Saturday, December 12, 2009

White House Recipe: Holiday Honey Cupcakes, From Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses

Sweet Presidential treat...
Just in time for the holiday season, the White House has released a new recipe created by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses. In keeping with the First Lady Michelle Obama's focus on healthier eating, the recipe for Holiday Cupcakes uses honey to avoid too much processed sugar. Even the icing has honey in it, and it's super sweet, so you don't need to use very much. (Above: The President carries cupcakes on his birthday)

Yosses and the rest of the White House chefs have been making good use of the White House Beehive, and thus are putting honey into many recipes that would traditionally call for sugar. The hive, the first to ever be on White House grounds, produced 124 pounds of honey this year. It was used to create the White House Gingerbread House, in the desserts for the State Dinner, in the Spider White House cookies at Halloween, and in all kinds of other dishes for events, both public and private. (Above: Yosses in the Kitchen Garden)

The Holiday Honey Cupcake recipe is easy and quick, and fairly low fat--the use of buttermilk replaces some of the fat that would usually be needed in the form of butter. Sprinkle with edible Hanukkah stars or Christmas snowflakes, and the cupcakes are perfect for the holidays, or anytime you want a mini treat. White House recommendation: Enjoy in moderation. Makes one dozen.

White House Holiday Honey Cupcakes

1/4 cup softened butter

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup honey

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

For the Icing
2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup honey

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.

2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, on high speed. Mix in honey, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until blended, on medium speed.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix into the batter until just blended. Scoop the batter into the cupcake cups evenly.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes; cupcakes are done when tops spring back lightly to the touch.

To prepare icing
In a small sauce pan, whisk ingredients over medium heat until sugars dissolve together; keep whisking to avoid clumps. Using a spoon, drizzle over the tops of cupcakes, or carefully pour over cupcakes.

Makes one dozen cupcakes.

Related: Chef Yosses's recipe for Holiday Gingerbread Cake is here. White House Apple Pie is here; his recipe for healthy Baked Apples is here. All the details on his White House Gingerbread House are here. Yosses gives a video tour of the White House pastry kitchen here. There's pie making happening in it, of course.

The President and First Lady send Hanukkah greetings from the White House. White House Christmas foodie fun is here. The 2009 Obama Foodie Holiday Gift Guide is here.

*Photo at top by Pete Souza/White House; the President was delivering cupcakes to the James Brady Press Briefing Room, for reporter Helen Thomas, with whom he shares a birthday. Yosses photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama.