13 February 2012

we heart cupcakes

First of all, thank you to everyone for their sweet words of support and encouragement.  I am very blessed and thankful to have all of you and your kind words.  Seriously, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I thought since this is the last day before Valentines I would share one more kitchen project with all of you.  This was really easy, lots of fun and involved hardly any mess/clean up.

I had pinned a recipe for homemade cupcakes for two on Pinterest.  This recipe is a from scratch recipe and yields enough batter for two cupcakes.  They are, hands down, the best cupcakes I have ever eaten in my life.  They are also awesome because if your sweet tooth gets the better of you rather than attacking your waistline with a dozen, you can make two.  One for you and one for a friend.  Or two for you.  Whatever.  I won't judge.

There was also a pin about baking a heart into the middle of a cupcake.  This was another recipe I had wanted to try.  So I combined the two for a quick project for my little baker and I to tackle before lunch.

We decided to double the recipe and make four cupcakes.  This way we were sure to have enough for the hearts and also so that we could have a tester cupcake for a snack.  Ha!  If I were to do this again and make hearts or another shape for the middle, I would only make three cupcakes.  I'll explain why in a minute.

The first thing we did after making the batter was to take 1/3rd of the batter and color it blue.  We went with blue for two important reasons.  One, these were going to be a surprise for Dan and his favorite color is blue.  Two, we were out of red food coloring.

Next we poured our blue batter into a greased 8x8 pan.  The batter was very thin and didn't fill the bottom of the pan.  Don't worry this will make it the perfect thickness.
Heart Cupcakes #8

I watched the batter very carefully while it baked checking it every few minutes.  As soon as it seemed like it was baked enough to take a cookie cutter to it, I removed it from the oven and put it in the fridge.

Mabes and I ate lunch while it cooled.

Once lunch was finished and cleaned up we took a small cookie cutter and cut out four hearts.  One for each cupcake.  Looking back I wish I had used the smaller heart cutter we had instead of the second smallest.  Cupcakes aren't very big and you want something that will only be in the middle once fully baked.

We then put the hearts in the freezer.  We did this to keep them from over baking and drying out when they went back in the oven.
Heart Cupcakes #7

Next we took four liners and put them in our pan.  I marked hearts on the front of the liners to indicate which direction the hearts would be so that later when they were cooked I would know which direction to cut the cupcakes to see the heart in the middle.  We put a little bit of the batter in the bottom of the liners.

My little helper held each heart in the center of the liner while I spooned batter on either side.
Heart Cupcakes #9
Heart Cupcakes #4

One of our hearts kept falling over and I had to use some toothpicks to support it in the oven:
Heart Cupcakes #5
You can see that we didn't have quite enough batter to bake over the tops of the hearts here:
Heart Cupcakes 2.7.2012
This is why, looking back, I think we should have used a smaller cookie cutter and only made three cupcakes. This would have resulted in the heart not only being fully covered but I think it would have been supported better had more batter been on the sides instead of sticking out like this:  
Heart Cupcakes #6
Luckily I had a whole bunch of frosting in my fridge and so I just piled that on and you could no longer see the hearts.
Heart Cupcakes #2
When I cut our tester cupcake I didn't cut it right down the middle, as evidenced by the tiny triangle of heart on the left:  
Heart Cupcakes #3

Even though we had a learning curve as far as the hearts went I assure you they were delicious and every last crumb was consumed by that evening.

*All photos taken with the Hipstamatic app.

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