This is my cookcabulary



Maple-Walnut Cupcakes

Now this is a redemption cupcake! My house now smells like maple and I love it. All thanks to this delectable treat. 

 

DSCF6627

Yum! And dont they look great on my limited edition Andy Warhol plates by Edleman Leather?

I’m calling this a redemption cupcake because it far surpasses my last bake-n-blog (That and I watched Fantasy Factory last night and Rob made a redemption song with John Mayer for his mom).  I had been waiting all week to bake something classic and I did!  What a fabulous day.  And to be honest, I dont think I have made cupcakes since college.  I had a dear friend that I made cupcakes for on his birthday every year, but after graduating I wasnt sure how cupcakes would last in the mail, obviously, so I stopped making them. In any event, I forgot how fun cupcakes are to make.

My day started off with my list of things to do – fast forward to the fun part, grocery shopping for my cupcakes! I went to the store and got the few items I needed, including a new candy thermometer – which I will discuss in more detail later.  I was also on the search for a cupcake carrier.  Realizing I had some birthday money to spend I opted for the best and perfect one; so thank you Snapware!  Here’s what I got.

 

Cookie and Cupcake Carrier

Perfect indeed! I have tons of Tupperware, but its all round and the one rectangular one I have doesn’t ever seem to hold what I bake, so this will be perfect.  My cupcakes are in the carrier as we speak!

 Being that I dont work on Fridays, it’s the perfect day to have the house to myself and my KitchenAid mixer, but it leaves me with 3 days until I can bring what I make into work. So I have to make something that will keep until then.  My plan was to take some of the cupcakes to a wedding shower I’m going to tomorrow but when I RSVP’d they said they were all set and didn’t need me to bring anything. Rats. Well, I am still going to give some to Katy (the bride) and the rest will just have to hang tight until work monday morning. But at least they’re comfortable in the Snack and Stack carrier! I searched online for while last night trying to find the perfect cupcake to make. I was a little tired of the food network website and I wanted something more intense. Then, Martha Stewart popped into my mind – perfect! I got on her website and they had a whole surplus of cupcake recipes to choose from! I saw the Walnut-Maple image and immediately fell in love with the baked good.  Combining maple and walnut seem entirely appropriate given the season and the frosting was a technique I had never tried – which excited me! So, I downloaded the recipe and made my shopping list. One very important item I need was a candy thermometer.  Being that I was at a grocery store, I didn’t want to buy the most expensive one because I figure they are all somewhat “cheap”.  I really need to go to William Sonoma and invest in one, but that’s for another day.  In any event, this thought process kind of bit me in the butt a little bit!  After I made the cupcakes and had them on the counter cooling I started the Maple Buttercream Frosting. It required me to boil maple syrup until it reached a temperature of 240, which takes approx. 15 minutes.  Well, my thermometer got up to about 200, but didn’t go up much more than that. I kept waiting, being patient and trying to reach my 15 minute mark, but when I did the syrup had pretty much boiled completely down and was already beginning to harden and I just knew it wasn’t right. Stupid thermometer, I blame you.  So I started again.  And good thing, because I didn’t like how the egg yolks had turned out (you’ll see when I post the recipe).  My KitchenAid mixer was too large for the 3 yolks I was trying to get “light and fluffy” so the second time around I used a small bowl and my handheld mixer and it worked much better.  As far as the syrup was concerned, I boiled it until it was about 215 degrees  (which took 10 minutes) when I thought the consistency looked ok. Good call by me – because the frosting is great!  I do know what I’m doing. So, without further adieu, I share the best cupcakes I have ever made:

Maple-Walnut Cupcakes

  •  2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (Yup, I was in the mood for real baking, no GF this time!)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (5 1/2 ounces) walnuts, chopped medium-fine
  • Candied walnuts, optional (I couldn’t find them at the store and didn’t want to make them, so I set aside some of the regular walnuts I bought pre-packaged)

 

 Maple Buttercream

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup, best quality (I used suguar-free Log Cabin, my fave!)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces (this seemed like a lot to me, I ended up only using 1 stick, feel free to play around with this)

I’m going to post the directions since the frosting was a bit trying – good luck with it! It’s def a confidence boost when the frosting tastes good since you poured all this time into preparing it.

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes; set aside. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil, and cook until it registers 240 on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. With the mixer running, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream, until completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Continue beating until bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, until thoroughly incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more.
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