Home. A place to hang your hat, rest your tired soul, and surround yourself with all that makes you happy.
Family. The word encompasses so much more than the truest sense of the word. It refers also to those who are not the immediate branches on our family tree, but the ones who are there for you through it all; the good, the bad, and the unbearable. They say that you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. While that is true, I believe that for those of us who are lucky enough to find them, friends can become like family. I am blessed, for I have such friends that I am lucky enough to call my extended family.
As you will glean from my sporadic blog posts, this year has been one of many challenges. I am relieved and happy to say that I feel I've reached the light at the end of the tunnel. My mixing bowls are out, my measuring cups are at the ready and my apron strings are once again tied. It feels good to be back in the kitchen. It feels good to be home.
Home. It truly is where our story begins and my family, both immediate and my extended branches, are going to help me tell my tale.
These cupcakes are absolutely decadent. The coffee infusion serves as a reminder of all the late nights spent juggling the duties of being not only a wife and a mother, but also a middle aged student. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. For me, the pleasure comes not with the first bite, but from the therapeutic rhythm of following the recipe.
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and flour thirty 2-1/2-inch muffin cups (or line with paper bake cups). In a medium bowl stir together flour, the 1 cup cocoa powder, the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine milk and coffee. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat for 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
4. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
5. Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, pipe coffee butter cream onto cupcakes. Insert wafers. If desired, dust with additional unsweetened cocoa powder. Makes 30 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.
Coffee Infused Butter Cream Icing
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee, cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- extra strong brewed coffee, cooled (optional)
1. Allow butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in the 3 tablespoons brewed coffee and the vanilla. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in additional brewed coffee until butter cream reaches spreading consistency.