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30 December 2012

Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes



I took a few days off from baking, cooking and blogging to do some major cleaning. I am not sure if it is a cultural thing or a tradition that I grew up with but every year before the New Year, you do a major cleaning of your home. Not just dust and vacuum but go through every nook, cranny, box, etc. and see what you need and what you do not. It is a daunting task but it feels so good when you are done. Plus, this prevents from developing unwanted clutter because each year you took the time to "cleanse" your home :)

We cleaned well before New Year, because I work New Years Eve and the hubby and I were planning on visiting his family today. It looked like Ninja was doing really well since his surgery, but since his pain medication ran out-- he began limping again, and not just limping but just hopping around on three legs :( Our  two week follow up is tomorrow- and I am hoping that it is because he is not on pain medication anymore and not that the contraption in his leg is not working or broke. Long story short- because Ninja is not doing so well- we decided to stay home instead of travel. I made these Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes to take to the party but now I guess the hubby will be eating them.

Note: This recipe was DEFINITELY a trial and error. The cupcakes were not hard to make but the frosting-was a pain! I went through tons of different recipes with none being stiff enough.










COOKIES N' CREAM CUPCAKES
Cupcakes Adapted slightly from Sweetapolita
Frosting Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart 

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 350F Degrees

FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 c. butter milk, room temperature
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 egg (whole), at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
6 tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
6 tbsp. vegetable shortening
13-15 crushed Oreo
25-30 Oreos

FOR THE FROSTING
2 (8oz) package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
2-4 c. of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
10 finely crushed Oreo*

FOR THE TOPPING
8-10 crushed Oreos
15 Oreos cut in half


DIRECTIONS

For the Cupcakes:
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, whole egg, 1/4 c. of milk, and vanilla. Set aside. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and shortening to the dry ingredients, and blend for an additional 30 seconds. Next, add the remaining milk and continue blending on low speed until mixture appears moistened. Then increase to medium speed for 1-1/2 minutes.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the wet ingredients in 3 separate batches-- each time mixing for 20 seconds. Lastly, fold in crushed Oreo (do not finely crush to Oreo- you want chunks of Oreo in the cupcakes) in the batter. Do not mix the Oreo in-as the vanilla cupcakes will discolor. Prepare two cupcakes pans with liners. Place an Oreo at the bottom of each liner. Using an ice cream scoop- fill liners no more than 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool before frosting.


For Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, combine cream cheese,butter, 1 c. of powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed and then medium-high speed for 6-8 minutes until creamy, light, and fluffy. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1/2 c. at a time-- beating for 1 minute after each addition. Continue adding in ingredients until desired consistency and sweetness is reached (i.e, you may not use all 3 c. of powdered sugar, if you want more sweetness but need a softer consistency add some heavy cream). Finally add in 3/4 of the crushed Oreos. The frosting should be stiff enough to hold shape once piped. Garnish with remaining crushed Oreos and top with half of an Oreo.


Enjoy,
Chika

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