All week long, I pined for what would come on Friday night: Frosted cupcakes, beer, and Badger hockey.
You may remember how I love Badger hockey. Well, below is just one example of why--the 2006 NCAA Championship Games against Boston College. The video is extremely long and is partly made up of photo montages--but just click to about 4:58. We were in the last 15 seconds or so of a game in which we were only 1 point ahead. Our goalie, Brian Elliott, was amazing all night long, and continued to be so until the end. It's hard to tell from the video's vantage point, but in the last 2-3 seconds of the game (you can hear people counting down), Boston College shoots and hits the goal post, deflecting it back out onto the ice. You can see Brian Elliott fall down trying to get it. I was not at the game, but watching it with my fellow rabid hockey buddies at home. When the puck went "DING!" off the goal post, our hearts stopped collectively for 2 seconds. And then we went absolutely nuts (it sounded like the stadium did, actually). Brian Elliott stood there for a few seconds, seeming to not comprehend the fact that they had just won--until his teammates came streaming toward him. It was an exemplary moment in an otherwise spectacular 2 years of being a season ticket holder.
Anyhoo--you now might better understand my love of Badger hockey, and why I felt it necessary to commemorate it being aired in Illinois with cupcakes and beer.
Back to the cupcakes: These are the easiest cupcakes in the entire universe to make--and you probably have all (or most of) the stuff you need to make them in your pantry. They only require 1 bowl. To top it off (pun not intended), I got real lazy with the frosting and did a semi-homemade deal. It was awesome.
Satisfyingly Simple Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart)
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-3/4 teaspoon baking powder
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-2 large eggs
-3/4 cup warm water
-3/4 cup buttermilk (**I used normal 2% milk out of sheer laziness. It worked great.**)
-3 tablespoons safflower oil (**I used vegetable oil.**)
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1/2-3/4 cup peanut butter chips, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
2. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
-Makes 18-24 cupcakes
Lazy Day Frosting
-1 can frosting
-1/2 cup powdered sugar (give or take)
1. Put ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and the frosting stands up on its own on the end of the whisk. Place bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. Put in a pastry bag and start piping away!
Verdict: Laziness for the win! These cupcakes turned out great for how little work they entailed. The frosting is VERY sweet, of course (duh--obviously), but it just makes it seem like they came from the store. Except the cake is better than if it came from the store, so it's a win all around. By the way, I'm sad to report that the Badgers (who are not the same Badgers who so awesomely won the Championship game) had one hell of a crushing loss against the University of Minnesota (our arch nemeses!) last night. It was a good thing I had the cupcakes and beer after all, because that was depressing.