In September of 2009, I started a cupcake adventure. If you haven't read about it yet, you can do so here. ***
Today is my cousin Zoe's birthday. For my entire life, she's been one of my very best friends. Since she lives in Seattle and I can't be there to bake her a birthday cake, this blog post will have to do.
I love you, Stinky!! Happy 28th!!! Try to imagine these cupcakes on the screen are real...just for you!!
Let me say this up front: these cupcakes were WAY fussier than anything I would normally make. But, since we're pretending these are for Zoe's birthday, they were well worth the fuss. :)
The first step was to put a vanilla bean in some milk and boil it just slightly, then let it cool for a while.
While the 'cooling' was happening, I got to work creaming the butter and sugar.
Next, the recipe said to split the vanilla bean and scrape out its insides.
That's vanilla, not pepper. :)
Dry ingredients were combined with the butter and sugar.
And the vanilla milk was added to make mashed potatoes!! (only kidding).
While the batter was baking inside it's cute little papers, I was boiling a cocoa/sugar syrup for the icing.
Once it reached the appropriate temperature, the syrup was removed from the heat, placed in a pan of cool water and whipped with a hand-held mixer. (Are you seeing the fussiness yet?)
So I had these lovely cupcakes with no topping:
And I dressed them up with some cooked chocolate fussy-pants icing and some chopped peanuts.
In all, they were really cute and pretty tasty...but they were sure a lot of work. There has GOT to be an easier way to make chocolate icing!