Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Toxic Cupcakes for Halloween!

I love, love, love Halloween (I better!  I got married on Halloween seven years ago!).  It's the only really fun holiday.  There's no pressure: you can dress up as who or whatever you want (or not), you get to eat candy, and there only stress you have is the stress you create for yourself.  There's no worrying over finding the perfect gift, cooking the perfect turkey, etc.  It's all about make believe....and if you don't love that, then there's something wrong with you.

The other night, I had the whole family over for an early Halloween dinner.  I made a a yummy (and surprisingly low-calorie) chili, cornbread, my famous guacamole, and...to finish it all off...toxic green and black cupcakes.

Here's the recipe I followed.  The recipe is nice because it only makes 12 cupcakes--and 12 is plenty for my family of six!  The end result is a somewhat more dense cupcake than I am used to...a cupcake that's more like an old fashion cake donut.  These aren't the best cupcakes I've ever made, but they were yummy (and, since the recipe came from Cooking Light, they were relatively low cal and low fat for a cupcake!).


3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (I used skim!)

  • Preheat oven to 350.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat first three ingredients at medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt (use regular table salt.  Also: you may want to sift the cocoa if it seems clumpy) to combine.  
  • Add flour mixture to the sugar/egg mixture alternatively with the milk, beginning and ending with flour (like this: 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 of the milk, 1/3 flour, remaining milk, remaining flour).  Mix well after each addition.
  • Spoon cupcake batter into prepared paper lined tins.  
  • Bake at 350 for 22 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center.
  • Cool cupcakes in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Remove cupcakes from tin and let cool completely on wire rack.
  • Frost with your favorite frosting once completely cool.
  • Every time I make a chocolate cake, I add a teaspoon or so of instant espresso powder.  This gives chocolate a little more dimension.  I am not a fan of chocolate flavored things (though I do like coffee!), but I promise you won't notice a coffee flavor.  Like I said...it just gives chocolate more umpf.
  • I was really lazy and used pre-made vanilla frosting (I think it was Duncan Hines?).  I added a boatload of green food coloring to the frosting to make my cupcakes look toxic.  Black and green is a great alternative to the traditional Halloween black and orange combo.

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