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Wrappin Up the Holidays

Every Christmas we tend to be bombarded with invitations to holiday parties. The parties are a lovely way to see friends, have great food, and celebrate the season. This year the first holiday party I attended was the first week of December, and from there I had one to go to pretty much every weekend through the New Year (including one I hosted).

The last official Christmas party was actually 2 & 1/2 weeks AFTER Christmas! My mom hosted, and she likes to call it her “Wrap up the Holidays Party”. For this year’s party she asked me to make cupcakes since she’s always telling her friends about my creations. She figured this was the perfect time for them to actually try them! There was a crazy amount of food at the party though, so most people ended up taking their cupcakes to go.

My mom loves chocolate, so of course the cupcake needed to be chocolate based.. I decided on a cocoa apple cupcake with a cream cheese frosting. The cake features chocolate chips and shredded Fuji apples. I made a similar cupcake for Thanksgiving a few years ago, but that one had a sour cream frosting. The chocolate and the apple make the cupcake quite sweet, but the frosting only has one cup of sugar which makes for a nice not too sweet topper.

I stuck to fully edible decor for this one. Red and green Christmas tree sprinkles, and a chocolate dipped apple slice!

Unfortunately, there was a little too much wine consumed at the party by yours truly, and I didn’t  get to snag a nice picture of the cupcakes at the party. But, my mom was kind enough to send me a pic of the leftovers the next morning!

Cocoa Apple with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cocoa Apple with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Thanksgiving 2011

Before being totally swamped with all the baking and festivities associated with the upcoming holidays, I had to post about my Thanksgiving creations! This was the first Thanksgiving Jer and I hosted in our new home, and no holiday is complete without cupcakes…

Of course having hosted Thanksgiving Italian style (antipasto course, pasta course, turkey course, THEN dessert), there wouldn’t be  much room left for cupcakes, so these cupcakes were packaged to go. That’s not to say we went without dessert on Thanksgiving though – my mom made her famous apple pie, Jer’s mom made brownies, and his brother made pumpkin pie!

Pumpkins and apples are two great traditional flavors of Fall, and I wanted to incorporate them both into the cupcakes. The first cupcake was a Pumpkin Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream, topped with orange sugar. The cake itself was made with pumpkin puree and a variety of spices including nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. It was moist like a pumpkin bread, but not as dense. The vanilla buttercream was a nice topper, as well, but a cream cheese frosting would have been great too!

The second cupcake was a Cocoa-Apple Cupcake with Sour Buttercream, topped with chocolate sprinkles. The cake was made with cocoa power, shredded organic Gala apples, and studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips. The Sour Buttercream is similar to a traditional buttercream, but is made with sour cream and is not as sweet, so it paired very well with the cake!

I packaged two of each cupcake in a festive box and gave them to our guests as they were leaving – just in case they got hungry on the car ride home 😉