Monday, March 21, 2011

Frosting. From Scratch.

Unless you consider baking productive, I have done nothing worthwhile this weekend. Two birthdays in one weekend is almost more than I can handle. I don't think my kitchen will ever be the same again. Flour has gone to places that flour should never go.

For all of you that own mixers and still continue to use store bought frosting, it is time to stop the madness. Revolt! Break out that mixer and make your own frosting. It's the first step to becoming a cupcake goddess -- and it's easy.

You only need a few basic ingredients. Plus a big ziplock bag. 

Before you start hook up your whisk attachment.

First, take 4 cups of confectioners sugar. Also known as powdered sugar. Also known as icing sugar. 

Throw it in the mixing bowl.

Next, add a stick of softened butter. Or margarine (sorry, Mary). If you can plan in advance then simply set it out to soften. If not, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. 

Dump in 1 tablespoon of vanilla.

Turn the mixer on LOW. I like to cover it with a towel to help minimize the sugar storm. I'm sure they make attachments for these purposes but I'm not cool and do not have one.

Mix until the butter is cut into the sugar. It should take a minute or two of mixing.

Then slowly begin adding milk. Turn up the mixer speed. You won't need more than 1/4 cup. 

Keep adding until the frosting takes on a nice whipped consistency. If you put in too much milk, its no problem -- just add some more sugar to balance.

If you're going to add color now would be the time to do it....just a thought.

Chocolate frosting? No prob, Bob. Add 1/4 cup cocoa

However, this will give you light brown frosting. If you're going for dark're out of it.

Again, use the towel to keep the spray from getting into your coffee pot. Otherwise you'll be drinking cafe mochas for a week.

Now for the big question -- frosting tip or no no frosting tip??

I prefer no tip for cupcakes. One, it's easy. Two, I like the circular shape it gives the frosting.

Just plunk the frosting into a ziplock bag and cut off the corner. You could also use a "frosting bag" but that involves driving all the way to Michael's and way too much effort.

If you choose to use a fancy tip for decorating do the same thing to the bag, just be sure to stick the tip in the corner before you put the frosting in the bag. Trust me, it's not easy to put the tip in through the frosting.

Once the frosting bag is ready simply squeeze the frosting onto the cake in whatever pattern your little heart desires. 

FYI. If you step away from the frosting or are only using part of it at a time, be sure to cover it with a damp paper towel. Otherwise it will dry out and you'll get to start all over! Won't that be fun?

At this point your kitchen should look like a hurricane came through it. This photo just doesn't do it justice. I think they're about to declare a natural disaster.

So, lean back, put your feet up, eat a cupcake and yell for someone else to come clean up the mess. What? I can dream, can't I?

Condensed version:

For one cake or 24 cupcakes.
4 cups confectioners sugar (1 bag)
1 stick of butter
1 tbsp vanilla
~1/4 cup milk

Using whisk attachment, mix sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix on low. Slowly add small amount of milk. Mix on medium. Continue adding until desired consistency.  


Saturday Workout: Cardio - 60 minutes, Weights - Biceps, Shoulders, Abs

Sunday Workout: Cardio - 45 minutes, Weights - Triceps, Chest, Abs

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