Sunday, September 19, 2010

And They Lived Happily Ever After...

Just this past Saturday, I had the privilege of making cupcakes for my best friend's sister's wedding down in San Diego.  

Doesn't she look stunning?

~~

{.married.}

[{}]

 {.wedding cupcakes.}

[{}]
 

[{}]

  
[{}]


[{}]

  {.and they lived happily ever after.}

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Graduation Cupcakes

[[graduated.]]

Today, we celebrated my dear cousin's graduation from high school
-and-
her subsequent entry into college.

This summer, she will be packing up and leaving Southern California for the trek across the United States to Barnard College in New York.

New York has no idea what's about to hit it, but once she gets there, 
it will never be the same.

[[]] 

Mr. Dot and I contributed to the festivities by putting together some cupcakes to represent both of her schools:

HIGH SCHOOL
[brown and yellow]

COLLEGE
[blue and white]

Together, we baked and decorated *100 cupcakes* for the party.  I used just two of my favorite recipes in order to keep it simple: 

Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes, and 
Amy Sedaris' Vanilla Cupcakes

I like both of these recipes because I feel that they are pretty fool-proof, (yes, I have accidentally doubled the amount of butter necessary for the vanilla cupcakes before and they still clogged arteries turned out delicious) and they both turn out nice, moist cupcakes.  If you too are a fan of low-maintenance cupcakes, then these recipes are perfect for you:  

♥ONE-BOWL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES♥
From "Martha Stewart's Cupcakes"

Makes about 24 cupcakes 
(Note: I find it usually makes just under 24... perhaps 20?)

Ingredients: 
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 c. AP flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3/4 c. warm water
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk (I usually end up using the ol' vinegar-and-milk substitution since I never have buttermilk on hand)
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, SIFT together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. ADD eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; MIX until smooth (about 3 minutes).  Scrape down.
  4. DIVIDE batter evenly among liners, filling each about two-thirds full.  
  5. BAKE until tops spring back when touched; about 20 minutes. (Note: this recipe usually takes about 17 minutes for me.  I'd set your oven for 15 and go from there)
~♥~

♥VANILLA CUPCAKES♥
From, "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence," by Amy Sedaris

Makes 24 cupcakes
(Note: I can actually usually get more than 24 outta this recipe)  

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
Directions:
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F and line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, CREAM together butter and sugar.
  3. BEAT in eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking powder.
  4. ADD flour in 3 batches, alternating with milk.
  5. MIX until batter is smooth with no lumps.  Do not overbeat.
  6. DIVIDE batter evenly among cups.  
  7. BAKE for 16-20 minutes or until tops are pale gold and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  (Note: this recipe also bakes at 17 minutes for me)
  8. COOL on rack until at room temperature.  Proceed to smother with buttercream frosting (recipe follows).

*DISCLAIMER*
Now, before I continue on to my buttercream frosting recipe,  
allow me to clarify something really quickly: 

~In this happy world of baking and sweets, there are two major frosting parties~ 

[1] Those who subscribe to the SMBC [Swiss Meringue Buttercream] fan club
and
[2] Those who swear by shortening-based buttercreams

I, my dears, am of the latter persuasion.

There's just something about a sweet, traditional buttercream 
[just like mom used to make]
that makes me smile every time I bite into a piece of cake.
It's simple to whip up, it's simple to change the consistency, and the use of shortening (instead of more butter or eggs) results in a pure white buttercream that tints to precise shades.

*sigh*
 
Shortening-based buttercreams will always be  
my favorite  

♥MISS DOT'S BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
From, well, me.


Ices 10-12-? cupcakes (obviously, this depends on how thick you ice them!)

Ingredients:
  • 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar (I don't sift it.  I know, I'm such a rebel...)
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 3 T. Karo brown sugar corn syrup (optional -- I think this adds a really robust flavor in the background of the icing but it's not necessary)
  • Milk or water (as necessary)
Directions:
  1. CREAM the butter and shortening.
  2. ADD the sugar in two batches.
  3. ADD vanilla and corn syrup (if using it).
  4. BLEND in milk/water as necessary to achieve consistency you want.
NOTE: Don't be afraid to really whip this icing to remove lumps.  You'll end up with a fluffier, lighter product if you do.  Since this recipe is so simple, it's fun to experiment with consistency to get a good feel for what you like.  
 
These recipes are very simple yet they yield delicious results.  They're perfect for summertime get-togethers [[think family BBQ's, neighborhood block parties, Fourth of July...]] or an afternoon bake session with the kiddos.

Toss some sprinkles on 'em and they're done!


Until next time...
xoxo

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

{Re}Introduction


Hello there!

OK, let's see if we can try this again.  Allow me to (re)introduce myself: I am Miss Dot, wife to Mr. Dot (yes, yes, I know it says "Miss," but it just has a nicer ring to it than Mrs. Dot, don't you think?), and I love to bake.  In fact, I even work at a bakery!  (Cutest bakery I ever done seen, too, thankyouverymuch!)

I know I've been out of the picture for a bit so if you're still following this blog, THANK YOU!  If not, and you're new, that's just fine, too, because I'm going to be changing how this blog works a bit.  

To begin, one of the main reasons I took a Blog-cation in the first place was because I found myself getting really, really overwhelmed.  It's hard to maintain two blogs, work a full-time job, be a full-time wife, and maintain friendships with all your bloggy friends (which means reading their blogs and making meaningful comments on their posts!)  Plus, I wanted to keep up with SITS stuff, too, and I found myself constantly feeling like I was drowning in an online frenzy of comments, posts, and emails.  I can't imagine how people with kids do it!  Yikes.  I'm so super impressed.  Seriously.

That's why, from here on out, there are gonna be some NEW RULES:

[1] No "Follow Me and I'll Follow You" - Did you stop by and like what you saw?  Fantastic!  Follow along!  Don't feel like following?  Peachy keen.  I hate feeling bullied into following sites that half the time I can't remember why I followed in the first place.

[2] No Fancy-Schmancy Alliteration Days - I'm sorry, but I just can't commit to these darn things!  I think they're nifty, I love reading 'em, but I don't have Terrific Tuesdays, Wordless Wednesdays, Thrifty Thursdays, Fahrvergn├╝gen Fridays... 

[3] This Blog is Award-Free - Think this blog should get an award?  Thank you for thinking of me (and I genuinely do appreciate the recognition!) but I'd rather keep this blog as clutter-free as possible!

[4] No Daily Posts - Holy mac-a-roni, I don't know how people do this, but I swear I've even see people post multiple times daily.  What the heck are they doing?  Are they attached to their computer?  Does their brain automatically send signals to a keyboard so anytime they think a post is written?!  I can't even fathom how people do this.  In my case, I'd like to keep this blog almost as an online public journal of any baking/decorating that I do.  I can't say I'll post every day, but I'll sure try to post as much as I can!  That might be a couple times a week, that might be a few times a month, but most certainly not every day.

Lastly [[and most importantly]]...

[5] This Blog is about having Fun - This blog is going to be really relaxed and laid-back.  Wanna share a recipe or baking tip?  Send it on over!  Have a question about a recipe or a technique?  I'm all ears!  Did you hit up a really cool car show this past weekend and you want to go in on buying a sweet '57 Bel Air with me?  I'll pony up my half right now.  Know of a hot sale on wiggle dresses?  Shoot, let's go shopping!  

Bottom line here is that this blog is about something fun for me to do and hopefully something fun for you, too.  Hopefully, it'll be a win-win situation.  

Thanks for coming 'round!  Until next time...






P.S. -- I only just realized that somewhere along the line, my header lost an apostrophe (between the "T" and the "S" in "Its." This is utterly frustrating and I sure as heck hope that my mom doesn't notice because the only other person who gets annoyed by bad grammar as much as I do is, well, my mom. Sorry mom! I'm fixing it soon, I promise...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blog-cation!



Hi!!

Thanks for stopping by :)

I just wanted to let you know that I'll be taking a little break from blogging for a bit as I strive to find the new groove of life between taking care of my home and husband and working at my new job.

In the meantime, check out some recipes or browse some galleries to get some ideas for your own cupcakes!

See you soon!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Fame... It's Going to My Head...

Um, so I know I'm no celebrity, but there's something about being asked for advice that makes me feel super important.  

Like I'm some sort of ZENITH of knowledge.

A wealth of information.

A source of all there is to know.

The end-all be-all of ---
OK, do you get the point yet?   
Can I let my big head deflate now?

Last week, Amber of Amber's Life sent me an email asking me if I had a good recipe for red velvet cupcakes.

Do I have a good recipe for red velvet cupcakes?

Uh...

Does Gertie Rock?  Does doing taxes stink?  Are Reality TV shows overrated?
 [answers: yes, yes, and double yes]

You get my point.

 So yes, I had a recipe to share with her as well as my own recipe for cream cheese frosting.

Here's what she came up with:
Look at these little beauties!  
Look how RICH and RED they are!!

Ohhhhh... that's what a red velvet should look like...

Here they are iced:
Mmmm... word on the streets is that these suckers didn't last long...

Check out the sweet little sprinkles she found to put on top:
Awwww...

Thanks for petting my ego making my day, Amber!! 

(And hey, if any of you get a chance, go check out her blog Designs by Amber, too.  She's so talented!)


Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day!

OK OK, I know Valentine's Day is over, but can I still show you what I made anyway?


Plus, look at the newest addition to my cake stand collection:
[[courtesy of my Aunt Carol]]
Isn't she pretty??  

I made these cupcakes at my mom's house this past weekend for her to take into work on Monday.
(Which meant I didn't have my nice camera... I hope the digital will do!)

Even though they were a day late for Valentine's Day,
I don't think anyone complained.
Cupcakes on a Monday? 
I'll second that motion!

[[All in all, here were the combinations that I made]]

BOX 1
Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting + Nutella Filling
Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting + Chocolate Ganache Filling
Chocolate Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting + Cherry Filling
  Chocolate Cake + Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (no filling)

[]

BOX 2
White Cake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting + Nutella Filling
White Cake + Vanilla Buttercream Frosting + Strawberry Filling
White Cake + Chocolate Buttercream + Chocolate Ganache Filling
White Cake + Vanilla Buttercream Frosting + Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
[]
BOX 3 
Red Velvet topped with Cream Cheese Frosting :)
(C'mon... did you think I'd forget to make these?  It's VALENTINE'S DAY, for heaven's sakes!)

I hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day!

I know I sure did!


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sick Day(s)



Miss Dot's feeling a little under the weather right now (food poisoning...ugh...), so it may be another day or two until her next post. Until then, use this to keep yourself occupied. Happy Monday.