Monday, August 3, 2009

Yellow Cupcakes

It's still hotter than a horse's patooot here in Arizona. In this weather, I do something crazy...I use my solar oven. I keep it out on my patio and it keeps the heat outside. Love it! I have had a lot of requests for more solar cooking, and I am so happy to help! So, this week I thought I would share some of my favorite solar recipes. Some of them are baked goods, some are main courses. If you don't have a solar oven, they work in the regular oven. A couple work in the crock pot.

Face wanted to have some cupcakes. I have to admit, I really like "A Baker's Field Guide to Cupcakes" by Dede Wilson. In particular, the recipe for yellow cupcakes I have found to make a very nice quality cupcake.
You will need:
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or cake flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature, cut into small pieces)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk ( I use soy milk)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For me, that means opening the flaps of my solar oven so it gets really hot.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar gradually beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down after each additions, allowing each egg to be absorbed before each addition. Add the flour mixture in 4 additions, alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among cupcake pan, lined with paper liners. I have one that makes half a half dozen, since the chamber in the solar oven is a little bit smaller than the regular oven. For solar, put in hot oven and bake 20-25 minutes. For regular oven, 350 degrees 18-20 minutes.
To check if the cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick in the center. If it shows a few moist crumbs but comes out clean, it is done. The cupcakes might color a bit around the edges, but they should not get brown. This recipe yields 12 cupcakes. So it's not a major project, just a nice amount.

The killer chocolate frosting is my recipe. It's a nice touch and fat free as far as frostings go. Not bad.
Chocolate Glaze
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup hot water
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well. Easy stuff right?

If your husband doesn't eat all the frosting, feel free to slather it on those cooled cupcakes. Ace is incorrigible. Really.
There you go.

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