Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spring is Here!

I love this time of year. The weather is getting warmer. The sun is shining brighter. The sounds of lawnmowers fill the air. And I get in the mood for baking and cooking! I think now that the slummy winter is gone, and my spirits are up, I'll be updating this ol' blog with more sweet and savory treats on a regular basis! (Especially now that I'm a subscriber to Kraft Magazine and Cooking Light!!) Goodbye crickets!

I was so excited by the arrival of my first Kraft Food & Family mag this past month that I went on a cooking spree. I've exhausted most of the recipes I have been wanting to try, except for one. The cover recipe - Lemon-Cream Cheese Cupcakes.

I've been saving this tasty morsel for a special occasion. With the beautiful yellow color, what better time than now?!? It does help that the hubs and I are going to a party hosted by his coworkers tonight...and the fact he's in charge of bringing a dessert...AND that he LOVES anything lemon!

Without further ado, I present to you (drum roll please...):

Lemon-Cream Cheese Cupcakes!

1 pkg. (2-layer size) White Cake Mix
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 cup Water
4 Egg Whites
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 pkg. (16 oz.) Powered Sugar
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened **1/3 reduced fat will work fine
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Lemon Zest for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, egg whites, and oil in a large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. (Batter will be thick.) Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter evenly into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake 21-24 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat sugar, cream cheese, butter, and juice with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with lemon zest.

I, of course, had to sample one before I could possibly even consider allowing them to leave the house!! They.Are.Delicious! Very moist and flavorful!