Today marks National Cupcake Day (like we really need an excuse to eat cupcakes). I’d like to think I jumped on the cupcake wagon before there even was one. There’s just something about their individuality that I love. No need to commit to a single cake flavor and please a crowd—a dozen assorted cupcakes means there’s something for everyone (except maybe those extra picky eaters). And you’re never required to share. Even if you get a monster cupcake from someplace like Crumbs, it’s an unsaid rule—one cupcake feeds one person. It might be the size of three slices of cake, but it’s a “single serving”, so you don’t feel as bad.
Cupcakes like most comfort foods have a way of making you feel better, or worse, or however you’re looking to feel. It might have something to do with the full pound of butter and sugar enough to fill a bath tub, or it could just be that these small individual cakes have the ability to take on their own personalities. So today, (or any day, really) treat yourself to a cupcake that fits how you’re feeling.
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.
I am done cooking for the year! Sad and nice at the same time. We’ll be traveling to visit more family for the rest of the year and heading out for New Year’s Eve. So after making pizza this evening, I am not expected to cook ANYTHING until New Year’s Day. And yes, that even includes preparing a bowl of oatmeal.
While I love cooking, it is fun to get a break. This year I’ve cooked a lot and tried to blog about most experiments and even some failures. I had a lot of extra time during the summer, and as a result my pantry is overflowing. Who knows what I’ll achieve next year. I have started thinking about a sort of “bucket list” as to what food goals I’d like to achieve in 2013, but until then, let’s have one last 2012 recipe hurrah with you, the readers’ favorite recipes of the year and a few additions of my own.
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.