Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pinkalicious Cupcakes - no artificial food dye

(4 Years)

These always make my kidabunks smile.  I'm not sure if it's the bright pink color or that we just baked a batch of cupcakes.  These are instant happy makers.  Don't worry you can't taste the beet.  Seriously, there is no beet taste and just LOOK at that color!

Are these "healthy"?  Well... there is a beet, a cup of milk, two eggs and whole wheat flour.  There's also butter, a lot of creamy, delicious butter.  Normally when we are baking muffins or making pancakes or waffles, we replace the butter with unsweetened applesauce or fat-free Greek yogurt.  However, this is a cupcake, a dessert- a once in a while treat, not a meal or part of a meal.  There's also sugar, an entire cup!  I rationalize it this way, there are no artificial flavors or colors in here, there are no chemical preservatives.  I can pronounce every ingredient.  Is it healthy though?  Nah, it is delicious.

Pinkalicious Cupcakes 
Makes 12 Cupcakes
1 large Beet, roasted, cooled and peeled (I do this a day ahead)
1 cup Milk, room temperature
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or 1/2 cup each of all-purpose and wheat flours)
1 cup Cake Flour (or 7/8 cup of all-purpose and 2 T corn starch)
1 T Baking Powder
1 t Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature (softened)
1 cup Sugar, white or coconut
2 Eggs, room temperature

1.  Move oven rack to middle position.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2.  Place the roasted beet and milk in a blender, process until smooth.
3.  Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt onto a large paper plate.
4.  Beat the butter in a stand mixer on medium-high speed for about one minute, or until creamy.  Add the sugar and beat at low speed for 10 seconds (to incorporate the sugar into the butter), increase speed to high for about three minutes, or until light and fluffy.
5.  Turn off the mixer.  Scrape down the sides.   Resume mixing on medium-high speed, add one egg at time.  Beating well after each addition, about 30 seconds.
6.  Turn off the mixer.  Scrape down the sides.  Set the speed at low speed, pour 1/3 of the flour mixture, pour 1/2 of the beet puree.  Repeat, ending with the flour.  Beat until just combined, being careful not to over mix.  Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl.  Gently hand mix, scraping bottom and sides, just to combine.
7.  Pour into prepared liners.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
8.  Allow to cool in the tin for about three minutes.  Remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely prior to frosting (if using).

We don't add frosting to these, they really don't need them.  You could add a little of the beet juice or puree to a cream cheese frosting, but we like them plain.  Now chocolate cupcakes ALWAYS get frosting.


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