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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Tree Cupcakes and An Update


I am feeling a bit time poor at the moment (I will explain more at the end of this post) but wanted to get into the kitchen to whip something Christmassy up so these were the perfect solution. I had seen variations around and thought they were cute and seemed simple enough. For the cupcake I used my tried and true ‘Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake’ batter and placed it into 16 brown cupcake papers – which look like the base of a tree and baked at 180°C for about 15 minutes (or until they can be lightly touched and spring back).

While they cooked and then cooled I used fondant icing to make the little stars to go on top. To do this cut a piece of fondant off the block it comes in and warm it between your hands, once it has reached a workable consistency you can add a few drops of yellow food colouring (you could also use pre-coloured fondant or leave it white and dust it with edible glitter) and kneed it through so the colour is uniform. To cut the stars you need to dust you work surface and your rolling pin with cornflour, roll your fondant out to about 0.5cm thick and cut your stars, placing them on non-stick wax paper to harden so that they can be stuck on top of your trees. These could be made in advance and placed in an air-tight container.

Once your cupcakes have cooled ice them with a buttercream frosting, you could do plain vanilla or something a little more festive and use a peppermint flavor. To do this you will need:

150 grams butter (softened)
2 - 2½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or ½ teaspoon peppermint essence)
A few drops of green food colouring

Cream the butter until it is pale in colour then sift in your first cup of icing sugar as well as adding 1 tablespoon hot water and your essence, beat until combined and then sift in your remaining 1 –1½ cups of icing sugar until you get the desired consistency and add your colouring. Place your frosting in a piping bag and use a Wilton 1M tip or similar to frost each cupcake so it resembles a tree.

To decorate place coloured chocolate drops or the little edible silver balls so that they resemble decorations around the tree and top each cupcake with a star.

Enjoy giving these and lots of our other fantastic recipes a go! Feel free to share what you have been up to by leaving comments here, Facebook, or email us – we love hearing from you. I really want to find the time to give the Candy Cane Cookies Mel posted yesterday a try.

Also while I am here I will give you a brief update on what is happening with me – Shane and I have sold our house and are moving to New Plymouth in February 2012 (I will elaborate on this in the new year), we have to be out of our house late January so I will be very busy packing, trying to catch up with our gorgeous friends and family as well as caring for Maxie - who is also having a big 1st birthday extravaganza before we leave, that I am organising on top of everything else! All of this doesn’t leave a whole heap of time for baking and blogging but I promise to do my best to share anything that I get time to bake.

Before I sign off I thought I would share with you an updated pic of Max – he is 10.5 months now (can you believe it? I can’t!).

So from me and my family to you and all of yours, Merry Christmas! Have wonderful days with your loved ones xx

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