Remember: If you approach each day as Valentine’s Day, you’ll never find yourself corralled into a restaurant waiting area like over-dressed cattle, elbow-to-elbow with a bunch of strangers during flu season.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz) red food coloring
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp white vinegar
Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with baking liners or grease and flour the muffing cups.
Cream butter and sugar on medium-high for two minutes. Mix in one egg at a time, beating after each addition. Turn mixer off and add food coloring and cocoa powder to bowl. Turn on low until just incorporated and then beat on medium for 4 minutes.
Sift together the flours, salt, and baking soda and set aside. Stir buttermilk and vanilla together. Add dry ingredients to the bowl in three batches, alternately with the buttermilk in two batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat on medium until just combined. Add sour cream and vinegar and beat on low until combined.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full (I used a number 12 scoop to fill the liners) and bake for 25-35 minutes until the cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a rack.
Yields: approx 24 cupcakes
Source: The Pastry Queen Christmas, 2007
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese (no need to soften)
5 Tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Cream cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on med-high speed. Sift the powdered sugar after measuring. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl in batches, beating on low until just combined and then beating on high until desired consistency is reached. For a stiffer icing, add more powdered sugar.
Yields: ~2.5 cups
Source: The Gourmet Cookbook, 2004