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Monday, November 05, 2007

Caught on the Green Carpet

Even though creating 400 desserts for the Girl Scouts Green Carpet event seemed like a daunting task when I thought about it as a whole, once I broke it down into its parts: testing several recipes to see which was the easiest to perform and the best tasting, computing the total amount of ingredients I would need to reach completion, buying the ingredients and table decorations (this was the killer! as the whole event was a donation), making and canning the Fabulous Lady Applesauce, mixing and baking the Apple Dancers Cupcakes, mixing and icing with the Peanut Butter Buttercream, arriving at the Green Carpet event on time and setting up my table to serve the 400 curious guests... it was quite uh, I won't say fun because it was too much work to really be fun but it was certainly something I could do again. If asked by the Girl Scouts to do it again, I would likely say, 'no' simply because of the cost.

I do have to give a giant Thank You to Girl Scout Mom, Sally for stepping up to help me bake the cupcakes. With her help, I was able to mix the batter, fill and bake the cupcakes and get them boxed, waiting to be iced in 6 hours. My workplace was mighty generous in allowing us to bake and store the cupcakes until the event also.

Before I launch into the recipes, let me describe the cupcakes a little. They are made with homemade applesause, cinnamon, and crushed Do-si-dos Girl Scout Cookies as well as a whole Do-si-do hidden in the middle of the cupcake. Upon baking, the whole Do-si-do (which is the oatmeal and peanut butter sandwich cookie) becomes softened just a little bit... enough so it isn't a crunch when biting through the cupcake but it doesn't dissolve either. I topped the cupcake with a light Peanut Butter Buttercream. I didn't want the delicate flavor of the applesauce and cinnamon of the cupcake to be completely masked by overpowering PB.

When I wrote the recipes to be submitted to Girl Scouts, I knew they would be printed for everyone attending the event so I wanted the recipes to be simple enough for folks who loved the cupcakes but don't necessarily have the time, energy, patience to make everything from scratch so shortcuts are listed in the recipe.

Apple Dancers Cupcakes

2 sticks (1/2 lb.) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 whole eggs
1 egg white
3 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups Lady Apple sauce (recipe follows)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 boxes plus 6 additional Do-Si-Do (Peanut Butter Sandwich) Girl Scout Cookies, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare muffin pans with 48 paper baking cups.

Crush 6 Do-Si-Do Girl Scout Cookies to very fine crumbs then add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir to combine and set aside. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and add eggs. Stir in half of the dry mixture then add the Lady Apple sauce (or pre-packaged, unsweetened Granny Smith apple sauce). Add remaining dry ingredients and milk. Mix gently until just combined.

Place one tablespoon of cake batter into the bottom of each baking cup. Top with 1 whole Do-Si-Do Girl Scout Cookie. Fill baking cup to 2/3 full with remaining batter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan.

When cupcakes are cool, top with 2 tubs of vanilla frosting mixed with 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter or use your stand mixer to make real Peanut Butter Buttercream (recipe follows).

Makes 48 cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

Scant 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup pasteurized egg whites (Whippin’ Whites or Eggology),
warmed to room temp.
1 pound unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 cup creamy peanut butter

In a small cooking pot, stir together water and sugar. Bring to a boil and using a pastry brush and water, wash down the sides of pan to remove any crystals. Do NOT stir again.

Boil 4 minutes then beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
With the mixer running, slowly pour the syrup into the whites.
Beat at high speed until the bowl is cool to the touch (about 10 minutes).
Slowly add the butter and then the peanut butter. Beat until light and fluffy.

Fabulous Lady Apple Sauce

6 Pink Lady Apples
2 or 3 Granny Smith Apples
1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Juice

Slice each apple into 6 or 8 pieces (no need to peel or core apples) and place into a 4 quart cooking pot with a lid. Add apple juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally until apples are very soft. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (For the next part you need a food mill. You can still find them in most kitchenware stores and they are not too expensive.) Place the food mill over a large bowl that will hold it steady. Spoon the apple mush into the mill and turn it, pushing the pulp through the mill as you turn, once in a while giving the crank a backward spin. Keep turning the mill until you get all the pulp out of the apple skins and they look dry in the bottom of the mill; this is what makes your sauce thick. You may need to scrape the sides of the food mill once or twice with a rubber spatula, and scrape underneath at the very end.

This is a very healthy treat and it tastes better than any packaged applesauce you’ve ever tried
and it’s easier than it sounds!

Store covered in the refrigerator. (
I processed mine the old fashioned way.)
Makes 2 pints.

Here are more photos of the event. Some are mine and some are from the Girl Scouts website.

Here is CheesePuff and my table set up at the event. This girl deserves a medal for how patient she was with me stressing-out during setup. (note how frightened she looks)

Green Carpet sponsors

The most important sponsor (if you can't quite read it, it lists me as Fabulous CheeseBabe!)

All the chefs from the event.
That's me in front of Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes. His Food Network TV crew was with him throughout the event and portions of the event may appear on a show in January. I doubt they filmed me at any point.

A few more if you're really into looking at me....
Puff and CheeseBabe
At work
Throng of people looking for cupcakes.

Technorati tags +++++

1 comment:

chronicler said...

Totally neat Grommie! Hopefully you kept all your receipts and are making an in kind donation for tax purposes! Your daughter looks much more relaxed in the other pics!

The cupcakes sound delicious!