Tuesday, January 1, 2013

An Entire Year's Worth of CUPCAKES!!!!!

Baking cupcakes has become a symbol of devotion, a sacred ritual that I not only enjoy, but savor for its love and delicious scents and gooey sticky creamy wonder. Ahhhhhh, to celebrate the New Year by sharing this ritual with those of you who are also in the know with a weekly recipe of tempting delight. Yes, I will bake a dozen or so cupcakes a week for all of 2013 and celebrate with you the goodness of these mini-cakes!!!!!!

My favorite part of baking cupcakes is not the enraptured expression on my husband’s face when I present him with a freshly homemade batch covered in swirls of pink frosting; no, it is licking the beaters. I LOVE BATTER!!!!!!!!! Acceptance is the first step. I lick the spoons, the beaters, the spatula, nothing is sacred in my kitchen. (I’m sorry dear friends for whom I have given cupcakes a ‘many!!!!!!) Often if the recipe calls for a dozen, we end up with 9. Yes, I seem to have a habit of licking up 3 cupcakes worth of batter every single time.

I also love the aprons. Vintage 1950’s are my favorites, but then I do consider myself the June Cleaver of our times. I carefully choose my apron for the task depending on my mood, or for whom I am baking. Obligatory party-cupcakes for my husband’s holiday work staff? The red and black flowers. Friends coming for Friday night dinner who have requested chocolate cupcakes? Cherries and ruffles. And of course the apron I save special for when I am baking for my husband – pink yellow and blue ruffles and cupcakes!

I didn’t always bake cupcakes. My grandmother’s recipes were passed down to me from my mother, with nary a cupcake to be seen, baked, or eaten. In the 70’s my mother and I baked Jiffy cupcake mixes, adding crazy fillings and frostings. This is how the cupcake craze transpired - several years ago, my now-husband Lucky wrote me a very old-school email requesting I bake him cupcakes – this was prior to our first date! I showed up at that first date with a plate exploding with both chocolate AND yellow cupcakes, for I had no idea which Lucky’s favorite might be and I did not want to choose incorrectly! I think he fell in love with that very moment ;-) Several months later, he presented me with a cupcake of his own – a beautiful charm (from Tiffany!!!!) on a slender chain and I was the goner. Since this fateful cupcake-exchange, Lucky has been forced to succumb to an endless parade of delectable treats and sweets and many a cupcake-flavor!!

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