If you're like me, when you've got the blues you crave something sugary to set your day back on track. Yeah, yeah. I'm all about the health food band-wagon, and I'm usually on that train. But sometimes we need a brownie. Or a cookie. Or a damned cupcake. To me, it makes complete sense that a woman who brings joy to every person she encounters would be so very good at the delicacy of creating sweet treats that do the same when you eat them, immediately brightening your day.
Unlike cooking, baking is a science. It's why most chefs dread the word "pastry." The best bakers, however, are still able to experiment; it's why most of us average folk can't replicate their genius. Well, my mom is a master of the art: tiers of bacon bourbon chocolate and almond roca cookies, blueberry and apple pies, even throwing in the ever-and-again curveball (she’s been known to take requests, and the gluten free apple cider doughnuts she made for me were pretty delectable).
My mouth is watering already ... and we haven't even gotten to where she really shines: the ever-trendy cupcake. Anyone who’s tasted one of these babies knows the meaning of “mouthgasm.” (Amirite, Joyce?!) We live in a world where the cupcake has become commonplace and - dare I say it? - monotonous. A mountain of frosting, a so-so cake. Lots of people try and spice it up with wild, out-there ingredients to separate themselves from the pack. Completely not necessary.
Just like in most aspects of her life, my mom shows us the beauty of simplicity. We don't even have time to delve into the wonder of her gluten free cupcakes. I haven't found one professional bake shop that could hold a candle to her goods. For a future post, my friends; this one is meant to focus on the one area where nearly every cupcake maker fails: the frosting.
--> 1/2 cup pasture butter (room temperature, NOT melted ... VERY IMPORTANT)
--> 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons raw honey (high quality honey recommended)
--> 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
--> Pinch of sea salt
[Insider Tip: Taste your honey before using. Every honey has a unique flavor and will bring something different to your frosting, so make sure it's what you want before you go all in!]
You'll also need:
--> Standing mixer & bowl or a good hand mixer
1. Fit the mixer (if standing mixer) with a flat beater & bowl. No standing mixer? No problem. Sub out a hand mixer. [Insider Tip: Mom says she 'whips until her arm is about to fall off'; it gives the frosting a fabulous texture. If you're feeling like a workout, screw the new-fangled mixer and go old-school].
2. Add your butter, honey, pinch of sea salt and vanilla to the mixing bowl and mix on a low speed until your butter begins to soften. Crank up your speed and whip frosting until creamed and light white in color (about a minute). Turn off your mixer, scrape your frosting with a spatula and voila!
3. Refrigerate for at least twenty-thirty minutes before piping onto your cupcakes.