Monday, October 19, 2009

Give and take

Have you ever come home to find a gift on your doorstep? These days, with the advent of gift cards and Amazon free shipping, gift giving is easier and less personal, usually involving a cardboard box and lots of plastic wrapping. How nice to open my door to baked goods last night. Something that a real person baked, something hand delivered. It may seem small, but my neighbor made my day with apple strudel. Happy Fall, indeed.

I had some enormous softball-sized peaches in my kitchen. Waiting, ripening, looking pretty. It’s the tail end of their season, but they do have the right color for fall. Over the weekend, it was time to put them to good use. I found inspiration from the Smitten Kitchen peach cupcake recipe. However, I decided to go the easy route. (I was out of cake flour.) A basic vanilla cake recipe, with chopped peaches, produces peach cake – or cupcakes. I used less sugar than normal and think you could go even lower if you have sweet peaches. You could also replace some of the vegetable oil with buttermilk or yogurt.

I brought the cupcakes to a party. It was your typical house party – chips, dip, beer in the fridge. However, it was in honor of a birthday and all birthdays deserve cake. I slid the cupcakes in next to the carrot/celery tray and prepared to mingle. Don’t let anyone tell you that food can’t make you friends. In fact, How to Win Friends and Influence People should be revised to include cupcake baking. I actually had a few people come up to me and ask, “Are you the girl that made the cupcakes?” There you have it. Whether you bring them to a party or leave them for your neighbors, be friendly with your cake baking. Share.

Cardamom Peach Cupcakes with Cardamom Buttercream Frosting

Cake mix, for 18 cupcakes:

3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. vegetable oil - or sub buttermilk or yogurt
2 c. a-p flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large peaches/ approx. 2 cups chopped

Grease or butter muffin tins. Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined, then spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for ~20 minutes or until toothpick tests clean.

Cardamom Buttercream Frosting:

2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 c. confectioners/powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp milk or cream

Stir together until creamy. I like just a little frosting, but you can multiply this recipe for full coverage frosting. Use less milk/cream for a thicker frosting.

1 comment:

  1. This looks sooooooo good. I'm sure it came out moist too. Dry cupcakes. No no no.