Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Salty and sweet, just like your mom

Work has been kind of rough lately. With looming state budget cuts, less support from big pharma, and our craptastic economy, there has been a tightening of budgets to ensure that CRI continues to lead the way in AIDS research for as long as there is a need.

I was very lucky not to be affected greatly by any of the changes. My biggest problem is that I'm being forced to take some of my saved up vacation time. Over the next year, I'm going to have to find a way to take 7 weeks off. I know, super tough problem to have, right? Well, with the amount of work I have, and my particular personality and attitude toward the work I do (I love it!), it actually is. I guess I'll just have to make the best of it and do some planning.

In the mean time, I decided cupcakes might help moral around the office. Also, I love cupcakes and Alex does not, so it's just a good excuse! The cupcake recipe comes from my favorite blog, How to Eat a Cupcake, the frosting recipe comes from the back of the Domino box because in my experience, there is no better kind of frosting in the world!

Salted Caramel Cupcakes (from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski)
Makes 12 Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Domino Sugar Frosting

1/2 package of Domino Confectioners Sugar
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
caramel ice cream syrup
1 tbsp kosher salt


Salted Caramel Cupcakes
  1. Preheat to 350°F.
  2. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes.
  9. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Domino Sugar Frosting
  1. Combine sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla in a small mixing bowl
  2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat together until fluffy
Frost cupcakes and top each with caramel syrup and a pinch of kosher salt.