Saturday, May 19, 2012

Award-Winnipeg Orange Rosemary Cupcakes

I'm part of a Facebook/real-life group called Manitoba Food Bloggers. We interact in the group about different restaurants and we share our blogs with one another and well, it's social media at it's best. The group brings together people who may not otherwise know each other and it's created a bit of an online community. Which, I think, is really cool. 

So, once in awhile, the "leader" of the group, Shel Zolkewich (and perhaps others) organizes different activities and events, none of which I've actually been able to go to. So, I was thrilled when I saw the next "activity" was going to be a charity bake sale in support of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Not only that, but there was a competition involved complete with prizes. Thanks to Manitoba Canola Growers for putting on the contest and supplying the prizes!

So, now I had to get my thinking cap on. I figured, since all the participants in the bake sale are foodies, the stakes were going to be pretty high. I had to come up with something a little unexpected. And, since I am super obsessed with the idea of incorporating fresh herbs into sweet treats (or cocktails), I knew I had to do something like this. I kept flip-flopping between basil and rosemary but finally, I decided on Orange Rosemary cupcakes. And let me tell you, they were to die for. I have to say thanks to my friend, Jen Bird for her excellent piping skills. Seriously, I maybe iced one and she did the rest. It's hard! 

Oh, and I should mention, I took second place in the competition put on my Manitoba Canola Growers! So, I think I win two $50 gift cards to restaurants in Winnipeg that use local food. I'm not sure what the restaurants are but I have some guesses! I can't wait to find out! And, since I'm moving out June 1 and I'm going to be poor, the gift cards couldn't have come at a better time!

So, here's the recipe!

2 1/3
cups all-purpose flour
tablespoons grated orange peel
teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 1/2
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon salt
cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4
cups granulated sugar
teaspoon vanilla
cup milk
cup butter or margarine, softened
teaspoons grated orange peel
cup orange juice
cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
tablespoons whipping cream
Orange peel twists
Finely chopped rosemary

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 26 regular-size muffin cups, grease bottoms and sides of muffin cups with shortening and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour.
2. In medium bowl, mix flour, 2 tablespoons orange peel, the chopped rosemary, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In large bowl, beat 1 cup margarine with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add granulated sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about one-third at a time, and milk, about half at a time, beating just until blended.
4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each with about 3 tablespoons batter or until about two-thirds full.
5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; place on cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
6. In medium bowl, beat 1/3 cup margarine with electric mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in 2 teaspoons orange peel and the orange juice. On low speed, gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in whipping cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with orange peel twists and rosemary.

And, this is what the kitchen looked like before we cleaned up :)

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