In early April, I received an email from KitchenAid with an invitation to join them in promoting their Cook for the Cure® program, designed to raise funds and awareness of breast cancer. I didn't have to think very long about my response
I quickly pressed the "reply" button and wrote, "I’d love to participate. My mom had breast cancer and was a survivor times 2 (cancer in one breast and then 10 years later, the other)! She passed on several years ago at 92, after living a very full life. Mom was quite an amazing woman; never complaining all through the bouts of cancer (colon cancer too); except one day when I called, she said that she felt sort of “icky”. I hope I can be half of what she was, if I ever have to go through something like that. Definitely count me in on the Cook for the Cure® program".
And how appropriate that this post was due just a few days before Mother's Day! Although it's been four years since my mom passed away, there's rarely a day goes by, that I don't think of her. I miss hearing her cheerful voice on the phone, the good advice she always gave and the way she called a "spade a spade". I never worried that mom wouldn't tell me exactly what she thought (even though there were times I didn't like hearing it!). She also had a wonderful sense of humor and, quite frequently, Scott and I will recall one of her many funny sayings, and have a good laugh over it.
As I was working on this post, I thought about the fact that, although mom never had a fancy house or a wonderful kitchen with all the latest appliances, she did own a KitchenAid mixer. And I have a feeling that she would have been hard-pressed to carry on without it. This little work horse of a lady made homemade bread once a week (ten loaves at a time!), even after all six of us kids grew up and left home. She loved how that machine could whip up a big batch of dough in a hurry, and used it religiously, for the bread, and also for all sorts of delicious treats right up until shortly before she died, at 92!
Do you know about KitchenAid's wonderful Cook for the Cure program? It's designed to give people with a passion for cooking a way to support the Komen fight against breast cancer. From pink products and celebrity chef auctions, to home-based fundraising events, this partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen® Foundation has raised over $10 million in the past fourteen years.
I'm sure you've heard about the Susan G. Komen® organization, but you may not know that it's the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit, as well as providing practical help to those facing the disease. The foundation was founded in 1982 and has served millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. I love the fact that the Komen organization was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, Susan G. Komen's sister. She was determined that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.
In 2015, KitchenAid will donate over $450,000 to the Susan G. Komen® Foundation through the Cook for the Cure® program, supporting the fight against breast cancer.
This year, KitchenAid is debuting a brand new pink polka dot ceramic bowl to to celebrate their partnership with the Komen Foundation.
When a box with the pretty bowl inside arrived on my doorstep several weeks ago, I was delighted. It's beautiful; and just looking at it makes me smile. This post is actually a sneak preview of the fun bowl; it won't hit the market until late summer/early September, so watch for it!
I love that, in addition to being fun and pretty, it's also quite practical - it's dishwasher and microwave safe and retains heat or cold well, so it's perfect for melting chocolate, heating liquids in the microwave or chilling dough in the refrigerator. The spout and handle are really neat; they make pouring batter super simple.
Notice the hot pink KitchenAid mixer? It's a beauty, isn't it? The color is called Raspberry Ice and it's part of their Pink Product Collection, also designed to raise awareness of breast cancer.
It's comes with a lovely glass mixing bowl and is available at KitchenAid.com.
I decided to make Pink Lemonade Ruffle Cupcakes for my Cook for the Cure post, and use my all-time favorite cupcake recipe. It's one of those no-fail recipes and consistently produces delicious, moist cupcakes. I love that it makes 36 cupcakes; enough for a party, plus a stash in the freezer! I adapted the recipe a bit, adding lemon zest to both the cake and the icing, frozen raspberry bits to the cake batter and fresh lemon juice to the delicious buttercream icing.
Looking for something fun and a bit different for the icing technique, I experimented with a Wilton 190 tip. It's called a drop petal flower tip; but if you squiggle it in a back and forth motion, it makes beautiful ruffles. The pink edges were achieved with a simple technique. I fitted a disposable decorating bag with the Wilton 190 tip, then painted 4 or 5 stripes of pink gel food color on the inside of the bag before adding the icing.
As the icing is squeezed out of the bag - voila! - beautiful pink and white ruffles. I love how each cupcake is unique, just like no two flowers are exactly the same.
So whether you're looking for something pretty (and delicious) in pink, or in another favorite color, whip up a batch of these yummy Pink Lemonade Ruffle Cupcakes. You might have to change the name if you're not using pink, but I promise, they'll be just as fabulous! And if you're looking for worthy cause to be a part of, be sure to check out KitchenAid's Cook for the Cure program.
Disclaimer: We were given the ceramic bowl and Raspberry Ice mixer by KitchenAid. All opinions are are own.
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup cake flour
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cup sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter not softened, but remove from refrigerator and allow to warm for about 15 minutes
- 4 large eggs
- finely grated zest of one average size lemon
Place raspberries in a single layer on a dinner size plate. Freeze for one hour before starting recipe.
Preheat oven to 350° Line cupcake pans with 36 cupcake liners. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup and set aside. Break eggs into a small bowl and set aside.
Place the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of stand mixer and stir together for 30 seconds using paddle attachment.
With mixer on low, drop in butter, a few cubes at a time continuing until all butter is in and mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add eggs one at a time on low speed. Add lemon zest. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in milk and vanilla. Turn mixer to medium and beat for 2 minutes until batter is smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Remove raspberries from freezer. Squeeze each one with your fingers, breaking them into tiny pieces. They should break apart easily when frozen. If they are too hard to break, let them sit and room temp for a few minutes and then proceed. Add raspberry pieces to batter and mix gently by hand to incorporate.
Scoop batter into cupcake liners filling cups with a scant ¼ cup each. Cups will be just slightly over half full - don't be tempted to over-fill. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until centers are set and toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- 8 ounces 220g softened butter
- 5 cups 600g powdered sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 average size lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons half & half start out with 1 and add more as needed
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the butter until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. I use the regular flat beater.
Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon half and half. Turn mixer on and off on lowest speed until the powdered sugar has been incorporated (this will prevent a messy cloud of powdered sugar all over your mixer and counter). Increase speed to high and beat for 3 minutes, stopping half way through to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add more half and half (just a teaspoon at a time), if needed to create a thick, but creamy consistency.
For the ruffled piping technique, fit a 16-inch, disposable decorating bag with a Wilton 190 tip. Holding on to the tip end of the bag, turn the bag over your hand so that it's half inside out. Using gel food color and a small paint brush, paint 4 5-inch stripes from the tip end up. Add icing and twist top of bag shut. Starting near the outside edge (or right at the edge if you want all of the cake covered) of the cupcake, hold tip at a 45˚ angle and move it back and forth as you rotate around the outer edge of the cupcake. When you get all the way around, begin moving in and make concentric circles of ruffles till you reach the center. When you reach the center, you can repeat the ruffling, only start a little ways inside your first layer and work your way to the center. I recommend practicing the technique on a small plate until you get the hang of it.