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Saturday, May 26, 2012

She's Here!

In case you missed it over on the mini traveling cupcake blog - Baby C is here!! Please help us welcome her to the world - check out the full post HERE.

Monday, May 14, 2012

30th Birthday Cupcakes

As you may know, our baby was due on Saturday. Based on my last appointment I had a feeling she wasn't going to be making a move any time soon. For as long as I can remember, we had always planned on spending the weekend of May 12th in the hospital. It hadn't even crossed our minds that we might be home - without a new baby in tow.

As you also may know, this last weekend was Mothers Day. It was also my 30th birthday. When the prospect of having a free weekend suddenly came up I realized that - Hey! It's my birthday! Suddenly it wasn't all about the baby (well, OK - it was still 99% about the baby). As much as I wanted to usher in the next decade of my life with a new baby, I settled for a weekend at home with my husband and a batch of these delicious cupcakes.

It worked out pretty well if you ask me.

I knew I wanted to  make something fabulous to celebrate the big 3-0. Funfetti cupcakes with tons of sprinkles (inside and out) screamed CELEBRATE to me. I knew right where to go for the perfect recipe - Sweetapolita. I absolutely adore her blog and have been a fan of hers for quite some time. She makes the yummiest looking treats and her little baking helpers are super adorable. Rosie, the genius behind Sweetapolita, is obsessed with sprinkles and isn't afraid to use them. When I read about this cake a couple months ago it instantly went on my "to-make" list. 

As you can see, I decided to forgo the layer cake in favor of making cupcakes. Since it was just the two of us around to celebrate I decided it was a bad idea to have a full layer cake hanging around the house. At least with cupcakes we can give them away to friends and coworkers (keeping a few for us, of course!)

These cupcakes turned out to be everything they were promised to be. The cake was light and fluffy, filled with a rainbow of colors. And the frosting - ooohhh the frosting. It was sweet and sugary but light and airy at the same time. It was the perfect combination. I am filing this as my go-to white cake and vanilla frosting from now on, I don't see how it can get any better!

You can find the recipe for Sweetapolita's Funfetti Layer Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting here. She also has a similar recipe (though slightly modified) for Super Duper Vanilla (or Funfetti) Cupcakes here. While you're there be sure to check out the rest of her site - you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sunday's with Joy - Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins

Earlier this week I was wondering around the internets and happened to find a Facebook group that is cooking and baking their way through all 100 recipes from Joy the Bakers Cookbook (remember those amazing Trail Mix cookies I posted about last week??) called Sundays with Joy. I'm always on the hunt for a new project so I signed right up. I joined a week late so I jumped right to the second recipe - Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins.

I have only used browned butter once before, and I was pretty nervous to use it again. The first time I ever used it I browned it a little too much and it tasted more like burnt butter...I still used it in the cake I was making and overall the cake still tasted wonderful, but I was convinced that browned butter was something too complex and fancy for me to use again.

Incase you have never made browned butter all you have to do is melt some butter in a pan, wait for it to bubble and froth, and then finally it will start to cook and turn a lovely brown color with a nutty aroma. The hard part is catching it before it turns from browned to burnt. Joy does a lovely job of explaining the whole process in her recipe, so I gave it another go.

And then I realized that something was wrong with my stove top. The pilot wasn't lighting and I was not about to hold a match to an open gas line while I am 9 months pregnant. So, I did the next best thing. I browned the butter in the oven. 

It took a little longer than I would have liked, and I probably could have left it in there to brown a bit more, but in the end it was a success! There were lots of lovely browned bits that gave the muffins a nutty depth without making them over the top.

The blueberries that I picked up at the store were absolutely heavenly - super juicy and extra large, there were almost too many of them! No, just kidding, that's not possible. But I definitely didn't feel as guilty eating a dozen couple of these muffins since they were so packed with fruit. I should have added the whole amount of the crumble topping to them as they could have used a little more (you can always use a little more crumble) but I didn't want the muffins to spill over too much while baking. At least I know for next time...and there will be a next time!

Interested in joining our Sunday's with Joy? Check out the Facebook page! And check out Bakeaholic Mamas blog to see everyone else's take on these muffins - some people even made theirs gluten free! I'm going to try and keep up with the group as much as possible but since the little lady is due to make her appearance sometime in the next two weeks I'm not sure how often I'll be able to contribute for the next couple of weeks - but I sure am looking forward to trying!