Wednesday, March 10, 2010

yellow cupcakes

Justin takes the early teacher bus, leaving the apartment just a little after five in the morning. I take that late teacher bus which leaves - unforgivingly - at six o'clock. Sometimes I like to complain about these annoyingly early mornings - you wouldn't believe how many people start their day at four in the morning so they can go for a run or to the gym or walk the dog or, uh, actually have a morning routine that includes eating breakfast at the table. The rationale behind the (oh, too many adjectives to choose from) early school start is traffic. If school began even an hour later, we'd spend twice as long getting there. Twenty minutes or forty minutes? To get up at five instead of four every morning, for a late night to be nine instead of eight, I'd take the forty minutes.

Anyway. Three days a week Amanda gives me a ride to school if I need the extra five or ten minutes in the morning. The other morning I almost walked out the door without my head, but I remembered to take a thank you thank you thank you for waiting cupcake.

"They're amazing," I said, and then realized how that sounded. "Whenever I brag about my cooking, I'm just bragging about following a recipe that turns out." She laughed. It's true though. I don't experiment much on my own. I've tweaked or combined a few recipes, altered ingredients to fit what was in my cupboards - but I like to have an idea written out that says add this to that and you'll get yumminess.

So here's a link to yumminess. The Pioneer Woman's yellow cupcake recipe. I made them for Claire's first birthday, for Justin's soccer girls, and for his birthday just this past Sunday. They have yet to fail me. Enjoy!

My only alteration to the recipe is this: Since I cannot fine cake flour here, I put 2 tablespoons corn starch in a one cup measuring cup and then fill the rest with flour. It's a good substitute. Oh, and another alteration: I don't have vanilla extract here so I use vanilla sugar. I also up the vanilla flavor by adding the vanilla seeds from one quarter bean; I add those to the butter and sugar.

Also, something I've been doing when I bake: I fluff the flour before measuring. Keeps the cookies and cakes from getting too dense. I've served a lot of hockey puck cookies in my time, but no more!

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