Thursday, April 22, 2010

In Appreciation of Our Bus(zzzzz)y Administration Team: Lemon Honey Cupcakes

I saw this recipe for lemon-honey cupcakes with lemon-honey icing in a Woman's Day magazine about a month ago. I wasn't as interested in the flavor combo as I was in the Peanut M&M bumble bee flying around it's hive. I 'needed' to make these, and conveniently, we also needed to appreciate our administrative assistants this week b/c they:
A) Should be appreciated, and
B) The calendar said it was time, plus
C) They put up with people like me.
D) This brings us back to...
A) They should be appreciated.
They are 'busy bees." At least, that's the angle I went with to justify why this was the 'right project.'
I halved the recipe for the cupcakes (listed at the end of this post) that said it made 24 cupcakes. I was only making enough for three people (it made 11 b/c I like to fill 'em up real full). I made the full icing recipe b/c I like a lot of icing to work with on desserts. If I made the full cupcake recipe, I'd double the icing. I also used melted chocolate to make the bumble bee stripes and eyes instead of the suggested materials. I think I'll go with their suggestions next time b/c my ziplock/melted chocolate was a tad messy. Or was that my piping skills? Here's my first of about 16 bees. They did get slightly better, but nobody is going to be paying me to make these anytime soon, so I'm OK with imperfection, messy lines, etc. I also used some Reese's hard shell egg candies I had from Easter instead of PB M&Ms. I ate all the other colors of Reese's that weren't yellow. Eating the other colors was an important step. Don't forget it, or your cupcakes won't turn out.

Does this bee make my hand look fat? Or, maybe that's all the other colored Reese's I ate?
....back to the project...
Pick your favorite method of bee creation if you choose to make these, and then tell me what it is b/c I need help. Oh man, do I need help on so many levels.
Next up...'my' dozen cupcakes. My dozen=11.

Puffy. Puffy is good. They smelled good too. Smelly, puffy, goodness.
Next, I iced. I sprinkled. I 'bee-dazzled.' Sorry, it had to come out. I can't be held responsible for these sort of comments. It's just how God made me.

This has nothing to do with anything, but I did snag a cloche at the store when I was buying some supplies for a project I'm creating next week. I just wanted to know how it would look. I've seen these all over the web, and I was feeling left out...

I'm better now that I'm part of the 'in' crowd. I may use this cloche in every post from now on, because I can. Maybe not.
But really...
No project is complete (this month) without chalkboard paint. What does this have to do with anything? Nothing! It comes out black, and black is good for a bee project. That was my justification. I went to get trivets to hold the cupcakes, but they were a little pricey, so I slid next door to the Dollar Tree, and found these plates on 'sale' for 50 cents each. Did you know they have sales at the DOLLAR store? I didn't.

I sprayed them with chalkboard paint, b/c it's kinda my thing. They look better black, and now they can also double as a fun catch all tray you can write messages on...OR something to throw at me if I get too annoying in my request for help.

How did they taste? I don't like lemon desserts too much, but I gave the extra to my Mom, and she liked it. I took a small bite, everything tasted fresh, and lemony. This is a good/bad thing-depending on your taste preference!
Here is the full cupcake recipe. (Makes 24 if you aren't me. If you are me-makes 22. If you are me, we need to talk.)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 T grated lemon zest
4 T lemon juice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Lemon-Honey Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 T grated lemon zest
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
7 t lemon juice
4-5 drops yellow food color
Tootsie Roll (I used melted semi-sweet chocolate.)
Yellow peanut M&M
Brown food marker (I used melted semi-sweet chocolate.)
Clear spice drop candies
Small cookie cutter (I just molded the spice drops with my (clean) hands.)
1. Cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
I just combined steps 2-4 and mixed them all at once with a spoon. They turned out fine, but if you like to be particular about your baking....follow their instructions...
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sour cream, milk, lemon zest and juice in a small bowl until well mixed.
3. Beat butter, honey and sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended.
4. With mixer on low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, then the sour cream mixture. Beat in remaining flour mixture until just combined.
5. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
I also just combined all the frosting ingredients, and mixed with a mixer, but here are the magazine's instructions...
6. Frosting: Beat butter, honey, and lemon zest in large bowl with an electric mixer until creamed, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in confectioners’ sugar until blended. Beat in lemon juice and a few drops food color until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow.
7. Spoon into a large ziplock bag, snip off one corner and pipe honey comb on top. (I also had to 'snip' my corner a little bigger after my first attempt, my 'comb' had too many layers, and even doubling the recipe I was running short, but with a bigger cut, it seemed to go further with fewer 'layers', weird, but true.)
P.s. I should say at this point I thought this cupcake would be super duper cute inside a mason jar. I got some kitchen tongs out and slowly lowered one inside. I added some black and white dotted ribbon to the outside, and decorated the lid. It looked awful. My mason jars have failed me. :Frantically searching for a therapist who can conduct an emergency session.:
Linking To: 
Entertain Exchange
Funky Junk A Vision to Remember
Chocolate Sundaes Keeping it Simple Sweet Thursdays


Alycia said...

These are the cutest cupcakes ever!!!! I just wanted to say I love reading your blogs and I am always looking forward to your new posts!!

Carrie @ Dittle Dattle said...

Just stinkin adorable!!! Your packaging just took it over the top!!!! Love it!

Lori said...

You bees the greatest! Now move away from the chalkboard paint. It is not really calling your name, you just think you hear that! Love this project.

Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue said...

Those are just adorable! Very very creative and I am sure very much appreciated! If not - send them my way :) I totally love the idea of spraying a plate with chalkboard paint. I can see it sitting in my kitchen now with messages scribbled on it.

Libbie said...

These are GORGEOUS!!! I have to show them to my sister..I show her & she makes them & I eat them! But really you did an awesome job!!!

Christy said...

@ Libbie-Thanks! I 'just' have a brother. He won't make me 'fluffy' cupcakes, and he'd barely glance at them before eating them. Soooooo....ask your sister to make an extra one for me. ;o)

jen said...

These are the cutest cupcakes I have ever seen! I love the cupcakes,the bees,the plates & the wrapping!I have to show this to my hubby(he's the cook/baker in the family)I can barely boil water but I am good at searching out recipes to give to
Great Job!

Brianna! said...

Yummy Yummmmyyy!!
I love LOVE Lemon desserts. MY FAVORITE. Could you possibly send me over a few of these cupcakes, because that would just make my day!
you're too funny:] and made me laugh LOADS when you said that eating the other colored reeses was a very important step!!

Thank you for making my night.


p.s. Thanks for stopping by my blog and showing it some love!

Sarah said...

Love it! Great Idea. I'm so glad to have found you through Friday Follow. Now following!

I also have a free directory you can enter your link into if you like, as well as a free e-report about growing a blog you can read.

Denise said...

Following you from Trendy Treehouse's Friday Follow! Great Blog. Absolutely love your background and you have great variety. I will enjoy checking in to see what you have done next! This was great nd will go in my binder!

Come by and enter my CSN/Rachael Ray Giveaway:

Crazy Daisy said...

Following you back! I am so glad you visited Crazy Daisy! Love your little beehive cupcakes! What fun!

Happy Day,
Jasey @ Crazy Daisy

missDDT said...

These look delicious and very cute! Good job :D

* I found you on It's Fun to Craft *

Crafty Mom said...

Those are the cutest cupcakes ever I think i just found the teacher gifts for my sons school. LOVING IT
stopping by from firday follow if you get a chance stop on by

Brian and Ella said...

love, love, love these!! i was practically drooling over them, and I'm not really a huge fan of lemon...and i was still wishing i lived next door, so i could come over and be your taste tester!! :) super cute!! so when are you going to open up your own cupcakery???

becca said...

i like a strong icing to cake ratio, and i think you have achieved it here. good work! these look awesome.

CraftyMummy said...

So gorgeous! Popped over from A Visions to Remember
Thanks for sharing :)

Michelle said...

Can't wait to try this. I think it would make a good teacher appreceation gift. I especially like the way you decorated the package with the gerber daisy.

:) Michelle

Closet Crafter said...

Those bumblebees are so cute! I love it:)

Laura said...

These are adorable and look super delicious!

I'm hosting a blog party right now and I'd love it if you stopped by. Hope to see you at Saturday is Crafty Day!

Entertain Exchange said...

Very cute and you packaged them beautifully!

Party and entertaining inspiration.

Me and My Pink Mixer said...

Love these cupcakes! The Bees are adorable ~ definitely putting these on my list to make soon!

Laura said...

Thanks for linking up to Saturday is Crafty Day @ along for the ride! Hope to see you back next week!

Ali@Honey and Maple Syrup said...

Those look adorable!

Annette Kerr said...

These cakes are sooooo cute! They are packaged so beautifully too! I love honey & lemon!.... Yummy! :)

I'm a new follower from Trendy Treehouse.


Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

so cute and charming! ...your little bees are precious and make your cupcakes just perfect! great packaging, too! project well done!

Chocolate Sundaes said...

so cute! I don't know how you get the frosting to look so perfect! I'd love for you to link these up

Stephanie Lynn said...

You always amaze me! Super cute! Thanks so much for stopping by and linking to the Sunday Showcase! Hope you have a great week! I greatly appreciate it! ~ Stephanie Lynn

Stephanie Lynn said...

Hello! I'll be featuring your cupcakes today! Stop by and grab a featured button if you like! Thanks for joining the Sunday Showcase Party! ~Stephanie Lynn

Bobbie said...

Those look delicious! Thanks for linking up to check me out saturday

Kaysi said...

Those are so fun!! They look so cute and yummy!

Whimsical Creations said...

Those turned out adorable!

Denise Marie said...

way to go, girlie!! It is awesome. Yes, I knew girlfriend got Christmas decor for 2/$1 after Christmas. lol

gnee said...

These are adorable and I'm so glad I buzzed by to admire your talents. Your packaging and tags are equally as sweet...thanks for a delightful idea!

Stacey @ Fun to Craft said...

Those are some very cute cupcakes. That bee just makes them! I love it...look yummy too! Thanks for sharing at 'Look at me, I'm SO Crafty!' at Fun to Craft.

FrouFrouBritches said...

That is adorable!!! I love it!

Sherry said...

ADORABLE!!!!!!! They say presentation is everything...but I'll bet those cupcakes taste great as well. Wow!

Sue Sparks said...

Love the little bees!

Jerri said...

Aren't bees the cutest?? (When they're on desserts and crafts anyway!) These turned out adorable! Thanks for linking up all your cupcakes!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

Everything about your cupcakes are great!!!! If you can make cupcakes and packaging look this good I have to go check out the rest of your blog.

Adriana said...

I want to eat it nowwwwww!!!!

Kimberly said...

These are adorable!!! I'm hosting a Cupcake Carnival at my blog in a few weeks, and I'd love it if you'd be a guest blogger. Maybe you can share these precious cupcakes! I put my contact information on my blog, and if you'd like to be a part, I'd love to have you. attemptingcreative at hotmail dot com

Jami said...

These are the most BEEutiful cupcakes I've ever seen! The whole package is just too sweet!
love it! Thanks for sharing these at the Pretty Packages Party!

Something Special said...

These are so darn cute. I appreciate you posting the recipe also.

Lilianna Grace said...

Ashly was right, these are too cute! I love the creative packaging. I think giverslog would appreciate these. I'll send her the link if I get a chance...

Naturally Me Creations said...

I love your little bees, they're CUTE!!! :)

Joann Maduro said...

Love it! My only question is, did you use anything in the packaging to keep the plastic from touching and messing up the icing design on the cupcakes?

Joann Maduro said...

Love it! My only question is, did you use anything in the packaging to keep the plastic from touching and messing up the icing design on the cupcakes?

Christy said...

My plate was wide enough that it was not a problem (the cellphane was out far enough way from the cupcakes to not touch), BUT you can add light corn syrup (about 1 T per 3 c of icing) to any icing to make it hard enough to hold it's shape, or a little extra powdered sugar