It's been a busy week at the grey cottage. Our church holiday fair is fast approaching and I have been a busy little seamstress. The big project has been a baby quilt that will go up for auction.
When I'm sick of handsewing, I have been whipping together gift bags and cutting out more of them. Of course, I'll keep a few for the Lindquist gift giving, but I really think folks will like these ... we shall see!
I still have a boatload of things to do to prepare for next Saturday, but my philosophy has been to just plug along each day and do a bit here and there. The house is falling to wrack and ruin, but what the heck ... I can always clean next week.
To boot, Silent Bob leaves this evening for his week-long hunting bonanza with his brothers and friends. The end of the day always brings a buffet of casseroles, roasted meats, salads, and desserts made up by the wives and girlfriends. When we get sick of cooking, the guys order out for pizza ot chicken. This evening's dessert will be a fluffy affair. I whipped up walnut cupcakes and made maple meringue frosting from a Cooking Light magazine that was staring me in the face in the check-out line during yesterday's market run.
I stuck the cupcakes in these snowflake liners as a joke for SB. You see, every time (EVERY TIME) he goes hunting or off on a hike or bike trip, it snows, blows, or something breaks in the house. Yours truly is left to muddle through ... so this is my subtle little prediction. He'll chuckle as he inhales these sweet treats, no doubt ... then, shrug and wish me luck! The rascal!
So ... here they are! Cupcakes! Enjoy!
Walnut Cupcakes with Maple Meringue Frosting
a Cooking Light recipe with a slight adaptation
Cupcakes:½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. packed light brown sugar
6 tbsp. butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces cake flour, about 2 cups
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ c. buttermilk
⅓ c. plus 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, toasted and divided
½ tsp. cream of tartar
3 large egg whites
¾ c. maple syrup (the real deal)
2 tbsp. water
dash kosher salt
Making the Dish:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F and put liners in cupcake pans ( line 13 cupcake cups … or be prepared to trim the edges that overflow the 12-count pan … or eat some cupcake batter and don’t fill liners right up).
2. Combine the sugars and the butter and beat until it is smooth and creamy.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each.
4. Beat in the vanilla extract and continue whipping the batter for one minute.
5. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda , and salt together in a small bowl and add to the sugar and egg mixture in three progressions, alternating with the buttermilk.
6. Beat to a smooth batter, fold in the walnuts, and pour into the cupcake liners (fill ⅔ of the way), and bake immediately.
7. Cupcakes should bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean from the center of the cupcake.
8. Remove from the pan and cool the cupcakes on a rackwhile you make the frosting.
9. Place the cream of tartar and egg whites in a cool metal bowl and beat until soft peaks form.
10. Place the maple syrup, water, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat and boil until the mixture measures 238°F on a candy thermometer. Watch it, as the solution will bubble up dramatically.
11. When the maple mixture is to temperature, remove from the heat and drizzle it into the egg white meringue, while you have the beaters really whipping. Beat the frosting until it doubles in size and has stiff peaks.
12. Frost the cupcakes generoulsly and sprinkle the reserved 2 tbsp. of chopped walnuts atop.
13. Place the frosted cupcakes on a large cookie sheet and run under the broiler to crust the tops until golden brown … watch really carefully, as they can burn SO fast!
14. Place the cupcakes on a large platter with space between them until serving time.
... cooking light ??? Yeah, right!
Meanwhile, back to the stitching! Everyone say a little prayer that I finish this little quilt in time! I'll take a picture of the finished product ... if I have my head on square by that time!