Day 79 – National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Cupcakes and celebration seem to go hand in hand with each other, so I’m not surprised they have their own day.  I also appreciate the specificity of this day being dedicated to just chocolate cupcakes.  You can really run the gamut with flavors here from vanilla to peanut butter to filled, so being a day for just chocolate cupcakes keeps it easy on my end.

We’re cupcake fans here at our house and I think we could even say we were just ahead of the cupcake craze that raged across the country over the last few years.  We had cupcakes as our wedding cake (no cake to cut, just cupcakes to serve).  Our brother-in-law Doug was kind enough to drive to New York on the day before our wedding (was it the day of?) to pick up cupcakes at the Buttercup Bakery in the heart of the City.  What’s not to like about a cupcake?  I will say that after all our cupcake samples, chocolate cupcakes are never our first choice.  They sound good but they usually end up being too much when paired with the frosting.  A nice plain but tasty cake always seems to be the better choice.

I turned to one of my fave blogs again, Averie Cooks, for my recipe.  She had a ton of recipes but the one that caught my eye was a chocolate cupcake with cookies and cream frosting (calling for 24 Oreos to be mashed up into the frosting).  I was in.  This recipe could also be made as vegan although I opted to keep with my 48 year old tradition and made it non-vegan (using milk and butter).  But I did learn that an Oreo cookie is a vegan product.  Who knew?

As far as recipes go, this one, like most of the recipes I have used from Averie, was easy to make.  You just follow instructions.  It did have me add some apple cider vinegar to the milk to curdle it which was a new procedure for me, but that’s the recipe, so I followed along.  I combined my wet ingredients with my dry, combined them all together and then scooped it out into the cupcake liners in the baking trays.  In about 20 minutes, the cupcakes were out and ready to cool.

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After they were completed cooled, I made my frosting by adding some confectioner’s sugar to some butter and beating them together.  When it was soft and fluffy, I folded in the chopped up Oreos (it’s hard to cut Oreo’s without making a giant mess) and then my frosting was done.  I am not a good froster.  It always looks so easy when I watch people do it, but when I do it, I always seem to struggle.  I guess it takes practice.  For these, I scooped out a big blob of frosting and put it on top of each cupcake, then worked it around the cupcake so it would cover the top.  They came out ok, but they always seem to lack that dazzle that other people’s frosting have.  I guess I have O.P.F. envy (other people’s frosting).

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I gave one to Lola to try and although she liked it, she had some critiques (part of the spoils of this quest is that you get accustomed to really great treats, so you develop a critical palate when it comes to tasting).  The cupcake itself was a little dry, she felt, and the Oreo overwhelmed the frosting.  Fair enough.  I liked the frosting, but the Oreos really were the predominant flavor.  The actual frosting was really, really good, so maybe it would have been better just by itself.  As far as the cake, I guess it was a little dry and maybe I left them in the oven a little too long (although I did pull them out before they were supposed to be ready).  I think chocolate cake does tend to be a little dry, so maybe that’s what se was tasting.  I’ve had better cupcakes, but I was still a fan of this one.

Our niece Molly had a volleyball game today so she had her very own cheering section with her mom, dad, stepdad, brother, three aunts, one uncle, three cousins and two friends all filling the stands cheering on the Patriots.  I naturally brought cupcakes.  My vision was to give them to Molly so she could enjoy them with her friends after the game, but when I got there, hunger was soaring through the stands, so Becky had one, then Cherie had one, then the kids split one.  The kids liked them – they had no complaints.  Becky and Cherie liked them too, but they also agreed the cake could have been more moist.  I still call this a success though because they were good and they were a fun little way to celebrate the day.  How often do you get to enjoy cupcakes in a high school gym while cheering on your niece?

Today was also National No Beard Day too.  When I saw this, I debated on wether or not I should acknowledge it.  Then I realized that the spirit of this quest is to celebrate as much as possible and while all theses food celebrations are fun, there’s more to the quest than just eating.  I felt that if I’m not willing to go that extra step for the quest, than I am not really challenging myself.  So I grabbed the beard trimmer and my razor, and off it came.

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When Lola came home and saw my face, she smiled and said she had missed my face.  But then she also said, and I quote, “I feel like I’m seeing a scrotum.”  That’s my Lola.  It’s not that my chin looks like a scrotum (and I would assume that would be a scrotum treated with some scrotox).  It was just that awkward feeling of seeing skin you are not supposed to see.  That’s what it feels like to see someone’s face after they have had a beard or mustache for a while.  You don’t know if you should look or look away.  I had that feeling all day whenever I peeked in the mirror.  It will take some getting used to and I may just grow it back, but in the end, I can say that I went all in on the celebration today, and not just by the hair of my chin-chin-chin.

Next Up: International Gin and Tonic Day 

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