Monday, August 18, 2014

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
For these delightfully simple Pink Lemonade Cupcakes you will need:
1  White Cake Mix, plus the required ingredients to mix it up--Oil, Eggs, and Water or Milk
1  8-oz. brick  Cream Cheese
1/4 of a 10.5-oz jar of Lemon Curd, which comes out to about 1/4-Cup, but use to taste
6  drops  Red Food Coloring, divided
4-5  Cups  Powdered Sugar, as needed to make a stiff frosting
1-3  teaspoons  Lemon Juice, as needed, to make a tart frosting
and if you have these on hand, you can take it to the next level:
1  Vanilla Bean, split and seeds (or 'caviar') scraped out
2  teaspoons  Vanilla Extract
Raw Sugar, for sprinkling
Remove Cream Cheese from box and set on counter, allowing it to soften while you make, bake, and cool the Cupcakes--you'll want it to be very soft.
Follow the instructions on the back of the cake mix to mix up the Cupcakes.  If you have a Vanilla Bean, stir the 'caviar' into the batter.  I like to add a very generous squirt of Vanilla Extract too, about 2 teaspoons worth.  Scoop into paper baking cups and bake according to directions on box.  You really do need to use paper baking cups for the filling process--more on that later.  Allow Cupcakes to cool completely after baking.

In a large bowl (because I'm messy) mix together the very soft Cream Cheese, 1/4-Cup  Lemon Curd, and 3 drops Red Food Coloring.  Taste and add more Lemon Curd if you need to, to achieve a soft filling, about the consistency of a brownie batter--stiff, but not too stiff (if that makes any sense at all).  Spoon this filling mixture into an icing bag fitted with a large open tip--mine is a #9, which is not as big as what is used at a lot of Cupcakeries (that is the word for a Cupcake Bakery, isn't it?), but be aware that this recipe is proportioned for this smaller size tip, which means that if you use a larger tip, you will also end up using more filling/frosting and may run out!
My English teacher would be ashamed of my run-on sentences.  Anyway, back to the recipe, folks.
Gently poke the tip of the frosting bag into the center of the cooled Cupcake, clear up to the coupler ring and gently squeeze in about a teaspoon of filling into the cupcake.  You'll see the Cupcake start to expand--don't squeeze in too much filling or the Cupcake will break apart.  This is the why-and-wherefore of the paper baking cups--they help to hold the Cupcakes together.

I like to fill the Cupcakes while they are in the muffin tins;
the sides help to keep the Cupcakes from breaking apart.
Once all of the Cupcakes have been filled, remove the filling from the pastry bag back into your mixing bowl and mix in the Powdered Sugar, Lemon Juice, and 3 remaining drops of Red Food Coloring to make a nice creamy frosting.  Transfer back to your pastry bag and frost the tops of the Cupcakes as desired--I use the same frosting tip because I'm lazy and I don't like to frost cupcakes fancy.  Sprinkle with Raw Sugar, if you have it.
Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.  Makes 24 Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.

Monday, 12 noon.  Kitchen is a disaster. Grocery store; Mom's house; cooking, cutting, and freezing Corn.  Running out of freezer space.  Rearranging freezer and fridge to fit everything in.  Hungry.  Telling Second Son to make Pancakes to use up that last 1-3/4 Cup Bisquick to get that Costco-sized box out of the fridge.  So, he's in the kitchen and Eldest Son is right there at his elbow adding his two-cents worth commentary on the frying Pancakes.  And there is Eldest Daughter, with a Cake mix, begging, (begging!) to make cupcakes right now.  Right. Now.  Right! Now!  So, to pacify, "Go ahead.  Just make them at the kitchen table and not over here in this mess."  Rooting through the fridge, trying to find something other than Pancakes to eat, giving mixing instructions while buried neck-deep in the fridge, and coming across a mostly-used jar of Lemon Curd and a lonely brick of Cream Cheese with a swiftly-approaching use-by date.  And THAT is the why-and-wherefore behind the inspiration for
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!
And a week later, Daughter is having a friend to spend the night.  (Why is it that it takes literally all summer to just accomplish this? Why?) Together they baked these Cupcakes as a fun little project. And, yes, they used fresh Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese.  Because these were so good the ingredients should be kept on hand at all times...  
"A {girl} that hath friends must shew {herself} friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a {sister}"
Proverbs 18:24

Much to my chagrin, this is what it looks like behind the scenes...

1 comment:

deborah said...

Everyone has the behind the scenes! :) It's fun to me to see how I can shoot a cute picture amid the mess! The cupcakes are so pretty!