Rose Petal Cupcakes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Rose Petal Cupcakes! Before I set out on this journey of the palate, I had no idea how to make crystallized rose petals. So when the miniature rose bush in my own yard presented me with perfectly proportioned soft pink petals, I knew I was going to try. It could not have been simpler to create such beautiful edibles.* Next I chose angel food cupcakes, tasting like sweet fluffy clouds, swirled with a crown of grenadine buttercream frosting. You can almost taste the subtle hint of rose water. Is it any wonder the rose is a symbol of passion and heavenly perfection?

ROSE PETAL CUPCAKES

Ingredients for Rose Petals:

24 rose petals, clean and dry

1-2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 cup sugar

Instructions:

Using a pastry brush, gently paint each petal on both sides with the egg whites. Toss them in sugar, coating both sides. Place on a wire rack allowing them to dry overnight. Store in an airtight container.

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

16 ounce box of angel food cake mix

1 1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon rose water

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place cupcake papers in each muffin cup. Place rose water and coconut extract in 1/4 measuring cup. Add the difference in water to fill liquid to top. In a large metal bowl, empty contents of cake mix. Add the 1 cup of water plus the 1/4 cup of liquid. Blend on low mixer speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat one minute longer. Pour cupcake batter into muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake according to package directions 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

Ingredients for Grenadine Buttercream Frosting:

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons grenadine

Instructions:

Using a hand mixer on low setting, cream together Neufchâtel cheese and butter. Blend in almond extract. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating halfway to add one tablespoon grenadine. Continue mixing until smooth and creamy. If needed, use one more tablespoon of grenadine to make it spreadable. Beat on medium for one minute. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with crystallized rose petals. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

* Always use rose petals that are free of pesticides or other chemicals.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter K

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Kona Coffee Molten Cake! Gerald and I spend some time on the tropical island of Kauai. While there we sip on freshly brewed coffee uniquely grown in the Hawaiian Islands. The taste is so richly smooth and delicious, I had to blend its flavor with dark chocolate. Each recipe is one serving, unless you share a bite. “Friends are the spice God adds to the cake of life!”
KONA COFFEE MOLTEN CAKE
Ingredients:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons Dutch chocolate powder 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder 

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon Kona brewed coffee*

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter**
Instructions:

Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Add milk, oil, and coffee to the dry ingredients. Stir until smooth. 

Pour batter into a tall microwave-safe mug. Make sure there is room at the top for the cake to rise. Drop the tablespoon of peanut butter in the center of the batter. Do not blend in. Bake in microwave on high for 1 minute. If it is not done, cook in additional 10-second intervals until done. Remove from microwave. BE CAREFUL. Enjoy the warm molten cake topped with a dollop of whipped cream. 
*Any strong brewed coffee may be used. If you omit the coffee, substitute 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. 

**The creamy peanut butter may be omitted or substituted with a hazelnut spread or marshmallow creme. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter R

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Rose Petal Cupcakes! Before I set out on this journey of the palate, I had no idea how to make crystallized rose petals. So when the miniature rose bush in my own yard presented me with perfectly proportioned soft pink petals, I knew I was going to try. It could not have been simpler to create such beautiful edibles.* Next I chose angel food cupcakes, tasting like sweet fluffy clouds, swirled with a crown of grenadine buttercream frosting. You can almost taste the subtle hint of rose water. Is it any wonder the rose is a symbol of passion and heavenly perfection?
ROSE PETAL CUPCAKES
Ingredients for Rose Petals:

24 rose petals, clean and dry

1-2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 cup sugar
Instructions:

Using a pastry brush, gently paint each petal on both sides with the egg whites. Toss them in sugar, coating both sides. Place on a wire rack allowing them to dry overnight. Store in an airtight container. 
Ingredients for Cupcakes:

16 ounce box of angel food cake mix

1 1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon rose water

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place cupcake papers in each muffin cup. Place rose water and coconut extract in 1/4 measuring cup. Add the difference in water to fill liquid to top. In a large metal bowl, empty contents of cake mix. Add the 1 cup of water plus the 1/4 cup of liquid. Blend on low mixer speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat one minute longer. Pour cupcake batter into muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake according to package directions 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool. 
Ingredients for Grenadine Buttercream Frosting:

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened 

1/3 cup butter, room temperature 

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons grenadine 
Instructions:

Using a hand mixer on low setting, cream together Neufchâtel cheese and butter. Blend in almond extract. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating halfway to add one tablespoon grenadine. Continue mixing until smooth and creamy. If needed, use one more tablespoon of grenadine to make it spreadable. Beat on medium for one minute. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with crystallized rose petals. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
* Always use rose petals that are free of pesticides or other chemicals. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter P

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: PB&J Cupcakes! Mention peanut butter and watch how childhood memories instill sentimental feelings of joy and laughter. Add a dollop of jelly and suddenly the yearning is real. Here is a way to turn the classic sandwich into a yummy dessert that will find you clapping your hands with glee. The fluffy peanut butter frosting will leave you craving “just one more cupcake”! Yes, please. 
PB&J CUPCAKES 
Ingredients for Cupcakes:

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake papers. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beating. Stir in the flour mixture until no lumps remain. Pour a little in the bottom of the cupcake liners. Form a small well. Put a scant teaspoon of jelly in each well. Add more batter on top to cover. Do not fill cups past 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 
Ingredients for Icing:

1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy

1/2 cup butter, softened 

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup milk

Fresh Raspberries for garnish
Instructions:

Cream the peanut butter and butter until smooth in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar alternating with the milk. Blend in the vanilla extract until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with a fresh raspberry.