Monday, January 13, 2014

Baking in America's maple cupcakes

The cookbook is Baking in America by Greg Patent (2002) -- one must admire the man's full life, he has gone from a childhood in Shanghai to a career as professor of zoology in Montana to cookbook author -- and the maple cupcakes are delicious. They would go beautifully with your next Sunday brunch and your Anna de Codorniu sparkling wine. 


Maple frosted maple cupcakes
1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder ("preferably non aluminum")
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
2 eggs
1/4 pure maple syrup (pure! pure! pure! This is important)
1/3 cup milk
Resift the sifted flour with the baking powder and salt, and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar, vanilla, and maple extract and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and incorporate well.

Combine the maple syrup and milk in a small bowl. Now stir about one third of the sifted flour mixture into the batter just until blended. Stir in half the milk and maple mixture. ("The batter will look curdled," and it will.) Stir in half the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the milk mixture, and the last of the flour. Stir each time just to combine well -- overbeaten cupcakes or muffins are tough.

Divide the batter evenly among twelve paper muffin cups in a muffin pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and spring back when pressed. Cool completely and frost with Maple Frosting.

Maple Frosting
1 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (pure! pure! pure! -- you get the idea)
1 Tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
Beat all the ingredients except the confectioner's sugar in a small bowl. Gradually beat in the sugar to make a smooth frosting. Frost each cupcake when cool, and scatter the top with pecans if desired.

Greg Patent's blog, The Baking Wizard

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