This past weekend I went to visit my friend Lisa in Chicago. Lisa and I have been friends since the first day of 6th grade, when I was the new kid and nobody would talk to me. Whats amazing is that for most of our friendship we've lived in different states (college, post college), yet we remain very close. So when Lisa suggested that we make cupcakes as part of our visit, I was super excited.
|Enjoying Jameson ice cream (it was STRONG)|
Until I remembered the infamous "Cookin and Muffie Disaster of 1994." Its been so long that neither of us can remember exactly what happened, but we do remember how we turned what was supposed to be cookies or muffins into some kind of ridiculous hybrid. And they were not good. So while we didn't have the best baking history, we're 18 years older so we had full confidence we could make our peach cupcakes happen.
The idea for the peach cupcakes came from the fact we wanted to make something using local ingredients. Lisa is very active in a local food co-op (Called the Dill Pickle) and so we wanted to take advantage of their resources. Peaches are in season, so why not peach cupcakes?
We started with some white donut peaches and some other regular peaches that Lisa had in her fridge. The white peaches were a little under ripe, but when we pureed them it ended up being fine. Then I started reading the directions and realized I hadn't really prepared for this endeavor. The recipe came from Southern Living's Big Book of Cupcakes. One thing that annoys me about books like that is that they don't put all the recipes on one page. It says something like "White cupcakes (pg 23), White Icing (pg 43)...etc" So I had to keep flipping pages and realized we were missing some things. Not the biggest deal... I can improvise with the best of them. So we started working. And made our "peach icing". There are no words to describe what happened. Only a picture
|Does that look like icing to you????|
I wish I could identify what happened. But I can't. It was just gross. So it was about 175 degrees outside and we didn't want to go buy more supplies and we knew we couldn't use that. We scoured the cupcake books and came up with making Mini Crumb Cakes since we had all the supplies already. But our spirits were low... is it possible we just don't know how to bake together???
Anyway, the mini crumb cakes were a success! They were REALLY easy to make (didn't even need a mixer) and the flavor was great in them. We did still want to keep with our local produce idea so made a raspberry glaze on top of the cupcakes. I think it really added to them. My one complaint was that they were a little dry. I imagine that was mostly because we left them out all night, but its something that could easily be fixed by adding a little more milk and/or some fruit inside of them.
The coolest part was using the parchment paper instead of wrappers. The lady at the Dill Pickle had suggested it since they were out of the right size cupcake wrappers. I was really apprehensive since I'd never done it before and the paper said it had silicon on it. Nothing sticks to silicon! I didn't want the wrappers falling off everywhere. But they didn't! We simply cut even squares of the parchment paper and Lisa folded it into the pan, while I put in the batter. I really think they made the cupcakes look that much cooler.
So while it wasn't our first intention, it definitely ended up being a success! Maybe Lisa and I have finally broken our baking curse. But it definitely is a good lesson in always reading all the directions and reminding myself that even though I've baked a lot of cupcakes, I'm due for a diaster every now and then.
|Hard at work... Wish I had a picture of her partner Art sitting on the couch asking when they would be ready..|
Crumb Cake Cupcakes
- 1-1/4 cups Flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup raspberries
- 5-10 tablespoons powdered sugar
Cupcakes Adapted from Betty Crocker's Big Book of Cupcakes