Friday, February 11, 2011

Countdown to Valentines Day ~ White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Day 11 of sweets for my sweet :)
Only 3 days left!!!!  

I have a confession to make.  I am not very good at from-scratch white cakes.  Chocolate cakes, I can usually manage.  White cakes?  I always screw up somehow.
But I was not going to let that deter me from trying this yummy recipe.  I *had* to give it a try.  

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

And guess what?!!?  I think it worked!!!  Hubby gave me a thumbs up anyway.  And since these are all special treats I've made with him in mind, I guess that's all that's really important.  Right??

1/2 c. butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
12 tsp. seedless raspberry jam

For the frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon raspberry extract
Pinch of salt
1 or 2 drops red food coloring
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup white chocolate chips (2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350.  Line standard muffin cup with paper or foil liners.

Beat the butter, sugar, lemon zest and both extracts with an electric mixer at medium speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing until well blended.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer running on medium, add about half of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and continue mixing until well combined. Mix in the milk, then add the balance of the dry ingredients. Continue mixing, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until the batter is smooth and creamy.

Spoon the batter into the paper-lined muffin cups.  Using a teaspoon, drop 1 tsp. raspberry jam in very center of each cupcake, making an indent and pushing it down into the cupcake batter as you go.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center (to the side of the jam) comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Frosting:  Beat together butter, half and half, extracts and food coloring until well blended.  Add the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until smooth and creamy.

Melt the white chocolate in a glass measure in the microwave. Use 15 second bursts on 80% power, stirring in between. Stir the melted white chocolate into the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.  Garnish with fresh raspberries, or a drizzle of dark chocolate.

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