Valentine’s Treats

14 Feb

I love an excuse to bake something even if it’s just my family (well, usually just me) ending up eating what I’ve made. I really wanted to make sugar cookies again because I had bought some cute new heart variation cookie cutters. I really don’t know why I make them sometimes because I like making them, but don’t really have specific people in mind to give them away to. I guess it’s lucky Dave teaches seminary because that’s always a good way to get rid of stuff. Sometimes I have a hard time parting with my treats, but it’s really necessary most of the time.

I decided to go with red velvet cake balls instead of red velvet cupcakes. I made the cake and frosting from scratch, baked a 9X13 cake, then crumbled it up, mixed it with some frosting, shaped them into balls, and coated them in chocolate. I suspect  they are by no means perfect considering before they are dipped they very much resemble meatballs. They are pretty tasty, but it really does make a lot. I think I would have to experiment more with the cake/icing combo to get the consistency right. It’s a neat idea, though.

I also made some miniature cupcakes, tinted them pink and them topped them off with pink cream cheese frosting. They weren’t all that exciting, so I didn’t even bother taking pictures of them.

courtesy of bakerella

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yield: about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:*
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.)

*If you are big on frosting as I am, you may want to increase the quantities by 50%.  That is what I typically do for a batch of 24 cupcakes.  I usually end up with some left over, but I would rather have too much frosting than not enough!

Source: Annie’s Eats

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