Monday, August 2, 2010

Shark Cupcakes

It's Shark Week and to celebrate I made cupcakes! Shark Week is a week long event on The Discovery Channel that airs episodes dedicated to sharks. Me? A nerd? OK, maybe. So when I had the idea to make cupcakes for this week long shark festival, I went straight to Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Book. I love it, and I really love the One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe. One bowl! The ease of this recipe is almost as awesome as the actual cupcake itself. For the frosting, I used the Vanilla Buttercream recipe from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. To make the shark fin, I just removed the yummy center from an Oreo cookie, cut the cookie in half, dipped it in melted and gray tinted vanilla canned frosting and let dry. The shark fin idea is from the brilliant minds of the people who wrote Hello Cupcake. If you love cupcakes as much as I do, I highly suggest you buy this book.

On one of my favorite TV shows, 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan's character advises to "Live every week like it's Shark Week." If that means eating cupcakes and watching TV, I am so there!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
3/4 C. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 C. buttermilk
3 Tbl. vegetable oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 C. warm water

Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water, beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cook completely.

Traditional Vanilla Buttercream from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
8 cups, confectioners' sugar
1/2 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (you may very well not need all of the sugar). Use and store icing at room temperature, as icing will set if chilled. Can store in airtight container up to three days.


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