I've been on Spring Break this past week and I think I needed it more than I thought I did. Because I really kind of don't want to go back to school tomorrow. Of course that's not really true, though. I just don't want to go back to all the homework. But if Spring Break is already over, there really isn't much of the semester left. Only six or seven weeks. And then I'll be a senior.
I was excited about spring break this year because I didn't have any real plans. I didn't go to the beach or go on vacation anywhere. All I really wanted to do was read and bake. I didn't read very much, but I got to bake a lot!
Sunday was a baking day. One thing I like about baking at home is that my mom can take my baked goods to work with her and get all her employees to eat them. I decided to make cinnamon apple brownies from a recipe I saw on FoodGawker. But my mom took off from work for most of the week, so my dad was going to take them to some of his customers. But the brownies were really good. And I never really got around to packing them up for him. So they sat in the kitchen. And then they were gone.
Monday, my mom and I did a lot of errands and shopping because on Tuesday I had some businessy things planned. I ate lunch with a very nice woman from Hoffman Media (the company that made Paula Deen famous) to talk about future job opportunities. ;) And then Tuesday night I went to a work event with my mom. The Birmingham Business Journal participated in a trivia tournament for charity that was happening all across the state of Alabama. Apparently, it was much harder this year. We scored most of our points in the first round. There were three. It was still really fun, though! And I got to wear my new black heels and shiny new black blazer. On Wednesday, my mom and I did some more running around and I made cupcakes.
Thursday I got to pretend like I was a kid again. I went to my grandmother's house with my cousin Sarah, where we ate pizza, played rummy, and then went to the movies to see The Lorax. It reminded me of when I used to go with my grandmother to my cousins' house during the summer. It was good times. Friday we visited my other grandparents for lunch and went out to eat for dinner at our favorite Mexican place with my uncle. Today was mostly grocery shopping and visiting with my other grandfather.
So this week was actually much busier than I thought it was going to be!
I decided to post this recipe before the others that I've been meaning to post for a while since today's St. Patrick's Day. I wanted to make some cupcakes with different shades of green.
I really wanted to put chocolate gold coins on them, but I couldn't find them anywhere. Party stores carry them I think, but I guess I got there too late. I completely improvised on the four leaf clover design so I hope they look like actual four leaf clovers and not puffy X's!
For the cupcakes I made regular yellow cupcakes with green food coloring. I topped them with mint chocolate ganache and mint buttercream.
Mint Chocolate Ganache
adapted from Bakerella
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*I originally put 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract in the ganache, but it was way too much. I added another 3/4 cup of chocolate and that helped tremendously. There was a lot of ganache left over, though, which would normally be a good thing, but I gave up chocolate for Lent. So I suggest only using a few drops of it instead.
1. Put the chocolate chips in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Heat whipping cream and butter in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and creamy and before it boils.
3. Pour cream mixture over the chocolate chips and let it sit for a few seconds.
4. Add mint extract. Whisk until everything is completely incorporated and smooth.
5. Let it cool before putting it on the cupcakes.
Mint Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons mint extract (depending on how minty you want it to be)
4-5 tablespoons milk
1. Beat butter until smooth and creamy.
2. I like to add the extracts and some of the milk after that, but some people do that last.
3. I also like to add the powdered sugar a cup at a time so it doesn't make a mess. I scrap the sides of the bowl after each time, too.
4. If the frosting is too thick, add more tablespoons of milk until it's the consistancy you want it to be.
I didn't want these cupcakes to be too minty, which is why I added some vanilla to the frosting too. I wanted there to be just a hint of mint. My mom did take these cupcakes to work with her, and her co-workers seemed to like them!
Tomorrow I'm heading back to T-town. I guess I really have missed it more than I thought. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more posts in before my homework starts piling up!