Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine Cupcakes Make for a Sweet Tradition





  • Today we're baking easy, easy, easy. I'm talking cake mix, frosting and some cute toppings. Easy to make these babies really appealing. Save time, money and don't forget to pull some coupons from my last coupon post. Here's your shopping list:





Valentine Cupcakes

  • Organic Cake Mix, white
  • Organic Frosting Mix, white
  • Organic eggs
  • Organic canola oil
  • Organic butter
  • Organic cooking spray or paper baking cups
  • All natural toppings

All natural topping ideas: sliced strawberries (they're in season in Florida!), raspberries, pomegranates, dried cranberries, cherries or raspberries, or canned whole cherries. Perhaps you can think of some others and share them with us at the comment link below. I also found a couple of kinds of colored sprinkles that are made with natural colorings. Thank goodness for our small organic market.

Bake the cupcakes per the directions on the box. I tried some of the all-natural red coloring, but found, after 3 tries, that it turns gray. :( If any of you have found a really good natural red coloring, I'd love to hear about it. Meanwhile, I'll have to experiment with berry juices.

Whether they're for your own party or one for the kids, these cupcakes are sure to be a hit, but not too bad on the wallet.

If you're really looking for something low-fat, I've got your number. My favorite icing is a homemade one that takes only a few minutes and is fabulous. The recipe credit goes to the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book from 1976 (I'm really aging myself here, huh?!). Anyway, here goes:

Fluffy White Frosting

  • 1 Cup Organic sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • Dash of Sea Salt
  • 2 unbeaten Organic Egg Whites
  • 1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Combine sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  3. Very slowly add sugar syrup to 2 unbeaten egg whites in a mixing bowl, beating consistently with electric mixer till stiff peaks form--about 7 minutes.
  4. Beat in vanilla.
  5. My note: This frosting stores best in container that is cracked open slightly.

Monday I'll be sharing some thoughts about my latest read: Living Like Ed, by actor/activist Ed Begley, Jr. Join me for the 411 on his book and a few of his most interesting tips.

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