Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feeding Friendship: Valentine's Day Treat!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine's day! Mike and I stayed in. I cooked dinner and then we watched Casablanca. Towards the end we could have used some toothpicks to keep our eyes open, but I think we both enjoyed ourselves. Since we're young and don't have kids, there's plenty of date nights at our house so Valentine's Day sort of blurs in with everything else! I did get Mike a card, which then made him feel obligated to reciprocate. He was resourceful and simply repurposed a V-Day card my Grandma sent us. It's the thought that counts, right?

I looked to Pinterest for some ideas on what to make for my FF V-Day treat. There were a lot of red velvet cake recipes and heart-shaped marshmallow recipes, but as you all know, I've already done those!

When I stumbled upon these Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes I knew they'd be perfect!

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup champagne (sparkling white wine will work)
1/3 cup strawberry puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup applesauce (instead of vegetable oil)
1/2 tsp vanilla

For frosting:
1 cup champagne
1 stick of unsalted butter
2.5-3.5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp red food coloring
2-3 tablespoons of milk or cream, as needed (I didn't use any and the frosting was fine)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners or spray with cooking spray. (Hey, I did neither and lived to tell about it!)

2) In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, champagne, strawberry puree, sugar, vanilla, and oil.
If you have a big, strong man in need of an ego boost, you can have him open the champagne bottle!
4) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until relatively smooth.

5) Pour batter into muffin pan/cupcake liners so that each one is about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

6) For the frosting, bring champagne to a simmer in a small saucepan. Continue to boil gently until only 2-3 tablespoons of liquid remain. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Champagne is extra bubbly when boiled!
 7) Cream butter in electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Slowly add 1 cup confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons reduced champagne and mix. Add a few drops of food coloring. Continue this process until it tastes and looks good to you.

8) Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes. I used a ziploc bag with a corner cut off.
I had some red sprinkles left over from Christmas, so I added them.

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