Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Little Birthday Cupcake-age

Dear Starbucks Girl:

I may not know your name.  I may not know your (exact) birthday.  My bad.

But I did remember these cupcakes were for you.

Want to know the best part?  You thought I'd forgotten until I walked in with a tray of them for you.  Like a boss.

I may be sick, but I still know what's up when it comes to birthday cupcakes.  You never forget those.

This is real life.  And these are real cupcakes.  Para ti.  (for you).

So here's to you, Starbucks girl.  I promise I'll make more of an effort to remember your name next time I come in.  You keep slingin' that java, and I'll screw my brain back in where it's supposed to go.

Happy Birthday.  

Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

The Cupcakes:

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups milk (whole, 2%, or skim works fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs

*preheat oven to 350 degrees; prep 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners*

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; whisk  until combine.  In a separate bowl with your electric mixer paddle attached on, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy.  In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and eggs.  Then, with the mixer on the lowest speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk mixture to the sugar/egg concoction.  Stir until combined and smooth.  Take care not to over-beat.

2. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with the batter (these don't rise too much, so don't be shy).  You should be able to make two pans of cupcakes (about 24 perfect little pillows of sunshine).  Bake for 20-22 minutes, when the tops of the cupcakes are just done and have a slight "bounce" when you pat them.  Let cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

The Frosting:

6 oz white chocolate, cut into chunks or in chip form, then melted
1 stick butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, then re-measured
Chocolate Sprinkles

1. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese.  Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract, beating until smooth.  Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar , 1/4 cup at a time, to the bowl.  Take care to scrape down the bowl every so often to ensure all the sugar has been incorporated.  Turn the mixer up to high and beat for about 2 minutes, or until fluffy and smooth.  You can add more sifted powdered sugar for a stiffer frosting - it's a matter of taste and texture.

2. Dispense frosting into a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip.  Frost cupcakes and then immediately decorate with the sprinkles.  Deliver to your Starbucks gal pal on her (un)birthday.

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