Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mayan Fudge Cupcakes, Living Lettuce, and Gratuitous Pictures of Myself

In the final, seemingly never-ending, installment from the New Mexican Food Fest last Saturday, we have Mayan Fudge Cupcakes with Cocoa-Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting.  I have previously said that baking is not really my thing.  I'm going to amend that to say that baking is in fact at least *one* of my things, but more accurately dessert isn't really my thing because I don't really eat it so I'm not independently motivated to make it.  But.  Let me tell you.  People went ape-shit for these cupcakes and I am at least partially responsible for several children having a complete sugar freak-out which included one of the little darlings ((ahem)) running around with a chair on his head into several freshly painted walls.   Just precious.  Cough.  Cough.

ANYWAY, here's the back story...  My original plan was to do mini-cupcakes because these are really, really sweet and I thought for a big crowd that might be better: more treats, less waste.  After doing four dozen of the mini ones I decided I was going to lose my freaking mind if I kept that up AND would be at it for hours so I went to the regular size.  I also had grand plans of beautifully piping on the frosting and being all damn fancy about it, but well, reference the losing my mind part.

What you need for the cupcakes:

1 box Devil's Food cake mix ((you could also make this from scratch but let's not get crazy))
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 eggs

What you do:

*Right now* pull out one stick of butter to get it to room temperature for the frosting.  You will thank me later.

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin tins or spray them with a cooking spray.

Add the first six ingredients (everything but the eggs) and using an electric mixer, beat at a low or medium speed for about 30 seconds or until everything is moistened.

PAY ATTENTION!  Add the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is well mixed.  No, I don't know why but it seems important.

Crank up the speed and beat for two minutes until the batter is thick.  And yes, it will be really, really thick.

Using a regular old spoon ((well, not an old one per se, just meaning a regular one)), scoop the batter into the lined muffin cups until they are 2/3's full.  This will be annoying because the batter will not release from the spoon and you will end up having to scrape each one in individually.  You will, in fact, be totally covered in chocolate by about .... now.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the fattest one comes out clean.  Remove them to cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

1 stick of butter at room temp  ((together now:  Thanks, Jules.))
1/2 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Approximately 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

Start by creaming the butter in the mixer by beating it on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Add the cocoa and cinnamon and mix on low until they are combined.

Alternating, add a little bit of milk and a little bit of powdered sugar until you say screw this, and just dump it all in like I did.  At least I'm honest.

Once combined, beat on medium for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy.  If it seems too thin, runny, watery, what have you, you can add more powdered sugar.

At this point, your cupcakes should be cool and you can be fancy and pipe them or smear a knife-full of frosting over them and call it good.

If you want to be DOUBLE FANCY, you can also crack sea salt over the top of them.  I know.  Fracking fancy.   Frackancy?  Yes.

This makes 24 regular cupcakes.  Recipe adapted from "Hello Cupcake."

I wondered if kids would like these with the heat in them.  They were so busy inhaling them that I'm not sure any of them even noticed.  It is a very mild little, tiny kick.  Don't be scared.

Nutritional Info:  I have a rule that if something has buttermilk or heavy cream in it, it is a lost cause so don't even worry about it.


Whew.  Done.  Okay.  Let's talk about something different.  How cool is this?

Living Lettuce
Yes, this is a stock photo because I suck too much to take a picture of mine before chopping into it.  Recently, we have gotten what they call "Living Lettuce" from the co-op.  It comes with the root ball still attached and oh my God, it is so good and stays fresh forever.  No, you don't have to water it or plant it or any bullshit like that.  Mine stayed perfectly fresh for over three weeks.  THREE WEEKS!!  ((My level of dorkdom just went through the roof.  Gah.))

Anyway, I made this salad.  Isn't it pretty?

Damn.  That's a pretty good picture.  For me.

All it is is the butter lettuce with grilled chicken, cilantro, lime, salsa, and shredded cheese.

No, I'm not going to turn into those, "Here's What I Ate Today!!!" people.  Well, I might.  Sorry.  I'll try not to and you can be sure that at some point there will just be a picture of 17 cans of diet coke in that event.


Okay, gratuitous pictures of myself time.  These are from the Mardi Gras party.  If anyone is good with photoshop and wants to fix the one with the open door, I will reward you with the meal of your choice upon receipt.

I bought this apron because it was the ugliest one in the store.  True story.

Me with the party host.  I love his cabinets.  And the lighting.  And my hair looks good there.  

Anyway, I must get back to work on the fitness studying.  Everyone try to use "erector spinae" in a sentence at least once today.  Preferably completely out of context, or perhaps as a spell you are casting on someone.  It just sounds ominous.



  1. I am definitely making both of these recipes soon. The cupcakes for a birthday this weekend. I made the rum cake and my friends have been ecstatic and lapping up the crumbs.

    1. I love salsa as salad dressing. I'm getting the Mexican add-on this weekend, so there will probably be lots of salsa recipes next week!