Friday, April 22, 2011

Flock of cupcakes!

So in honor of Easter, I made some cupcakes last week.  These weren't just any kind of cupcakes mind you, no they were cupcakes decorated to look like sheep!  They were adorable and yummy and actually quite easy.  A little time consuming, but if you have a few trusted responsible young little helpers at home you could probably get all the marshmallows cup pretty quick!  I got the recipe for the cupcakes and the decoration idea from Martha Stewart's Cupcake cookbook, which I suggest all of you cupcakes lovers out there should really buy.  I love it and there are so many fun and yummy ideas.  In fact someday, when I am all grown up, lol and once again have a kitchen of my own to trash, I want to bake my way through the whole cookbook.  Sigh, how I cannot wait for those days...anyway here is your recipe!

Our ingredients..

After adding all the looks like this!

Look at them all!!!!

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes
From Martha Stewart's Cupcake book
Makes "24" according to Martha...I got 40...

3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks), room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temp
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.  In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda and powder and salt.  Set aside until later.

With a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add whole eggs, one at a time, then the yolks and beat until fully incorporated.  Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix completely after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla extract.

Pour batter into liners, about 1/4 cup in each, or until 2/3 to 3/4 full.  Bake about 20-22 minutes, rotating pan halfway through if you don't have a convection oven to avoid hot spots.  When a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, you will know they are done.  Cool cupcakes in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing.

Vanilla Butercream Frosting
From Martha Stewart's Cupcake book

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted to remove clumps
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat butter on medium-high until softened.  Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla flavor and spread or pipe onto cupcakes.

Add the heads by piping on a "pear" shape with just a coupler.

Naked sheep!!

Beginning at the bottom, layer on marshmallow halves all over the cupcakes.

Fully dressed sheep.

Using a #352 leaf tip, add ears on each side.

Next pipe on the face using a #1 fine tip and push chocolate sprinkles in the long way to make little eyes.

Decorating Instructions!
To decorate the cupcakes to look like sheep, start by cutting a bag of mini marshmallows in half to form a bunch of tiny circles with one sticky side.  Trust me, this will help with putting them on the cupcakes later.  Take a small amount of the frosting, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 a cup and lightly tint it pink, this will be used to make the faces later.  Lightly frost all of the cupcakes using a frosting spatula.  It doesn't have to be perfect since you are going to be covering it with marshamallows so don't stress about it.  Using a piping bag with just a coupler in it, pipe on a "head" making a pear shape with plain vanilla frosting.  Then cover the cupcake with the marshmallows, sticky side down (this really helps them stay on) until you've covered it entirely.  Then stick two of the sprinkles (or jimmies) into the head so that they look like eyes and finish them off by piping on a mouth and nose with the pink frosting.

Have a Happy Easter everyone!  Enjoy!

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