Maybe it's the single serve proportions, perfect cake-to-icing ratio or approachability of this iconic treat, but America's love affair with cupcakes is holding strong. These tasty treats can be adapted to any occasion, and whether it's a favorite holiday, birthday bash, girl's night out or just because, the color, sweetness and fun of cupcakes makes people smile.
Think of cupcakes as a blank canvas easily personalized with the right tools. For example, Wilton has products to make it easy for bakers and decorators of all skill levels to make their cupcakes amazing, no matter the occasion. Wilton's new book, "Cupcakes!" is available at your nearest craft store and www.wilton.com, and showcases unique tips, techniques and products for swirling your way into cupcake greatness.
Entice with Icing. Play with icing color to add visual interest - think icy blue for a wintry treat or pale yellow for autumn. Sprinkles are an easy way to make icing sparkle. Sugar gems create an eye-catching crystal effect, and seasonal toppings add an extra special touch.
Colorful Cupcake Trio
Divide icing, and tint six shades of rose from dark to very light. On top of cooled cupcake, using a tip 12 and the darkest rose icing, pipe large dot in center; add ring around dot at edge of cupcake. Switch to a slightly lighter shade of rose icing and, with tip 12, add another large dot to center top of cupcake, make a second ring around the inside edge of the first ring. Continue piping next three shades of lighter rose icings with tip 12 and create smaller rings of icing on the inside edge of the previous ring. Once at the center using the lightest shade of rose icing, pipe one last ring around top with tip 12, adding a swirl.
Using white icing and tip 12, cover top of cooled cupcake with large zigzag. Top with Pink Sugar Gems.
Zebra Lace Cupcakes
Tint icing yellow. Add tip 12 swirl to top of cooled cupcake. Add Zebra Icing Decoration.
Swirl Like a Pro
1. Hold the decorating tip approximately 1/4 inch above the cupcake at a 90 degree angle to the cupcake. Starting at the center, pipe a large dot of icing onto cupcake top.
2. Pull the dot of icing to the outer edge of cupcake and begin piping a spiral of icing around the cupcake top, working inward and upward.
3. Once at the center, stop pressure and pull tip away. It's as easy as that.
-- Family Features
Tip of the Week
On long commutes or shopping trips, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for sweet or fatty snacks.
Easy Recipe: Strawberry Mascarpone Panini
Yield: 4 servings
8 slices fresh bread (1/2 inch thick)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 pound Florida strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
-- Family Features
What is the oldest patented soft drink in America that is still being sold today?
A. Vernors Ginger Ale
B. Dr. Pepper
D. IBC Root Beer
Word to the WIse: Pâte sablée
Pâte sablée is the richest of the French short pastry crusts. It is used to make sweet flans and tarts. A pâte sablée is made with butter, flour or powdered almonds, butter, egg, sugar and flavored with vanilla.
Number to Know
16: Percent of calories in the average American diet that added sugars contribute to. Added sugars are sugars that do not occur naturally in a food, but are added to food during processing or preparation.
-- USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The Dish On...
"Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year"
Forks Over Knives—the book, the film, the movement—is back again in a Cookbook. The secret is out: If you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and prevent (or even reverse!) chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the right food is your best medicine. Thousands of people have cut out meat, dairy, and oils and seen amazing results. If you’re among them—or you’d like to be—you need this cookbook.
Del Sroufe, the man behind some of the mouthwatering meals in the film, proves that the Forks Over Knives philosophy is not about what you can’t eat, but what you can. Chef Del and his collaborators Julieanna Hever, Judy Micklewright, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and Darshana Thacker transform wholesome fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes into 300 recipes—classic and unexpected, globally and seasonally inspired, and for every meal of the day, all through the year.
Food Quiz Answer
B. Dr. Pepper
Although it was once thought that Vernors Ginger Ale was the oldest surviving soda in America (debuting in 1866), the U.S. Patent Office and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (who now owns Vernors; can you say soda conspiracy?) say otherwise. According to the patent office, the first glass of Dr. Pepper was legally sold on Dec. 1, 1885.