Where do I begin with today’s posting?
You can actually thank Costco for today’s dessert creation. As I was doing my routine Costco shopping, I found my way into the refrigerated veggie and fruit section. I was picking up my regular tub of organic spinach, some bell peppers and mushrooms, when I saw this package of deep, burgundy orbs. They were precooked and pre-peeled beets. I immediately thought about creating a beet salad (which I’ll share in a future posting) and so without giving it additional thought, the beets found their way into my shopping cart.
Flash forward past a delicious beet and shrimp salad and I found myself standing in front of the fridge wondering what I was going to do with all these beets. Then it hit me, use them up in cupcakes! I had never heard of beets being used in cupcakes but I thought that if carrots and other veggies could be used in cupcakes, so could these wonderfully colored root vegetables.
I have no idea what the difference is between a muffin and a cupcake.
The game plan: find a cupcake recipe and add in pureed beets to the batter and then find a frosting and add the beet juice for color — simple!
But since you all know by now that I’m not a baker, this creation was going to require some help and so I began to scour my cookbooks for a recipe to test out. Fortunately, I have a book called 500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly and low and behold, there was a chocolate and beet muffin recipe. Unfortunately, there was no frosting recipe included since it was a muffin, but I found a classic buttercream recipe in another book that I had, Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell. As I’m writing this, I just realized that I have no idea what the difference is between a muffin and a cupcake. Is it literally one is frosted and the other isn’t?
At that point, 4th of July was fast approaching and so I decided to be adventurous and bake a dessert rather than doing something savory. This would be my contribution along with some Italian sausages to throw on the grill. My family would be the guinea pig and the true test would be the kids, Nadal and Milo — what would they think?
- Beets are a pain in the you know where to work with — I was constantly worried about getting beet juice everywhere and not being able to clean it up.
- Baking is stressful! All that precision in measurement and making sure that you don’t over stir or mix was stressing me out!
- But low-and-behold, I actually enjoyed the decorating process once I got the hang of it.
Do you know that I actually spent some time going through a ton of YouTube videos on cupcake decorating? I wanted to find something simple that I could do and discovered one that fit the bill.
So when it came time to frost the cupcakes, I found the frosting tips in my pantry, but couldn’t find the piping bag. I had to be resourceful and grabbed a large Ziploc bag, snipped off a corner, dropped in my star-shaped frosting tip and proceeded to secure the tip with a large rubber band so that the frosting wouldn’t come out — MacGyver would have been so proud of me!
After a few trials, I was pretty happy with my frosting skills and realized that the decorating part was actually fun! I kind of want to bake more cupcakes and try some other frosting techniques — but only to hone my skills — I don’t want to eat the cupcakes or the frosting!
The muffins, I mean cupcakes, actually tasted great! I wasn’t sure how the beets were going to taste, but they were actually delicious! And the beet juice for frosting color turned out beautiful! I loved the pink hue!
Everyone at the celebration enjoyed the cupcakes — even the kids! I was so glad they turned out wonderful!
Of course, my cupcakes weren’t the only dessert at our celebration. This family can’t just have one. There was also a pistachio cake and some truly decadent chocolate-caramel oatmeal bars which I had a chance to photograph since they looked soooooo good!