Baking with my Daughter: Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart

IMG_1129.JPGIt’s 11:22pm and my two year old is currently eating this “chocolate pie”. She napped until 6pm so I knew there was a good chance she would be up late tonight. She had quite an unhappy morning accompanied by a fever, so a second nap was necessary. Luckily her evening was much happier.IMG_1130.JPGThis morning before the shit hit the fan, we made this tart together. Well, we started it, then she got super “cranky” and demanded a nap so I ended up finishing it alone after she was asleep. She was pretty excited to see me top it with berries and whipped cream when she woke up. Kids are crazy and scary and wonderful and terrifying all at the same time. When something is wrong and you don’t know what, it’s almost painful. And for us there’s always that nagging fear in the back of our heads that it’s something more. Luckily this kid recovers quickly. Hopefully there’s no trace left tomorrow of whatever it was today, and she’s back to her happy sweet self. If not, we’ll just feed her “pie” for breakfast and all will be right in the world.IMG_1131.JPGDark Chocolate Ganache Tart
Recipe adapted slightly from the Joy the Baker Cookbook

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
1 large egg yolk, beaten

For the ganache:
8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp, cut in half

For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbs powdered sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries, cut in half

Instructions

To make the crust:
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter with fingers until well incorporated. Some butter chunks will be the size of small pebbles, others will resemble oatmeal flakes. Once incorporated, add the egg yolk and bring mixture together with a fork. Dump mixture into a 9 inch tart pan (or 9 inch spring form pan) and press the crust into the sides and bottom with your fingers. Place in freezer for about an hour.

To make ganache:
2. Place chopped up chocolate in a medium sized bowl. In a small saucepan over medium low heat to a very low simmer. Pour half of cream on top of chocolate and let stand for about a minute, then whisk together. Add in the rest of the milk and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Place in the fridge and stir every 10 minutes until it sets up a little bit.
3. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter a piece of foil and place butter side down on top of chilled tart. Bake for 20 minutes, then take foil off and bake for another 15, or until golden brown.
Allow tart to cool completely before filling with ganache.

To make topping:
3. In a medium bowl, whip together heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Spread chocolate ganache in tart, then top with whipped cream and berries. Serve immediately. (Can stay in fridge for 3 days)

1 in 100

I put together a little PSA of sorts for CHD Awareness Week.  I’ve been working on a number of videos lately that I’m hoping to share soon!

Baking with my Daughter: Blueberry Pancake Muffins

IMG_1121.JPGThese should be called disappearing Blueberry Pancake Muffins. We made them in the morning for breakfast and by bedtime I had to make another batch. They come out of the oven soft and tender inside and slightly crisp on top. Then you poke the holes and drizzle in maple syrup and it’s all over. My husband ate waayyyy too many of these this weekend.IMG_1122.JPGWe spent part of our weekend at Comic Con, which for the first time ever, made its way to snowy Wisconsin. At first there was lots of waiting in line, which can be slightly intimidating with a two year old. Luckily she did awesome. Upon entering the venue she may have been a bit overwhelmed, as there were toys everywhere and she wanted one asap. Once we picked one out she was good to go. She loved the comics she got and spent a long time just sitting on the sidelines reading every one out loud. It was a super fun way to spend a Saturday, so much so we began mulling over the possibility of making a trip to Chicago some day for another one. Yes friends, we are total nerds and proud of it.IMG_1120.JPGShe ate her muffins for breakfast the next day and immediately demanded to go play with all of her new toys and books from Comic Con. She also ate approximately 12 ounces of frozen blueberries in the baking process. And a few handfuls of sugar. I highly recommended make two batches of these, they go way to fast around here.

Blueberry Pancake Muffins

Recipe from Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker

Ingredients

For the muffins:
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

For the maple glaze:
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Put a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

2. For the muffins, in a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, egg yolk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the butter and stir well.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk mixture and stir gently. Fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.

4. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, for the maple glaze, in a small saucepan set over low heat, combine the maple syrup and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a thick (thicker than maple syrup) syrup, about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

6. When the muffins are out of the oven and cool enough to handle, poke a few holes in each muffin top with a toothpick and drizzle a few spoonfuls of the glaze over each muffin. The muffins will keep for up to 2 days on the counter.

Baking with my Daughter: Chocolate Raspberry Cake

IMG_1116.JPGHer requests for baking have been pretty similar. It’s clear she likes chocolate, chocolate and berries. So I thought I would make a little heart themed cake for my heart baby.IMG_1117.JPGFebruary 7th is the start of Congenital Heart Defect awareness week and I was reminded how much a part of my life that is. Two people in a support group I am in for Ebsteins anomaly are fighting for their lives right now, one only 7 weeks old, the other an adult, who just had a baby of her own who also has Ebsteins. Logging in and seeing prayer requests for two people within minutes is a bit unnerving. In 2009 there were approximately 27,000 CHD related hospital stays totaling 1.5 billion dollars. I can only imagine what that number is today. Before insurance our daughters post birth stay cost roughly 1 million dollars. And she didn’t even have surgery. In the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD. There is simply not enough money to do the research needed. People I’ve encountered seem to mistakenly believe heart defects are the result of negligence during pregnancy. The truth is in most cases there’s no know cause for CHD. We talk to her about her heart a lot, not necessarily about her defect (although she knows she has “epseen omoly” as she calls it). She listens to her heart with a stethoscope, takes her own pulse ox and knows that she takes Aspirin and Enalopril. She’s a health savvy two year old. CHD is an every day part of our lives, so much so that it seems normal, and we even forget about it.

She also knows that she likes cake. And cupcakes. And pie. She’s already picked a recipe for this weekend. And as long as she’s interested, we’ll keep baking together.

*I swear I feed this child a lot of healthy food too, it’s just that the baked goods are so pretty*IMG_1118.JPG
Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

For the cake:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the frosting:
1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons milk

For the filling:
1/2 cup raspberry jam
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup or 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool. Peel off the parchment. Cut each cake horizontally so that you have four layers total.

4. Make the frosting: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool.

5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, about 1 minute. Slowly beat in the milk.

6. Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed until pale and fluffy. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract.

7. Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-half of the cream cheese frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Pipe chocolate frosting around the edge to make a rim. Fill center with raspberry jam. Top with next cake layer. Spread the remaining cream cheese frosting over the layer. Top with the last cake layer. Spread the chocolate frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

So big, so fast

IMG_1112.JPGI am so enamored with this child lately. She seems to be growing by leaps and bounds in a 24 hours span, learning new things, becoming more capable, more intelligent with every second, every hour. Spending time with her has become even more enjoyable than I thought possible. It makes me wonder, is it like this for all parents? Are they all this in love with being a parent? With this amazing child in their life? Somehow I think not, and that makes me sad. I feel like everyone should get to experience this magic that I feel, this love. Maybe it’s the hard road we traveled at the beginning (you can read more about that here, here and here). Maybe it’s knowing that she’s so special, and just a bit more fragile than others. Then again, she also happens to be, quite possibly the strongest woman I’ve ever met, and she’s only two.

Today she peeled her own orange. We were at playgroup (school as we call it), and I gave her an orange while I scooped out rice into her bowl. The next thing I knew, she had the entire thing peeled, no coaching, no hinting, and no directing. All on her own. And then all of the other kids were peeling their oranges too, with the help of their mothers.

She worked on a craft project, first at school, then at home for almost two hours. I couldn’t believe how she tried to color within the lines of the shapes I drew for her, and sat patiently using a glue stick gluing hearts and stars to paper over and over again.

Her vocabulary is exploding by the minute. She sings the lyrics to every song she likes (which could be questionable considering her favorite musician, without question, is Lady Gaga), she expresses her emotions “Mama, happy” or “Mama, cranky”. She tells me “Still love Rocky” every single time I grumble while cleaning up dog pee off of the floor. She can correctly name numerous different dog breeds. She reads her books to herself out loud, having memorized the stories or just making them up as she goes along. She demands to type daily. She sits down at the computer and correctly types mama, papa and her name. It’s insane people.

She amazes me. Every day. Even when she’s “cranky”.

Baking with my Daughter: French Silk Pie

IMG_1106.JPGThis girl is finally started to embrace playing outside in the winter. For a while I could barely get her to set foot outside (the complete opposite of last year). I even got her to put on her snow suit and play in the measly dusting of snow we got today.IMG_1107.JPGI was hoping to take her sledding when I heard we were getting snow over the weekend. Sadly there was nowhere near enough snow to even pull a sled through. This is Wisconsin people, where is my blizzard?IMG_1109.JPGEnough about snow, let’s talk about pie. I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and it was a hit. I neglected to take any decent photos that day, and when she requested we make pie again I suggested chocolate pie and she agreed. She did far more tasting than helping this go around, but to be fair this pie is mostly made on the stove top so it was a littler harder to help. She promptly devoured a piece as soon as it was ready, and cried when I told her she couldn’t have a second piece for lunch. I highly recommend this pie for a beautiful and impressive dessert. It’s super rich and beyond tasty.IMG_1108-0.JPG
French Silk Pie

Ingredients

Crust:
60 Vanilla wafers, finely crushed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Filling:
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Chocolate shavings, for serving (optional)

Directions

1. For crust: In a food processor pulse vanilla wafers until they are fine crumbs. Add cinnamon and melted butter. Pulse unit well mixed.

2. Pour mixture into the bottom of a 9” springform pan and press into the bottom and sides of the pan, in an even layer.

3. Bake crust for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

4. For the Filling: In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water, whisk together yolks, granulated sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in bittersweet chocolate until melted. Remove from heat. Let cool 10 minutes.

5. Beat 2 cups of cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Whisk one third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Gently but thoroughly fold in remaining whipped cream. Pour mixture into cooled crust. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

6. Beat remaining 1 cup cream with confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop onto pie, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.

Baking with my Daughter: Raspberry Hand Pies

IMG_1102.JPGEvery week I ask her what she wants to make when we bake. I start asking at the beginning of the week and ask as couple of times over the next few days. So far she’s been pretty consistent. She tells me what she wants and sticks to it throughout the week. This week she alternated between raspberry cake and raspberry pie, finally settling on “baby raspberry pie”. I decided to go with hand pies, I knew she would like them because they’re easy to pick up and eat, plus she’s loves rolling out and cutting dough.IMG_1099.JPGWhen we got to the assembly part, I pulled up her high chair, gave her some filling and 2 pieces of dough. She watched thoughtfully while I showed and explained how to assemble one and then did it. She did it surprisingly well with little mess. Seriously I don’t think most 10 year olds can fashion hand pies like this kid. Sadly I let her eat it before I took a picture of it. IMG_1100.JPGI pulled the blackberries out of the fridge and let her stick a whole blackberry inside the pie she made. When I gave her the container of berries she excitedly exclaimed “woah mom, got about blackberries!” She’s been saying she “(for)got about” anything that gets set aside and come back to later on. I find it pretty hilarious. She could hardly wait to eat her pies when they came out of the oven, it took much convincing to give them time to cool. These little pies were the perfect baking project for her, I only wish we had made more!IMG_1101.JPG
Raspberry Hand Pies

Ingredients

For the Crust:

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the Filling:

10 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
Seed from 1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon corn starch

1 egg beaten plus 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
Turbinado sugar for dusting

Directions

1. To make the crust, in the bowl of a mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, and slowly work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Stir together the ice cold water and vinegar. This process goes even better if you keep your flour in the freezer like I do. Add the water and vinegar. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. I noticed I had to add a bit more water this time than the last time I made this dough. The air is much drier here in January so add a few more tablespoons if it doesn’t feel moist. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. To make the filling combine raspberries, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds in a medium saucepan. Cook until berries just begin to break down. Add cornstarch and cook 2 more minutes simmering. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. Roll the dough a few strokes, then use your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. Using a large biscuit cutter cut out as many circles as you can from the dough. Repeat with other disk. Combine scraps and repeat until no dough remains. I got about 24 rounds plus one large piece left over for a certain two year old to make doggie pie.

4. To assemble, brush the edges of one circle with egg wash. Place 1-2 teaspoons of raspberry filling in the center. Place another round of dough on top and push down edges to close. Seal edges using a fork. Be careful not to overfill your pies or filling will leak out during the baking process. Once all pies are assembled, brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

5. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then turn down oven to 375 and bake for another 10 minutes. Pies are done with crust is golden brown.

Untitled

IMG_1097.JPGIMG_1098.JPGIt’s been strange for me not to take, edit and post a photo every day. I’ve still been taking the photos. I’ve decided I’m only going to post the images I’m really proud of. The ones I would put up on a wall for critique if I did that sort of thing.

I think it’s the editing I’m missing the most. It’s funny, I used to get really impatient in the darkroom. Maybe it was too many hours spent breathing in ilfochrome chemicals. When I hit college (I was wild and went later in life), I learned to love the editing process. Editing digitally was so much more natural for me. Sitting in those dark computer labs spending hours getting each image just right, fighting with the damn printer to get the stupid thing to just match the screen. It’s funny how much I miss that now. It makes me wish I had a functional printer. And calibration software. But then I remember how temperamental printers are, and how expensive and I rethink that desire.

This girl is my most willing and available subject so she’s been easy to photograph. I’ve always been better at people, and photographing those closest to me has always been my passion. I remember someone telling me in college they couldn’t wait until I had babies to see my photographs. My work has changed a lot since then, and softened. I don’t think my current images are what either of us would have expected all of those years ago. Sometimes I hesitate to share some of my best work, after all my kid is naked half of the time and its the internet and I’m just not that brave or naive which ever you prefer to call it. I recently discovered on Instagram of all places, a photographer and was inspired.Wyatt Neumann’s recent work, “I FEEL SORRY FOR YOUR CHILDREN”, is a gorgeous collection of photographs juxtaposed with the comments he received after posting the images online. I related to the images he shot. I envied them. I envied his balls to share them. They were a beautiful representation of what life with a toddler looks like. But the world we live in deemed him a pedophile, a terrible father, and on and on. I seem to remember people saying some of the same things about Sally Mann. How terribly we judge those brave enough to show us life as it truly is, and god forbid they include the human body.

If you’re interested in seeing more of my every day shots, look me up on Instagram (thenightbakery), where I will be posting some of what doesn’t make the cut here.

Baking with my Daughter: Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

IMG_1089.JPGShe’s been waking up in the middle of the night a lot lately. As in every night, and refusing to go back to sleep. As a result we’ve been having 2-4 hour long play sessions around 2 am on a regular basis. I’m not going to lie, it’s exhausting. To put it nicely. Last night we got lucky, she decided to stay up until midnight and we avoided the middle of the night wake up.IMG_1088.JPGI can’t quite figure out what it is that’s doing it this time. Previously it’s always been teeth but she only has three more to go and none of them are even close. My husband thinks we should call her cardiologist (which I will) but I have a feeling it won’t yield any additional info other than the possibility of a continuous heart monitor for 24 hours to rule out her WPW acting up, which I’m sure she will just love. There has been a lot of coffee for me, and coke for my husband.IMG_1087.JPGAnd sugar. When I’m just beat down, I desperately need sugar. There were doughnuts, and then these cookies. When I asked her what she wanted to make this weekend, she requested chocolate cookies. I clarified that she wanted chocolate cookies and not chocolate chip cookies. She was adamant they be chocolate chocolate chip cookies. This recipe is amazing, however the secret to it is under baking. When I used the timing in the original recipe they cookies were like rocks. Under baked they became delicious, fudgey, brownie cookies. I recommend watching them closely in your oven and removing while they still look slightly raw in the middle.IMG_1086.JPG
Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

Recipe adapted slightly from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Baking with my Daughter: Brown Sugar Cupcakes

IMG_1081.JPG
As soon as I knew I was having a child I knew I wanted her to love food the way I do. I wanted her to love this process, from start to finish. I wanted her to be passionate about where her food comes from, what she eats. I wanted her to care what she put in her body. Watching other parents and their young children I realized quickly, those that were involved in cooking, in choosing ingredients, in raising and growing food were the ones that ate well. They were the kids whose relationship with food I envied, and could only hope to cultivate that relationship between my own child and food.IMG_1080.JPGRather then another portrait series I’ve decided to get back to where I began with this blog. Cooking and baking. My daughter has become such an integral part of my life and everything I do, so it seemed only natural to involve her. There’s also the fact that every time I go into the kitchen to make something a certain toddler follows me and says “Mama help!”, while pointing enthusiastically to herself.IMG_1082.JPGSo this years project will not be photos (although there will of course be photos), but recipes and stories to accompany them. This first recipe is courtesy of Joy the Bakers new cookbook, Homemade Decadence. This little girl choose cupcakes as our first venture. I’m a little surprised it wasn’t pie with her love of all things pie. She was in charge of dumping ingredients and stirring as per usual, as well as distributing cupcake liners which is super entertaining when you’re a toddler FYI. These cupcakes were super delicious. The brown sugar flavor was rich and deep with a hint of molasses. Almost like butterscotch. But the best part of these cupcakes is when you get a tiny pocket of unmixed brown sugar, that sort of caramelized while baking. It’s soooo good. I was reminded of these cupcakes I made a few years back.

I hope you enjoy this new series for 2015. I have a feeling I will!IMG_0114.JPG

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

Recipe adapted slightly from Joy the Baker from Homemade Decadence

A note on this recipe: although the frosting is titled salted caramel frosting, I didn’t find it very salty. If that’s was you’re looking for I suggest adding an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups milk

Directions

1. Put racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcakes pans with liners.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs and egg yolk, vanilla and brown sugar. Add the brown sugar mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir well. Add the buttermilk as well. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20-23 minutes. I made mini cupcakes as well, those needed approximately 11 minutes. Let cool in pans before transferring. Frost with salted caramel frosting.

4. The cupcakes will keep, unfrosted and well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cupcakes can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 7 days.

Salted Caramel Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups confections sugar, sifted

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine butter, cream, vanilla, brown sugar and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar melts and the mixture begins to simmer, about 4 minutes.

2. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add 2 cups of the confectioners sugar and beat on medium-low until well mixed. Add additional 2 to 2 1/2 cups and beat until thick and fluffy, about 6 minutes.