Monday, October 24, 2011

Award Winning Cupcake? We Hope!


Last year, TOP NANA’s Halloween tips focused on “Bootiful” crafts and Peanut Butter & Jelly Filled Cupcakes—but now she’s sweet on a new idea: a cupcake loaded with raspberry jam, slathered on top with homemade cream cheese and almond butter frosting, and decorated with as many slivers of almonds (and joy!) that you feel comfortable with.

Red Raspberry Cupcakes with Almond Butter Frosting are an adaption of the PBJ cupcake. When you substitute an ingredient here and a measurement of spice there, you generate something entirely new, which is our favorite thing about cooking. The TOP NANA culinary team is especially happy about stuffed cupcakes because they allow us to use one of our favorite cooking gadgets: the beautiful and completely uncomplicated squeeze bottle!

Arm Yourself with a Squeeze Bottle!

Where would the celebrity chefs on the Food Network be without their squeeze bottles? You can use them to artfully squirt a steak with aioli sauce, draw around dessert with chocolate sauce and run the gambit from sweet to savory with your own signature if you want. With these cupcakes, you simple transfer fruit preserves from the jar of Smucker’s to the squeeze bottle. You can cut the tip to let more jam squirt freely into the center of your cupcake or add a little bit of water.

We’ve been Inspired By Smucker’s Family Traditions

We mentioned Smucker’s for a reason: we entered these cupcakes into the big “Spreading Smucker’s Traditions” Contest. The grand prize winner gets a family reunion, awarded as a check for $20K, along with a personal planner fund for another $1,000. Talk about a grand old time! As said on Facebook, our best fans—the dozen or more of you who regularly post on our site—ARE our family—the folks we’d invite to a Smucker’s sponsored family reunion should they choose our cupcakes. Keep your fingers crossed!

Before we go we’d like to share a few of the Smucker’s Traditions Tips because they’re so on board with everything we’ve talked about since our site launched in 2009.
Schedule a family baking day: In light of the tough economic times a lot of us are facing lately, this is a great idea. Baking—as many of already know—is gratifying because of the huge quantities it yields vs. the cheap supplies you need to get going.
Build an online site like From Nana’s Kitchen With Love. There’s really no smoke and mirrors about it. Using a site like blogspot is as easy as a “paint by numbers” set to get you started on your story-telling journey.
Build Meals Around a “Movie Night”: This is frequent event on TOP NANA’S Adventures in Babysitting. Click through the blog posts in this section long enough and you’re bound to encounter a few top 10 movie lists.
Initiate mealtime conversations: This idea may very well be the centerpiece of TOP NANA’s mission. Her cookbooks revolve around the idea that family dinnertime is nothing if not sacred. When you cook something delicious everyone flocks to the table with their cell phones in the “off” mode!

So that’s it for now. If you make my cupcakes—you can see in this entry’s photo that one of our youngest Network members is enjoying one—please leave a comment for us. It’s only a week until Halloween, so if you want to top them with roasted pumpkin seeds, there’s a decorating idea too. Any cupcake you make is bound to be Bootiful!

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