I am feeding my feelings. Don’t judge me. At least I’m feeding them lovely things.
I had every intention of writing about a delightful little vegan dish I love, or maybe the virtue of chocolate-covered bacon. Yes, CasaRock is an equal opportunity kitchen. But this week has been – well – crazed. I mean, it’s a good crazy, if crazy can be defined that way. The days are filled with meetings at work and the nights are filled with work from the meetings, and sandwiched in the small spaces are the tiny sweet moments of real life that I reach out and steal and embrace. A gentle kiss, a belly laugh, a lingering conversation, a text that bridges distance, a song sung loudly in the car – small treasures that right now seem richer and more priceless than ever. In the words of my friend Michelle, I’m “squishy.”
It’s times like this when kitchen therapy is just a little more therapeutic. When the sound of the mixer blades against the bowl and the aromas of sweet and savory feel like a visit to a spa. Or a monastery. There’s peace amidst the crazy.
The peace today comes in the form of cupcake wrappers and streusel topping and syrup. French Toast Cupcakes have nothing to do with breakfast, though I confess I may have enjoyed one or two as a dessert with my cereal. I mean, I am feeding my feelings. Making these wonders is a little like sculpting a beautiful statue – there’s sweet vanilla cupcakes, cinnamon and brown sugar, and a hint of maple. The result is something akin to a hug. And hugs are good when things are crazed. In fact, you probably need a hug. Or two. Right now. I know I do.
Maybe it’s time for another cupcake.
French Toast Cupcakes
Makes 24 standard cupcakes or 72 mini-cupcakes
FOR THE STREUSEL
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
FOR THE CUPCAKES
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
To make the streusel: In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix the cold butter into the mixture by hand, squeezing the pieces in to mix it. Cover and freeze while you prepare the cupcakes. If you’re not using the streusel right away, refrigerate it until ready to use.
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and mix well, until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Get rid of any remaining flour by stirring the mixture by hand, with a spatula. Place two tablespoons of batter in each prepared baking cup. Divide the streusel evenly among the cupcakes, and sprinkle each it on one. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla, sugar, and syrup. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium for 4 minutes or until smooth.
Recipe from bakingdom.com