February 11, 2014

Treat Yo-Self Tuesday: Earl Grey Cupcakes

Before I go gaga over these cupcakes, I must let you know this is not an original recipe. I got the recipe for these cupcakes here, but have copied it below for your convenience. The pictures, however, are still mine. Now that that's out of the way, tea lovers can rejoice! You can now have your cake and drink it too! Or, er, you can now have your tea and eat it too! These delicacies are just the thing to chase away that lingering bit of winter chill.

Earl Grey Cupcakes
1/2 cup 2% Milk (room temp)
4 Earl Grey tea-bags
8 tbs Unsalted Butter (room temp)
1 cup + 2 tbs Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2 large eggs (organic, please)
3/4 cup + 2 tbs Self Rising Flour
3/4 cup + 1tbs All Purpose Flour
1. Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until just beginning to boil. Add the tea-bags, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. 
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. This took a long time for me, or maybe it felt like a long time because I was trying to keep my hand-mixer quiet so my roommate could sleep. Long story, but I was baking at 6 am on a Saturday. The recipe says it should take about 3-5 minutes, until it becomes pale and smooth. Add the almond extract and the eggs one at a time, mixing throughly between each addition. 
3. Sift the two flours together and slowly add both the flour and the infused milk to the creamed butter, sugar, and eggs. Beat well after every small addition. The recipe suggests you should do this in thirds. (1/3 flour, 1/3 milk and so on until both are incorporated) 
I beat the mixture just until my ingredients came together. It was smooth and the color looked somewhat like white cupcakes that had already been baked. 
4. Spoon the mixture into baking cups (or silicone tea-cups) and bake for 20 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. The original recipe suggests 25 minutes for baking, but mine were very done after 20. I used a clean knife to test that they were baked all the way through. 

For the icing:
Vanilla Buttercream 
8 tbs Unsalted Butter (room temp)
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup 2% milk (room temp)
4 1/4 cups Confectioners Sugar

Beat together the butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Sift the confectioners sugar and add to the mixture little by little, making sure the last addition of sugar is fully incorporated each time. I used two drops of blue food coloring and one drop of red to color my icing a pastel lilac color. 

This recipe makes A LOT of cupcakes. I put these four tea-cup baking cups on the blog, but I still had enough batter for a full dozen cupcakes! The icing makes more than enough to frost each cupcake to the nines. After frosting all 16 cupcakes, I had enough left over to ice 12 sugar cookies which I made just to use up the icing! 

Next time I make these, I am going to use less sugar in the icing. It's just not pleasing to my tastebuds to have an abundance of sugar! If you're the same way, I would suggest maybe 3 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar. My batch started to thicken quite nicely at that amount! 

I hope you have a lovely Tuesday! What treats would you like to see in March? 

February 1, 2014

Introductions are in Order...

Happy February, everyone! What better way to start off the beginning of the second month of the new year than with a new blog?

I'm Ali Whittemore, a stubborn Southern woman with a lot on her plate. I love exploring abandoned structures, experimenting in the kitchen, cracking open a new book, and old-fashioned crime shows.
On this blog, you can expect to find adventures in photography, tasty treats, things I find myself wearing, recipes, DIY crafts and tricks, and many more tidbits of my life.
Please stay tuned for what I hope will be a golden February for us all.