Monday, January 16, 2012

Cherry Coke Cupcake

Every year in February, our junior high and high school choirs hold a pops concert and dessert auction. Anyone can donate a dessert to be auctioned off during the concert. I've seen some desserts go for hundreds of dollars ... it's nuts.

Last year I decided that I wanted to enter a cake. I have always loved baking, and my baked goods tasted pretty good ... they just didn't look pretty. So ... one year ago today, I bought some supplies and decorated my first cake. I was so proud of it when it was done. Looking back at it now ... it sucked. I have learned so much in the last year.

So today ... one year later ... I found myself again thinking about the dessert auction. It's in four weeks. What am I going to make? I've had occasion to supply the choir directors with cupcakes for various reasons (i.e. thank-yous, Christmas gifts, etc.). Erin, the junior high director, sent me an e-mail requesting that I donate some cupcakes to the auction. I think she and Melanie, the high school director, plan on competing with each other during the bidding. She promised me they'd go big. I'm not real sure what big means, but I was flattered ... so I'm going to enter something.

I decided today to try out a cupcake that I've been wanting to make for a while. My thinking was, if it turns out, then I'll make the same thing in four weeks for the auction. So today I made Cherry Coke Cupcakes.

Full disclosure ... this is not one of my original recipes. I stole it from Kristan over at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

Basically there's Coke in the cupcake and Coke in the chocolate glaze on top. There's maraschino cherries in the cherry buttercream and a cherry on top. I wonder how it would have been if I would have used Cherry Coke instead of regular Coke. Maybe I'll try that next time. My twist on the cupcake was to put a bendy straw in it. Creative, huh?

They turned out really yummy ... so I think I have my dessert auction item. Maybe tomorrow I'll take Erin and Melanie each a cupcake so that they know what they're bidding on.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pecan Pie Cupcake

In November, I was really into pie cupcakes. I made all kinds of pie cupcakes ... and they were all delicious. When I made the Truffle Cupcakes for my friend Leesa, her husband asked if I could make Pecan Pie Cupcakes. I don't know ... I've never tried. To be honest, I've never made a real pecan pie before.

So one night, I decided to give it a try. I made a pecan pie filling with honey and pecans and chocolate chips and various other ingredients. I even added brandy to it. I baked it for 14 minutes in a baking dish, and it was delicious.

I then made some brown sugar cupcakes. I'd never made these before ... I really liked them.

So here's where things went wrong...

I filled the baking cups half full with the cupcake batter. Then I put a scoop of the pecan pie filling on top of each one. Then they went in the oven for 20 minutes. When they came out they looked great.

So I let them cool...

And then we tried them...

They tasted AMAZING.

So you're probably asking ... "What went wrong?"

Here's what went wrong...

Everywhere the pie filling touched the paper liner, it stuck. It stuck to the stuck to the bottom. It tasted great ... if you licked the paper.

So I moved on to other projects ... until yesterday.

This time I did everything as before ... except one small step. I baked the cupcakes for 8 minutes by themselves without the filling. After 8 minutes, I spooned the filling on top and then put them back in the oven for the remaining 12 minutes. By doing this, the filling did not sink to the bottom. I also tried not to let it run out to the sides and get stuck to the paper liner. I wasn't successful with all of them, but it kept the sticking to a minimum.


So today I made some whipped topping and garnished them with a pecan. Now I need to call Leesa to let her know I did it.