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Stressed? A little Salty cand Soothe the Soul…

Have you ever experienced a week where by Friday, you just wanted to crawl back into bed, hit the damn reset button and try it all over again starting at the alarm going off on Monday morning?

No?

Welcome to my life as of August 8th.

It was a typical Monday. Not too good, not too bad, just…eh, Monday. There wasn’t one thing that resonated off the charts that made me think “hmm, this week is totally going blow, I just know it.” but it was…different.

Tuesday rolled around and it began. Mrs. Darby Doll’s husband had a horrible flu bug that made him (and the rest of us) miserable. He was uncomfortable and moody all day. By nightfall he was in so much pain, I made the executive decision to drag him, kicking and screaming into the ER.

Mr. Darby Doll and Dolled up for the Docs.

Fast Forward to Wed afternoon, Mr. Darby Doll is in emergency surgery for an appendicitis, that when all was said and done, wasn’t. The docs don’t quite know what was wrong with him because when the went to rip his appendix out, it was normal, but what the hell, the took it anyways (you don’t really need it…right? Right?).

I get stressed, I bake. Baking makes my life complete. Its like yoga with the Kitchen Aid. The relaxing whine of the mixer engine doing its job making the best stuff on earth.

What is the best stiff on earth you ask?

Cupcakes.

This hangs in my kitchen.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes* to be honest.

A few weeks back I made a grown up version of Krispie Treats with salted caramel. They were quite amazing (recipe for that soon…). But there is something about a cupcake that makes you revert back to your earliest memories of childhood. The smallness and sweetness that is so huge yet wrapped up in an adorable four-bite package.

If you are like me, you savor the cupcake and eat from the bottom up, as the frosting is, well, like the icing on the cake. The whole reason you came for.

With these cupcakes, although I am tempted to follow my normal routine, I allow myself to get every sweet and savory morsel of flavor in each bite. The pay off is astounding.

Make these. Eat these. And be at peace.

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Makes 15 Cupcakes
Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla, pure is the only way to go.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla.  Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full.  Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
Salted Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
Melt the sugar over medium  high heat in a large pot.  Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel.  Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.
If you want to be creative, drizzle the caramel over the tops of the frosted cupcakes. This adds to the presentation and the overall spiritual experience of the cupcake.
Go ahead. Over indulge yourself. Your inner being will thank you.
*recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

Who said Gluten Free had to be gross?

Many folks are gluten free for medical reasons. Many of us choose to adapt to a gluten free diet for health and nutrition reasons. Either way, we shouldn’t have to suffer through food that tastes like a cardboard box (no offense Domino’s.)

I have scowered the net for good recipes and actually came across a recipe that produced a deceivingly good Red Velvet Cupcake*. If I was handed one of these little things, I wouldn’t have known any different. It was moist, had a good texture and stayed together well. The flavor was comparable to my classic RV recipe, down to the frosting.

Mmm...don't you love the Instagram filters for photoshop?

I believe that I owe it to the good followers and devoted fans of Screwed Cupcakes to make sure that everyone has their fill of cupcake goodness. I will be offering more GF recipes that will shock you into believing that gluten free does NOT have to taste nasty.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 9 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 18-21 min

Ingredients:

CUPCAKES:
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 Tsp sea salt
1/4 Tsp baking soda
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp grapeseed (or canola) oil (I used GF Olive oil and it was great)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 Tablespoon red food coloring (for the full GF experience, use Beet Powder. May not be as red but just as good)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup agave nectar

Directions:

Prepare cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, agave nectar and food coloring; whisk vigorously until well mixed. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; use electric mixer to combine. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool, then remove from pan and frost.

Prepare frosting:
2. In a deep bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In a separate, larger bowl, whip the cream cheese and agave nectar until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.

*recipe adapted from Recipe Girl

A wee bit of sunshine…

Posted on

NEW! Banana Orange Cuppies with White Chocolate Orange Whipped Frosting.

It makes you want to run outside and sing “Good Day Sunshine….” at the top of your lungs.

I know.

I did just that after biting into one.

“…I’m in love and its a sunny day!”

Share the love.

If you know someone who loves cupcakes, show them this.

They could get some.

For FREE.

Oh, you can enter too.

Almost here.

What is it about biting into that balance of sweet and moist that puts a smile on your face.

No NOT that.

Cupcakes.

Small cake designed to serve one person…

Exactly.

For you. And ONLY you.

And sometimes one isn’t enough.

Sometimes you need two. Or three. Or six.

Sometimes you want one of one and three of another. Or three of one and two of one and one of one.

The possibilities are endless.

The flavors are limitless.

And soon you can have them.

Soon.

Stay tuned…

 

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