Hi everyone. I’ve been away awhile.. but I have a good excuse! sort of. Well, I went to Thailand. That’s a pretty good one, right? I mean, sure I got back a week and a half ago, but that’s a big time difference! I’m still…adjusting? Anyway I know it’s cruel to taunt you with these chocolate peanut butter cupcakes seeing as it’s January and everyone in the world has resolved to eat less of things that contain such goodness as chocolate and peanut butter, and here I go just shoving it in your face! Well. I made no such resolutions. So here’s to the rest of you who fail in such things like resolve. And restraint. And self control. And adherance to any sort of rules. You go and you make these cupcakes. And eat them. And bring them to work to eat in front of all your friends munching on carrot sticks. And enjoy your little January rebellion.
We have expanded our family. No, we didn’t get a puppy, or a baby. We got a Rosie. Isn’t she pretty?
Yep. That’s right. Our one-counter-5-cupboard kitchen just got a little more crowded. I bought a Kitchenaid. And she’s red. And she’s beautiful. And I named her Rosie. She lives on my counter; she kicked out the coffee, the coffee grinder, and several bottles of sunscreen that had previously been in her place. And I couldn’t be happier.
After I broke our cheap-o hand mixer trying to make frosting, I knew I was going to have to upgrade somehow. So I started doing some intensive research, because that’s what I do best. I’ve been researching and ogling over stand mixers for years, but knew I could never get one, at least not until I was a real “grown-up” because a) they’re expensive, b) they are big and require an actual kitchen and c) they’re not exactly easy to ship. Now, I am not a real grown-up. But, I did enough research to convince my mom, Brett and my pocket book, that for me, it would be worth it. Why? Because it would mean I could bake. Even. More. yessss.
We were invited to a birthday party! (there’s an exclamation mark included because this doesn’t happen very often…don’t feel bad for us. we’re perfectly happy eating baked goods without an excuse. and by ourselves.)
I know that normally, you don’t bring baked goods to a birthday party. But this was a party for a one year old. And it was a potluck bbq type thing. So we decided to make cupcakes! And yes, we made coffee and irish cream cupcakes… for a one year old… for her birthday. We figured the grownups might want cupcakes too? It was Brett’s idea. The booze. In the cupcakes. I wanted to do cupcakes. But to be honest, it totally worked. Everyone said they were amazing and they started disappearing so fast I almost forgot to grab one to try! (But I got one, and I have to admit, they were pretty dang delicious.)
So. If whoopie pies are in, cupcakes are.. they’re like…they’re.. super in. Wow. Wish I could have come up with a better term for that. But seriously, cupcakes are the new cool thing. Food Network has an entire show about them: Cupcake Wars. Yes, you read that correctly. Cupcake Wars–as in battling batters as in dueling desserts as in combating cupcakes–that kind of cupcake wars. Plus you have “cupcakeries” popping up all over the place (seriously, a cupcakery? like..you only make cupcakes? really?? yeah. no joke apparently.) Personally, I don’t love cupcakes. I mean I don’t hate them and if presented with a cupcake of just about any flavor I’m sure I’ll devour it in as little as two bites. But cakes in general are not my favorite. I like ice cream. and gelato. and pie. and creme brulee. and there-are-so-many-desserts-other-than-cake-so-why-limit-yourself?
But I will admit. I do love the portability, the ease of use (and of baking for that matter), the individual-portions-so-I-don’t-have-to-share-my-dessert, and the fact that let’s face it, cupcakes are just dang cute. And who doesn’t love shoving their face full of cuteness? And since I’ve already discussed my sugar problem.. clearly I’ll make and/or eat anything whose ingredient list contains “sugar” in any of its various forms. So I’m jumping on the cupcake bandwagon. Guess that’s just my thing. I’m not a trendsetter, I’m merely a sheep. I follow. If everyone else was walking off cliffs, I suppose I’d do it too. (Actually that is entirely untrue. I am not a sheep. But all these cupcake pictures and recipes I’m seeing make me want to try my hand. I’m not a blind follower. I’m just easily swayed to try anything with sugar involved…)
Plus the whole point of this blog and of all of my experiments in the kitchen is to master some simple techniques and some delicious stuff. SO I have to master cupcakes, right? because I figure I have to master cupcakes before I can master cakes. I realize they probably aren’t all that related, and that cake and cupcake snobs of the world would chastise me for comparing the two. But, really? I don’t care. Cupcakes are mini cakes. If I want to make big cakes, I should start by making little cakes. or something like that. Continue reading