Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cupcakes To Die For

Eggnog Pudding Pie Cupcake

Inspired to bake something time intensive and totally worth it, I took a cue from the Urban Outfitter's blog and tried their recipe for Eggnog Pudding Pie Cupcakes (click for original post). I didn't deviate from the recipe, but if I get adventurous again, I will post another recipe with the changes, and you know it won't be long before I am tinkering. FYI: click on each picture to bring up a bigger picture with more detail. So, without further ado, a true baking adventure!...

Eggnog Pudding Pie Cupcakes

Makes: 18-20 cupcakes that taste just like Christmas.

Eggnog Pudding Pies
1 4.6oz box of vanilla "cook and serve" pudding
3 cups eggnog
1 batch of whatever pre-made pie crust you'd like

1. Put the pudding mix and eggnog into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring regularly with a whisk (this process should take about 10-12 minutes). Once the pudding has boiled and thickened, pour into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in the fridge. (To avoid “pudding skin” put the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding.)
2. Next, make the pie shells. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Roll out your pie crust, and cut 20 small circles using a small juice glass or cookie cutter. They need to be large enough to cover the bottom and the sides of your mini cupcake tin. Press the circles of dough into lightly-greased mini cupcake tins and use a toothpick to poke a few holes into the bottom of the dough.
Didn't have a smaller tin, but it still worked fine.
 3. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool while you make the cupcake batter! Turn the oven down to 350°F.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/3 cup whole milk

4. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until it’s fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, stopping between each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat for a minute or so, until the batter is smooth. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed for two minutes. 

5. Finally, add the milk and the flour, alternating between the two ingredients about a cup at a time, and beat until the batter is creamy and without lumps.

6. To assemble the eggnog pudding pies, simple spoon a heaping teaspoon of pudding into the cooled pie crusts. If you’d like (and you would!) top each pie with an extra sprinkle of nutmeg.
7. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of cupcake batter into paper-lined cupcake tins. Gently press one pie into each tin, and then cover with another heaping tablespoon of batter, so the top and the sides of the pie are completely hidden. The tins should be about ¾ of the way full (maybe a little more--that’s okay, too).  
8.Bake for about 24 minutes until the cake sets and starts to turn golden brown. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Butter Cream Frosting
1 can cranberry jelly (I only had sauce)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1. To make the butter cream, whip the butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar together on high speed until fluffy. Slowly add the canned cranberry jelly, then mix for a minute or so on high speed again. Add another cup of powdered sugar and then give it a taste. Add more sugar if necessary. If the mixture is too thick, add a little whole milk to it to thin it out a bit. Side note: having sauce meant chunks of cranberry. I think this was fine as it left nice tart pieces that dot the frosting. I did find I needed a little more powdered sugar though.

Inside: See the pie?
2. Frost the cupcakes! If you’d like, top with a drizzle of melted white chocolate and sprinkles. Some nutmeg would be delicious, too.

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