Liz * Kid-Simple Cupcakes
My dear sister-in-law, Kristy, had a birthday a few weeks ago and we never celebrated properly with cake. So when she was over this past weekend, I surprised her with these delicious and simple to make cupcakes. The recipe is from the Chronicle book, Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans, which is a super cute book filled with nothing but cupcakes in a full range of flavors and complexity. I opted to start out easy with this recipe below as it appears in Cupcakes!:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
Colored sugar, nonpareils, sprinkles, candies, etc (optional)
Make the cupcakes:
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg and yolk and sugar until thickened and lightened to a cream color, about 2 minutes.
Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. Mix in the flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter is smooth. The batter is ready to bake, or for additions such as nuts, fruit, or other flavorings if you choose.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners.
Fill each paper liner with a scant 1/4 cup of batter, to about 1/2 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.
Carefully place the wire rack on top of the cupcakes in their pan. Protecting your hands with pot holders and holding the pan and rack together, invert them to release the cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn the cupcakes top side up to cool completely.
Make the frosting:
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together with 3 tablespoons milk, then add up to 1 tablespoon more of milk if needed to form a creamy, smooth, spreadable frosting. Use a small metal spatula to spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons of frosting over the top of each cupcake (or use a pastry bag and tip to pipe the frosting like I did.) Decorate as desired.
The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Kalli * Lasagna Florentine
I knew I wanted to make some sort of lasagna, but didn't really have a great recipe for one, so I asked on Facebook and my friend Scott recommended this recipe for Lasagna Florentine. It turned out pretty good, except it seems to need either more alfredo sauce (at least a cup more) or if I made it again I'd probably just do red sauce because adding some marinara after the fact filled out the flavor. I also substituted zucchini for mushrooms and I think it could be better with more vegetables in the filling.
Beautiful photos, Kalli! Again, you are making me so hungry. I need lunch. Immediately!