Sunday, July 12, 2009

Recipe of the Week - Apple Spice Cupcakes

Week 1

Today marks the end of the first week of this blog! To celebrate, a new feature is being added: the Recipe of the Week. Each week I will post a cupcake recipe and give some history behind it.

I was raised in Mississippi and southern recipes are passed down unchanged for generations. Maybe we are stubborn or lazy and don't want to change what has always been. Sometimes we get brave and tweak the recipes, but the truth is that most recipes are great just the way they are. Life in the South centers around food and the memory of dessert after Sunday dinner (that's lunch to anyone not raised in the South) is still embedded in my taste buds. My grandmother would bake a cake on Saturday afternoon and we had to walk past the display on the sideboard until after church on Sunday, when everyone gathered for the biggest meal of the week. Sneaking a taste of icing would have brought down the wrath of the gods! Pure torture!

This week's recipe comes from a 3 x 5 index card found inside one of my mother's old recipe books. It was passed down from my grandmother and though she is no longer with us, nothing would make her happier than to know I have shared it.

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Seven-Minute Icing

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter - room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
4 eggs - room temperature
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (you can add some grated apple if you dare!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cupcake pan with liners. Combine flour, baking soda, salt & spices.

With an electric mixer, cream butter & both sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Add applesauce and then flour mixture, beating until just combined. Fill cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake approximately 20 minutes, but check frequently after 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Seven-Minute Icing

2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the egg whites, sugar, 5 tablespoons water, cream of tartar, and corn syrup. Whip with a hand-held electric mixer for seven minutes or until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. Stir in the vanilla.

Frost cooled cupcakes and serve the same day.

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