Lupe is a phenomenal home cook so naturally she was in charge of the afternoon snacks. I have seen Giada made these (Mini) Mascarpone Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze on her show so it was the first thing that came to mind when figuring out the menu. It's so easy too!
I did double the recipe as I was supposed to make 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes. However, I ended up with 24 cupcakes, measured out at 1/2 cup of batter each, plus enough batter left to make one 9-inch round cake.
As for the glaze, I used 1 full cup of strawberries for double batch. It was getting wayyy to sticky with just 2/3 cup.
The girls enjoyed the cupcakes. The hubby got the round. ;-D
Now for more cutesy shower stuff, inspired by Aurora's undying love for white chocolate covered caramel apples, I decided to make them as party favors.
First, I bought 15 small gala apples which turned out to be just sweet enough after all the coatings. Per the tips I read online, I dipped them in boiling water, wiped off the wax, and let them dry overnight.
Let me tell you, even after Food Inc. experience, seeing the residual wax clinging to the apples after the dip turned me off from store-bought fruit all together. And yeah, some of them I have to re-dipped and re-wiped. Ick.
Now, for the layers, I was VERY generous with the ingredients. READ: I'm so bad at dipping and dripping off excess that I have a nice thick coat of both caramel and white chocolate. Nobody complained, however. I'm sure if you're more patience and frugal, you can squeeze up to 6-7 small apples out of the batch.
For each set of 5 apples:
- 1 bag of Kraft Caramels.
- 3 TBS of heavy whipping cream
- 3 4-oz bars of Ghirardelli White Chocolate. I don't recommend using chips. The reasons are below.
- Parchment paper with a quick coating of non-stick spray
Once the caramel is set (mine did in about 15-20 minutes), start up the double boiler and melt the chocolate bars. Dip. Let drip. And spin gently for even coating.
Now, the warning about the white chocolate chips. I found a recipe online that told me to melt 12-oz white chips with 2 TBS of butter. So I did a double batch and the whole damn thing seized. A flash back to the Great Chocolate Seizure of Christmas 2009!!
So I wasted at least half an hour of my schedule running back out to the store, cursing the white chips under my breath all the way there and back. But I digress.
Back to the apples. I waited about 15-20 minutes before I applied the sprinkles. I just held the apple by the stick horizontally and slowly released a handful sprinkles on it as I turned. Some people waited until the chocolate set a little more before applying sprinkles and nuts etc. so it doesn't melt into the chocolate or slide down. I didn't have time.
If you have an hour or more, you can let the chocolate dipped goodness cool in room temperature. However, I was in a rush so I had to stick everyone in the fridge. Even then, it wasn't quite firm enough to put in the plastic bags.
So I took the whole darn tray to the party. We bagged them as the guests were leaving.
Well, that's it. REALLY easy. However, the Ghirardelli bars ain't cheap. About $3.35 a bar at my store. I used 9 although I could've gotten away with 8 or less.
But look at these though. I think they're worth the money, don't you?