kruizing with kikukat

Monday, December 1, 2014

Rich Buttercream Frosting

I guess we have officially entered into the Christmas season.  I say "officially", but I happen to know Target started the Christmas season before Halloween was over.  I'm sure Wal-Mart and Macy's did the same too.  It really is sad that the retailers take advantage of the holiday season to prey upon the consumers.  I guess most consumers aren't complaining, and sadly, I allowed myself to fall victim to the retailers before my Thanksgiving marketing was done...I indulged in some Cadbury (solid milk chocolate with crisp sugar shell...the same thing as those darn good Easter mini-eggs, but shaped into balls).

Actually, this is all RC's fault.  She sent me a tin of Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark a few weeks ago.  Thank you, RC (the contents of the tin were gone in a week)!  I am really NOT a chocoholic.  Normally, I will pick vanilla over chocolate.  I am vanilla.  But all bets are off at Christmas.  I think my weak mind makes me vulnerable to the appeal of hot buttered rum, spiced cider, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and all kinds of sweets. 

The Ds tend to get all caught up in the sweet binge too.  Both inherited my sweet tooth; Mr. Dependable doesn't gorge on sweets nearly as much as I do.  D1 got herself a bag of those Cadbury balls, and D2 bought a few boxes of candy canes.  I was tempted to buy some of the holiday Lifesavers, but I saw dum dum pops in holiday flavors and couldn't resist those.  I haven't tried them yet.

In a few weeks, the Ds will be telling me they need to bring food to class parties events.  Parties are frowned upon by school officials, forcing creative teachers to resort to linking festivities to the current curriculum.  Last year one of my students organized a Dickens festival, where every contribution needed to be tied to A Christmas Carol.  Recently, the Ds have been asked to bring mini cupcakes to events (the size makes mini cupcakes easier to eat, especially when there are multiple desserts available).  TBH, the classroom "events"  already began.  Last week, D1 brought some kind of mini cupcakes for her human physiology class.  I really don't know what it was all about but she pressed bone-shaped decors into the flesh-colored frosting.  Kinda macabre if you ask me, but she said it went over "bonederfully".

D1 can complete the baking part of the mini cupcakes, but she asks me to do the frosting portion.  Over the years, I have tried many different frosting recipes.  This is my favorite buttercream frosting.  The consistency is perfect for frosting cupcakes.  If you choose to embellish the cupcakes with sprinkles, be sure to apply them immediately after piping the frosting (helps to have someone else doing this part).  This frosting hardens fairly quickly, making for easy transport.  The only down side to this is that you need to get any decorations (sprinkles, candy beads, etc.) onto the frosting soon after piping.

I'm still pissed about Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines changing the size of their cake mix without consulting me, the Cake Mix Doctor, or any other cake mix user.  I'm not sure when this happened.  I don't know how they thought they could get away with it.  While not applicable to these mini cupcakes since I just make the recipe on the back of the box, I have a whole bunch of recipes which used the larger size cake mix.  I will now need to buy two boxes and weigh out the difference.  What a headache.

For mini cupcake purposes, the box of Betty Crocker Supermoist (about 15 ounces) Devil's Food cake mix can make 35-39 mini (2 oz) cupcakes (use 2 full #60 dishers for each mini cupcake).  Bake for 19 minutes.  A Duncan Hines box (also about 15 ounces) of yellow cake mix will make about 40 mini cupcakes.  I bake the Duncan Hines yellow mini cupcakes for 17 minutes (a full #40 disher works well for each cup).   If I plan to eat these, my preference is Duncan Hines. 

click on recipe title for printable recipe
Rich Buttercream Frosting

     1/2 c butter, softened
     4 c powdered sugar, sifted
     3 tbsp milk
     2 tsp vanilla
     food coloring

In a mixer bowl, cream butter on low speed for 30 seconds.  Combine milk, vanilla and food coloring.  Mixture should be much darker than end product.  Add powdered sugar to butter and 3 tbsp of milk mixture.  Mix on low speed (#2 on Kitchenaid) for 1 minute.  At this point, powdered sugar should be barely incorporated into mixture.  If lots of powdered sugar remains unincorporated, add 1 tsp more of milk mixture.  Scrape bowl.  Mix on medium speed (#6 on Kitchenaid) for 1 minute.  Place in an icing bag and pipe onto cupcakes.  Makes enough to frost 42-47 mini (2 oz cups) cupcakes with 1M star tip.  If decorating, add decors as soon as frosting is piped...frosting will harden.

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