red velvet

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Published January 27, 2013 by jenmatteson

From some reason, Nate thinks that red velvet is my favorite cake ever.  Guess what?  It isn’t.  I think it might be his.  It’s quite funny whenever we see it somewhere or on a menu, he says, “Red velvet cake, honey!  You love that!  Do you want to get some?”  To be fair, I think he thinks this because of a date we had a few years ago, which happened to be Cinco de Mayo.  We didn’t really plan for it, but since it was, we went to a little Mexican place in St. Paul that I like.  It’s somewhat close to actual Mexican food, not super Americanized Mexican food.  We got free tequilla shots for each drink we ordered!  I guess that’s not such a positive thing, seeing as though I’m not really a tequilla fan, but hey, free shots?  Okay.  Anyway, after dinner, we went to a nearby restaurant to have dessert and a bottle of wine.  Both were amazing, but the red velvet cake?  Wow.  It was so good.  I couldn’t stop talking about how I was having a love affair with it!  So, again, to his credit, he continues to think it’s my favorite.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Anyway, red velvet is on my 30 Before 30 list, and I really need to get crackin’ on that list if I want to finish it up before my birthday (July).  Lots of seafood left after this – I’m surly not complaining!  I decided to make mini cupcakes for a ladies night at my house.

I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work, got everything on my list and headed home.  After getting in some comfy clothes, I went to work.  When I took out my mini muffin pan, I quickly realized that I forgot to get cupcake wrappers.  UGH.  I was already in my pjs, made myself a cocktail and was not about to go out in the below zero cold again just to get them.  So I went without.  Not like it’s that big of a deal, but I feel like the outside would have been a bit more soft had I used them.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

When looking for recipes, I first consulted my friends on my What’s Cooking board. I was directed to The Way the Cookie Crumbles for a red velvet cake comparison.  My goodness, this was quite an extensive comparison.  I can’t imagine how many cupcakes she must have had in her house after trying them all!  After reading through, I settled on her adapted recipe from her favorite.  I did half the entire recipe, and I have to remind you that I’m not a baker, therefore, not a very good decorator.  I must say, the recipe was not disappointing in the least!  The cake was light and fluffy, with a slight hint of the cocoa powder, and the frosting was tangy and creamy, though not super rich.  Fantastic!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Source: Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Servings: Makes 36 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp red food coloring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar

For the frosting:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz butter, softened
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar until well combined.  Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

3. Prepare muffin tin with a light spray of olive oil, or use muffin wrappers.  Fill tins with about 1 tbsp of batter.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until just cooked through.  Be carefull not to over cook as the cake will lose its moisture and fluffiness.  Turn out onto a wire rake to cool.

4. In bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined.  Add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.

5. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to set frosting.

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Published May 28, 2012 by jenmatteson

These little devils are a great fix for a red velvet cake craving.  Basically, it is cake made into a cookie, with cream cheese frosting in  the middle of two cookies.  Brilliant!

This is the first (likely the only) time that I made a Paula Deen recipe.  As I’m not a competent baker, I followed the cookie part precisely.  The frosting however, seemed a little too “Paula Deen-y” to me, so I lightened it by omitting two sticks of butter and two cups of sugar.  Seriously, why was that necessary??  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the frosting I made was healthy by any means, but I really didn’t think the butter and extra sugar were required.  You definitely won’t be able to tell anything is missing from this frosting.  It made far too much frosting, so for the recipe below, I halved everything.  I’ll have to make another batch of cookies just to use up the rest of this frosting!  I also added some white chocolate chips to the cookies for a little crunch.  The cookies were ridiculously moist!  I couldn’t even stack the cookies on top of each other once they cooled as they would stick together.  As I mentioned before, they basically are cake.

The result was far from disappointing.  The soft cake cookies with the tangy cream cheese frosting in the middle, with an added crunch of white chocolate chips were heaven.  They even look fancy too with the pecans!

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Source: Adapted from Paul Deen (Food Network)
Servings: 18-20 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp red food coloring

For the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 oz pecans, finely chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. In a stand mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, then beat in buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring.  Once combined, add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

3. On a baking pan lined with parchment paper, drop batter with a large spoon or ice cream scoop in 2-inch rounds.  Keep cookies well spaced out.  I could only fit 6 cookies on a sheet a time so they wouldn’t run together.  Bake 9 minutes, or until just cooked through.  Let the cookies sit on warm baking sheet for another minute, then place on wire rack to cool completely.

4. In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Mix until well combined and creamy.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up the frosting.

5. Spread the cream cheese frosting between two cookies and roll in chopped pecans.

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