Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting & Petit Four Icing

Whew, so glad this weekend is over. Not sure what I’m going to do with myself now that the baby shower and birthday party have come and gone. 😛

The baby shower was fun and of course there were lots of cute gifts. The mother and father-to-be are UT grads, so there were a few Longhorn gifts thrown in there. They’ll just put that longhorn on anything! 🙂 She even received a stuffed football that unzips and out pops Bevo!

petit fours

Everyone loved the cupcakes, cookies and petit fours. Hopefully I was able to put the bug in a couple of the ladies ears about calling me for any events they may have coming up. I’d love to be able to get my name out there.

petit fours

I made the icing for the petit fours on Thursday night and covered them. I split the icing up into two batches and tinted one of them pink using a drop or two of red food coloring. I just used a small round cookie cutter to cut the rounds out of the sheet cake I made (in a 12×17 sheet pan using 1 1/2 portions of the Perfect Party Cake). Make sure the cake is cold and/or frozen.  It is much easier to cut out.  I told hubby, when we open our own bakery, these suckers aren’t gonna be cheap.  They are definitely time consuming. 

When I went to “decorate” them on Friday night, I tried out some polka dots, but I couldn’t quite get them right so I ended up doing some quick squigglies.  The baby room colors are pink and green, so the pink ones were squiggled with white or green frosting (from a can and tinted) and the white ones were squiggled with pink frosting. 

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

The cupcakes I made were topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I made the frosting on Friday night and topped them Saturday morning before the shower.  I found the Sprinkles’ frosting recipe on Martha Stewart and just doubled that (I should have just made about 1 1/2, because I still have alot left over), but replaced cream cheese for half of the butter.  It was so yummy.  I probably could have just taken a spoon to it, but I refrained.  😛  I didn’t read carefully and ended up putting the strawberry puree in before the confectioners’s sugar.  Oops.  The consistency wasn’t quite right, but in the end it turned out fine because it covered the cupcakes really well.  It just wasn’t pipe-able.  😛

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

Petit Fours Icing
Yield: Approximately 3-4 dozen
Source: I can’t remember where this one came from
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
9 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (about 2 pounds)
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1-2 drops red food coloring

Combine ingredients in top of double boiler and heat over boiling water just to lukewarm. (do not overheat icing or it will become dull.) Remove from heat, leaving icing over hot water to keep it thin. If desired, tint parts of icing delicate pastel colors with food color. If necessary, add hot water, just a few drops at a time, until of spreading consistency.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: Approximately 4-5 dozen cupcakes
Adapted from Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
¾ – 1 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
½ pound unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
½ pound cream cheese
Pinch of coarse salt
7-8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 6 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended.

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Pink Lady (Strawberry) Cupcakes

A good friend of mine is having a baby girl in October. I am so excited for her! They have been trying for awhile now and it’s finally happening. Plus, GB will have a girlfriend to play with.  I think her husband may have been secretly wishing for a boy, but he is still very excited. 😛 He even picked out this cute Ralph Lauren dress for her, to match daddy. He pretty much wears a polo shirt every day.

I’m co-hosting the shower that’s happening on Saturday (22nd) and will be making all the sweet goodies. 36 invites were sent out! I don’t think I’ve made this many sweets by myself at one time. It may not seem like alot, but have you seen my kitchen? Not alot of room to move. Plus, did I tell you?  I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old? 😉 I definitely had to do a little planning to make sure I could get it all done.

pink lady (strawberry) cupcakes

So, the plan for the shower is 3 dozen strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting, 3 dozen mini petit fours and 3 dozen sparkly pink sugar cookies. I made the sheet cake for the petit fours using  1 ½ portions of the Perfect Party Cake recipe.  This is currently in the freezer waiting to be cut into rounds and covered with a pourable fondant, then decorated with pink dots.  I made the pink lady cupcakes this weekend and they are also in the freezer, waiting to be topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I’m going to make the sugar cookie dough this week, bake them off, then freeze them until Saturday. 

You don’t want to see what my freezer looks like.  I open that door, very carefully these days.  Luckily, I’m using the extra refrigerator in our garage.  Otherwise, I’m not sure where I would have put them.

pink lady (strawberry) cupcakes

The moisture from the cupcakes always seems to seep through the liners and makes them somewhat indistinguishable after they come out of the oven, so I baked my cupcakes with plain white liners. When they’re ready to go, I”ll put them in these cute cupcake liners:
cupcake liner
and the petit fours will go in these cute cups:
bubble stripe liner

I really wanted these:
pink polka liner
and these:
pink stripe liner
but couldn’t find them around here and didn’t want to have to order them online. Oh well.

Luckily the mother-to-be knows I’m not an artist, so no baby booties, or cute little fondant figures or any of that stuff is required. Plus, she’s not very picky either. I did want to make sure there was something I knew she enjoyed, which is how we ended up with the strawberry cupcakes. I scoured my cookbooks and the Net to see if I could find a good recipe. I came across Smitten Kitchen’s Pink Lady Cake post, read it and some of the comments, then decided this was the one.

The method was a bit different than what I’m used to, so I adjusted it to the way I am used to. The cupcakes still turned out nice and fluffy and moist. And the awesome thing about it all? This recipe made exactly 36 cupcakes! Woohoo! Ok, 35, but that’s because I had to taste one of them. I couldn’t just send these along without making sure they were fabulous, right? Oh, and listen to Deb when she tells you NOT TO TASTE THE BATTER! I probably could have made 37 cupcakes had it not been for the batter that somehow mysteriously ended up on my fingers that just had to be licked off!

I also took her suggestion and added just a couple of drops of food coloring to give them a nice bright pink color. I’m was trying to stick to a theme you know: pink, girly and cute!

Pink Lady Cupcakes
Yield: 36
Source: Sky High, as seen on Smitten Kitchen
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 ½ cups cake flour
5 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food coloring
¾ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
1 ½ cups pureed frozen strawberries (you could substitute fresh)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or line 3 cupcake tins; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites, milk and food coloring; set aside.

Put the butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the strawberry puree until incorporated – it will look a little curdled.

Add about one-third of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Add half of the remaining flour mixture, then ½ of the egg mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture. Make sure to incorporate the ingredients between each mixture and scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl. Pour the batter into the cupcake tins.

Bake the cupcakes for 20-23 minutes or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for 10 to 15 minutes. Finish cooling on wire racks. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

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In addition to the shower this weekend, my son’s birthday party is on Sunday (23rd)! Yes, I know, it’s late.  My mother says in Korea you can have the party early, but not late, so I’m apparently breaking some sort of rule.  Oops.

I will be posting those cupcakes (cookies & cream) later…much later…cuz I made 2 dozen yesterday and they are sitting in the freezer…and no photos were taken. 😛 Besides, I need to make about 2 dozen more. The parents will want some too, right?

Deluxe Strawberry Cheese Pie

strawberry cheese pie

Remember when I professed my love for strawberries? Well, I’ve found another use for them. Fresh strawberries on top of a cheese pie.

I’ve been looking for something to make and somehow incorporate fresh strawberries.  I didn’t want to make any type of cake, I’d already made a cookie and I didn’t want to make a sauce.  I could have taken hubby’s suggestion and made us some strawberry shakes, but I was looking for something new.

strawberry cheese pie

When I first saw this recipe, I thought it sounded an awful lot like a cheesecake.  Which, I guess it is essentially.  It has a graham cracker crust, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla.  I mean, doesn’t that sound like a cheesecake to you? The difference?  It’s in pie form.  🙂 

I ended up using a store bought graham cracker crust (from Big Lots – I love Big Lots!) since I had one.  But, you could totally make your own.  The original recipe also called for red currant jelly, which, I didn’t have, so I just used some seedless blackberry jam.

Call it what you like, Strawberry Cheescake or Strawberry Cheese Pie, the taste is the same – delicious!

Deluxe Strawberry Cheese Pie
Adapted from The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Crust (store bought or make your own – mine was store bought)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 pints of strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/3 cup seedless jelly (I used blackberry)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat just until combined.

Pour cheese filling into crust (cooled, if you made your own). Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Cool pie completely.

In a small saucepan, heat jelly over medium-low heat until melted.

Arrange strawberries on top of pie. Brush with melted jelly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

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Just Some Randomness

My local Kroger had blueberries and strawberries on sale this week, so of course I had to get some.  I ended up making some blueberry scones, but I’m going to have to work on the recipe a bit more before I post it.  I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my strawberries.  I already have some sliced up to put on top of my ice cream this evening (no, I don’t eat ice cream everything night!), but I still have some left to tinker with.  Any suggestions?  I may have to peruse foodgawker to get some ideas. 

I’m sure I’ve mentioned the blog Simmer Till Done on here before. If you haven’t checked it out, you should.  I came across Marilyn’s “Two-Bite Jam Tarts” post the other day and I knew I had to try it out.  I loved the cream cheese dough! It came out soft and moist, yet crispy all at the same time.  I think they need to be re-named to “Bite-size”, but then again, I do have a big mouth.  😉  I even tried making a larger version with blackberry jam.  Oh so good!

Last Tuesday was the second day of my Fundamentals of Baking class.  We were supposed to have a lecture and discuss the chapter we read (ok, I read it before I went to class), but ended up baking for a charity luncheon instead.  The instructor prefaced it with the fact that he normally wouldn’t let us into the kitchen for a few weeks, but because the luncheon was tomorrow, blah blah, yadda yadda, it would make the school and the department some money, so we could have more supplies, yadda yadda.  Um, I pay extra every semester for “Culinary Arts” supplies.  Where’s that money going exactly?  I mean, I know they’re trying to fix the restaurant/kitchen up for the CA program, but he needs to stop making these events priority over our education.  I can’t make something nice, if I don’t understand how to do it.  You know?  So, we’ll see how tomorrow goes. 

One interesting thing I learned through reading my book, shortening is called shortening because it shortens the gluten strands.  Isn’t that neat?  😛  It was something new to me and something I don’t think I actually really ever though about before.  Cool. 

I’m off to relax for a few…

Dos Berry Muffins

*Recipe has been edited to include the oil amount. Thanks Yvonne for finding that!

Dos Berry Muffins
now that’s a muffin – look at all those berries!

I told myself I had to buy some blueberries and strawberries before it was too late. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. I love berries with some plain or vanilla yogurt drizzled with honey and some granola (usually kashi go lean crunch).  But, I had a different idea for these berries…muffins, of course!  I’m obessed!  I even went to the library and picked up Muffins Galore (Catherine Atkinson) and Cupcakes Galore (Gail Wagman). So far I’m not really impressed with the Muffins Galore book.  Alot of the recipes use self-rising flour and superfine sugar.  I know you can make substitutions, but it just seems so inconvenient to convert.  Bah!  I haven’t read through Cupcakes Galore yet.  I’m sure you’ll know if something catches my fancy.  😉  Anyway, to continue with my obsession, I ended up making some blueberry & strawberry muffins…thus Dos Berry, or Deux Berry or Dool Berry (Korean).

You can see, I’m not the only one that wanted a bite of these muffins. MC was dying to get his hands on one. 🙂

Dos Berry Muffins
patiently (sort of) waiting until momma’s done taking pictures

I’m thinking blueberry pancakes need to be on the menu soon. Maybe with a strawberry coulis? Yum!

Dos Berry Muffins
MC helping me with the shot, “say cheese”


This post is being submitted to a bi-weekly baking event hosted by Ben at What’s Cooking. Go check it out and send him your baked goods!

Dos Berry Muffins
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
Yield: 6 jumbo muffins & 3 regular size muffins
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, choipped

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a jumbo & regular size muffin tin with paper liners. Fill the unused ones 1/3 full with warm water.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

In a separate mixing bowl whisk the eggs, sour cream, sugars, oil & vanilla together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine. Do not over mix. Add the berries and fold in.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes.