Penelope is a sweet friend of mine. She’s only 4, but she’s quite the lady. She loves dresses and shiny shoes, finds getting muddy to be a bit unbecoming, and thinks pink is pretty much the best color ever. She also loves to play the guitar, and is a total rockstar when she bangs on the drums, but that’s a story for another day.
I knew Penelope long before she made her beautiful grand entrance into this place we all call home. She was a gift, a reminder that God is good and hope lives on even when things are falling so far apart it’s difficult to breathe. You’ve met her granddad, David, on my blog. Penelope was born almost nine months to the day after we all were saying our sweet “goodbyes” to him. She knows he’s smiling from Heaven, and she knows she’ll get to play on the slide with him someday (if Heaven’s half as cool as I think it will be).
Penelope and her mom made some awesome cupcakes for us when we visited her in Tennessee. We even shared some with the folks at Loveless Café, and they loved them too.
Then again, what’s not to love about Oreos?
Penelope’s cupcakes were so full of goodness that I felt they’d be the perfect dessert to share with a family that needs a reminder of God’s love. Maybe you need that reminder too – or maybe you know someone who does. Go ahead. Penelope promises her cupcakes will make you smile. I am a believer.
Penelope’s Oreo Cupcakes (makes 24 regular or 72 mini cupcakes)
24 Oreo cookies
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Place one regular sized Oreo at the bottom of the cupcake liner. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into cupcake liner.
Bake cupcakes for 15 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. If you make mini-cupcakes, reduce cooking time to 8 minutes at 350°F.
12 Oreo Cookies, regular size
1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar slowly until blended well. Chop regular-sized Oreos very finely (use a food processor to make it easier). Add to frosting.
Penelope’s mom, Amanda, is a great photographer. If you live in middle Tennessee, you should check out Amanda Lipscomb Photography.