At times it’s hard to believe that just one year ago, I was living in New York City, working as a paralegal and not always happy.
Here I am a year later, living in Bar Harbor, Maine, reinventing myself work-wise, and very happy.
Work had been a struggle. I knew I didn’t wish to be a paralegal any longer. I wanted time to do many things, mostly revolving around cooking.
I give cooking lessons. I work as a prep cook in a friend’s restaurant.
I also work for my friends Chris and Lisa at their fabulous movie theater, Reel Pizza. What a concept! Watch a movie, eat pizza, drink wine … does it get better than that?
By day, I am mild mannered office staff – pay bills, enter info into box office and sales reports, payroll, giggle with Lisa.
By night, though, and just a few nights, mind you, I am sassy box office girl.
The questions, oh, the questions by customers. It takes everything at times not to just burst into laughter! This is particularly difficult when my boss is standing behind these folk laughing!
Let’s see …
To a couple on a busy night – “I’m sorry, folks, there are only singles left.” The woman looks at me, then her husband, and then at me again and says, “But we’re married.”
To a particularly grumpy senior citizen – “Tickets are $6 each.” “No, senior citizen discount?” “Ma’am, the tickets are $6!” “But, I’m a senior. I should get a discount!” “Ma’am, where are you from?” “New York. Why?” “You pay at least $13 for a full price ticket. Seniors don’t get half price, but a discount. So $6 is less.”
Then there was another grumpy senior (imagine!?), arguing about the $6 admission, and no senior discount – “I want a senior discount!” “Okay. Today, seniors pay $12 with a 50% discount. So, $6.”
Ah, the couple when told there were only single seats left. He, “Well, that’s okay. We want to see this movie. And who talks through the movies anyway?” She, glances at him sideways, “Well, I’ll be able to watch the movie in peace! You never STOP talking through the movies!”
The time goes by REALLY quickly with this entertainment!
Well, the entertainment and the GREAT gals I work with! Justine and Grace make getting through 5 hours a pleasure! It doesn’t hurt that Justine makes the BEST nachos and snacks for us!
So, long way around to why I made these cupcakes …
Justine showed me the ropes when I started in the box office. She explained everything in an uncomplicated way, held my hand, made me laugh and fed me. When I found out she had a birthday coming up AND had to work on her birthday (!) I decided we needed to have a little celebration at work.
What to make? What to make? Something with chocolate! Nope. She doesn’t like chocolate. Oh, stop gasping out there! Not liking chocolate is not a deal breaker in life!
I started searching for something fun and festive, omitting chocolate. That’s when I stumbled up these great Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. I knew this was the recipe for me!
They were fabulous!
- 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature preferred
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 C milk
- zest + fresh juice of two medium lemons
- 3/4 C unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 and 1/2 C confectioners’ sugar
- 3 T heavy cream
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 1/4 t salt, to taste
- 1/2 C thick raspberry preserves or jam
- fresh raspberries and lemon slices to decorate, optional
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 12-count muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until creamed. About 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, beating on low speed after each addition. Batter will be thick. Beat in the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix this batter at any point. Spoon batter evenly into 12 cupcake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes. Check at 18 minutes, then again at 20. A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when done.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add the raspberry preserves and beat until thick and creamy, about 2 full minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin, is separating (due to the fruity jam) or looks too wet. And then add more salt to offset added sweetness.
Before frosting I filled a few of the cupcakes with some frosting before frosting. To fill the cupcakes: use a sharp knife, cut a circle/hole into the center of the cupcake to create a little pocket about 3/4 inch deep. Place about 1 teaspoon of raspberry frosting inside and top with the piece of cupcake you removed to seal. Then frost the entire cupcake.
I couldn’t find my piping bag, so I put all the frosting in a zip-lock bag, cut a corner and frosted away!
I toped each with a fresh raspberry (from my freezer stash) and a lemon slice.
Filed under: Baking, Cupcakes, Dessert, Fruit, Lemon, Raspberries, Recipe blog, recipes, Snack | Tagged: Baking, City Girl Big Woods, Cupcakes, Dessert, food, Lemon, Raspberries, Recipe blog, Recipes, Snack |