Monday, January 31, 2011

Strawberry Snowflake Cupcakes

Red and white for Valentines Day. Strawberries and snow! These light and fluffy cupcakes are very simple to make. I started with a cake mix to make them even simpler. Don't be intimidated by the meringue icing. If you have a stand mixer, it's a breeze. A hand mixer would also work.

Strawberry Snowflake Cupcakes

18.25 ox box of white cake mix
1 can lemon lime soda
2 cups chopped strawberries (divided)
1 1/2 cups seedless strawberry jelly

5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350. line 2, 12 cup muffin pans with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and soda. Mix until just combined. Fold in one cup of chopped strawberries.

Bake cupcakes for 25-30 minutes until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

When cupcakes are cool, fill a pastry bag with a tip withe the strawberry jelly. Using a paring knife, cut a small hole in the cucake. Press the pastry tip into the cupcake and squeeze in a small amount of jelly. Note - If you don’t want to do this step, you can wait until after you frost the cupcakes. Make a small indentation in the frosting, and put a tsp or so of jelly under the chopped strawberry garnish.

To make the frosting -Put afew inches of water in a saucepan the right size to hold the bowl of your electric mixer slightly above the water. Bring the water to a boil. Combine the frosting ingredients in the mixer bowl and set it over the boiling water. Whisk it constantly until the sugar is totally dissolved, mixture is smooth and it feels hot to the touch. About 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to the standing mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, and beat on medium high speed until the meringue is shiny and will hold stiff peaks. About 5-7 minutes.

Spread the frosting on the cupcakes with a spoon or spatula. Use the back of the spoon to make it “spiky”. Garnish with remaining chopped strawberries.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mini Strawberry Cannoli Cream Puffs

Mini Strawberry Cannoli Creampuffs

1/2 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. flour
2 eggs

Combine water and butter in saucepan, bring to a boil. Add the salt and flour at the same time, stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, beat in 1 egg at a time, beating well until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for one hour. Place in teaspoon size balls on lightly greased cookie sheet.. Bake 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until brown (they will sound hollow when you tap them with a spoon). Cool, cut off tops, fill with filling, then replace tops. Dust with powdered sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus 1/4 cup for garnish)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup diced strawberries