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Holy Cow...I Can Cook?

I started this food blog New Years 2010 to force myself to get in the kitchen and teach myself how to cook. Well it has been a year, and it turns out, cooking isn't so hard after all. I kept the promise I made to myself and cooked healthy yummy meals for my family all year. Once I just got in there, read the recipes, and experimented I found cooking is yet another form of artistic expression. Just like with my art, I let go of the fear of failure and found a new passion.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Candied Pecans

I made these cupcakes for my parents 40th Anniversary party. I think they are pretty and romantic, and I have not seen anyone say no to them yet! My version of this favorite cupcake flavor has less fat and less sugar than the original, but still delivers a moist and tender cake, with wonderfully creamy frosting!


2 1/2 cups of CAKE flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups nonfat buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp red food coloring


5 tbsp butter, softened
4 tsp nonfat buttermilk
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

*Pecans: (optional garnish)

1 egg white
1 tbsp water
1 pound pecan halves
1 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In mixing bowl, whip together egg white and water until frothy. In separate bowl mix together sugar and salt.
3. Add pecans to egg white, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts and toss them in sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour, stir every 15 minutes.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. To prepare the cupcakes, place 30 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.
3. Lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine cake flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and unsalted butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and 1 1/4 cups nonfat buttermilk, alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add white vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, and food coloring; beat well.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire racks.
5. To prepare frosting, beat 5 tbsps butter, 4 tsp nonfat buttermilk, and cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Add 1 1/4 tsp vanilla; beat well. Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes. Top with one candied pecan.

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