Countdown to Christmas…..teeheehee


I just couldn’t help myself. Christmas songs everywhere and I’m loving it!! Even taking a peepee break in the mall washrooms with festive songs has been making me smile 🙂 The Vancouver rain? Not even complaining right now- it’s CHRISTMAS for god’s sake! Seriously time to do some shopping, drink some egg nog (spiked of course) and build em’ gingerbread houses.

I feel like I’m getting a bit…hmmm….well…let’s just say nowadays I much rather curl up warm under a fleece blanket, with a cup of vanilla chai latte, watching Storage Wars. Or the Next Iron Chef. And most recently? Live here, Buy That. Ahhh…love vicariously living through adventurous people while safely at home. Ok. That last part made me sound like a hermit but…well…you know what I mean I hope!

Anyways, that’s why I got excited @ Games Night + Potluck/ BYOB hosted by my friend, Monica. She is seriously, hands-down, the best host. Her Toby is the friendliest, Caesar Milan-watching dog I’ve ever seen! Surprised the fiancĂ© as it has been awhile since a dog has not pee-ed or attacked him (true story). Old school jello shots, ribs, lasagna, homemade sugar-glazed walnuts, bruschetta + cupcakes = best way to spend a Saturday night 🙂

And oh yes. Of course I brought cupcakes and of course they are slapped silly with Christmas love ♥ I wished I took more pics of the cupcakes but it was me with a bottle of wine and cakes. Just couldn’t focus!!

I made Red Velvet Cupcakes (I halved my recipe here from my previous post for a good batch of 14 cupcakes). And Christmas isn’t Christmas without green….

Key Lime Cupcakes (adapted from www.food.com)
Original recipe states 12 cupcakes but I was able to make 14 – 16 cupcakes

Ingredients:
– 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1 1/4 cups sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
– 1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
– 1/4 teaspoon green food colouring
– 3/4 cup of almond milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar (my own substitute for 3/4 cup buttermilk since I never have that in my fridge! You can use this combo with almond milk, regular milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc.)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
3. Add sugar and beat until blended.
4. Add in eggs one at a time.
5. Then add in lime juice, lime peel and food colouring.
6. Sift in flour and alternate with milk mixture (or buttermilk). Tip: If you are using an electric mixer, you can just add in flour and milk mixture at one and mix at low (2) speed.
7. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Around 2/3 full is good.
8 . Bake cupcakes for 20 – 25 minutes. Do toothpick test to ensure it’s fully cooked. Original recipe says to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan but I like to immediately remove from pan to let cool so that the cupcakes don’t overcook in the heated pan.
9. Make sure it is fully cooled before you frost them!
*You can always make these a couple days in advance and wrap them in an airtight container and freeze them. Just let them defrost before you frost.

Assembly:
1. While these babies were cooling, I started on my marshmallow fondant. I made a batch of white and kneaded in the food colouring as I went along.
2. I used round cookie cutters for the toppers and a flower cutter for the “snowflake”. For Rudolph, I used a smaller round cutter for the face and an even smaller one for the eyes and nose. The ears were from the same flower cutter but I just cut it in half and nipped out one petal to shape it into an antler-like thing 🙂 The eyeballs are just black fondant rolled balls.
3.  You can do all these pieces separately. When ready to assemble Rudolph, just tip water onto the pieces to stick them together. You can also do these in advance and let them air dry overnight.
4. Prepare your buttercream frosting (I used 1/2 the recipe which was sufficient to lightly frost around 30 cupcakes). Spread a layer on the top (you may even want to trim the cupcakes which an high dome top so that it is flat enough for the fondant topper to sit on) and place the topper on.
5. NOM NOM NOM

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