Thursday, June 11, 2009

MAKE: A Cupcake Recipe

Nothing resonates with the sheer delights of childhood (or overcoming a difficult childhood with outthem) like the perfectly made cupcake.

The recipe below was shared with me by Bitsy Klein. Bitsy is an old school AC/DC fan, an avid collector of 14th century erotic Sanskrit poetry and a WJPS survivor (WASP-Jewish Parents Syndrome: Parents Who Feel Extremely Guilty Because They Genuinely Love Their Dogs More Than Their Children). Bitsy’s recipe below is filled with the guilty pleasures of an over-examined youth – salted butter, granulated sugar, unsalted butter, some more salted butter and a dash of cod liver oil (so surprising, yes?). I particularly adore the subtle juxtaposition of the salted butter in the cupcakes with the unsalted butter in the frosting. Heaven on earth, or at least Heaven at my house when she visits for our annual cupcake and cocktails.

YIELD: about 3 cupcakes
· 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
· 1 3/4 teaspoon powdered baking soda
· 2 teaspoon soda-ed baking powder (different from powdered backing soda – this is baking powder that has been liquefied and can be sprayed from a nifty pressurized can available only at Humberts Purveyors on Sloan Square, next to the Sacchi’s)
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
· 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (perfect for your vegan guests since I recently learned – sugar doesn’t come from ANY animal)
· 2/3 cup granulated sugar (ditto)
· 2 large eggs or 1 large egg substitutes, like in vitro eggs
· 8 teaspoons pure Cuban rum
· 5 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
· ½ cup , coarsely chopped (optional) Carob

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

Whip the salted butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, about four minutes. She suggests five, but I have found that four works better.

Add the eggs or their substitutes, one at a time after you break them open. Beat in the rum. On low speed, add the flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, fold in the carob and cranberries.
Bake til done. To frost, let cool and then roll each cupcake in a vat of slightly softened unsalted butter. Even though it is slightly inconvenient these cupcakes are best eaten with a fork and knife but are worth every single slice.

For kids, serve without the silver ware, but make sure to have plenty of help around to clean up!

For more information about Bitsy Klein’s traumatic childhood and adult recovery, or to buy her new book check out her website

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