Saturday, September 4, 2010

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

When I am baking somthing for someonefor a special occasion...the first question I ask is: What is so and so's favorite flavor?

Recently it was my boyfriend's mother’s birthday; her favorite flavor is lemon. Therefore we must make lemon cupcakes! You may be wondering why cupcakes, why not cookies, or some sort of pie? Well cupcakes just scream “BIRTHDAY” and can always make one feel young at heart!
I have been itching at the chance to attempt to make cupcakes, and icing from scratch-so here was my opportunity. I also wanted to impress my boyfriends family with my baking skills, so I thought why not add another component-filling! here goes nothing!

Since I do not have one of these I use my little hand held mixer. This usually does not present a problem with the overall outcome of most the sweets I bake, however using a handheld mixer can make beating butter quite difficult. So sometimes I place the butter in a bowl and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds or so..which usually softens the butter right up! However on this occasion my butter was pretty melted once I removed it from the microwave, and I used it anyway. My cupcakes came out pretty dense due to my butter being over softened to soup consistency, but other than that the end product was extremely edible!
So lesson learned here..Never over softened or over beat butter!

Although I made a few of my own adjustments, this recipe was adapted from Cupcakebakeshop by Chockylit

Strawberry Filling

1 12 ounce bag of Strawberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1. Rinse and pick through strawberries. cut/dice up strawberries. removing the leafs
2. Add to a medium pan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil stirring to dissolve sugar.
3. Let the mixture boil for ten minutes.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
5. Store in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

Lemon Cupcakes

~28 regular cupcakes / 375 degree oven
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup meyer lemon juice
zest of one meyer lemon
1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
6. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest, beat to combine.
7. Scoop into cupcake papers about half full.
8. Place cupcakes in the oven and turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Once the cupcakes have cooled fill a piping bag with the filling you made earlier. Lightly inject the center of the cupcake, squeeze piping bag, and voila!-filled cupcake!

Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
zest of one half meyer lemon
1. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy.

2. Add cream cheese and beat until combined.

3. Sift 3 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter and cream cheese. Add the lemon juice and zest. Beat until combined.
4. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. I used 4 cups.
Suggestion: I actually thought this was a bit too much cream cheese. Next time I would gradually add the cream cheese as I add the sugar and stop once I get the consistency I liked. By adding the amount of cream cheese stated- it was really cheesy so I in turn had to add more like 5-6 cups sugar. (but hey who hates sugar?)

Lemon is such a fresh and light summer flavor. Although a cupcake is not as light as say a cup of fruit for a healthy treat on a hot summer day, the lemon taste actually sits quite nicely as a dessert, in the summer heat! Your taste buds will appreciate the zest after a heavy meal!

This cutie loved them:

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