WOW. I has been a LONG time since I have blogged. I have to say, it's hard to work hard and have a blog. When do I have time to cook? When do I have time to photograph before the sun goes down? More importantly, when do I have time to actually EAT anything besides a nutritional bar.
It makes me nervous for my busy season. Which is nine months long. Ten if playoffs are involved.
But I digress.
Let me introduce to you these magically wonderful cucpakes. My cousin is having what is sure to be one of the most beautiful babies on the planet, and her twin sister, who has the other most beautiful baby on the planet, threw her a baby shower and asked if I could provide the desserts for 50 guests.
I must admit, although I was excited, I was slightly nervous. I knew that with my newly crazy schedule, fitting in baking would be difficult. But I love these two girls like they were my own sisters and I would slave through endless sleepless nights to give them the cupcakes of their dreams.
I know I'm being dramatic, but hey, that's me.
Unfortunately, the week before, I also had to make a wedding cake to feed 200 people. In my apartment in Manhattan. With a stove that doesn't fit a pan larger than 13". Let's just say that it was the most traumatic day of my life. Tears were shed. Nervous breakdowns were had. Boyfriends were yelled at. And red velvet cake still stains the walls of the kitchen. But it all worked out in the end, and I think I made a pretty decent wedding cake.
But the Cake Boss I am not.
Needless to say, I was not thrilled about baking. Ever again. Until the next day when my cousin told me the number would now be closer to 65 people.
Kill me now.
As a side note, I know if my cousin Desi reads this blog, she will be worried for my well-being and stress levels. Desi, I love you, and you know me. I stress over everything. It's a DiMicco trait.
Back to the post. Normally, I would have prepared my recipes and done my shopping weeks before, but I was delaying. I didn't have it in me. Friday night, I finally pulled it together, chose my recipes, went shopping, and truged into my kitchen to prepare. At 10 pm, I finally started baking. I baked 100 cookies and called it a night. The next morning, at 6:00 am sharp, I baked off 75 cupcakes.
The worst part of it all? Packing it all up and trudging to my car, parked what seemed like miles away (it was 3 blocks) and drove the hour drive to Long Island.
The cupcakes looked pretty, but it wasn't until I set them up in the cute little cupcake stands, sprinkled them with purple and green edible decorations, and topped them with rattles held up by clothespins (another great idea by my cousin), and surrounded them with lime cookies sprinkled with purple and green sprinkles that I was truly excited. The vibrant purple and green tops popped against the bright yellow setting.
How was the taste? Well, I'm not sure. After two solid weeks of large baking projects, I could't stomach anymore frosting. But people raved about them. So I took a small bite. I LOVED these cupakes. The sunny lemon flavor really shined through in the tender cake and the raspberry jam added a wonderfully cool and smooth texture and sweet tart flavor. And of course, no one can go wrong with cream cheese icing.
Of course, there were also cocoa cupcakes topped with a salted caramel buttercream, which I'll post about tomorrow.
I'm back. Miss me? :)
Ooh. Wow. I think that's the first time I've used a "smiley face" in my posts. Don't know if I'll do that again.
Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting - adapted from Cheeky Kitchen
Makes 18 cupcakes
1 pound(s) of butter (2 lbs)
4 eggs (8 eggs)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, seeded
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup(s) of flour
3/4 cup(s) of buttermilk
12 ounces cold cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, firm but not cold
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds (1 1/2 boxes) powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, cream together 2 sticks of butter, eggs, and the remaining granulated sugar until very light a fluffy.
To the creamed mixture, add lemon zest, vanilla bean seeds (discard pod), salt, baking powder, flour and buttermilk.
Beat batter together just until well mixed. Be careful to not overbeat the mixture!
Spoon batter into a standard-sized muffin tin which has been lined with paper cupcake liners
Bake cupcakes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or just until the centers have set and spring back to the light touch.
Combine butter, salt, and cream cheese in mixer and beat on medium speed 2-3 minutes.
Add sugar until just incorporated. Don’t over mix. It should be thick but not fluffy.
Add vanilla. If necessary, add milk to thin.