Saturday, October 18, 2008

Iron Cupcake Challenge - Cheese!

Cheese. A wonderful thing. I love cheese.

I'll take it in any form. Hard. Soft. And occasionally, even processed. It's a good food.

Lots of calcium. Vitamin D. Protein.


And evidently, cupcake material!

This month I had to think longer and harder about my cheese cupcake for the Iron Cupcake challenge. But persevere I did and came up with something that, oh, looks pretty and tastes pretty darned good, too. I'm happy. I think. I'll let the judges be the judge of that. (Hm, not my happiness but whether the cupcake cuts muster.)

My mother used to make a raw apple cake that I loved. I've made it too on occasion but not for a while. That apple cake kept coming to mind while I pondered this challenge. With some adaptations to her recipe for cupcakes, and the addition of some cheese elements, I set out to work. Here is my recipe:

Vermont Cheddar and Raw Apple Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 c. raw apples, sliced thin
1/2 c. golden raisins
3 c. flour, all purpose, sifted
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 t. apple pie spice
1/2 inch cubes of Vermont Cheddar cheese

Sift dry ingredients--flour, salt and baking soda, spice--together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
With mixer, mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until creamy. Add apples and raisins. Mix slowly. Add flour mixture until dry ingredients are incorporated.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. (use liners or grease pan) Press a cube of Vermont cheddar into the cake mix, not too deep. Bake at 350degrees F for 14-16 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly, remove from pan, then glaze while still warm.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze

1 5 oz. jar of Kraft Pineapple cheese spread
1 cup (+ or -) powdered sugar sifted
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 t. vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan or microwave. In mixing bowl, put cheese spread, vanilla and melted butter. Begin mixing on low to medium speed. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency and taste. Spread over warm cupcakes to glaze.

Simple enough. Nothing too fancy but nice and hearty for a fall desert. The addition of the Vermont cheddar and the golden raisins lent a nice kick to the traditional apple cake. I can almost taste it with mulled cider. Yum.

So my entry will go into the competition today. Voting does not begin until October 26 at noon. Below are the wonderful prizes I could win. Please visit Iron Cupcake: Earth for more information, at http://ironcupcake.blogspot.com.

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