Thursday, November 18, 2010
You've Got to Have Friends, and Cupcakes
In the spirit of friendship, I made cupcakes for a woman in my office who lent a much needed helping hand. The cupcakes were a gesture of thanks for her assistance yesterday, when she volunteered to take one thing off my desk and lighten my load, just a bit. I asked her what I could do to show my gratitude, and she said that there was nothing I could do for her, but that her young daughter loved cupcakes. I got up early this morning and arrived at work with chocolate cupcakes frosted in buttercream. I didn't have a mix, so as soon as I woke up I Googled "one bowl cupcakes" and was delighted to find Martha Stewart's easy (and very well-rated) recipe for chocolate cupcakes. It was so simple. I mixed the wet ingredients into the dry and popped the cupcakes into the oven for 20 minutes, just enough time for me to jump into the shower and out. I didn't have a fancy box so I cut one side off a box of Cheerios and made a make-shift tray which held a dozen cupcakes just perfectly. From my own "quality control" evaluation, I can tell you that the cupcakes and frosting were terrific, really moist and delicious, and I hope that Lynn and her daughter think so too!
Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (slightly adapted)
Oven 350 degrees F
Makes 18 standard cupcakes
Dry ingredients. Mix together:
3/4 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Wet ingredients. Mix together and then add to dry:
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 c. buttermilk (or 3/4 c. milk soured with 1 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar - 5 minutes)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and beat for 3 minutes.
Line muffin cups with paper liners. Fill 1/2 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until tops bounce back when lightly pressed.
When cool enough to handle, remove cupcakes from pans to continue cooling on wire rack. When completely cooled, frost with buttercream.
1 bar (8 tbsp.) butter, softened
1 lb. confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk plus more to thin to desired consistency
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Add confectioners sugar alternately with milk. Beat well. If too thick, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired spreading consistency.
Photo: my cupcakes, with sprinkles!