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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - A box of chocolates on Valentine's Day is classic, but can be a bit cliché. Food Network's Cupcake Wars winner Abby Jimenez, owner of Nadia Cakes in Maple Grove, joined KARE 11 News at 4 to show how to create edible art for your sweetheart, kids, family and friends.

Nadia's beautiful and delicious treats tap into the cake pop craze but actually look like elegant roses and chocolate-dipped strawberries. And, yes, you can make these at home.

Basic Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Courtesy of Abby Jimenez of Nadia Cakes

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

Frosting

2 bricks of cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 cup butter
5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbs vanilla bean paste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

*If making cake pops, remove cupcakes from liners and put the cake in a bowl. With gloved hands begin to knead the cake until soft and combined. Add in small amounts of frosting until cake rolled into balls retains its shape. Roll into balls about the size of a large marble and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 3-4 hours before dipping in chocolate.

For the less adventurous, these edible treats are available for sale at Nadia Cakes in Maple Grove.

Nadia Cakes
11650 Fountains Dr.
Maple Grove, MN
763-575-8885
Nadia Cakes

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