Christmas is in the air: Poinsetta Cupcakes

Cooking is fun for me so you will find me in the kitchen brewing something at any time of the day provided I had nothing else to do. Well ever since last week-end I have been in a cooking mood for Christmas cookies and other treats. So when I saw those cupcakes in the Hello Cupcakes Book of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, I had to try them. I did not follow the recipe suggested for either batter or frosting but used one that I have already posted on my blog.

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 tsp of salt, 6 Tbsp of butter, 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup of whole milk, 2 Tbsp of vanilla extracts, 1/2 cup of milk.

Turn the oven to 350. In a bowl, mix the flour, the salt and the baking powder and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and the butter until it becomes light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time beating well. Add the flour mixture in 3 times, alternating with the milk ( 2 times). Beat well until well combined, but do not overbeat.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcakes and cook for 13-15 for the big cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool before decorating with the frosting.

Frosting: 3 large egg whites at room temperature, 3/4 cup of sugar, 3 sticks of butter at room temperature, seeds from a vanilla bean, and 2 tbsp of vanilla extracts.

In a large bowl combine the egg white and the sugar, and the vanilla seeds. Set the bowl over simmering water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the egg white mixture is warm to touch ( 160F). Remove from the saucepan and whip with an electronic mixer until the mixture is fluffy, and holds peaks. Slowly add the butter a little bit at a time, and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag, making swirls.

To prepare the leaves for making the flowers. You will need:

1 bag of Ghiradhelli white chocolate, red candy-coated milk chocolate balls, or fresh cranberries. Large fresh mint leaves or dried laurel leaves if you can’t find large mint leaves.

Place a silpat on a perforated sheet. Set aside. Place 1/2 of the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 90 seconds. When the chocolate is melted, use a silicone brush or your fingers and spread the chocolate onto the back of each leaf. Place the leaf onto the silpat as you go. Refrigerate for a few minutes. When the chocolate is hard, carefully peel off the chocolate off each leaf and decorate your cupcakes to make them look like flowers.  Place a red colored ball in the center to make it look like the heart of the flower. I used fresh cranberries. To make the cupcakes look like a wreath, place them in a circle on a platter and place a bow in the middle. Et Voila!!!

Now it is your turn!!! You may do the same or call me to order some for the Holidays!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!