Now that I have told my mom, I can blog about something. (Ha! Ha! You know what I mean. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having a family member find out about something because of the blog and not personally.) I have begun the foster parent application process.
Part of the process includes IMPACT classes, every Tuesday/Thursday for 3 ½ weeks. Since the class is from 6-9, my classmates and I all signed up for a day to bring in food. Of course I went with a dessert! My day is Tuesday and I went with chocolate cupcakes.
The cupcakes themselves? Have you seen this month’s Martha Stewart Living? The cover, a heart of cupcakes, drew me to its pages almost instantly. I dove in head first and marked the recipes I wanted to try now. The others? Oh, they’ll have their day, believe me! But, for the moment? It’s all about what’s in the pantry. You see, Metro-Atlanta educators get paid on the last business day of each month – that’s it. During vacation months, we get paid before we leave. So, that translates into my getting paid on December 19th (before winter break) and not seeing cash again until this coming Friday…January 30th. Great day in the morning, that’s a long time! This payroll things knocks me on my butt every year. In terms of eating? Peanut butter and jelly sandwich or Ramon noodles anyone? In terms of baking? Again, it’s all about what’s in the pantry.
But, I digress. Let me get back to Martha. In the magazine, she republished her One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes recipe. Whether the cupcake or cake version, this is a recipe I used to make all the time. For some reason, it kind of got put on the back burner as I began to expand my baking experiences. I am glad I tried it again, because it really is a great cake. There were two changes I made (based on the “what’s in the pantry” thing). One was with the cocoa powder, as I only had Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. The darkness helped to yield a good cupcake. I also substituted safflower oil for vegetable oil.
To finish the cupcake, I topped it with a marshmallow frosting which worked beautifully.
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup warm water
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Makes 18 to 24.
1 lb. butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. salt
14 oz. marshmallow cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and salt; mix well. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla; blend well. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to 1 week; bring to room temperature and lightly beat before using. Makes about 5 ½ cups icing.
And, don’t forget…Kitchen of Love is ready to go! Deadline is 2/10!