- Mini-Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325℉ and line two mini-cupcake pans with wrappers.
- Mix all dry ingredients together and all wet ingredients together in 2 separate bowls.
- Pour wet into dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Immediately pour mixture into tins, filling about 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, then cool completely.
- Frosting: Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Slowly mix in confectioners sugar and vanilla extract.
- Place frosting in a piping bag (I used a star-shaped tip), and frost as desired. Or frost using a spatula.
- Top with decorations.
February 10, 2009
Sweets for your Sweeties!
People seem to feel very strongly about Valentine's Day. Either they love it and get totally into it Martha Stewart style, or they think it's just Hallmark propaganda and boycott the holiday entirely (and share these feelings with any one within yelling range). Personally, I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I appreciate the holiday as a day to express to the ones you love how much they mean to you. We often get lost in the shuffle of our everyday lives, so why not take a minute and recognize those you love. This is not limited to only your main squeeze of the moment, but also to your family and close friends. Everyone appreciates a little card with a cute message!
I don't, however, think this needs to be done with elaborate handmade crepe paper valentines or expensive gifts. Brad and I still feel like we are coming off the Christmas giving spree, so we rarely give gifts for Valentine's. Instead we opt for cards and food. We usually go to a nice dinner and spend the night drinking wine, eating great food and being sure to order something chocolatey and sinful for dessert. This year, we are actually upping the anti and taking a weekend trip to Disney! Wahoo! As a person who spent 18 years of her life never more than 2 hours away from the most wonderful place on earth, I'm looking very forward to revisiting with Mickey.
But getting back to my point that Valentine's is not solely limited to your honey, why not make a treat that can be spread around, instead of making a fancy chocolate souffle that will only cover one person on your "I love" list. Why not make mini-cupcakes that are decorated in a Valentine's motif?! Kitchy, yes. But it's the holiday people, work with me.
These little beauties are so delicious - moist and dense with a subtle sweetness and chocolate flavor that is only found in a truly special southern red velvet cake. And the frosting, oh the frosting. Cream cheese. I think it speaks for itself. I only used 1 tablespoon of red food coloring so my cakes came out a little pinkish instead of red, but still very festive. I also topped each one with Valentine's M&M's. These went to various places and people I had some of the best responses to these I've ever gotten. Go ahead - show 48 of your friends that you love them with these suckers and see if you don't at least get some candies and kisses in return.
Red Velvet Mini-Cupcakes
Adapted from How Sweet It Is Bakery - Ellen Sternau and Beth Pilar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1-2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Valentine's M&Ms or other appropriate decorations