My house smelled of cupcakes all week long. Seven dozen cookies-n-cream were made in celebration of my sister's birthday. I was happy she asked me to make her treat to bring to work. I also made tiramisu cupcakes for the first time. I had found this recipe here and only made a few slight changes. I did not use a box mix of cake and instead started with a yellow cake recipe I had. Within that recipe, I replaced some of the milk normally used with brandy. I used 1/4 cup and it gave the cake a nice flavor without overpowering it or being too boozy. This of course could be adjusted based on your like or dislike of brandy. I wanted it added as I knew I was preparing these for a tiramisu connoisseur. It seemed many of the cupcake recipes I found omitted the brandy or any kind of alcohol that was often called for in regular tiramisu recipes. I then prepared the liquid coffee just as the recipe suggested. I'm not one to usually have instant coffee on hand but since Starbucks has come out with handy instant packets of many of their fabulous roasts, I usually have a few laying around. Three of those packets (I used Italian Roast Extra Bold) were just the right amount. For future batches of these I will poke more and possibly larger holes for the coffee to soak into.
Next I prepared what the recipe intended for the "filling". I felt that the small amount that would be injected into the cupcake would not be nearly enough fluffy, creamy goodness. The recipe called for the filled cupcake to be topped with a buttercream, which I was told by a tiramisu loving friend would ruin the tiramisu-esque flavor of the cupcake. So the filling (which is fabulous and could be a fantastic topping for ANY dessert) became my frosting. With the light texture, I wasn't sure how well it would pipe on and it definitely required a steady hand. I used Wilton tip #2D. I may experiment with different tips and piping techniques in the future. A light dusting of cocoa powder was all that was needed atop these delightful treats. One dozen was sent off with a coworker for her Mom's birthday but I made extra for friends and family to sample. A dear friend who has become the Tasty Sweet photographer took some pictures for me. My sister even gave me an early Christmas present to use as a prop. These cupcakes made cute passengers in my new ice skate cupcake stand. The trio of cupcakes looks so inviting sitting next to a warm cup of coffee.
I finished out my week making 12 dozen mini peppermint hot chocolate cupcakes. I was flattered that friends of mine wanted these cupcakes to share with their family, friends and coworkers during their Christmas celebrations. I did keep 2 dozen to share with my family on Christmas Eve as promised! I needed to get a shot of them all before being divided out as it as my biggest one day batch to date.
After all the baking was complete, I managed to finish shopping and wrapping gifts. All that was left to do was enjoy, and that I did! Wine, too much food and treats, gifts shared with family and friends and all around merriment. I must have made Santa's nice list this year as I was spoiled with many wonderful gifts including many to inspire me in my cupcake adventures. My parents surprised me with the creme de la creme of baking equipment, the KitchenAid Stand Mixer. I had recently burnt out the motor of my hand mixer and was using my Mom's stand mixer this past week. Needless to say, I am very excited to try out the mixer and all my other new supplies this week! I'm posting a picture of the baking related items I received. Yes, I know I am very lucky. No, I'm not trying to brag. When I look at this picture, I see the support of family and friends for this crazy cupcake dream of mine. And that my friends is the best gift I could ever receive. I am truly blessed.