Mis-adventures of the Neophyte Baker Part 2

When the days get colder and shorter I always feel the need to nest. Maybe it harkens back to our days of hunting, gathering, and hibernating, but whatever it is, all I want to do is stay home and bake. My boyfriend loves and hates this time since he is the taste-tester and the dish-doer. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers and besides, he is way better at the dishes than I am (just in case he reads this).

If you remember my pumpkin bread disaster you know that I am not the best baker alive, but I have a good spirit and never give up. I decided to try another holiday favorite: snickerdoodles but made in a cupcake form. Doesn’t that sound delicious? A warm, soft, sugary cupcake with cinnamon frosting on top!  It sure does to me and by the way, snickerdoodles were my mom’s best cookie recipe and my favorite of all time. I have made them so many times that I was convinced I could ace this cupcake recipe no problem. Well, things don’t always go as planned.

I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com (link at bottom) that looked simple enough but still felt like I was testing my abilities. Nothing worth doing is easy, right? It all started off smoothly. I mixed my dry ingredients…remembering the cinnamon previously forgotten in the pumpkin bread. Then I got started on my wet mix and this is where things got a little, let’s say, sticky. My butter was still really cold and hard so I stuck it in the microwave for 30 seconds which was about 20 seconds too long and ended up melting all over the microwave. Okay a new stick and this time I put it in a bowl before microwaving it for an anxiety-filled 10 seconds. Then because I wasn’t making a big enough mess, it seems my bowl was too shallow when I started mixing, so butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, and flour went everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE, up my nose, across the kitchen, and even on the ceiling. This is where a tall boyfriend and a curious puppy come in helpful. They did most of the clean up work for me.

The rest of the ingredients combined just fine.  I even filled the cupcake tins and got them in the oven with no drama. It was when I attempted to make my own frosting that things got really bad. Never having made frosting, I didn’t think there was much to it, but I now know that having a standing mixer is key. It was really difficult to balance the bowl, the mixer, and add the ingredients. Also a standing mixer is helpful in beating the butter because it is really difficult to get it fluffy enough when you have puny arms like mine holding the mixer for what felt like FOR-EV-ER! This was super apparent when the frosting slowly melted off the cupcakes and, yes, I let the cupcakes cool. Do you think over-night was long enough?

I ended up abandoning the frosting project after four cupcakes lost their tops. I broke down and bought a jar of pre-made frosting (which I quietly hid it in my basket since I wasn’t prepared to accept defeat).  I think I will have to tackle that technique another time. All in all, these cupcakes were delicious even without my runny frosting. I guess it’s better to accept your failures and buy good frosting since no one complains when you give them a cupcake, no matter who made what.

Recipe at Allrecipes

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