Monday, February 22, 2010

Are you a fan of delicious flavor?

These cupcakes are a nod to my favorite television show, Psych.  The title of this post is a recurring line in the show and relates directly to today's flavor choice - pineapple.  There is at least one pineapple hidden in every show (sometimes well-hidden and sometimes obvious) and the network even has "Find the Pineapple" sweepstakes each week.

These cupcakes are called "Pineapple Princess", after a song by Annette Funicello, released in the summer of 1960, on the album, "Hawaiiannette".  It was also in Disney's "Lilo and Stitch 2".  It's one of those songs that just gets stuck in your head.

Annette Funicello - "Pineapple Princess"

These are golden yellow cupcakes with crushed pineapple folded into the batter.  They are very moist and somewhat dense, but they are still tender.  The frosting is Pineapple Mascarpone Cream Cheese.  Each cupcake is topped with a candied pineapple tidbit.
The frosting is very susceptible to heat, so it appears a bit gooey after setting at room temperature for a bit.  The other cupcakes were refrigerated to avoid this.  There is no filling in the cupcakes.  The frosting just sort of oozed downward with the knife during cutting.  All in all, these were pretty tasty. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cupcakes for a Stay-at-Home Dad

These cupcakes were made for a friend who was quitting his job to become a stay-at-home dad.  He even took on home-schooling.  (That's courageous in my book, because I would never have dreamed of trying it!)  These were vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

These are some of my earliest cupcakes, so try not to judge me too harshly.  They aren't my best work, but there was a lot of time and effort put into them.  From a creative standpoint, I was pleased.

There were remote controls (very primitive ones, with only volume and channel arrow buttons, a red power button, and the name of our local cable provider).  The blue ones represented the family swimming pool.  Tiny green tadpoles swim in the blue water (because they had an infestation of tadpoles the summer before this) among life preservers.

The remotes were made on the back side of miniature Hershey's Chocolate Bars; the tadpoles were made from Starburst Fruit Chews; and the life preservers were actually Peach Rings.

The top two rows you see on the right are "Honey Do" lists, flip flop shoes, sunglasses, "Dad's Taxi" signs, grocery lists, etc.  Fruit Roll-Ups were used for the lists and the sunglasses lenses.  Starburst Fruit Chews were used for the flip flops and sunglasses.

The bottom row was personalized cupcakes for the dad and kids.  The afternoon nap is depicted.  (The mom didn't get a personalized cupcake, because she would not be napping and would be at work.)  The dad is holding a cookbook.  The son is wide-awake because he has been reading a book of ghost stories.  The next two are daughters and they are sleeping soundly with their teddy bears.  The baby has a pacifier.

Marshmallow halves were used for the pillows and bodies.  Vanilla Wafers made the heads; Fruit Roll-Ups were used for blankets and books; miniature Teddy Grahams were used for the teddy bears.  Everything else was frosting and food coloring.

I understand the kids really enjoyed their personal cupcakes.  I hope that's true, because I had a lot of fun creating these.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Brownies and Pixies


Last week I wanted to bake something but didn't have much time, due to so many long hours at work.  The kiddos on my caseload (or "pixies" in this case) were pretty demanding last week and the weather wasn't cooperating very well, either.  I rummaged around the kitchen and pulled out the only box of brownie mix I had - a box of Betty Crocker Deluxe Brownie Mix with Hershey's Chocolate and Walnuts.  I decided to whip up a batch and put them in a 9" x 13" pan, so that they would be the thin chewy type, like those in the photograph. I'm not a big fan of cake-type brownies.  (That's a stock photo above and it shows brownies with pecans, not walnuts, but I could only stand to look at so many photos of brownies without developing a craving for another batch!  I failed to take any photographs of the brownies I baked.) 

At any rate, the box mix yielded 20 brownies.  I didn't put frosting on them, because I am a brownie purist.  I think frosting detracts from the fudgey goodness.  The most I ever add to my brownies is a dusting of powdered sugar, but these brownies were naked - no frosting; no powdered sugar; just chocolate and walnut in a delicious marriage of flavor.