Monday, December 17, 2012

Santa Claus Is Coming . . .

I have blogged a lot about cupcakes this year -- and I'm not done yet. After all, The Diva Frosts a Cupcake won't be out until June! These cupcakes are super easy to decorate. I did use a little bit of piping this time, but it doesn't have to be perfect. It would be such a fun project for kids. You could bake the cupcakes ahead of time and pop them into the freezer until you're ready for the grand frosting and decorating event.

To freeze cupcakes, put them in the freezer on a flat tray, uncovered. After 6-24 hours, slide the frozen cupcakes into freezer bags and you're done. To thaw, just bring them to room temperature for about 45 minutes. One point of caution -- one of my baking trays turned an unpleasant grey color after being frozen. It absolutely won't wash off. So be careful about freezing them on a baking sheet. A piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil works great.

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes  
(makes 24 cupcakes or 48 mini-cupcakes)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup high quality unsweetened powdered chocolate
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (1 square)
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini-morsel semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake liners in the cupcake pans.

Combine flour, powdered chocolate, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and blend well with a small whisk or a fork.
Melt the square of chocolate. (This can be done in short bursts of 20-30 seconds in the microwave.)

Cream butter with sugar. Add each egg and beat well. Add the flour mixture in small amounts, alternating with the milk. Beat in the melted chocolate and then the vanilla. Add the mini-chocolate chips and beat to combine.

Divide between cupcake papers, filling each about 1/2 full. Bake 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Caramel Frosting

(Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes and should be doubled if frosting the entire batch at once.)

1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Place first four ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. (I use a Pyrex 2-cup measure.) Microwave in short bursts from 20-50 seconds, stirring each time until it bubbles up and is hot. Set aside to cool. Must be completely cool to make the frosting. (After it cools substantially, I place it in the fridge for 1/2 hour while the butter comes to room temperature.)

Beat the butter well, scraping the sides and beating again. Add the cream and the cool caramel mixture and beat. Add the vanilla and beat. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency.

Santa Cupcakes

For the Santa cupcakes I used two different frostings so there would be a little bit of color difference between the tone of the skin and the white hair and hat decorations.

Naturally, you can use any cupcake you like, even store bought ones.

red and green fruit roll-ups
red sugar
blue and green mini M&Ms
pearl sugar beads (optional)
mini-marshmallows (optional)

Unroll fruit roll-up and cut a slightly longish triangular hat. Save scraps for mouths.

Place cap on upper 1/4 of cupcake. Don't worry if it's not perfect.

Sprinkle on red sugar for rosy cheeks.


Pipe trim on Santa's hat.

Add two blue mini M&Ms for eyes.

Cut a mouth out of the scrap of fruit roll-up. Pipe a beard around Santa's mouth. Swirl a toothpick through it to make it look like a beard.
 

Pipe one generous dab of frosting on the side of Santa's hat.

Pick up the tip of the hat and swing it over, pressing it into the dab of frostng.

Snip a mini marshmallow on all sides without cutting through it. Pop on the hat as a pompom. If you prefer, you can pipe a frosting pompom. Add sugar pearls to the trim on the hat to dress it up.

Using a toothpick, place a tiny dab of frosting on each eye. For Mrs. Claus, omit the beard, pipe on some hair, and add a pearl necklace.

The Clauses don't go anywhere without their elves! To make an elf, cut the hat out of a green fruit roll-up and use green mini M&Ms for eyes.

Christmas Cookie Contest!

Don't forget about my Christmas cookie contest while you have your recipes out. The winning recipes will be in the 2014 Domestic Diva Mystery along with your names. Preference will be given to recipes handed down in families. If there's a story behind the recipe, I'd love to hear it. If the recipe came from a cookbook, please tell me the title and author. If it came from the Internet, please provide the link.

Send your recipe to
Krista at KristaDavis dot com

Good luck!


 Merry Christmas!

16 comments:

  1. Best Christmas cupcake decoration I have seen. Santa cup cake looks so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! That's so sweet of you. And I have to say they're very easy to make.

    ~ Krista

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  3. Too cute. Love the step by step directions!!! This means even "I" could decorate them.

    Avery/Daryl

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    Replies
    1. Oh, please! I'm sure you're very creative. But really, anyone can decorate these. It's fun!

      ~ Krista

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  4. Wonderful! Santa Claus is comin' to town in frosting. Lovely, Krista, and have a wonderful holiday week!

    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cleo! We're coming down to the wire. I'm thrilled that I'm done with gifts. Now for baking and Christmas cards!

      ~ Krista

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  5. Caramel frosting? I'm in! And it sounds wonderfully simple to make.

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    1. They are so simple to make that you won't believe it, Libby. And if you don't want to decorate a lot of them, make a few that are decorated and make mini-cupcakes out of the rest of the batter. Still very cute!

      ~ Krista

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  6. These are adorable. I foresee fun in my future!

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    Replies
    1. I hope so, Mary Jane! They're fun to eat and fun to bake!

      ~ Krista

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  7. I too like the caramel frosting & chocolate cupcake. Santa Momma's pearls to cute!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Helena! I liked the necklace, too! And the caramel frosting really is to die for.

      ~ Krista

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  8. Me too Libby on the caramel frosting--I'm gaga for anything caramel. perfect combo with triple chocolate! and adorable:). thanks Krista!

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    Replies
    1. What is it about caramel? It's just sooo good!

      ~ Krista

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  9. These are so clever and I'm sure, delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen. They were such fun to make.

      ~ Krista

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