Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Frosting

Cheers! Toasting our 14 year friendship!

What do you do when your very good friend comes into town? Well, I made the food that we bonded over when we first met. In our case, lots chips and salsa (we were the reason Tostitos and Pace Picante saw higher than usual earnings during those years) and boxed cake fueled us through late night study dates, rants about all things Italian, and 80's music marathons.

For our reunion, I decided to take it up a notch and make cupcakes from scratch because anything from a box no longer makes the grade, unless you're in elementary school.

I made vanilla cupcakes and frosting previously (December 2006 recipes) but given our predilection for chocolate, I decided to go for a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. The frosting was amazing. Not too sweet, not too stiff, and tasted like true chocolate. Home made frosting is the opposite of anything Duncan Hines produces.

While I thought the frosting I made in December was good, it is even better now. Partly, it was the addition of chocolate, but mostly I think it was the weather. In December, though I whipped the heck out of the frosting, and I mean beat it for a solid 7 minutes, I just could not get it to be lightly and fluffy. And while I live in a relatively mild climate, it makes a big difference. Today, in the middle of a heat wave, the frosting came together so quickly. I couldn't believe butter could be so airy!

Ingredients for Frosting
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (let sit on counter over night)
-1 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar
-1/4 cup cocoa powder (use unsweetened)
-2 T milk
-1 tsp vanilla

Beat butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla, and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, if not longer.

Yields enough frosting for 12 cupcakes very very generously. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a week or frozen indefinitely.

These cupcakes were really very good, made even more sweet by sharing with a friend who knows you so well that no words are necessary to feel understood.

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