Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Candy Cane Cupcakes

I modified a recipe I found on Pinterest.

Original idea from Pinterest

I did two versions of this idea.  One identical:

I like her frosting better but for the life of me, I couldn't get my hands on *that* Wilton tip.  Its on backorder but I will have it for future decorating sessions.  I thought they looked 'too white' for what I was trying to do so I got the idea to crumble the candy cane and sprinkle it.  

To make the poles, you buy regular size candy canes and break the hoop off.  That leaves you with almost half of the candy cane.  Unless you like them (I'm not a big fan) then you need to do something.

Tip #1 - Do not use your food processor.  well, don't use the mini one because you're too lazy to get the big one down from the top shelf.  It broke.  There was a burning smell and some smoke but everything is cool.  

Tip #2 - rolling pins only crush so well before it just gets messy.

Tip #3 - check your local baking center at the grocery store for these super cool, already crushed candy cane dust.

So, the cupcakes....
I made a white cake and chocolate cake from scratch.  I baked half of each kind plain.  The other half of the batter I mixed in some peppermint flavoring and some of the larger candy cane sprinkles.  They give a really cool effect when you bite into them. (Nope, I didn't get a picture.  I will be making more and will get pictures then.)

For the chocolate cupcakes I just left the batter as is.  But for the white, I mixed in some red food coloring and swirled it with a stick to give it a cane cane swirl look.  Again, no pictures but they were really cool.

They bakes up really cool.

For the frosting, I made a basic buttercream frosting.

Real Buttercream

1 box of powdered sugar
1Tablespoon of vanilla
4-6 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream (works better than milk)
2 cubes of salted butter (you can use unsalted but I prefer the salty sweetness of salted butter.  It cuts down on the oversweet of the powdered sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Tip for the butter.  DO NOT Microwave.  Let it sit out for a couple of hours to get really soft.  You want it pliable but not melted or hard.  It needs to mix well with the sugar.  I recommend using a hand mixer or a stand one if you have it.  For small jobs like this, I use my hand mixer.  Blend until the sugar and butter are chunky but mixed.  Pour in the vanilla and 1-2 Tablespoons of the cream.  Blend and test consistency.

Here's where you just have to test it.  IF the frosting looks good to you - like you could pipe it easily.  Stop adding ingredients.  You're done.

If its still too thick, add another tablespoon of cream and mix until it comes out the consistency you're looking for.  I prefer a softer frosting so I use 4 Tablespoons.  

Varient - Color or Flavoring
Before the frosting gets too runny or soft, you need to add these.  I recommend  colors like the Wilton brand ones.  You can use regular food coloring but you'll need to figure in that this is a liquid and it WILL change the consistency of the frosting.  Same with the flavoring.  They are liquid as well.

If you need to add one or both (Flavoring and color) cut back on the cream until you can see the consistency.  You do not want to work with runny frosting.  
Next, fill a disposable bag with your desired tip.  I use the Wilton brand ones.  I have couplers and a box of tips that I collect. 


I try to use the larger openings because it pipes out cleaner and quick.  You want a quick wrist motion as you do these.  You want to hold the cupcake up and pipe the frosting on.  Do not sit it on the counter and try to pipe straight down.  You will never get a perfect circle.  I learned that this time.  I was pretty tired after baking and mixing all evening that I sat down in front of the tv to watch a show and pipe frosting.  If you want perfect looking frosting, hold the cupcake at an angle and pipe it on as you turn it.

I lost my big 2A tip so I ended up using a 12 tip.  I wasn't happy with the frosting but I made it work.

And those Candy Cane Sprinkles?  They make a great decoration as well.

You can't really see the gorgeous swirl of red and white cake but its there.  I promise to get pictures.  I want to make another batch before Christmas and there will definitely be a Valentines version of this.  I also stocked up on the Candy Cane sprinkles.  I have 2 more bottles.

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