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The lovely and talented Nikki has declared this month’s Master Bakertheme to be Easter Candy. Y’all, this is painful to admit but I ain’t what one would call a professional baker. There’s a lot I don’t know about baking, and of of those things is what happens when you stick various things in cupcakes! Why not find out on a day I pretended to have nothing better to do?

No hating the cake mix, I knew that most of these cupcakes wouldn’t come out well and i didn’t want to waste the ingredients making it from scratch. A dollar for a box seemed like a good way to get this experiment going without crying over the cupcakes that didn’t work.

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Ain’t the bunnies cute? Poor CB is cringing at this moment at the one that’s a torn off head. There are some various bits of candy in these, peanut butter eggs and mini cadbury cream eggs and Peeps and marshmallows and malt ball eggs and a pat of cream cheese (don’t ask).

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Yeah. That’s what I said. The question is, are these as bad to eat as they look? Could they really be that awful?

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These ain’t any better. One of them is a Peep on top of the cupcake after baking for a few, and the lumpy ones are an attempt to mix rice krispies and marshmallows in the dough. Don’t ever do that, ew.

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Peeps are cute no matter what.

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The peanut butter egg ended up like the other eggs, I pushed them too far in and they sank to the bottom. They were icky, a little hard disc of inedible candy.

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To add insult to injury, the cupcakes got too big and the tops fell off. That was ok, since not a one was worth eating.

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Y’all can thank me for educating you on what not to do for this month’s Master Baker. Y’all are all wonderfully sweet and understanding of my incompetence (except Nikki who’s laughing at me right now, hussy).

 A young man only turns one once in his life, and what better way to do so then by pillaging, plundering, and saying yarr? In celebration of a certain boy’s first b-day over at Quirky Cupcake, I give you Pirate Cupcakes. Flavoured with Key Lime in honour of the Florida coast’s long love affair with pirates, and rum extract to celebrate all things grog, these cupcakes are very mild and not too exotic for a kid’s taste buds. The rum extract gives them a hint of the beloved butter rum Life Saver, and the lime is there but not overwhelming or sharp. I wanted to make this something your average kid wouldn’t find weird or unfamiliar tasting. It’s very easy to add more lime to the frosting for the adults, it sharpens it up and cuts some of the sweet that a kid would often like better.

 

 

Cupcake (Adapted From Perfect Party Cake, Dorie Greenspan)

2 1/4 c. flour (she says cake flour, I used AP flour)
1 tbls. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. whole milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 tsp Key Lime juice (this is different from Dorie’s recipe, she uses 1/2 tsp. lemon extract)
1 tsp. rum extract (Dorie’s recipe doesn’t use that at all)

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the lime juice and the rum extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Pour into cupcake tins. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.

Frosting

2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 stick of butter, softened
1 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Key Lime juice to taste (2 tsp. for a mild, child friendly taste, the more you add the tangier it gets)

Whip together until well blended.

The decorations are some left over frosting with enough cocoa powder put in to make it dark and thick. Piped it with a frosting bag, and a 4 Wilton decorator tip.

A thick steak seared and hissed as it went on to a hot broiler pan, the corn on the cob boiled in a sauce pan on the stove. It was a simplistic meal, the steak was only salt and pepper seasoned, the salad had Asagio Ranch. He’d given me a new cook book and I looked through it while I waited for dinner to cook, he messed around on his computer. The DVD I got him was waiting to be played, 3:10 To Yuma.

He held me and told me that he loved me, and how every argument and bit of trouble we’d ever had was all worth it. There was kissing, and bad jokes and chuckling.

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He snuck up behind me as I was doing the cupcakes. You wouldn’t think a man that tall could sneak up on you, but he’s very good at it.

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He’s the perfect man for me. Happy Valentine’s Day D.

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These cupcakes really seemed to need cream cheese frosting, but it was too same ol’ for the roll I was on. A package of of Neufchâtel, a half cup of low fat plain yogurt, and a half cup of confectioners sugar whipped up into a cream that isn’t as firm as usual frosting. The chocolate is a half bar of semi sweet, softened and whipped into the cream. There was no shortage of approval from Himself. The best part was the cake in his judging, and he was very happy that the texture was right for the cupcake to not stick to the wrapper. Losing any cake to the paper is a pet peeve of his.

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Always been a coward when it comes to trying to make up my own baking recipes, this is the first time I’ve tried. *chases cowardice out the door* 

 When D and I move, we’re planning to go out in the country where we both feel more comfortable. A lot of what we’re working towards is self sustainability, and a more rustic lifestyle. Healthier living is also our goal, and the two together got me to thinking about cupcakes and what sort of things I might be making. This recipe requires no gadgets at all, the coffee is grounds dumped into a pot and boiled, then strained to get the grounds out. It’s very strong, which is what you wnt it to be for this recipe. The sugar is less because I was looking for something that wasn’t super sweet, I get sick of all the sweet after a few bites. The whole wheat is needed because I’ll eventually be grinding my own, and the buttermilk really gives it a sugar cutting kick and tender crumb. To be honest, I was taken aback by how fluffy and moist they are! The eggs that I used are powdered whole eggs, very convenient for storing and cost effective when you don’t have your own chickens. They ain’t frosted yet, I’m working on what an appropriately rural and health conscious option would be.

The pics are to show the crumb.

If you’re a fan of a more bittersweet chocolate experience, give this little hicks a try!

Boondocks Cupcakes

  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour (whole wheat flour is fine)
  • 1  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk 
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. boiling coffee
  • Mix the dry ingrediants together, then dump in the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Whisk together, then pour in the cup of hot coffee. Whisk until smooth, the batter will be on the thin side. Pour into prepared cake pans, or cupcake pans. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

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    This is my attempt today at making place mats for the kitchen table.  The place mat was simple to make, all I did was cut two rectangles out of white muslin vloth and lay one rectangles of cotton batting between them. The edges were tucked under about 1/4 inch and sewn down. The back looks very rough, the next time I’d fold the edges under twice to make the hem. The dots up top aren’t spaced well, but it was my first attempts. Impulsiveness is good in creativity, but I really need to take more time to measure things.

    The card is for D’s sister, and is made out of unbleached muslin and brown paper lunch bags that I cut into rectangles and sewed together on the sewing machine. Brown paper sews together very nice.

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    They’re so good, you’ve never know they’re kinda healthy!

    Picture 437 There was only so long I could pose with it before taking a bite.

    This is the first bit of cupcake art I’m trying. Gonna try more, wanted to put this tiny little bit up. It ain’t anything impressive, but its mine! Y’all are welcome to use it if you want, credit would be appreciated. Speaking of mentioning things, if anybody reads this boring little blog, would you comment and let me know? Love meeting new people so much!

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    If this isn’t a good way to start off a new year, what is? A new cookie jar and mug from Target, with my favourite thing!