Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Last Day of School Cupcakes

     For one of Liam's last days of school, I made these and brought them for his class.  They turned out really yummy and were somewhat healthy since they were loaded with lots of apples!

Modified from the recipe from Made in Melissa's Kitchen

What you need:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp pure vanilla exract
4 cups coarsely shredded apples (Macintosh, about 1 3/4 lbs)
2 large egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (cut into tablespoons)
Red food coloring gel
Chocolate Tootsie Rolls
Lime Tootsie Rolls
Red sanding sugar
Mini chocolate or plain donuts

How to make them:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners, set aside.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Put butter and sugar into a bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low, mix in apples.
Add flour mixture, mix, scrapping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
Divide batter among lined cups, filling halfway, bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from tins, transfer to wire rack, let cool completely.
Put egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water.
Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (160˚F).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Beat on high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.
Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
Switch to paddle attachment.
With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, several tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3-5 minutes more.)
Reduce speed to low, add a few drops of red food coloring, mix to incorporate and to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes.
Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.
To garnish, cut donuts in half.
Spred a little frosting on the top of the cupcake, then place one half of the cut donut on top of the frosting, cut side down.
Spread some frosting over cupcake and donut until even and smooth.
Dip the frosted cupcake into a bowl of the red sanding sugar.
Cut the chocolate Toostie roll in half, then scalp into a stem shape.
Stick the stem into the center on top of the cupcake.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the lime Tootsie rolls, then cut out leaf shapes.
Stick one leave into the center of the cupcake beside the stem.

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