Thursday, June 26, 2008

cruelly delicious

All week we've been eating strawberries - on biscuits with whipped cream, on waffles for breakfast, with low-fat plain yogurt for a snack, and plain, tucked in to our bento boxes as gap fillers. The most decadent preparation, however, has been these amazing strawberry cupcakes.

I generally bake cakes from scratch, but yesterday I was feeling lazy and so I cheated. I used a boxed white cake mix ($.99 at Walmart) and prepared as directed, except that I used a cup of pureed strawberries instead of water. The batter should have been a warning not to proceed; of course I licked the spoon, and it was so cruelly delicious that I knew we would be powerless to resist these cupcakes.

For the frosting, I used a variation on my grandmother's buttercream frosting (recipe below). As usual, I left out the shortening and added a little more butter, but I also added a touch of pureed strawberries and some almond flavoring, and here's the kicker - melted white chocolate chips. Knee-shakingly delicious! Even my husband, who normally doesn't care for sweets all that much, kept going back to the platter for more.

Grammy's Basic Buttercream Frosting
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. shortening
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
milk (usually 1-2 tsp.)

Cream butter and shortening. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, and beat. Beat in vanilla and as much milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Go easy on the milk! It only takes a little to make it very creamy.

For a nice variation, replace the shortening with cream cheese or peanut butter.

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