I bet you were expecting something revolving around Earth Day for today’s post. I’m sorry if I have let anyone down. I’ve decided to go with another National Day – the celebration of Jelly Beans. Besides, with a little imagination, your Jelly Bean Cupcakes can be an expression of what Earth Day means to you.
Jelly Beans are a classic candy with a soft, chewy center and a think candy coating. The flavors of these candy beans are endless. Jelly beans are thought to be a hybrid of two candies, Turkish Delights and Jordan Almonds. These two candies have been with us for hundreds of years. The Turkish Delights give us that sweet chewy candy center, while the Jordan Almonds have a simple sugar candy shell. While Jelly Beans date back even further, the first known reference to the jelly beans was during the American Civil War, when William Schrafft, a Boston confectioner, encouraged people to send jelly beans to Union Soldiers fighting in the war. With their firm exterior, jelly beans were the first candies in America to be sold by the pound. By the early 1900’s jelly beans were the most popular penny candy enjoyed by children and adults alike. It wasn’t until the Great Depression that Jelly Beans became the candy of choice for Easter. For one thing, jelly beans have that egg-like shape, and it was a candy that was affordable.
Jelly beans received a boost in popularity in the mid-1960’s when then Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, expressed his love for the candy. Rumor has it that the future President used the candy to wean himself off tobacco while governing in Sacramento. One thing is certain, Ronald Reagan was known to keep his jelly beans close by throughout his Political Career and beyond.
I’ve chosen a cupcake adorned with Jelly Beans for two reasons – it allows you a great deal of creative freedom and cupcakes are perfect to take with you however you celebrate Earth Day. As for us, it’s time to prepare the yard for our annual garden.
Enjoy the day!
Sour Cream Jelly Bean Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoons Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
1 stick Butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Jelly Beans
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups. Set aside.
Crush jelly beans in blender or food processor fitted with a blade. Pulse to chop but DO NOT pulse into jelly bean dust. Set jelly beans aside.
In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk and set aside.
Melt the butter. If the butter gets hot while melting, let it cool before proceeding. The butter should be melted while at room temperature when adding to the eggs. In a large mixing bowl combine melted butter with the eggs, vanilla, and sour cream until mixed.
Slowly add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring to combine. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture.
Add in the crush jelly belly’s and mix once more.
Divide the batter among the paper cups, filling the cups to a little more than 1/2 full.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place cupcakes on a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
1 stick Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
dash of milk, if frosting becomes too thick
Assorted Jelly Beans, to top
In a mixing bowl, combine the room temperature butter and shortening, beating with an electric mixer until creamed, about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Set aside.
Sift the powered sugar into a large bowl. Once sifted, begin to add in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, to the creamed butter mixture. Slowly beat the mixture until the powered sugar is incorporated. Continue this process, adding enough powdered sugar to make sure the frosting isn’t too wet.
Add in the vanilla and beat until just combined.
Transfer the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with desired tip. Begin to pipe the frosting onto a cupcake, starting with the outside edge and working your way into the center of the cupcake, progressively stacking the frosting as you go around in circles.
Garnish each cupcake jelly beans as desired – be it a few or an entire “picture” painted in jelly beans.