Sunday, December 12, 2010

Urban Cowgirls & the Cosmos Cupcake

One of my biggest cupcake supporters just had her birthday and since I couldn't be with her to celebrate, I baked her cupcakes for the party. Mandy is a city girl through and through and was having a western theme party to celebrate. So what to make...

Urban Cowgirl cupcakes of course! These are just for her and are a cosmos flavored cupcake toped with pearls and marzipan cowboy hats (I had some hot cowboy picks too but they didn't arrive in time for me to shape their pictures).

So city folks, here's the recipe and some scrumptious pictures to go with...

For the cuppies:

3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbl. baking powder
1 Tbl. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1 cup milk, divided
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Premade Cosmopolitan Cocktails (I used Dailys Ready to Drink)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake pans with liners.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer using the whisk attachment. Add the butter and 1/2 the milk and mix on medium until smooth and creamy, about just short of 5 minutes. Stop and scrap the sides of the bowl as needed.

In a different bowl, combine the eggs, wholes and whites, remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, and the vanilla until it's creamy. Add slowly to the flour mixture, mixing completely with each addition. Once throughly mixed I added 4 Tbl. of the cosmopolitan mixed drink directly to the batter. Add more to taste.

Scooping the thick mixture into the cupcake tins and bake 16-20 minutes, most of mine were right at 18 minutes. Transfer immediately to wire racks and brush tops heavily with cosmopolitan drink.

For the icing I went with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tbl sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbl. cosmo drink mix

Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips.)

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom side of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate up to 3 days for freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

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