Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Love in cupcake form, with the help of Harry & David

Every year about this time, I start dreaming of strawberries.  Sure, I love Honeycrisp apples and Clementines, but for me, strawberries are perfection.  Perfectly red, perfectly sweet with just the right amount of tart...*sigh*.
So, you can imagine it took about a nanosecond for me to say YES when Harry & David asked if I'd like to try their chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries.  I think this is the way God intended them to be eaten.  I'm not sure, but that's my hunch. 

The strawberries arrived in a big, red heart-shaped box tied with a red satin ribbon.  I was pretty much a goner from the box alone.  You see...I have a "thing" for hearts:


You open the box to find the prettiest chocolate-dipped strawberries ever.
 
And more than pretty, they are divine.  Bright red throughout, so flavorful and so fresh...you might want to forget your Valentine and order them for yourself.  In fact, I'd highly recommend it.

And, if you feel so inclined, how about making some chocolate-covered strawberry cupcakes?!?

For the cupcakes, I used a recipe for the Sprinkles strawberry cupcakes.  Yes, Sprinkles.  They shared it with Oprah...I'm sharing it with you.



Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
{makes 12}

for the cupcakes:
1 cup fresh whole strawberries
1 & 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

for the frosting:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa, such as Hershey's Special Dark
1/4 cup natural cocoa
2 & 2/3 cup powdered sugar
pinch coarse salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate dipped strawberries 

make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. Measure out 1/3 cup and set aside.  Reserve the remaining for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed, until just blended.

Add half the flour mixture, and beat on low; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Add remaining flour mixture, beating on low, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool for 15 minutes.
Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

make the frosting:
Beat the butter until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, sift together the cocoa powders, powdered sugar, and salt.

Beat in half of the cocoa mixture, followed by half of the milk.  Repeat, adding the vanilla with the last addition of the milk.  Beat until smooth and combined.  The frosting will be thick and fudgey.

Spoon into a piping bag and trim off the end.  Pipe the frosting by squeezing the bag over the middle of the cupcake.  Release the pressure and pull up.

Top each cupcake with a chocolate-dipped strawberry.  Store in the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.

{This post was sponsored by the lovely people at Harry & David.  All opinions are my own.  And no, I'm not sharing my strawberries. You can see more of their yummy & delightful gifts for Valentine's Day here.}

 
Strawberries + Chocolate.  A match made in heaven. ♥ 

37 comments:

  1. Cupcakes AND Chocolate Covered Strawberries? I don't think it gets better than that! So pretty, Bridget!

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  2. YUM! I want to make this for my DH for Valentine's Day but he doesn't like chocolate frosting (I know, crazy right?) If I eliminate the cocoa powder, will I get a nice simple buttercream instead?

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    Replies
    1. I have some other recipes and links to buttercream on the blog. :) You'd definitely need to add more sugar to this one is eliminating the cocoa.

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  3. How amazing are YOU?! What a gorgeous idea! XO

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  4. Strawberries are my absolute favorite. And those cupcakes look so delicious.

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  5. These are so cute! Love this idea for any loved one :)

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  6. This cupcake looks amazing........I love Harry and David and you took that to a new level.........yummy!

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  7. I wish we had those stores here I love going when we hit the states

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  8. Best looking box of chocolate covered strawberries I've ever seen and your cupcakes do them a delicious justice :)

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  9. That's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! My mouth is watering!

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  10. perfection! these just make me smile!!

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  11. Georgetown cupcake's recipe for strawberry cupcakes is infinitely better than sprinkles'... I only know this because I have a bit of a strawberry cupcake 'problem'! However, they don't put chocolate covered strawberries on top of them, so I'd be willing to taste these ;)

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  12. Even though I do not like strawberries (I do like the flavor, just not the actual fruit) these cupcakes (and the chocolate covered strawberries) look really pretty :)

    Have fun eating your decadent strawberries. <3

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  13. I have always wanted to receive a big heart shaped box of chocolates. Since I was but a little girl! Siiiiigh...

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  14. So yummy, the chocolate covered strawberry on top makes these so decadent! Do you think frozen strawberries could replace the fresh in the cake? The fresh strawberries are not tasting well around here in the middle of January :-(

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  15. So pretty! And I agree, strawberries were meant to be dipped in chocolate!

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  16. What a great idea for Valentine's Day! Love chocolate covered strawberries!

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  17. LOVE Harry and David! The strawberries are so pretty, but the cupcakes really caught my eye as well!

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  18. Bridge! What a wonderful idea for Valentine’s Day…your own personal Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Shortcake! Love this idea with adorning cupcakes with chocolate-covered strawberries. Chocolate ganache would be a nice alternative to the frosting, too. Love Harry & David! (Confession: I’m addicted to their iconic juicy pears and their Moose Munch!) xoxo

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  19. I'm pretty sure your hunch is correct. No just and loving God would expect us to eat fruit that wasn't covered in chocolate.

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  20. It looks really cool. Have you tried with other fruits besides strawberries?

    Congrats,

    @photorecipe

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  21. I have been lusting after cupcakes for DAYS, just dreaming about all the possible combinations - and then you show up with your happy little Strawberry Cupcakes and I'm a GONER!! I'm in heart all over again. Gorgeous Bridget, as per usual.

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  22. I'm in love with these. And are those vintage heart handkerchiefs? Because those are just too cute. =)

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  23. Sweeeeet
    www.ayasgoodies.blogspot.com

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  24. Beautiful cupcakes! I love your vintage hankies and the vintage candy box!

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  25. Can you explain a little more on how you get the frosting to look so beautiful. I feel like I have tried so many different ways and mine never looks this good. You mention to cut off the end of the piping bag, but how much should I cut off? How big should the opening be? I'm assuming that you aren't using a tip for this? Thanks so much!!!

    P.S. I made your 2011 engagement cookies for a bunch of girlfriends and they LOVED them! They didn't believe me that I made them and didn't buy them from a bakery :) My first cookie making attempt was a success! Thanks Bridget!

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  26. I love this idea! I would love to share this with my readers, they will love it!! I would love for you to link this recipe up to my Linky Party -
    Fantastic Thursday
    Thank you for sharing!!

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  27. I totally have a thing for hearts too! And sparkles! And pink! Those are the aspects I like most about Valentine's day!

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  28. I feel so hungry now :)

    ~ Jamie-Leigh
    http://confessionsofaprimarkaddict.blogspot.co.uk/

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  29. Looks fantastic! Great presentation! These cupcakes are excellent for any days of the year!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Happy baking! :)
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