Dessert is beautiful in many, many ways, but in our house, we especially appreciate its ability to bridge the divide between my vegetarianism and his carnivorous diet. Because unless we’re putting lard in our pie crusts or sprinkling bacon on our ice cream (and even my bacon-loving guy isn’t really on board with the bacon-in-desserts thing), dessert is naturally vegetarian. No need for our usual fork-in-the-road recipes, which really isn’t such a bad way to live, but there’s something fun about being able to nosedive simultaneously into, for instance, the same Fluffy Nutella Buttercream frosted cupcakes.
Nutella in buttercream form. Pure heaven. After all, if dessert is beautiful, Nutella is pure divinity. People write poems about it. They dedicate terrific blogs to it. And there’s even a holiday to celebrate it!
My garden is a sad sight this year, as summer started just a tad too late for me to have much confidence in all the things I wanted to plant. Happily, though, the peas are thriving – and so are the strawberries.
Big, red, perfect, plump, juicy strawberries. I’ll run out there to snag a couple to slice atop my yogurt for breakfast or a handful to enjoy whole after dinner. Or, like the other day, I’ll just start picking and soon I’ll have a nice bowlful, and then I get to dreaming all about what kinds of creations I can make with these delicious scarlet goodies.
Say, for instance, strawberry shortcake cupcakes.
Six weeks. I’d been waiting for that milestone for a looong time. Six weeks after I had my little girl via c-section, I was cleared to exercise (desperately needed) and officially live life again (woo hoo!). Instead, on the morning of the day marking exactly six weeks postpartum, the dogs knocked my feet right out from under me as they rushed down the stairs. I broke my ankle. (I was carrying laundry, not my baby – thank goodness.)
These Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes started out as something a little different. First, I thought I wanted to make a blondie cupcake. I mean, brownie cupcakes like this one are the bomb, so a blondie cupcake can’t be far behind.
Then I decided I wanted to add chocolate chips. It was necessary.
Fridays are extra crazy where I’ve been working lately. One of my co-workers suggested one of us bring in treats every week in order to help mitigate the pain. Brilliant gal!
Being, well, me, I got all excited and volunteered to bring in the first happy-makers. I decided on cupcakes early on, as I’d teased my work friends with these bad boys but forgot them at home so instead they went to my guy’s office. All the way home, I dreamed up possible combinations. Chocolate with peanut butter buttercream and a little hunk of Reeses on top … salted caramel (with caramel filling, natch) … ooh! Or a dreamy raspberry, lemon and vanilla combo inspired by the flavors in this amazing cheesecake from, yes, The Cheesecake Factory (trust me, it’s delicious).
Cookies and cream, in a cupcake. Delicious, chewy chocolate brownie cupcakes topped with cookies-and-cream buttercream, topped with a mini Oreo and, the pièce de résistance, an Oreo is baked right into the middle of the cupcake!
These Carrot Cupcakes, topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, are soooo good. And they’re especially perfect for Easter.
Though, I must confess, I’m not usually a carrot cake fan these days. I used to be, but something changed.