Happy belated blogoversary

I should have posted this on Saturday, but I am bad at remembering important dates. I am well known for forgetting birthdays (sorry Mom!). If Christmas and Thanksgiving didn’t have such great marketing, I would forget them too. I didn’t make a blogoversary post last year or the year before, because…I forgot! By the time I figured it out, it seemed futile to try to fix it. But, I really wanted to celebrate this year. Why? Because of you. I want to say thank you for coming here and spending time with me. It has been so important to me.

As I look at the inner workings of this blog, I see that over three years, I have written 146 posts, some of them memorable, some of them not. I have made 53 categories for these posts and my blog seems to average around 70 hits per day. But the thing that is astonishing to me is that between all of you and I, we have made 956 comments. These comments are not just comments, they have become a conversation, and I thank you for that. This conversation has gotten me through some rough patches in my life and I love you for that.

Now, let‘s stop being so mushy and talk about important things… Let’s talk about cupcakes, because cupcakes are special. My friend Jeanne made Avocado muffins the other day and she set forth her rules about why they were named muffins instead of cupcakes. I like her reasoning but want to add my spin to it:

1. If it tastes like breakfast, it is a muffin. If it tastes like cake, it is a cupcake.

2. If it has frosting it must be a cupcake. Muffins aren’t usually dressed up for special occasions.

3. Cupcakes wear clothes (a paper liner), muffins can and often do go naked.

4. Cupcakes look good wearing candles, candles make muffins feel silly.

I hate to say it, but the whole cupcake craze that has been going on for the past couple of years has been a big failure in my eyes. I have tried cupcakes from cupcakeries and they always leave me underwhelmed. The cake is obviously homemade, but often the cupcakes are dry. The frosting is often interesting but way to sweet. I even had high hopes when one day I visited a small bakery in the middle of wine country where the baker was adding wine to the cupcakes. They were okay, but not scrumptious and if I am going to spend five bucks for a single cupcake, it better be scrumptious. My advice? Keep it simple. Make your own. You won’t regret it. I made homemade cupcakes today and they were scrumptious. I substituted honey for the sugar in the cake recipe and it made for a moist, lightly sweet, spicy cake that was as light as a pillow. The frosting was lightened up with reduced fat cream cheese and the gentle sweetness was wonderful with the spiciness of the cake.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts

Cupcakes:

¼ cup salted butter, softened

½ cup honey

½ cup molasses

1 large egg

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp nutmeg

1 ¼ cups unbleached white flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ cup boiling water

Frosting:

2 tbsp salted butter, softened

2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

¼ tsp pure lemon extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, F. Line two six cup muffin tins with cupcake liners

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and honey until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses.  Beat until smooth. Add the ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and flour. Beat until well blended. In a separate cup, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water. Add this mixture to the batter and beat until smooth.

Ladle the batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for five minutes or until you can safely handle them. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting: Cream the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the lemon extract and beat the frosting until smooth. It was hot today and this frosting was pretty runny. If you have the same problem, put the frosting in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes or so to firm it up. Frost the cupcakes. There is just enough frosting for all twelve cupcakes, but you’ll still be able to clean the bowl, if you know what I mean….

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15 Comments

  1. Chai Chai said,

    August 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Happy belated Anniversary Mimi!

  2. bergamot said,

    August 26, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Mimi happy anniversary and I liked the description of the difference between cupcake, cake and muffins :-)

  3. Jeanne said,

    August 26, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Happy blogoversary! Wow, three years! Thank you for blogging, Mimi, your posts always make me smile (or drool, in the case of these cupcakes). Your cupcake/muffin rules are excellent! It’s always great to have more clarification on this issue of utter importance. :)

  4. Chelsea said,

    August 26, 2010 at 11:58 am

    happy blogoversary! Cupcakes are usually too much trouble for me – easier to make one of something than a lot of them – but this is definitely a cupcake-worthy occasion! They look delicious just like everything you make :)

  5. Andreas said,

    August 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Happy blogoversary, Mimi.
    I like your three bite-sized cakes. ;)

  6. champa said,

    August 27, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Mimi, That is so nice of you to leave a comment which meant something. many people just say nice bread or nice recipe. They don’t have any impacts.
    Coming to forget about the important dates, my husband forgot our first wedding anniversary. He never remembers my birthday or his for that matter. I am used to not expecting anything now that I have been married for almost 12 years now. Nice cupcakes by the way and congratulations for making it to three years of blogging.

    • Mimi said,

      August 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      I bet that one of these days, he will surprise you. When you least expect it, he’ll probably shock you with a good celebration.

  7. MC said,

    August 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Happy blogversary, Mimi! You sure make us happy with your posts and it is only fair to return the favor and wish you the best for the many blogging years to come. I love these little cupcakes, they are dressed just right for the occasion!

  8. August 29, 2010 at 7:53 am

    You know those Hallmark characters, Hoops and Yoyo? Well, they have this birthday song, let’s see if I can sing it for you: HappyBirthDAAY, HappyBirthDAAY, lalalalalalAAA. HappyBirthDAAY, HappyBirthDAAY, LALALAlalalalAAA ;]

    Yeah, I hear you, one sure fire way to not disappoint yourself is to make your own, eh? Your cupcakes look absolutely sweet. I like how you said that muffins can be naked. Someone told me that muffins are just ugly cupcakes. They’re not ugly…they’re proud things that couldn’t care less. There’s their confidence to be naked.

  9. August 30, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Happy blogoversary! Your cupcakes look delicious! I love molasses and ginger, and these must be perfectly moist and flavorful.

  10. drfugawe said,

    August 31, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Damn, I thought I had you subscribed – guess not. Please forgive my tardy “me too” congrats – that’s quite a worthy achievement.

    I think it’s hilarious what they call muffins nowadays – I have a much simpler definition: if adding icing would make it a cupcake, then it’s a cupcake even without icing! That severely limits the number of legitimate muffins to items like corn muffins, or my all time fav, bran muffins, and maybe even plain white flour or whole wheat muffins (ever make those?).

    Keep truckin’ Mimi.

    • Mimi said,

      August 31, 2010 at 8:14 am

      I think you may be on to something. And.. now we are so used to cupcake-like muffins that it’s a surprise when you eat one that’s not. For instance, when I made your sourdough corn muffins, I thought they were good but something was missing. I drizzled honey over one and there it was, the sweet was missing for me because my brain couldn’t wrap around a bread flavored muffin. Mmmm… that reminds me… I need to work on getting my sourdough back so I can make your corn muffins!

  11. Joanne said,

    August 31, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I agree with you about buying cupcakes. I’ve never had one that tastes better than the ones I make. So why waste the money?

    Yours look and sound fantastic! I’m so happy that I have met you through blogging and I love coming here. Happy Bloggiversary!

  12. ohiofarmgirl said,

    September 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    hey baby are you out there? here’s a blogiversary present!
    http://adventuresinthegoodland.blogspot.com/2010/09/star-and-more.html ;-)

  13. November 26, 2010 at 12:09 am

    [...] Cake Adapted from Delectable Tidbits Yield: One 10″ square [...]


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