Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Comfort Foods for the Long Winter

I thought long and hard about which recipe to post this week. Since we're in the middle of winter, I've been making lots of warm comfort food lately. Last night, we had fake Chipotle burrito bowls that I made with lime-cilantro rice. (Sounds really fancy, but really it's just rice with fresh-squeezed lime juice and some chopped cilantro thrown in.) We usually throw some black beans, jarred green salsa, sour cream, cheese and homemade guacamole into it.

Tonight, I'm making a beef stew. I found some great grass-fed, organic beef stew meat, so I'm going to let of pot of beef, carrots, onions and celery simmer all day on the stove. Yum!

But, I must admit, my favorite winter recipes involve sugar, flour, and chocolate in cupcake form. I just love firing up that Kitchenaid countertop mixer and making my own frosting. There's nothing like enjoying a truly homemade, warm, freshly-frosted cupcake while the snow rages outside.

One of my favorite cupcake recipes comes from The Pioneer Woman. If you guys haven't checked out her blog, definitely give it a look. Her recipes are strictly of the comfort-food variety, although reader be warned--she uses just as much butter as Paula Deen.

Here is the recipe for The Pioneer Woman's Yellow Cupcakes with Sticky Chocolate Icing:
(Recipe can be found on her blog here.)

2 cups Cake Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¾ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Sugar
3 whole Eggs Room Temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla
¾ cups (plus A Tad More) Whole Milk
¾ cups Sweetened, Condensed Milk
6 ounces, weight Semi-sweet Chocolate
2 Tablespoons Butter

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Mix to combine.
Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk in three batches, mixing for a few seconds after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix one final time.
Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until poufy but not brown. Cool before icing.

Sticky Chocolate Icing: Mix ingredients together in a small/medium saucepan. Melt ingredients over medium low heat, stirring gently. Icing is ready when all ingredients are melted and combined.
Spoon warm icing over warm cupcakes, stirring icing to smooth after every third cupcake or so. Allow iced cupcakes to sit at least ten minutes before serving.


Anonymous said...

Cup cakes!!! Yuuuuuuuuuummmmm! Excuse me while I try to eat my arm. LOL.

sarah pekkanen said...

REally? You have to wait 10 minutes before eating? so unfair...These sound yummy!

Jillian Cantor said...

These sound really good. Will you make me some and send them, because I don't think I could be trusted not to ruin this recipe? Oh, and I want your recipe for the Chipotle burrito bowls with lime-cilantro rice -- what a good idea!

Tracy Madison said...

Oh Dear, this recipe looks luscious. I'm definitely going to have to try it! And I'm not afraid of butter...even if I should be, lol.