Friday, January 7

Fridays in January: Dessert of the Week

    I enjoyed doing the '25 Days of Christmas in Cookies' so much that I've decided to have the Fridays of every month be devoted to a theme that varies month-to-month. The Fridays of January are designated as the day for the Dessert of the Week. Yummy right? I thought so too. :)


    Now, I live in the South. Snow isn't all that common in the wintertime...or, at least, it's not supposed to be. We have had snowfall before Christmas, the day after Christmas (which was around 6" or so), and now it is in the forecast for tonight (about an inch and we are under a Winter Weather Advisory; yes for an inch, I'm in the South remember) as well as Monday night into Tuesday equivalent to, if not slightly more than, what we had around Christmas. That may not sound like a lot, but flurries have also been forecasted a few more times in there that didn't amount to anything. For me, this is very unusual. Anyway, Kyleigh loves the idea of snow and so this week's dessert is for her: Snowflake Cupcakes.

The cupcakes are in the design of snowflakes.

For the cupcakes
Recipe: Silver White Cake
From The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 125th Anniversary Edition

    2 cup cake flour, not self-rising
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    4 large egg whites
    1 1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/4 tsp almond extract
    1 cup milk

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper cups and set aside.

  In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form when the whisk attachment is lifted. 

Sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar has dissolved and the egg whites stand in stiff glossy peaks. Set aside.

  In another mixing bowl, beat the shortening and remaining 1 cup of sugar at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium and then beat in both extracts. 

Reduce the speed back to low and beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. When doing this, begin and end with adding flour.

  Beat just until smooth and occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

Once smooth, gently fold in the beaten egg whites, a third at a time just until blended.

  Spoon the batter into muffin pans. 

Bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick entered into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pans that have been set on the wire racks for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto the racks to finish cooling.

While waiting for the cupcakes to finish cooling down, it is time to whip up the frosting. I've decided to stick with using a recipe, as opposed to trying something completely new out, and try a frosting recipe from the same book.

White Chocolate Butter Frosting
    1 cup butter, softened
    2 cup confectioners' sugar
    6 oz white baking bars
    3 Tbsp milk

  In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, white chocolate, and milk at a low speed just until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.

  Once the cupcakes have cooled, it is time to frost them. To get the pretty ice-blue swirls in the frosting, use a knife to "paint" streaks in the Ziplock bag (or pastry bag). Place the frosting into the bag and if using a Ziplock bag, snip off a corner. 

   Ice the cupcakes, moving in a circular motion. For the topping I had wanted to use a decorative sugar, but didn't have any. So we topped half of the cupcakes with the snowflake sprinkles. 

The other half we rolled the tops in granulated sugar.

The Snowflake Cupcakes turned out deliciously! The cakes are moist, spongy and light topped with a perfectly balanced sweet frosting! Yumm!!

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