Happy New Year!
Can you believe it is already 2012?
This year, instead of New Years Resolutions, I am choosing a word that I hope will be my theme for 2012. My word this year is:
It may not seem like a very exciting theme, but I think it is perfect for where I am in my life right now. Acceptance will have many facets this year.
First, I want to accept myself. I first began my journey to acceptance this past fall, when I acknowledged that I am not the greatest housekeeper (read: organized chaos or cooking = giant mess). After I acknowledged this about myself, I realized that I was happier, because I didn’t have to pretend anymore. Now that I have accepted I think it will be easier to make improvements.
Next, I want to accept others, especially my beautiful children. I want to continue to love them for their individual personalities without comparing them to others.
Lastly, I want to accept circumstances that I can’t change instead of worrying needlessly. In all honesty, this will probably be the most difficult, but I think I will a happier person because of it.
So, to toast this year’s theme, I thought we’d have some Champagne Cupcakes! Here’s to a happy & prosperous 2012! Cheers!
Note: Yes, I know that only
Champagne only comes
from the Champagne region of . I also know that I used “sparkling wine”. But we’re calling these France Champagne
cupcakes anyway. Deal.
*When preparing the garnish, cookie cutters are optional, you can also break up the candy into shards, which also look very nice.
*Be sure to use small, metal cookie cutters when dealing with melted candy.
½ cup canola oil
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup champagne
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup, plus 2 tbsp flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
Champagne Butter Cream
½ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
½ tbsp meringue powder
4-5 tbsp champagne
Pinch of salt
Jolly Ranchers or other hard candy
Small cookie cutters
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 8 liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the oil, salt and sugar on medium-high for about 2 minutes.
Turn the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are well combined before adding another. Add in the champagne and vanilla; beat until combined.
Lightly sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and baking soda on top of the batter. Mix on medium-low until combined.
Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full and bake for 19-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Move to wire racks and cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the garnish by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and spraying desired cookie cutters with non stick spray. Arrange the candies in a square shape in the center of the pan.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until the candy is melted. Be sure to check the candy frequently, so it does not begin to bubble or foam.
Move the baking sheet to a wire rack and immediately place the cookie cutters into melted candy. Allow the candy to cool and harden with the cookie cutters in place.
Once the candy is hardened and cool, carefully break the candy to remove the cookie cutters and the shaped candy. Break up any left over candy for additional garnish.
Once the garnish and cupcakes have cooled, begin the icing.
Combine the shortening, powdered sugar, meringue powder, salt, and 4 tablespoons of champagne (add the additional tablespoon to thin the icing, if needed) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low until combined. Beat on medium high until fluffy; 1-2 minutes. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a
tip 1M. Swirl the icing onto the cupcakes and garnish
with candy pieces. Wilton
Makes 8 cupcakes