Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kitschy Cupcakes

As winter drags on Betty adds a little color and cheer with festive cupcakes decorated with plastic toppers. Whether she makes chocolate, vanilla, or butter cream who can resist one of her cute confectionary concoctions. These little cakes aren’t just for birthdays or holidays. Betty thinks they are perfect for frosty afternoons. All it takes is one bite and you are reminded that spring is on its way!

Check out Betty’s favorite recipes below!

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,,,,

Better Homes and Gardens: Pies and Cakes 1966

Yellow Cupcakes

1/3 cup shortening

1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Place shortening in mixing bowl; sift in dry ingredients. Add egg and 1/2 cup milk; mix till flour is moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed on electric mixer. Add 1/4 cup milk and vanilla; beat 2 minutes longer. Fill paper bake cups in muffin pans half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool. Frost with Sea Foam Frosting. Makes about 18 cupcakes.

For Lemon Cupcakes: Prepare Yellow Cupcakes; add 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel. Frost with Seven Minute Frosting. Top with coconut.

Seven Minute Frosting

A white frosting to crown your best cake. Try the two variations, too, and please your family three ways-

2 unbeaten egg whites

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons light corn syrup or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/3 cup cold water

Dash salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients except vanilla in top of double boiler (not over heat); beat 1 minute with electric or rotary beater. Place over, but not touching, boiling water and cook, beating constantly, till frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes (don't overcook).

Remove from boiling water. Pour into mixing bowl, if you wish. Add vanilla and beat till of spreading consistency, about 2 minutes. Frost tops and sizes of two 8- or 9- layers, top of 13x9 inch cake, or 2 dozen cupcakes.

Sea Foam Frosting

Prepare Seven Minute Frosting, substituting 1 1/2 cups brown sugar for the granulated sugar.

Burnt-Sugar Frosting

Prepare Seven Minute Frosting, using 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cold water, and substituting 3 to 4 tablespoons cooled Burnt-sugar Syrup for the corn syrup.

Burnt Sugar Syrup

Melt (caramelize) 1/3 cup granulated sugar in small, heavy saucepan, stirring constantly. When a deep golden brown syrup, remove from heat and slowly add 1/3 cup boiling water. Heat and stir till all dissolves. Boil to reduce syrup to 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool

Sunday, February 21, 2010

TV Dinner

After purchasing their first black and white television in 1955, Betty discovered the TV Dinner. Perfect for busy weekdays, all Betty had to do was pop the aluminum tray in the oven for 25 minutes and supper was ready. Her family could then enjoy their meal while watching their favorite programs, I love Lucy and The Ed Sullivan Show.

C. A. Swanson & Sons coined the term TV Dinner in 1953 with the introduction of their frozen Thanksgiving meal which consisted of turkey, cornbread dressing, frozen peas, and sweet potatoes. They sold 10 million that year at 98 cents each, changing the way Americans eat. Even though Swanson was not the first company to produce frozen foods, their insightful advertising made them a huge success among American families already excited about television.

Clockwise from top left:,,,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Is In The Air

In preparation for Valentine’s Day Betty would like to offer you some advice. Make sure your evening is sugary sweet and simply romantic. Betty and her husband head to the most chic French restaurant in town where they start with drinks at the swanky bar. Her husband looks dapper in his fitted suit and she defines classic beauty. After their meal they head home for dessert where they indulge in the Mocha Torte Betty baked that morning. She even makes sure the table is set with heart linens and her favorite pink coffee set. The evening is perfect down to the smallest detail.

With a little work you can have a flawless Valentine’s Day, too. Follow Betty’s decadent Mocha Torte recipe and your honey will surely swoon. Don’t forget dinner reservations for two at your favorite eatery. And, whether you are pretty in pink or ravishing in red, you are sure to turn heads in 1950’s designs.

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,,,

Better Homes and Gardens: Pies and Cakes 1966

Mocha Torte

1 package 2 layer-size white cake mix

1 6-ounce package (1 cup) semisweet chocolate pieces

3 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Bake in greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Cool; remove from pan. Cool completely.

For Mocha Frosting, combine chocolate pieces, marshmallows, milk and coffee powder in top of double broiler. Heat and stir over hot water till marshmallows melt. Remove from heat; cover and chill. Fold in whipped cream.

Cut cake in half lengthwise; with long knife, split each half of cake into 2 layers, using row of toothpicks to guide knife. Spread chilled Mocha Frosting between layers; frost top and sides. Cover and chill for several hours. Slice about 1 inch thick.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love Notes

Every Valentine’s Day Betty likes to remind all the people she loves of how much they mean to her. She bakes sugar cookies decorated with red and pink sprinkles, packs them in heart- shaped boxes and mails them to her friends and family. But, most importantly, she includes a thoughtful card. Her little love notes always make the reader smile, perhaps even more than her cookies. No one ever feels neglected on Valentine’s Day with Betty around.

This year spread the love and send one of these vintage looking cards to that special someone in your life. Created by Egg Press and printed by letterpress, this stationary is the perfect way to let someone know you care. Check out all of their products at