Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Designer Handbag Cupcakes

Next up in my cupcake series (this might be my last for a bit, as we are going on vacation over the holidays somewhere warm), I decided to do handbag cupcakes. I had thought about this for awhile, and had always considered making small handbags out of fondant or gum paste. However, I wanted to make these a bit more taste-friendly (I always take off the fondant to eat the cupcakes), so instead I decided to make each cupcake look like the front of a designer purse. I had initially planned on using either pipe cleaners or red shoestring licorice to create a handle as well, but couldn't find either in a pinch. I didn't really matter - I think they came out great. I bought some fine tips for my pastry bag so that I could pipe out the icing colors that I made to get detail on the handbags, and I used a tube for the black and red (all the other colors are homemade). And the cupcakes? They are delicious - I made chocolate peanut butter cupcakes with two kinds of frosting - chocolate and plain buttercream (which I dyed every color imaginable with my Ateco  gel food colorings). I will share the recipe below, but first, the cupcakes:

First, I did a couple of different Louis Vuitton styles (also pictured at the top).

Next I did a couple of Chanel cupcakes, which were pretty simple:

The Gucci ones were my favorites:

I did a colorful Birkin bag

And I also did a couple of Fendi ones too:

And now for the recipe - Its from my favorite cupcake book, Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcakes, with my own frosting recipes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (I did 1.5x the recipe below)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk (I used skim)

First, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In the basin of your electric stand mixer, beat the sugars with the butter until smooth and combined, on high for about five minutes. Beat in the peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Then alternatively add and beat in the dry ingredients and the milk. Scoop batter into lined silicon cupcake molds (about 3/4 to the top) and bake for about 25 minutes at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean when you test them.

For my frostings: The chocolate frosting: 1 stick butter, 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa, 1/4 cup heavy cream

Buttercream frosting: 1 stick butter, 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, 2 T heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


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