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So here we are on the big day {happy Valentine’s to you, by the way} and I finally get to share the mini chocolate cupcakes I’ve been talking about for a few days.  They were for the littlest’s kindergarten class since I was asked to bring in the sweet treat.

And here he is, my Valentine for the day.  He was reading all 22 of the Valentines he received from his classmates until it was time to sit for juice and their snack.

Holidays are so much more fun with young children.  I’m really going to miss all of this when they’re too big for Valentine’s Day celebrations or when, gasp, they have girlfriends that they want to spend this day with.

Well, here are the mini cupcakes cooling on a wire rack.  This recipe makes nearly 3 dozen mini cupcakes.  They were literally all over the kitchen and on the kitchen table.  I used this recipe, which I also included for you at the bottom of the post.

I also used Wilton’s heart candypick mold and red candy melts.  You can find the mold here.  I saw this a few weeks back at AC Moore and thought this would make a plain cupcake look pretty special.

Here are the finished hearts.  I stuck one into the center of one of the mini cupcakes and it toppled right over.  That wasn’t exactly my vision.  Hmmm, what to do…

I decided to use a paring knife to cut off the “pick” part of the hearts and to place them laying flat on the frosted cupcakes.  They certainly weren’t going to win any awards on execution, but my audience was 5 and 6 year-old’s so I thought it get away with it.

It’s been awhile since I filled a pastry bag and piped on some frosting, but it’s sort of like riding a bike.  I fitted a large pastry bag with a large open star tip to pipe on the chocolate frosting.

Piping the frosting onto the cupcakes was a snap and they looked kind of cute even before their little heart toppers were put on.

There were a few minutes left before it was time to carefully pack all of those mini cupcakes into the car and head to the school for the celebration.  I propped up the tissue paper pom-pom wreath I made the other day and took a quick photo of some of the Valentines the littles had planned to give to friends after school.

You can see that while the oldest wanted to make his “You Rock” Valentines, the littlest preferred to head right on over to Target to pick out his sports-themed Valentines and attach a Tootsie pops to each one.

Speaking of the oldest, he worked hard to get the heart on the vintage chalkboard above, just right.

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake (frosting recipe follows)

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Method

heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin cups with paper liners.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil and  vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).  Pour into lined muffin cups.

Bake 12-16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes on wire rack.  Remove cupcakes to wire racks and continue to cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter

2/3 cup cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Add small amount additional milk, if needed.  Stir in vanilla.

Yield: about 2 cups frosting

I hope you had a special day today.  My Valentine surprised me with two dozen roses which arrived this afternoon.  And now I’m being called by my two little Valentines  to play Scrabble.  See you later this week!

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