Valentine’s Day Part Deux: Red Velvet Cupcakes

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I couldn’t get away with doing only one Valentine’s Day recipe! I decided to make cupcakes. And, as Red Velvet is the favorite for V-Day, I went with a Martha recipe, Red Velvet Chocolate Cake.

I lined my cupcake pan with some cute heart paper liners.

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I then made the colorful cake batter in my KitchenAid.

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Then I filled the cupcake tin. Unfortunately, I filled them rather high and didn’t have enough batter for all 12.

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They looked beautiful when I took them out!

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Next, it was time to make the Sturdy Whipped Cream frosting that I had been wanting to try for quite some time.

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It was so incredibly tasty. The almond extract really gives it a nice flavor. I used a closed star tip to decorate my cupcakes. The looked so beautiful, and tasted amazing!

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Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

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I went to Target this weekend, and they had so many cute Valentine’s themed baking items that my head almost exploded. I bought lots of stuff, including some heart-shaped cookie cutters. Sugar cookies it is!

Now, like all things I make, I want my baked goods to look professional. This, being my first attempt at professional looking sugar cookies, didn’t work out too well. They sure taste good. At least I have that.

Here are the ingredients I used. I took a shortcut and used premade sugar cookie dough.

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I cut out various heart shapes and added sprinkles!

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Little did I know that it helps the cookies to keep their shape if you chill them again after cutting, so I didn’t do this. They were pretty much misshapen blobs!

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So, I thought maybe if I baked the cookie IN the cutter.

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It kind of worked. Obviously, this is not how sugar cookies are supposed to look.

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Oh well. I started making the Royal Icing, and dyed it pink.

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These were what I came up with…not that impressive but still tasty!

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I also wanted to show the incredible MESS I made in my kitchen.

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Final products:

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Baked French Toast

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I absolutely love making sweet breakfast foods. For this Saturday morning, I decided on Baked French Toast from Martha Stewart, because I had some nice Challah bread that I needed to use up. I also skipped the raspberry sauce that is included in the recipe.

I prepared it the night before. It’s very simple; all you need is milk, sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla. Mix all of these ingredients in a baking dish.

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Then, put the bread slices in and let them soak for 15 minutes.

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Flip them over, and let them soak overnight.

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In the morning, I placed them on a baking sheet and baked away! They smelled amazing as they were cooking.

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I topped them with strawberries and maple syrup. So delicious! And very filling too.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla French Buttercream

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I was lucky enough to be around a couple weeks ago to see the Martha Stewart cupcake show! She featured some of her own recipes, and also had the owners of Butter Lane in NYC come on the show and demonstrate how to make some of their delicious cupcakes. Being in Miami, I of course can’t go there and taste one myself, so I decided to make them! I actually used a different chocolate cupcake recipe from Martha’s website, because the Butter Lane one called for cake flour, which I didn’t have on hand today. So, I chose Martha’s Chocolate Cupcakes, which has pretty much the same ingredients, but with all-purpose flour. Here are the ingredients you need:

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3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

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Next, it’s time to cream the butter and sugar.

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Now, add the eggs one at a time.

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And lastly, add half the flour/cocoa mixture, followed by the sour cream, and then the rest of the flour mixture.

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Divide the mixture into a single cupcake pan.

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And bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

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The easy part is over! Now it’s time for the frosting. This one I did steal from Butter Lane, their Vanilla French Buttercream. I cut this recipe in half since I only had 12 cupcakes. The first step was to melt the sugar into the egg whites over a saucepan of simmering water, while constantly whisking so that the eggs wouldn’t cook.

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Next, you have to beat the egg white mixture into oblivion…or until stiff peaks form.

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Add the cream of tartar and keep beating. Then, you have to add the wet ingredients. This is where it seemed that all my hard work was for naught. Once I started added the butter, the mixture became much more gooey and no longer was stiff.

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Finally, add the vanilla. This recipe calls for vanilla beans, but I obviously wasn’t going to spend the money on that, so I just used extra vanilla extract. You then have to chill the frosting.I went above and beyond the 15 minute chill time– I let it sit in the fridge for an hour. I was ready to frost my cupcakes!

I wanted to practice my decorating skills, so I broke out my pastry bag and tips. However, this frosting was not meant for piping. It slid right off the cupcake.

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I gave up on that and wielded a knife. Much better! Not only did these cupcakes look delicious, but they taste amazing. I was so excited, I had a cupcake photo-shoot. Please click on these for a larger image!