Monday, February 22, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Posted by - Veronica

I was so intrigued by the Hershey's Hug in the center of the cupcake picture Tina posted that I decided to use the recipe it came from, courtesy of Woman's Day.

24 chocolate Hershey’s Kisses or Hugs candies
1 11/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp (1 oz) liquid red food color
2 tsp white vinegar
2 1⁄2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. You’ll need 24 regular-size (2 1/2-in. diameter) muffin cups lined with foil liners. Put 1 candy in center of each.

2. Batter: In a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla 2 minutes until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Stir buttermilk, food color and vinegar in a 2-cup measure until well blended. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating just until blended. Spoon a scant 1⁄4 cup batter over candy in each cup, keeping candy in center.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes, then remove from pan to rack. Cool completely.

It turned out I didn't actually have two tablespoons of red food coloring in the house...those little bottles deceived me, and I had about half of that. Here's the batter, though, looking suitably red:

Kisses in the cupcake wrappers, ready to have batter added:

I baked the cupcakes for a full 25 minutes, which is pretty typical for my oven. It always needs the upper end of a cooking time range. Even baked, the red color is very prominent. A deep red, to be sure, but definitely not the reddish-brown some people were getting. Maybe less cocoa is used in this recipe?

I actually used my mother's cream cheese frosting recipe, which differs from the one that came with the cupcake recipe. It has a lot less butter and a bit less sugar. This is a very dense frosting which essentially tastes like a slice of cheesecake on top of your cake. Yum!

1 lb cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Just, blend. That's all there is to it. I used an electric mixer to get it nice and smooth, though I think Mom always did it by hand.

Mostly, I'm very happy with these. The cupcakes themselves came out very tasty and rich, and of course I already knew I loved the frosting. My only quibble? That Hershey's Kiss in the center! Not nearly the greatness I had hoped for. The kisses stay hard, and you can't really take a bite of cupcake-and-kiss. Especially once they've been in the fridge, which is a necessity with cream cheese frosting. After the first one, I just started popping the kiss out the bottom first thing, eating it, and then eating the rest of the cupcake. Next time, I'll skip this bit.


Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Love ur red color and actually love the idea of the hugs or kisses in the middle-maybe 2 might do the trick.....

rena said...

I agree. Your color looks pretty good for just a little food coloring! Sorry the kisses didn't work out but the frosting looks incredible.

Tina said...

Sorry about the kisses not turning out - I was really psyched to hear how yours turned out. Although, I'm glad you found a resourceful way around the dilemma. :) They turned out gorgeous!

Tori said...

You got great color! And a Hershey's Kiss amuse bouche is not a bad thing. :)

Lele said...

That is a bummer about the kiss not melting in the center. Because yeah, that would be really exciting if it was all melty and awesome! But they still look ridiculously tasty!

À LA GRAHAM said...

Just came across your blog and I love it! Too bad about the kisses. Can't wait to take the time to go through your other recipes!

Fimère said...

tu nous gâtes avec tous ces merveilleux cupcakes, j'adore
bonne journée

Gina said...

Looks delicious!

Velva said...

Your red velvet cupcakes with the hershey's kiss in the center is absolutely delightful. Love it!