Mother’s Day: Mama Knows Best (…And So Does Dad)

Do it the way your mother told you
I wasn’t able to spend Mother’s Day with my mom this year, but I did send her a small care package with this very appropriate card. My mom is my confidant. Her courage and her strength is unbelievable. (And so is her determination to buy every book and scrapbooking accessory created. :-P <– It does make trips home fun. I always come back with a new scrapbook technique or tip tucked away, plus a few good reads.) In the past year, we’ve started sending text messages more often, though we still communicate on the phone; I’ve noticed that her sense of humor comes through that much more by communicating in text form. Lately, I’ve found myself mimicking the actions of my mom. When I sent her an update on this observation, her response was this: “Mama knows best!” (And more often than not, she does.)

Speaking of a master of one-liners and a giver of sage advice, my dad also fits this bill. Earlier this week, he sent me a surprise gift: cupcake liners and stands from Crate and Barrel. (How cute and seasonally appropriate are these lil things?) When I posted the original photo below with a caption that began with “Reason #892 why I love my dad,” his joking response was, “Is that all?” He also mentioned that he’d recently checked out my blog and was impressed by the Chick Cupcakes. :) I guess it’s time for me to do more baking.

I hope everyone gets a chance to connect with their families today, whether it be in person, online or on the phone. Happy Mother’s Day! I love you mom, and you too, dad.

Cupcake Liners and Stands

More Sweetness:

Chick Cupcakes  Lemon Strawberry Cookies 001  Bacon Chocolate Hearts 001

 

Cinnamon Churro Cupcakes

Churro Cupcakes

In a month, I’ll be exploring the sights and sounds of New Orleans for the very first time. (There will be beignets! And yes, I do plan to blog about the best bites discovered from my NOLA adventures. :)

These cupcakes remind me of a different type of “donut” – the churro. A good churro has fried, cinnamon-y sugar goodness in every bite. While these Cinnamon Churro Cupcakes don’t do the fried part justice, they are deliciously packed with cinnamon and sugar, both baked in and topped with a crunchy glaze. :) Dollops of cream cheese frosting top it all off. Serve these cupcakes – or these Margarita Cupcakes, too – at your next Cinco de Mayo party or at any other fun fiesta.

Cinnamon Churro Cupcakes

  • Servings: ~2 dozen cupcakes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

The Makings: (1 batch yields ~2 dozen cupcakes)

Churro Cupcakes

  • All-purpose flour – 3 cups
  • Baking powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon – 1 tablespoon
  • Butter (room temperature) – 1 cup (2 sticks)
  • Sugar – 1 3/4 cups
  • Eggs – 4
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • Milk – 1 1/4 cups
  • Cream cheese frosting – 1 can

For crunchy topping:

  • Butter – 4 tablespoons, melted
  • Sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

2. Cream sugar and butter together using a mixer. Add eggs in, one at a time, followed by vanilla.

Churro Cupcakes

3. Use mixer to blend in dry ingredients in three batches, adding in milk in two batches inbetween flour mix-ins.

Churro Cupcakes

4. Fill lined muffin tins 3/4ths full with batter and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Churro Cupcakes

Churro Cupcakes

5. Allow cupcakes to cool and prepare crunchy topping by first melting butter. Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a separate small bowl. Once cupcakes are cooled, brush butter on top of cupcakes and then dip into cinnamon sugar.

Churro Cupcakes

6. Place dollops of cream cheese frosting atop the crunchy topping.

Churro Cupcakes

Churro Cupcakes

This recipe was adapted from Lady Behind the Curtain

More Sweetness:

Margarita Cupcakes  Lemon Cool Whip Cookies  Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots

Tie-Dye Cupcakes: The Go Blue Batch

Tie Dye Cupcakes

To prepare for a bus ride from Michigan back to Chicago, I stopped in the community library’s bookstore for reading materials and a few DVDs. For $10, I picked up several Cooking Light issues, American History X and Hairspray on DVD, and the book, In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. (I’m reading Larson’s Devil in the White City now, and it’s fascinating.) I also really couldn’t resist grabbing two CDs for an additional $2. LOVE me some *NSYNC. While perusing through my magazines, I saw a recipe advertorial for tie-dye cupcakes. I tore out the sheet and stashed it in my bag along with a few others, including recipes for Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches and a Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad.

When my neighbor invited me to a football game watch for my alma mater, the University of Michigan, I figured I had my reason to test out a “Go Blue” version of the treat. The original recipe suggested using three different flavors of JELL-O, but I opted for two instead: Berry Blue and Island Pineapple, and left the third batch of batter plain. JELL-O comes in so many flavors; I think it would be fun to recreate the recipe using alternative flavors. Maybe I’ll work in the Margarita JELL-O to my next batch of Margarita Cupcakes. :)

*NSYNC CDs

The Makings:

  • White Cake Mix – 1 box
  • Eggs – 3
  • Oil – 1/3 cup
  • JELL-O – 1/4 cup of dry gelatin mix per flavor (I used 2 different flavors; The small JELL-O boxes will work, and you’ll have leftovers.)
  • Frosting, assorted sprinkles and food coloring (optional)

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to XX degrees. Follow cake mix instructions on box and divide batter into 3 portions.

2. Stir 1/4 cup dry JELL-O mix into each batter portion. (I opted to leave my third bowl untouched.) Add food coloring to intensify color in batter, if desired. (I used about 5-10 drops of blue and yellow food coloring.)

3. Take turns spooning colored batter into each cupcake liner; each cupcake should have all 3 colors. (I varied the order of spooning/layering, so that some would have blue batter on the bottom, some had white and some had yellow.)

4. Bake cupcakes for 16-20 minutes. Frost and decorate once cupcakes are cool. (I found a bottle of Easter-themed sequins and used only the blue and yellow ones. I brought a cupcake with just the orange chicks to the party, too, to give to a non-Michigan fan.)

The cupcakes were devoured at the party. The JELL-O flavoring came through in taste, but was subtle and lighter than expected. (We also took home a W that night; HAIL!)

This recipe was adapted from Kraft Recipes

More Sweetness:
Margarita Cupcakes  Coconut-Apricot Macaroons  Lemon Cool Whip Cookies