Recipes

Pink & White Vanilla Delight Cupcakes

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so in keeping with our ‘Valentine’s Day Baking‘ theme, we have yet another Valentine’s recipe to share with you guys!

This is my favorite recipe yet. These Pink & White Vanilla Swirl Cupcakes really are perfect for Valentine’s Day.
These cupcakes have a cake-like consistency (from the cake flour), and are light, tender and fluffy.
They even taste delicious without the icing – we almost ate them all up before icing them!

Really though, the best thing about these cupcakes is obviously how pretty they are.
They really are gorgeous to look at – the pink & white marbled cake with the bright pink & white swirl icing make these cupcakes the ultimate Valentine’s treat!

Happy Valentine’s Baking!

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Pink & White Vanilla-Delight Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 2 dozen cupcakes}

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup (total) whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pink or red food colouring

For the Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk (preferably whole milk)
pink food colouring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup of the whole milk, and the vanilla extract. Stir till combined; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients together (cake flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt) on low speed for approx. 30 seconds.
Add in the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of whole milk & mix on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes.
Add the egg mixture in three separate batches, beating on medium speed for approx. 20 seconds after each addition.

Divide the batter in half and add a good amount of pink food colouring to one half of the batter. Mix until the food colouring is coated evenly.

Using a spoon, put a spoonful of white batter into each cupcake cup. Top with a spoonful of pink batter, and repeat until cups are 2/3’s full. After, use a butter knife to gently marble the colours.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (A few little crumbs on the toothpick is good – you don’t want to overcook them!).

For the Icing:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the icing sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until icing is light and fluffy. You may need to add a little more milk to get it to the consistency of your liking. Divide icing into two batches, and mix in the pink food colouring to one of the batches.
To get the pink and white swirl icing – Using a piping bag fitted with a 1M star tip, fill one side of the icing bag with white icing, and the other side of the bag with the pink icing.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Chocolate Rum Balls

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We started early with the Valentine’s baking and now we can’t stop! Until Valentine’s Day is finally upon us, there will be plenty more sweetness to come. Valentine’s Day is all about chocolates and sweet treats so today I thought I’d make some Chocolate Rum Balls. I’ve been making these Rum Balls for many years. I used to make them every year for Christmas Eve and bring them to my Uncle’s as they were his favourite. They’re a pretty little addition to any dessert tray or cookie platter.

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We found these pretty little cups at Michael’s. Adorable!

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Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe:

{yield 20-25 Rum Balls}

1 125g pkg of cream cheese
1 c. ground almonds
1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee
1/4 c. dark rum
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (can melt in microwave approx 40 sec)
Topping Suggestions: Sprinkles, icing sugar, toasted coconut

Directions:

Blend cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in almonds, icing sugar, powdered instant coffee and rum. Mix well.
Add in melted chocolate.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is easy to handle. (approx. 1 hour)
Roll mixture into 1 inch balls (tsp size amount) and roll into desired toppings.
Tip: I placed the rolled balls onto a sheet of wax paper and then sifted powdered coatings on top instead of rolling the balls in the coatings.

Refrigerate in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

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Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Sugar Cookies

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Can you believe Christmas is over & we’re well into the New Year?! And guess what’s right around the corner? Yup, it’s all about hearts, love, chocolates & candy – oh my! Okay, we may be jumping the gun just a tad but we can’t help it. We love occasions and any reason to celebrate something. We wasted no time, got all of our Christmas decor packed away and brought out our Valentine’s decor, then spent the entire day making these Valentine’s Day cookies. I’m not even kidding… a whole day. We have made Valentine cookies every year, but this year we decided to get more creative with the decorating. We searched the internet, browsed some of our favourite cookbooks and got to it.

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Can I just say that we were greatly naive in thinking that it was going to be a breeze, a cake walk, an easy task. Decorating cookies takes a lot of time, technique and patience. Don’t let those baking shows on tv fool you! They make everything appear so simple.

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When we finally figured out how to make the Royal Icing into various batches of colours and consistencies, (firmer batch for detailing and a more fluid batch for filling) we were on our way.
Oh, and may I just share a tip – make sure you twist tie the tops of the icing piping bags like the recipe says to, otherwise you will have big blobs of icing suddenly spilling out of the top and all over the front of your clothes and on top of the masterpiece decorated cookie you have been working on so diligently. Yeah, that happened. More than once! ha!

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Sugar Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 60-80 cookies}
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
5 cups Flour
Coloured Sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Approx 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla and salt, mix until combined. With mixer on low speed add flour and mix until combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week).

Preheat oven to 350.
Turn dough onto a clean lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 sections.
Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thickness and cut into desired cookie cutter shapes.
Place onto prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart and bake until golden brown, approx 12-15 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Cool cookies completely before icing.

Royal Icing Recipe:

Ingredients:
4c. Icing Sugar
3tbsp. Meringue Powder
1/2 – 3/4c. Warm Water

Directions:

In an electric mixer beat icing sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium speed until very glossy and stiff. (approx 5-7 minutes)
If necessary to achieve the correct consistency, add more icing sugar or water.
Remember: To flood the entire cookie surface with icing, the proper consistency is a little more fluid.
To do detailing the icing consistency should be much more firm.

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It took us 5 hours to decorate approx 60 cookies! It was a lot of trial and error, mistakes and mishaps and a very messy kitchen- should’ve taken a picture of that! Mostly it was so much fun. We had a blast. At times we were almost falling over with laughter at each other!

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Happy Valentine’s and Happy Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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