chocolate on the Mounds bar crescent moon had melted into a little chocolate pool and the coconut was right beneath it...just perfect! Then I frosted half of them with vanilla frosting and half with chocolate frosting and plunged them into the fresh coconut to top it all off! This is Nigel...I thought you might like to see how big his tongue can get when he's looking at such a site...he's a french bulldog and quite a hoot!
Layla is checking the cupcake from afar...she settled on a special doggie treat instead!
Here's the Q&D* version on how to make these cupcakes:
1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 box chocolate jello instant pudding
1 small Yoplait Yo-Plus Digestive Health with Optibalance Yogurt
2 packages of the small Mounds Dark Chocolate Bars (place in the fridge for about an hour before using)
1 can Dark Chocolate Fudge Creamy Home Style Duncan HInes Frosting
1 can French Vanilla Creamy Home Style Duncan HInes Frosting (or make your own)
1 bag of shredded coconut
Make the cupcakes according to the box instructions, add in the instant pudding and the yogurt and mix with a whisk for 1-1/2 minutes. Add batter to the cupcakes holders.
Use a small cookie cutter to cut a shape into the Mounds bar. It could be circular, square, but it shouldn't be over 3/4 of an inch in length. Place this piece on the center of the cupcake batter and press down a bit.
Bake according to directions on box.
Frost the beauties after they are cool...about 20 minutes. Dunk them in a bowl of shredded coconut.
There's no doubt....You will have many fans after they eat one of these!
*Quick and Dirty