Last day of the year! We're wrapping up that weird week between Christmas and New Year's where everything has been a little bit slower than normal. We have some baking to do today that I will refer to as lemon bar redemption. More on that another time, but this week's baking feature was this chocolate cupcake. We baked the super moist chocolate cupcake recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. Wonderful. These cupcakes came out perfect. We modified a little bit by splitting the extracts between mint and vanilla. We also put half of a thin mint Oreo on the bottom of the baking cup before baking and we topped this with our own minty marshmallow buttercream and the other half of the Oreo. All of this combined created a winter perfect minty hot cocoa cupcake and a perfect ending to our Christmas baking this year.
Although it might sound cliche and you're likely hearing about this everywhere today, I like to pause on New Year's Eve to think about another year passing and a new one on the way. This year has brought me a lot to be thankful for and a few tough surprises along the way that remind me how precious time and life is. We're just a few hours away from hearing Auld Lang Syne as the clock passes midnight and we feel the blank canvas of 2018 beginning.
I'm taking a different spin on resolutions here and thinking about some things I want to attempt and learn about on my baking journey this year:
I've made plenty of Irish brown bread and other varieties of breads and rolls over the years, but I've yet to invest in and nurture a sourdough starter. It seems tricky and precise, which intimidates me a tad (ok, more than a tad), but the slow process of making sourdough bread intrigues me. I feel like this on demand world needs more things like sourdough bread so I'm going to slow down and give it a try!
One of the little Sunday Bakers is quite intrigued with Paris lately....maybe even obsessed. This leaves us looking at all sorts of pictures and inspiration for French bakeries and pastries, and we are particularly smitten with the macaron. We tried some from a bakery back in June and they were light as air with the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. I'm anticipating that this one will take us a few tries but I think it will be a fun project together.
Ok, this one isn't exactly in the category of baking but it's a kitchen adventure that's been on my mind anyway so I'm expanding my horizons a little bit here. I'm not an expert about the famous Julia Child but I love learning about her and I loved the movie Julie & Julia. When I do watch TV, I enjoy food and baking shows, but there's so much out there now that it's kind of overwhelming. What I love about catching an old Julia Child clip is how natural it is. Although the shows of today are amazing, Julia Child's TV kitchen chronicles had less editing and polish. There were more messes, bloopers and raw moments, which I love...because I'm a total mess in the kitchen. There's flour and sugar everywhere...the dogs bark and jump up to the counter, a little one cries because it was her turn to dump the sugar in and not her sister's, and then I sometimes find myself wondering "Wait, am I on my second or third cup of flour?" (I remember once that the mini-chaos left me forgetting to add any sugar or sweetener to a recipe....you can imagine how that tasted). Raw. Messy. Real. Thank you Julia. We will add this to the 2018 kitchen adventures.
I wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy 2018!
New England wife, mom & home baker. Faith, food, fitness, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.