One year down, many more to go.
This day marks the one year anniversary of my first ever blog post and what a year it has been. The blog has gone from something very small that only my family and closest friends cared about to something that thousands of people visit a month. I am truly humbled. I am truly grateful.
Since early 2008, this blog was something that I wanted to do- this was before Julia & Julia and the food blog craze. I would talk about it, think about it and then I finally I did it. As all the puzzle pieces fell into place, I was out of excuses and it was scary. Things like this are challenging for me – I’m an idealist, perfectionist and all around over-achiever. Paralyzing so.
It’s been quite a ride this past year and I have loved every minute of it. Thank you to my family who has put up with me and my obsession for a year, my friends who actually make the experiments, I mean recipes I develop and many of you out there who I don’t know who actually read the blog – your support and encouragement has been vital.
It would be remiss of me not to mention one person who has dedicated a lot of his time and expertise to this endeavor and ensuring that I don’t screw up my code – my colleague and friend Marvin. I can’t thank him enough. Not only is Marvin an overall wonderful guy, a rock star developer, he is a really talented photographer. You should check out his site.
With all of that said, the perfect way to celebrate one year is with cupcakes. I can’t think of a better way really. There is this Martha Stewart recipe for Snickerdoodle cupcakes that I have been wanting to try. So I did.
They were great, just like the cookie but a little better. Check them out.
You want to get your butter and sugar well combined. It should be fluffy.
Add your eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
Add your sifted dry ingredients in 3 intervals.
Add your milk in between each dry ingredient addition, in a total of two intervals
Your finished product should look a bit like this.
Line your tins with cupcake liners. I use a ice cream scoop to help me get even amounts – it kinda worked.
Make your butter cream frosting and then ice them with a pastry bag and a large tip.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mix. Aren’t they pretty.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (Ateco No. 809 or Wilton No. 1A), pipe frosting on each cupcake: Hold bag over cupcake with tip just above top, and squeeze to create a dome of frosting, then release pressure and pull up to form a peak. Using a small, fine sieve, dust peaks with cinnamon-sugar. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are frosted; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
Simple Buttercream Frosting
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.