Before I start, I know the photo looks a little whacky...my first photoshop effort. I knew I should have waited to take the pic until the morning, since I was tired and impatient...but I think it's cute.
Caleb asked me to create something for world cup. Why, I don't know. I don't watch it, and even if I did, I wouldn't root for the US. Not sure who I would root for, though. Since I don't really watch, and don't have a favorite team, creating something was a bit of a challenge.
My original idea was to make sugar cookies and pipe on an outfit for each team. But, I was hungry for cupcakes, and a little less intricate idea. Since a lot of the things I had been doing lately have been many components and many steps, I wanted something a little simpler.
I am still toying with the sugar cookie idea, maybe when there are less teams involved, if that even happens. I chose cupcakes because they sounded really good on Friday when I made them (and they were!), and I liked the idea of each team having their own mini cupcake and represented by a flag. I was able to find some embellishments at a local party store - gold cupcake liners, soccer regular size cupcake liners, soccer ball chocolates, and soccer ball napkins.
The rest was quite easy. I made the flags in PowerPoint. After cutting each one out, I simply attached each flag to a toothpick. I was pretty happy with the results. I guess I like multi-media projects. Maybe I should look into buying one of those edible sheet printers.
One of the things I struggled with on these cupcakes are how to make them rather international. What flavor crosses cultures. I chose vanilla bean because I felt this was the most universal flavor. I don't know of a cuisine that wouldn't really like vanilla, to be honest. I could very well be wrong, though.
The cupcake recipe is the same one I used for Mandy's birthday cupcakes. I simply substituted vanilla bean paste for the vanilla extract. I really love vanilla bean paste, it tastes so good in things. The frosting is made of flour paste frosting. I normally use this frosting on chocolate cake, or for my home-made oreo's/whoopie pies (post coming soon, I promise). I really like this frosting because it just tastes different than normal powdered sugar frosting, and I felt like something different.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (From Taste of Home recipe book, modified)
2/3 c. room temperature butter
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla bean paste
2 1/2 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla bean paste, salt, and baking powder. Add milk and flour, alternating and mixing well after each addition. Batter will be thick, but be careful to not overmix. Place in mini-cupcake tins and bake 13-18 minutes for the mini, and 23-28 minutes for the normal size cupcakes. Cool thoroughly while you make the frosting.
Vanilla Bean frosting
5 T. flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
2 t. vanilla bean paste
In a small saucepan, mix flour and milk and heat until very thick, stirring frequently to prevent lumps. Take off heat, cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper, and refrigerate until cold.
In a large bowl, whip butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Add chilled flour paste and vanilla bean paste and whip mixture until light and fluffy and you can no longer feel the sugar granules between your fingers.