It’s been some time since I’ve baked. Mostly because I haven’t had a proper occasion. My family trips to NJ over the past few month have meant borrowing my mom’s kitchen to whip up some treats or simply providing the libations. Have you ever tried to carry a cake or pie on the subway, a short walk and two trains? Trust me, it’s not a fun experience. The responsibility of making sure the dessert stays perfectly straight with little bumps or bruises is stressful enough, but add a hot humid day and some whipped topping and it’s a recipe for disaster. Nobody wants to eat a puddled dessert soup. Unless of course it was originally planned that way.
A few weeks back when I made mini tiramisu cups, I bought mascarpone with intentions of bringing the supplies to my mother’s to cook. I can’t remember the exact circumstances but I ended up leaving my ingredients in Brooklyn and buying new ingredients in Jersey, leaving me with two tubs of mascarpone, an ingredient that I’ve purchased very sparingly in my life. Luckily the cream has a long refrigerator life if unopened. As the expiration date pushed closer I knew I had to make something. I canned some bourbon cherries the other week, realizing I still had half a pint left over from last season that we needed to consume. …how those cherries lasted a few year is still a mystery.
By now you should be very familiar with Smitten Kitchen and her glorious Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. If not, you may be living under a rock or are not seeking enough creative ways to get your daily servings of booze. Both are unacceptable. I was first introduced to Smitten Kitchen and her boozy cupcakes at a friend’s St Patrick’s Day party. I’ve never done an Irish Car Bomb. After dropping in a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s, you need to quickly chug the beer before the Irish Cream curdles. Considering my idea of downing a beer still takes a good half hour, while others have already moved onto a second round, I don’t think the concept would work too well. Nevertheless, when my friend added cupcake to the end of the description, I was already in love.
Ever notice how sweet focused Christmas is? Really all holidays I guess. Christmas cookies and cupcakes and cakes and pies and hot chocolate and eggnog…the list goes on! Sure there’s some savory dishes that become favorites like turkey and ham but for the most part when you go to a party or an event, the dessert is the highlight. Just think how much time and effort (and money) brides put into coming up with the perfect wedding cake. It’s a centerpiece of the whole day. For Christmas desserts, I think of cookies first, but pies…mmmm, pies are a very close second.
I thought long and hard about this, but I will not be making Christmas cupcakes this year. Generally I bring something to my family’s Christmas Eve dinner and really wanted to bring cupcakes, but it’s just going to be too difficult. My dessert making will take place in my mom’s kitchen and while my mom’s a good cook/baker, she’s not a cupcake maker. Meaning I would have to schlep my piping tools, cupcake scoop, liners to her place, along with the rest of our clothes for the next 4 days and presents. And while my mom’s kitchen is FAR MORE exquisite than my shabby Brooklyn rental (that I’m not willing to invest any money I can’t take with me in) kitchen, it lacks one essential appliance.
Well if you know me at all, you probably know about my cupcake obsession, both cooking and eating. So obviously I would probably endorse nearly any cupcake place. But this is a little different. I’ve actually never tried Butter Lane made cupcakes, but did have a fantastic time making my OWN Butter Lane cupcakes at one of their recent classes that I HIGHLY recommend to any baker (or non baker) out there.