Saturday, April 12, 2008

Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Blend the softened butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer to create a smooth frosting. If you prefer not to use a vanilla bean, increase the extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Makes 1 1/2 cups, enough for 12 cupcakes

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners' sugar
Pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream

In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Using paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

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