I always start my week with ambitious intentions. One being writing at least 4-5 posts a week. Well, we can all see how THAT is going.
We have yet to pick a country for our culinary travels for this week. (slacker) I guess we will be doing that this weekend. If I am done shagging by then, that is.
Instead of being focused on myself goals this week, I have spent it spring cleaning. And we all know how fun that can be with a 4 year old toting behind.
I spent more time picking up his attempt at helping, than I did actually getting anything done.
As a reward for his “help” I let him pick out something from Michael’s last night, while I picked up a few things I needed for a cake due tomorrow! It was 8:50, the store closes at 9:00. It was a mad dash, and an hour past my assistants bedtime. He goes in 12 hour cycles, and when the twelfth hour is upon us, look out. The other half of We decided to take Isaac to find the perfect reward, while I grabbed what I needed.
And guess what they chose? A shag, latch hook rug. SHAG. Hook. Rug. (and I quote the box: “Longer, plusher look!”) Not only is it shag, it is a rainbow swirl pattern. Lovely. All I could do was give the Big Guy a look. He smiled, and said “What, I loved these as a kid. We can all do it. It will be fun”. Mmmhmm. Right. Let me translate this for you; I will be doing all the shag hooking. (wow, does that sound as wrong to you as it does to me?)
The box claims the project to be:
I had to purchase a latch hook tool. And that little gem is a giant pain in the @$$.
This is what I have done so far: (look how long and plush they look!)
At the rate I am going, I should be done by next month.
Isaac asked if he could help. Absolutely! He gave up within 5 seconds because he could not get the yarn wrapped around the hook tool. Poor guy. So I suggested he hand me the colors as I needed them. He seems content with that job. (and I am content not saying anything about the giant pile of yarn pieces now all over the floor, really – it looks like a rainbow threw up).
We took a break from our psychedelic rug making, and made some cupcakes. Because what I really need right now is a 4 year old tripped out on sugar to help me finish all that needs to get done today. (also I can use them as a bribe to get the Big Guy to help with the rug when he gets home) Always stay one step ahead!
Vanilla Cupcakes, filled with chocolate orange ganache, topped with ganache buttercream.
Once again the recipe I was going to make got thwarted by lack of ingredients. I wanted to make the “Bomb” cupcakes today, but was lacking both the Guinness and Bailey’s needed to make them. (gosh I should really start drinking more)
I searched my baking cupboard for something different, and saw a bottle of peppermint extract.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream!!!
The cake is not overly sweet and makes for the perfect companion to the sweet minty frosting.
Ingredients- makes 12 standard
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
Preheat oven 350 degrees or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans
Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl until well blended. (yes they are that easy and quick!)
Bake for 20 – 25 mins, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool on wire rack. Frost with peppermint buttercream.
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
With electric mixer (use paddle attachment), whip butter until creamy, add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix until smooth then add the rest of the powdered sugar, and 1 TBS of milk, mix until smooth, add extract and remaining TBS of milk (if needed) continue to mix until desired consistency.
I was craving something sweet and salty today, so I did what any woman would do, I searched for a bacon cupcake recipe. I found one recipe that stood out, but the reviews were mixed, so I used my standard dark chocolate cake recipe, and made cream cheese frosting infused with some of the bacon fat. These cupcakes are everything a dessert should be: sweet ,chocolaty, and just a little bit salty.
Cupcake Recipe – Makes 12 standard
6 slices bacon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold, esspresso
1/2 cup plain yogurt – I use Greek Yougurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. (reserve 2 TBS – refrigerate)
In bowl of electric mixer, using paddle attachment, stir together the flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the egg, coffee, yogurt and oil. Mix until just blended. Mix in 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, about 2/3rds full..
Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely and ice with frosting, top with crumbled bacon.
Bacon Infused Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 TBS reserved bacon fat (chilled)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS milk
In electric mixer using paddle attachment, mix cream cheese, butter and bacon fat until creamy. Add powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. (Add milk if frosting seems too stiff. )
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 TBS unsalted butter, at room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 cup plus 1 TBS heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans, and arrange rack in center. Line 1 (12-cup) standard muffin pan or 2 (24-cup) mini muffin pans with baking cups.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
3. Beat butter in a large bowl on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, egg, yolks, extracts, and cream; beat until combined well.
4. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beating until just combined.
(Note: do not over mix – or your cupcakes will be tough and dry)
5. Spoon batter into cups, fill three-quarters of the way
6. Bake until cupcakes are lightly golden or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes for standard, 16 to 18 minutes for minis. Transfer cupcakes in pan to rack and let cool 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and place on racks to cool completely before frosting.
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
16 oz powdered sugar
3 TBS milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 TBS orange zest
Whip butter on medium speed for 2 mins. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, extracts and 1 TBS of milk, mix on medium speed for 1 min. Slowly add sugar and mix until well combined, adding milk as needed if frosting is too thick. When all the sugar is added, and frosting is a smooth consistency, add orange zest and mix on low for 1 min.