I saw this recipe for lemon-honey cupcakes with lemon-honey icing in a Woman's Day magazine about a month ago. I wasn't as interested in the flavor combo as I was in the Peanut M&M bumble bee flying around it's hive. I 'needed' to make these, and conveniently, we also needed to appreciate our administrative assistants this week b/c they:
A) Should be appreciated, and
B) The calendar said it was time, plus
C) They put up with people like me.
D) This brings us back to...
A) They should be appreciated.
They are 'busy bees." At least, that's the angle I went with to justify why this was the 'right project.'
I halved the recipe for the cupcakes (listed at the end of this post) that said it made 24 cupcakes. I was only making enough for three people (it made 11 b/c I like to fill 'em up real full). I made the full icing recipe b/c I like a lot of icing to work with on desserts. If I made the full cupcake recipe, I'd double the icing. I also used melted chocolate to make the bumble bee stripes and eyes instead of the suggested materials. I think I'll go with their suggestions next time b/c my ziplock/melted chocolate was a tad messy. Or was that my piping skills? Here's my first of about 16 bees. They did get slightly better, but nobody is going to be paying me to make these anytime soon, so I'm OK with imperfection, messy lines, etc. I also used some Reese's hard shell egg candies I had from Easter instead of PB M&Ms. I ate all the other colors of Reese's that weren't yellow. Eating the other colors was an important step. Don't forget it, or your cupcakes won't turn out.
Does this bee make my hand look fat? Or, maybe that's all the other colored Reese's I ate?
....back to the project...
Pick your favorite method of bee creation if you choose to make these, and then tell me what it is b/c I need help. Oh man, do I need help on so many levels.
Next up...'my' dozen cupcakes. My dozen=11.
Puffy. Puffy is good. They smelled good too. Smelly, puffy, goodness.
Next, I iced. I sprinkled. I 'bee-dazzled.' Sorry, it had to come out. I can't be held responsible for these sort of comments. It's just how God made me.
This has nothing to do with anything, but I did snag a cloche at the store when I was buying some supplies for a project I'm creating next week. I just wanted to know how it would look. I've seen these all over the web, and I was feeling left out...
I'm better now that I'm part of the 'in' crowd. I may use this cloche in every post from now on, because I can. Maybe not.
No project is complete (this month) without chalkboard paint. What does this have to do with anything? Nothing! It comes out black, and black is good for a bee project. That was my justification. I went to get trivets to hold the cupcakes, but they were a little pricey, so I slid next door to the Dollar Tree, and found these plates on 'sale' for 50 cents each. Did you know they have sales at the DOLLAR store? I didn't.
I sprayed them with chalkboard paint, b/c it's kinda my thing. They look better black, and now they can also double as a fun catch all tray you can write messages on...OR something to throw at me if I get too annoying in my request for help.
How did they taste? I don't like lemon desserts too much, but I gave the extra to my Mom, and she liked it. I took a small bite, everything tasted fresh, and lemony. This is a good/bad thing-depending on your taste preference!
Here is the full cupcake recipe. (Makes 24 if you aren't me. If you are me-makes 22. If you are me, we need to talk.)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 T grated lemon zest
4 T lemon juice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 T grated lemon zest
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
7 t lemon juice
4-5 drops yellow food color
Tootsie Roll (I used melted semi-sweet chocolate.)
Yellow peanut M&M
Brown food marker (I used melted semi-sweet chocolate.)
Clear spice drop candies
Small cookie cutter (I just molded the spice drops with my (clean) hands.)
1. Cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
I just combined steps 2-4 and mixed them all at once with a spoon. They turned out fine, but if you like to be particular about your baking....follow their instructions...
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sour cream, milk, lemon zest and juice in a small bowl until well mixed.
3. Beat butter, honey and sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended.
4. With mixer on low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, then the sour cream mixture. Beat in remaining flour mixture until just combined.
5. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
I also just combined all the frosting ingredients, and mixed with a mixer, but here are the magazine's instructions...
6. Frosting: Beat butter, honey, and lemon zest in large bowl with an electric mixer until creamed, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in confectioners’ sugar until blended. Beat in lemon juice and a few drops food color until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow.
7. Spoon into a large ziplock bag, snip off one corner and pipe honey comb on top. (I also had to 'snip' my corner a little bigger after my first attempt, my 'comb' had too many layers, and even doubling the recipe I was running short, but with a bigger cut, it seemed to go further with fewer 'layers', weird, but true.)
P.s. I should say at this point I thought this cupcake would be super duper cute inside a mason jar. I got some kitchen tongs out and slowly lowered one inside. I added some black and white dotted ribbon to the outside, and decorated the lid. It looked awful. My mason jars have failed me. :Frantically searching for a therapist who can conduct an emergency session.:
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