Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cupcake Tuesday-Thoughts About Identity

I have unfortunate news for you.

There are no cupcakes today.  I haven't made cupcakes in about three weeks.

You see, the last time I made cupcakes I brought them to a church event, like I usually do.  But this was our anniversary party, and several other people had been tasked with the same request, bake and bring cupcakes.

Now, that should be fun right?  It means that I didn't have to bake 200 cupcakes, it means that I get to try out some others and it gives a chance for a variety of people to serve the church.

The problem is that this is not how I saw it.  I saw it as other people stepping in my territory.  As people continued to ask me if I made all of the cupcakes or tell me that their cupcake was delicious,  only to find out that it wasn't one that I made, a problem slowly arose.

I found my identity and my purpose in baking for others, and not only baking, but specifically baking cupcakes, and when that identity was challenged, I broke down.

After all of this, my good friend challenged me to maybe not make cupcakes for a month, or maybe longer.  She also challenged me to write down a list of ten reasons that God and others love me that had nothing to do with baking, or cooking.

Wow, that was a challenge.  It's only TEN things but it took me a couple of days to get the list completed, and even still, the list is incredibly general.  Things like "caring, hospitable, loyal" made it on the list, but what does that really say about me?  That there isn't anything specific that matters, outside of baking?

I'm still working through all of that, and I'm a little stuck.  So in addition to having a slight identity crisis over the past few weeks, I've been incredibly lackadaisical.  I haven't FELT like blogging, or cleaning, or getting off my couch a whole lot.  I still make it to work every day, but I just go home and crash and I'm not sure why.

All of this is to say that there isn't a cupcake recipe for you this week, and there may not be one next week.  I'm exploring my baking options.  Last week I brought mini scones to church and that was pretty fun, however people were kind of confused.  This week I'm brining chocolate covered marshmallows, so we'll see how people react to that.

I apologize for the long winded-ness of this, if you made it to the end, thank you.  And I would like to challenge you to realize that you are not what you DO but simply who you ARE and who God MADE you to be.  It's a hard thing to wrap your head around.

I am more than a baker, more than a Production Coordinator, more than a caring person, because I am a child of God and he created me to be more than any of that.  Now I just have to convince myself to BELIEVE that.

Have a great Tuesday and don't ever forget to just BE you.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cupcake Tuesday-Chocolate, Three Ways

Life is interesting.  The way you identify yourself is a challenge.  You can't really rely on what you do for a hobby or a job because that could always be taken away.  So how do you identify yourself outside of you actions?  What makes you, you?  

This has been taking over a lot of my thoughts recently, and I think it's an important question for all of us to ask.  Who are you?  I would love to hear about it :)

Now on to why you're really here, the baking :)

Due to my identity crisis I haven't made any cupcakes recently, I'm branching out ;)

But!  Just in case you missed it, here are three recipes you can make from my standard chocolate cake recipe!  Check that out!
These Chocolate Honey cupcakes are my standard chocolate cupcake topped with a delicious honey cream cheese frosting.  This cupcake recipe is the jumping off point for the next two recipes :)

These Black Forest cupcakes loving combine chocolate and cherry.  Some of the sour cream from the standard recipe is replaced with cherry preserves.  Delish!

My Malted Chocolate cupcakes will take you back to the good old days!  This shows that one simple addition can have a huge flavor change.  Just add a couple tablespoons of malted milk powder and ta-da!  

Hope this gives you some ideas!  Thanks for stopping by :)



Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

Hello beautiful!  Did you get Monday off?  I hope you did and I hope that you were able to enjoy a wonderfully short week!

My week was quite crazy (what's new) and so wonderful!  I had so much fun experimenting with games at work, going thriting on Monday (so many of the stores had 50% off sales!) and GETTING PROMOTED what what!?!  I'm super excited, I'll be working on a show called Hurricane Hunters starting on Wednesday!

I also spent a day on set for a pilot, so this week has been just great, however I've never known what day it was (today feels like...Wednesday maybe?)

Hope you had a wonderful week as well.  What was your favorite thing that happened this week?



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cupcake Tuesday-Chocolate Nutella and Salted Caramel

Yeah, it's possible to sneak that much goodness into just one cupcake.  It's mind blowing.

Remember my Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes?  Yeah this wins, hands down! (I mean it has Nutella in it, how can it not?) Oh and P.S. these really just these, but way better!

Sorry I've been so MIA recently this weekend.  I ended up last minute in the mountains with the fam and took what ended up being a much needed weekend off from the interwebs.  Sometimes these things just happen and you have to roll with it.  Sometimes things happen and you NEED to make these cupcakes, who knows.

Chocolate Cupcake
makes 24
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans.

In a large bowl whip together the room temperature butter with the sugar until they get nice and light and fluffy.  Add the 2 eggs and beat for about another minute.

When the eggs are fully incorporated add in the vanilla, salt and cocoa powder.  Mix well.

Next, measure out your baking soda, baking powder and flour in a medium bowl.  Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined.  Add 1/2 of the sour cream.  Follow that with another 1/3 of the flour, the last of the sour cream and the last of the flour, beating well after each addition.

Scrape the sides of the bowls and mix on last time to make sure it is all combined.

Scoop into the cupcake pans using a 2 oz ice cream scoop, or filling about 2/3 of the way full.  My rule with chocolate cake is that it should look like chocolate ice cream before it bakes

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
2 blocks cream cheese
1 stick butter
1/4 cup Nutella
3-4 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese and the butter with a mixer until it gets a little fluffy, this will take about 2 minutes.

Add in the Nutella and briefly mix until combined.

Now slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, keeping the mixer on low to let it mix in. Once you have the right sweetness, scrape the sides and mix on medium for about 20 seconds to make sure everything is smooth.  The secret to this frosting is to whip it really well and make sure it's nice and light and smooth.  Everyone will be astounded.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
sea salt
1/2 cup room temperature heavy cream

In a medium sauce pan stir together the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt.  Bring to a boil on medium-high heat.  DO NOT STIR.  If you stir the sugar while it is boiling it can knock crystals off the side and ruin your sauce.  

Boil for 7-10 minutes, make sure to keep your eye on this, it can turn from delicious golden brown to nasty burned in a split second.  You're looking for this boiling mixture to turn into a beautiful golden brown, caramel color.

Once this changes to our desired color STOP.  Remove it from the heat and whip out a wooden spoon.  Slowly add your room temperature cream (cold cream will cause the syrup to clump).  Stir constantly until all the cream is added.  Allow to cool for a bit.

Using a spoon or a squeeze bottle (the latter is certainly much easier) drizzle over your frosted cupcakes.

Sprinkle a touch of sea salt on top if desired and enjoy!


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