It's only appropriate that Natalie came to visit when I was going to be doing lots of baking! A friend at work asked me to make sugar cookies and cupcakes for a baby shower she was hosting. Natalie was on spring break, so she spent some of her time up in Atlanta with us right in the middle of my baking project! I was very happy she came and so appreciative for all her help. She came on Wednesday, and we spent our time making baby shower decorations, watching ALL of Downton Abbey (she had never seen it!), shopping, and of course, baking. This is how we spent her first night... We make a good team in the kitchen.
Sugar cookies finished! The colors were green and yellow since they didn't know the gender of the baby.
Thursday night was cupcake night. I got home from work around 7:30, and we went straight to work. We made Georgetown Cupcake's recipe for vanilla buttercream wedding cupcakes. These are SO GOOD. I'll post the recipe at the end. I got it from their cookbook that was released in November, Cupcake Diaries.
Toby doesn't snuggle like this with everyone... He loves aunt Natalie!
Vanilla Buttercream Wedding Cupcakes (recipe from Georgetown Cupcake's Cupcake Diaries)
makes 12 cupcakes (made 24 for us!)
For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (we omitted this)
1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a standard cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups, or grease the pan with butter if not using baking cups.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
4. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds to the milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
5. Add one third of the dry ingredients followed by one third of the milk, and mix thoroughly. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of dry ingredients followed by the last htird of milk. Mix slowly until fully incorporated.
6. Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan using a standard-size ice-cream scoop until the cups are two-thirds full, and bake for 16-18 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine the ingredients in a mixer and whip together at high speed until light and airy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Load the frosting into large piping bag and pipe away!