Friday, February 15, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes 007

Cupcakes, oh heavenly cupcakes.  I had too many yesterday, but luckily had the energy to get up earlier than usual on a workout day, so fit in an extra mile.  This makes me feel slightly better about myself, however, those sweets are calling to me from the kitchen again....  Tomorrow is my "long run day," so I suppose cupcakes are appropriate...carbo loading...I'm reaching here....

My husband has a knack for hiding gifts in the most random places.  I have found surprises in my car, diaper bag, even in the shower.  But, he is particularly fond of kitchen locations.  I once found an ipod in the fridge's produce drawer, gift card in the knife drawer, and an iphone in the microwave (that was a risky one!).  This morning it was the fridge again, and I am really excited about this one.  You see, a few years ago we went through a tacos and Bond phase.  Every weekend we watched a new James Bond movie while eating tacos (did I really need to explain that to you?).  It quickly became our new "night in." Those of you with kids understand the difficulties with fitting in date nights.  With work schedules, budgets, kids' schedules, etc., it just doesn't always happen for us.  So, we rarely get to the movie theater these days.  We figure when we do fork over the bucks on a sitter and a date, we want that time to be spent in a more enriching way than sitting zombie-like in a dark theater without any conversation.  We prefer an uninterrupted meal and grown-up conversation, or something of the like.  So, we typically wait for movies to come out on dvd, and in the meantime we enjoy our tacos on Sunday nights after the kids are in bed with a nice conversation, followed by SNL recorded from the previous night.  Might sound boring and monotonous, but it works for us.  But, guess what's on for tonight?  007, oh yeah!

But, back to the cupcakes.  These are by far the best allergen-free cupcakes I have had, Cybele Pascal has done it again!  The only modification I made to her original recipe was adding extra vanilla, you really can't go wrong with extra vanilla!  Oh, and I find that Spectrum shortening really needs to be creamed a bit longer, so I added some extra time to that.  I suggest doing this to avoid "grit."


Vanilla Cupcakes
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup Spectrum shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice milk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract (modified from the original 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 recipe Vanilla Frosting (recipe follows)

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line a muffin or mini-muffin pan.

2.  Whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

3.  Combine the rice milk and cider vinegar, set aside.

4.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy on medium, about 4 minutes.  Sift in the flour mixture in batches, alternating with the rice milk.  Beat until smooth.

5.  Fill the liners about three-fourths full with batter.  

6.  Bake for about 15 minutes for mini-cupcakes, 22 for regular, rotating the pan halfway through.  Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.  


Vanilla Frosting
1 cup Spectrum shortening
Pinch of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup rice milk (adapted from the original 1/4, just wasn't creamy enough for me)
1 teaspoon vanilla (or maybe more, I sort of just dumped it in)

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth.

2.  Add the powdered sugar, rice milk, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes (this is when I empty the dishwasher, pay a couple bills, and check on my little princesses).  Frost or pipe onto cupcakes.  

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