Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pink Squirrel Cupcakes

I don't make a lot of cupcakes anymore. I'm more more of a cake lady these days. Maybe because it seems fussy to have to portion all those little cups out, I dunno. Maybe because I've been too busy this past year making Milk Bar layer cakes, which do not translate at all to cupcake form. 

I saw a recipe for Pink Squirrel cupcakes on Sprinkle Bakes back in December, and have been dreaming about them ever since. I've been fascinated by the Pink Squirrel cocktail, but it's kind of out of fashion these days, and I fear that if I ever tried to order one, bartenders would laugh/stare at me. A Pink Squirrel is Creme de Cacao, Creme de Noyaux (or Creme de Almond) and heavy cream. It is bright pink and looks kind of like Pepto Bismol. 

I got my Creme de Noyaux from a creepy liquor store attached to a gas station, but my Creme de Cacao is some Tattersall, a local distillery. I'd love to go on one of their tours because...well, I'm a food/beverage nerd I guess. I like to know how stuff works, okay? Anyway, they make awesome spirits. Naturally, my cupcakes were not as beautiful as Heather's. But they have a light texture and mild almond flavor. Very nice in my book. The "American" style buttercream is a bit sweet for my tastes, but hey, it's a Pink Squirrel, and you're supposed to go over the top. 

Pink Squirrel Cupcakes 

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup crème de noyaux liqueur (also called crème de almond)
1/4 cup clear or white crème de cocoa liqueur
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pink gel food color, optional

Crème de noyaux frosting
2 sticks of butter softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup crème de noyaux liqueur
Pink gel food color
White nonpareils for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the cakes: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, crème noyaux, crème do cocoa and almond extract. Add flour and sour cream mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Beat in a drop of pink food color, if using. Batter will be thick.
Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Set aside.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together. Once the frosting is thick, add the crème de noyaux one tablespoon at a time while beating on medium-low speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add a drop of pink gel food color; mix well.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with nonpareils. Garnish the cupcakes with a glittering squirrel topper (recipe follows). You may also choose to top the cupcakes with maraschino cherries with stems, as this is the usual Pink Squirrel Cocktail garnish.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Hello, my friends. I am having a lazy Sunday. I don't normally spend my Sundays alone, but my boyfriend is out of commission with the flu (or something), and I think it's more important for him to rest than to hang out with me. So I've been kinda derping around all day, baking these cookies, chasing my foster rabbits, walking to the library. Folding potstickers while watching anime (don't judge) on my computer.

Those aren't tortellini, sometimes I just get too lazy to do all the little pleats. I've been making potstickers for a while now, but for some reason never blogged them. Maybe because I never had a set recipe. Or I was too impatient and wanted to just eat them and not have to talk about them on the internet. I took a Chinese cooking class in the winter and learned a pretty solid recipe. For some reason, I was told you have to stir the filling in only one direction. I don't know why, but they turn out well. If anyone knows why this is, please fill me in. There are a lot of different variations, but I went with a classic pork and cabbage. Be warned that this recipe makes like, 80-100 potstickers, so get enough wrappers and maybe some friends to help you with the folding.


1 finely chopped napa cabbage
1 T salt

1 lb ground pork
1/4 c very finely chopped ginger
2 t salt
2 eggs
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
2 T Chinese cooking wine
1 t black pepper
1 1/2 c finely chopped leeks
3 packages round potsticker wrappers (mine were 36 to a pack)

3-4 T vegetable oil

Place chopped cabbage in a colander, sprinkle with 1 T salt, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes while you make the rest of the filling. After, rinse off the salt with cold water and squeeze dry.

Mix all other ingredients together except leeks and vegetable oil, and stir in one direction until a sticky paste, lightened in color. This is gonna take like, 15 minutes. Just go with it. Gradually add in 1/2 cup of water until fully incorporated, then add leeks and cabbage and mix well.

Wet the edges of the potsticker wrapper and place ~1 T of filling in the middle. Pleat, fold, whatever you please, as long as they stay shut. Here's a good pleating tutorial.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, non stick, flat pan and add 3/4 cup of water. Place potstickers inside, cover the pan, and cook over medium heat, 10-15 minutes. When the water is cooked away, remove the top and cook another ten minutes, or until the bottoms of the potstickers are crispy.

Bonus picture of me with crazy eyes: