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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Cupcake Baking with Boy Bands

Anne Mari and Sarah indulge their inner child during a summer BBQ circa 2007.

Recently, Anne Marie and I spent some time trading stories of our youth (as we sometimes do over GMail chat in the late afternoon of a workday when our minds can no longer be bothered with work-related thoughts).  This particular conversation centered on our youthly affection for pop music.  More specifically, boy bands.

Anne Marie admitted her desire to mmmbop Taylor Hanson and having been forced to feign love for *N Sync at the risk of being an outcast in middle school.  I wanted it that way for Brian Littrell, of the Backstreet Boys notoriety, but also found myself pressured to jump on the *N Sync bandwagon.  We both agreed, however, that they just don't make boy bands like they used to.  As a tribute to our youth, I put together what I call the Essential 90's Boy Band Playlist. 

We tend to listen to it at least once every time we get together and cook.  It's upbeat, gets us motivated, and is good for the occasional unavoidable dance break.  I triple dog dare you to listen to the songs below and NOT want to jam out (and bake awesome cupcakes). 

Hanson - Mmmbop
Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way
NSync - I Want You Back
N Sync - Bye Bye Bye
N Sync - It's Gonna Be Me
Backstreet Boys - As Long As You Love Me
Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games With My Heart
LFO - Summer Girls
98 Degrees - You're My Sunshine After the Rain
Backstreet Boys - Larger Than Life
Backstreet Boys - Hey Mr. DJ
Backstreet Boys - Backstreet's Back

The last time we used this playlist was when Anne Marie came to visit for my birthday.  We made Pina Colada cupcakes with Butter Rum Frosting from a wonderful baking site I discovered called Bake and Destroy (the original recipe link is below).  They turned out amazing.  One of us (I'll refrain from pointing any fingers) inadvertently doubled the amount of butter used in the frosting, but it still turned out fantastic.  Not only are the cupcakes delicious but they would be perfect for a summer BBQ.  Stick a little cocktail tiki umbrella and straw in them for added appeal!

Sidenote:  We believe the music you listen to while cooking can be one of the most important ingredients to a great cooking experience.  From time to time we will feature our favorite playlists and ideas on how to properly pair them with ideal foods. 

Pina Colada Cupcakes with Rum Buttercream Frosting
(Original Link)

For the cupcakes you will need:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, undrained
For the rum buttercream you will need:
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs dark rum (I used spiced)
  Making the cupcakes:
(1)  Preheat your oven to 350 and line one cupcake pan with paper liners.
(2)  In a small bowl, mix together flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
(3)  In another bowl, whisk together sugar, oil and egg until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, beating until smooth. Stir in pineapple.
(4)  Scoop batter into pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.
(5)  Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.

Making the frosting:
(1)  Beat together confectioner’s sugar, butter, sour cream and salt with an electric mixer until smooth.
(2)  Add rum and beat until smooth.

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