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Friday, May 24, 2013

Strawberry Buttercream

Tomorrow will be the last time I see my cousin Z for 6 months.  He will be in Kenya doing mission work, helping build schools or something like that from what I understand.  It's a shame he has to leave right now because Bailey is at the perfect age to play with him.  She will miss him so much, but it's a good thing he's doing and I'm proud of him.  He's the youngest of Nana and Grandpa's four grandchildren and this is one of the most independent things he's done so far.

We're having a little get-together to see him off tomorrow, and I know I've said it at least twice before, but I made some cupcakes for it.  It's take most of the day to get them all done, but they are finally ready to go.  They are just mini cupcakes.  I made the chocolate cupcakes with Butterfinger buttercream frosting that I made for my own birthday, some buttery yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream from the recipe I used to make Aaron's birthday cake.

Since I had already made this frosting once before, I knew how to fix my mistakes.  The first time I made it the frosting didn't quite have enough strawberry flavor.  The original recipe says to thaw some frozen strawberries and then puree them, but the entire recipe of frosting (which makes about 3-4 cups) only has 3 Tbsp of the strawberries.  I fixed it this time.  I doubled the amount of strawberry puree and added a tiny bit of extra milk just so it really fluffed up.  It came out almost perfect.  I only wish I had let the frosting sit out a little longer before piping it because it was too stiff to pipe properly until halfway through.

I'm really proud of how they turned out.

Strawberry Buttercream

3 sticks plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
6 Tbsp strawberry puree

To make the strawberry puree you can use either fresh or frozen strawberries.  If you are using frozen strawberries place about 6-10 "normal sized" strawberries in a plate on the counter to thaw.  They don't have to be completely thawed, just enough that they will puree in the blender or food processor.  Once they are thawed place them in the food processor or blender and blend until relatively smooth.  If you are using fresh strawberries skip the thawing step (obviously) and just hull the strawberries and toss them into the food processor and blend into a smooth puree.

Place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a medium-large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer.  Cream the butter on a low to medium-low speed until it's smooth and fluffy.  Stop the mixer and add everything except the powdered sugar.  Mix until just combined.  Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time to avoid sending powdered sugar flying everywhere.  When all of the powdered sugar is incorporated stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a silicone spatula.  Run the mixer again for about 30 seconds just to be sure all of the ingredients are well mixed.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto your cupcakes or cake.  This makes enough to frost an entire 2-3 layer cake.  If you are frosting cupcakes there will probably be enough for 3-4 dozen cupcakes.  Today this recipe frosted 24 mini cupcakes and 9 regular size cupcakes.

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