Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa Claus Is Coming . . .

When we went to Vegas early in December we visited Nellis Air Force Base and the Commissary (I love military Commissarys -- you always find such interesting and different things there!)    and since it was December, I found
I haven't seen these sugar decorations since I was a child.

These little decorative candies which look so vintage -- like something from the 50s that my mother would have used!

But I could imagine them decorating the white frosting of a red velvet cupcake and so I brought them home from Vegas.

And yesterday, I did bake cupcakes.    Alas, not red velvet ones but rather Nigella Lawson's vanilla cupcakes which I call "Fairy Cakes" and which I have baked many times.    I like them because they're mixed in the food processor and go together in a thrice!

But I did frost them with white frosting . . .

Smooth white icing -- the perfect base for a Santa face.

And put one of my little Santa faces in the middle of each cupcake.

Cupcakes all done.

The recipe makes 12 and here is my bevy of Santa cupcakes.

Then, with a Martha Stewart item I found last week . . .

I bought these on a lark not knowing for sure what I would do with them -- I would buy them again -- they make an ordinary cupcake look special!

A decorative cutout sleeve for cupcakes.     The red of the sleeve makes the cupcake look extra special.

Cupckes baked - check
Cupcakes iced - check
Decoration in place - check
Red cupcake cases on - check
Now time to package for gift giving

The cupcakes with their Santa faces and in their little red cupcake cases all ready for . . .

I love to put baked goods in cello bags -- they're a perfect gift for one!

packaging in cello bags tied with a red ribbon.

A sweet sweet for a gift. . . 

The perfect little treat.

For one!

Who wouldn't like to get one of these cupcakes as a gift?
The gift recipients?    The Staff at the newspaper who publishes my weekly column.

The recipe for the cupcakes is so simple and I like the Royal icing to top them although I have used buttercream a time or two.

Fairy Cakes

1 stick plus 1 T. soft butter
1/2 c. plus 1 T. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2 t. vanilla
2 to 3 T. milk

Take everything you need out of the fridge in time to get to room temperature -- and this makes a huge difference in the lightness of the cupcakes later -- and preheat the oven to 400.

Put all of the ingredients for the cupcakes except for the milk into the food processor and blitz until smooth.    Pulse while adding the milk down the funeral, to make a smooth dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture between 12 muffin tins (lined with muffin papers) and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.    They should have risen and be golden on top.    Let them cool a little in their tins on a rack and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in the papers, still on the wire rack.

Ice with Royal Icing

Royal Icing:

1 large egg white (or substitute powdered egg whites)
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. lemon juice

Combine the egg whites and powdered sugar in a medium size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes.    Whisk in the lemon juice, this will thin out the icing.    Beat for another couple of minutes until you reach the right spreading consistency for the cupcakes.

This will ice all 12 cupcakes and there will be some leftover.

It's Friday and so it's tim e to join Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday and I'm joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.


Pondside said...

They are so sweet, Martha! I'm sure that they will be received with oohs and aahs!
I love commissaries too - the best stuff!

MarmePurl said...

What a lovely gift. Treats made with love are always the best. I will difinitly need to look for those cutout cupcake holders/

On Crooked Creek said...

I know your staff at the newspaper will feel "extra" special receiving one of these cupcakes! Small towns have such a bonding! Merry Christmas!