Friday, September 24, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes Make Even the First Day of School Bearable

School: we're two weeks in - how's it going for you?  Frankly, I'm happy to be back on a schedule again - Every spring I'm thrilled that school is over thinking that my summer will stretch into long lazy days, reading down the pile of books on my nightstand, taking my children to amusement parks and beaches, wandering the halls of cool museums - the reality?  Driving.  I spend my summer driving.  I drive the girls to camps, and summer classes, and pick up their friends, and drive for take out food and driving to the mall and when I'm not doing those things, I'm doing my usual errands, groceries, dry cleaners, dog food.  This year I was hired as an adjunct at the very last minute by Temple, which is "yay" but also "holy #@% I have to prepare!"  So, it's been hectic.  Good hectic, but, you know.

Anyway - to deal with the anxiety of the start of school, Mads and I made a batch of yummy lemony cupcakes with vanilla pudding in the middle.

 I admit, I used a boxed pudding which I had kicking around in my pantry (I intended to use it for a cake which I never made..) but the cupcakes we made from scratch.

They were so good - I didn't frost them - we thought that it would be overkill what with the pudding inside and all, so we made a little glaze with lemon juice, confectioners sugar and a teaspoon of heavy cream.  Spectacular, if Mad's and I may brag a bit.

We doctored a basic yellow cupcake recipe from a sweet little book called Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans - you can get it from Amazon here

Lemon and Pudding Cupcakes

3/4 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup of unbleached cake flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter at room temp (if you haven't taken the butter out of the fridge in time - which Mad's and I hadn't - shred your butter on a box grater, spread it out on a plate and let it sit out while you get everything else together - it will come to room temp fairly quickly.
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp of lemon zest
1 Tblsp lemon juice (or to taste)
1/2 cup milk

Lemon Glaze:
3 TBLSP of Lemon juice
3 TBLSP of confectioners sugar
1 TBLSP of heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.  Beat in the eggs.  Stop mixer and scrape down the sides.  Add the  lemon juice, zest, vanilla and beat for a bit.
Add the flour and milk
alternating between the 2
and finishing with the flour.  Mix until just incorporated.

Fill your muffin tin with paper cups, and then, using a 2 inch ice cream scoop, scoop your batter into each cup.  Lick the bowl - it's worth it.

Bake your cupcakes on the middle rack of your oven for 20 - 23 min - or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the middle cupcake comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool on a rack - while you make the pudding and the glaze.

I made pudding from a box - but this is how I made the glaze:
sift the confectioners sugar into a shallow bowl,  using a whisk - whisk in the lemon juice until the glaze is runny.  Then add just a small amount of heavy cream - up to 1 TBLSP- which cuts the acidity of the lemon a bit (you can leave this out if you want).  
Once the pudding is made, and cooled and your cupcakes are cooled, 
dip the tops of your cupcakes in the glaze.  Wait a few minuets for the glaze 
to set - then carefully cut the top off the cupcake, dig out a little well for the pudding and spoon about a teaspoon of the pudding into your well before replacing the top. 

You have to store these in the fridge where they will last about 3-4 days.  Or, you and your family can greedily eat them up all at once for the back-to-school comfort only a sweetly tart cupcake like this can bring...

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! Charlie has been a little sad about school starting, so maybe this is just the thing.


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