Saturday, July 31, 2010

'Roll'ing with the Punches

Life is never without its challenges and the last few weeks have been no exception. While I’ve been under a considerable amount of stress I have also been making a ton of cupcakes but mostly for my own personal consumption. If I hadn’t been blessed with a decent metabolism I would have needed an air lift to be taken out of my house. Stress eating anyone? Sadly,I’ve been waiting for there to be a break in the storm but when none appeared I had to make my own. Tonight I had one of those nights where bedtime couldn’t come fast enough and I craved silence and solitude. Once my little sweeties were finally asleep I was met with 2 options; 1. clean stuff or 2. bake stuff. Obviously, I chose the second option. It’d been a while since I’d experimented with new recipes and even longer since I’d felt a strong sense of pride and accomplishment not associated with my kids. This cupcaking thing is mine and mine alone, I never realized how much that meant to me until tonight.

At 10:00 PM I starting mixing, looking at my revised recipes, scribbling new changes, and finally pouring my new concoction into little paper cups. I said a quick prayer that these ones wouldn’t sink like the previous 3 but at the same time wouldn’t come out with the consistency of sand. I nervously placed the first tray of cupcakes into the oven, typed 15 minutes into my timer and began working on my frosting. The frosting is so much easier. It is simple and if you add too much of one thing you can simply add a little of something else. Cupcakes, on the other hand, require all components to work perfectly and in the right measurements in order to turn out just right. About 6 minutes into their baking I peeked and I saw sinking. My heart dropped initially but I thought to myself “No, it isn’t over yet. Things can still turn around.” Such familiar words. Nine minutes later, while on the phone with my hubby, the timer went off. I nearly cried when I opened the oven to see normal looking cupcakes. I pulled them out immediately to cool (something that makes them turn out SO much better). I sort of skipped around the kitchen while waiting for them to cool enough to frost. I needed this win. I frosted the first cupcake and took the first bite. It tasted like VICTORY! This recipe I’d been battling for longer than I care to admit was DONE and DELICIOUS. Now I share it with you.

My Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes.

1/2 cup unsalted butter (I use the sweet cream unsalted)
3 eggs
2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil

I don’t know how you other professional bakers mix things but I usually mix the dry ingredients first and then add in the wet. Fill the cupcake cups 1/2 full (or empty if you prefer). If you want to make things a little more fun and cinnamon roll-like you can mix sugar and cinnamon and put a 1/4 teaspoon in the center of each cupcake, then use a toothpick to make a swirl. Fun.

Now for the Cream cheese frosting.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (add to the butter and cream cheese 1/2 cup at a time)
8 oz softened cream cheese.

Use Philadelphia cream cheese. I am one of those people who usually says “the store brand is just as good”. Not here, totally worth it to just buy the name brand. If you like your frosting a little thicker just add more powdered sugar.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed FINALLY creating them.

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