Happy Tuesday! Last week I did a savory dish: chicken and spinach crêpes. It’s all I can do to not make another crêpe dish and make it sweet, but I will save that for another blog. If you haven’t figured it out already, I love making desserts. My husband has recently commented, “You decided to not stick to that diet you were on?” Apparently, my love for cooking and sampling my finished products is showing up on my backside. Ugh. I just feel such an obligation to all of you, to make sure my creations taste perfect! If he starts playing “I Like Big Butts” on the stereo while I am cooking, I may have to start making some changes. But until then, I will keep doing what I do. Often, I send samples of my work with my husband, with a request from his coworkers for an honest critique. In fact, the recipe I am sharing with you today went to his job and got rave reviews!

The Brit comments: Recipe posts usually post on Tuesday, but California Girl is busy working for the blog in Barcelona and I forgot to get the post scheduled.

I make and decorate wedding and special occasion cakes on the side; it is truly my first love. Because it is a business for me, I don’t ever share any of my secrets. However, because I appreciate so much the great response from this blog, I am going to share a secret this week! This recipe is what I use for fillings for many of my cakes because it is so light and fluffy.
That being said, let me tell you how much I despise store bought icing. I do purchase it once in awhile, to go in a recipe I will share in the future with you (remember I love shortcuts). But other than that, absolutely NO! Store bought frosting in the can is for kids to use and frost their little cupcakes when they are playing in the kitchen. So what to do when you need an amazing frosting without going to all that mess? Keep reading, because this recipe is not only versatile but easy to remember and extremely easy to convert the size of the recipe. If you can remember ONE-HALF CUP, you can remember this!

These are the ingredients:
Butter (NOT MARGARINE)
Confectioners’ Sugar (powdered sugar)
Chocolate chips (please get the good stuff! No imitation chocolate!)

To do a batch of cupcakes, which is 24-28 cupcakes, you will need multiples of 3. That means 3- 1/2 cup portions of each item. So, that would be 3 cubes of butter (one cube =1/2 cup of butter), 1 and 1/2 cups of chips, and 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Equal amounts of all three ingredients; Is that making sense?

Now before you ask…salted or unsalted butter? It all depends on you. I like the salty/savory taste, so I often use salted. However, sometimes I just want the rich sweet flavor without the salty contrast; then I use unsalted butter. Make a batch of each and see which you prefer. I must say that I always use the salted when I make peanut butter icing.
If I know I am going to make cupcakes or a cake the next day, I will prepare this the evening before. You don’t actually whip it up the day before, but you prepare the base for it as follows:

In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Add the chips and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and pour it into a mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula to get every last bit! Now cover the bowl and leave it on the counter to set up. Over the next several hours, the mixture will set up, as it cools, to a soft butter consistency. If you are in a hurry, you can always place the bowl in the refrigerator and let it set up. Just don’t let it get firm, as you won’t be able to whip it until it is at room temperature and soft.

When it is time to make it into icing, using a hand mixer, just whip it up. It will become lighter in color and the consistency will be light and fluffy like a mousse! After it gets to this point, slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and whip it in until smooth. Viola! (Oh my gosh, I ‘m speaking French again!)

I guarantee you will have a hard time not licking your fingers and scooping bits out of the bowl while you work. This recipe pipes beautifully, as you can see, with a simple large star tip and a plastic pastry bag. Every cook should have these two items in her arsenal. We are going to use them frequently over the course of this blog, so head down to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and get yourself one! It’s a Wilton 1M tip and you will use it a lot!

Now, the beauty of this little recipe is that you can make chocolate icing, white chocolate icing, peanut butter icing…just by changing out the flavor of the chips! So imagine a chocolate cake with peanut butter filling that’s so light and delicate you want a second slice. Or darling little cupcakes that you whip up from a box, that taste homemade because the white chocolate icing is out of this world! That’s what this icing will do for you!

When I find the red chocolate chips for holidays in the market, I always buy a package or two! And FYI, a 10-ounce bag of chips equals 1 and 1/2 cups of chips. Chocolate chips usually have 2 cups in them, but measure for sure. If it is a little bit over, it won’t matter. Toss them in the pan and melt them with the butter!

Go whip up a batch of cupcakes and try this out! I promise you are going to love it! have a great week!

~Ms. April

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