Save the Date: It is Time to Assume In regards to the Valentine’s Day Treats – Life-style – Aurora Advertiser – Aurora, MO

These sweet treats make perfect custom servings for all of your Valentines.

Light red velvet cupcakes with fluffy cream cheese
Served 24
For the cupcakes:
• 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose or cake flour
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
• 1 cup of non-fat sour cream
• 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup red food coloring
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla
• 1 cup of low-fat buttermilk
• 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
For the cream cheese frosting:
• 1/3 cup light cream cheese
• 1/3 cup of whipped butter or low-fat margarine
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla
• 2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper or foil inserts.

Whisk whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

Mix the sugar, sour cream and oil well in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them well one at a time. Pour in the food coloring and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. At low speed, add half of the flour mixture and then half of the buttermilk. Mix in the rest of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the buttermilk, and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Mix vinegar and baking powder in a small bowl. Quickly whip the bubbly mixture into the cake batter for about 10 seconds.
Place about 1/4 cup of batter in each cupcake foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a fork comes out clean in the center of your largest cupcake. Let the cupcake tins cool for 5 minutes before placing the cupcakes on a cooling shelf. Let cool down completely.

In the meantime, clean the mixer.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing: In the now clean mixer, stir the cream cheese and butter on a medium level until they are light and fluffy (about 90 seconds).

On a low mixer, stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar along with the vanilla. Once the sugar is worked into the butter, increase the speed to high for about 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, reduce the speed to low, mix in another cup of powdered sugar, then beat on high speed for another 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the remaining powdered sugar until you get the frosting texture you want. (The frosting can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

Freeze the cooled cupcakes and serve.

Sugar cookies
Makes 48 cookies
• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more to roll out the biscuits
• 2 teaspoons of tartar
• 1 teaspoon of baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
• 3 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla
• Colored sugar for decorating

Sift the flour, tartar, baking powder and salt together.

Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat lightly and loosely at medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until well blended. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and shape the dough into a disc. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a rim with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking sheet.

Divide the chilled dough into four equal pieces. Roll the dough, one piece at a time, onto a lightly floured board 1/8 inch thick. (Keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator until you can roll it out.) Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into the shapes you want. Place it on the prepared baking sheet at a distance of about 5 cm. Sprinkle with colored sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Place in a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. To serve.

Recipe courtesy of Joyce Carver

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