What is your dessert preference -- something chocolatey, cinnamony, or lemony?
My ranking would be CinnamonyLemonyChocolatey.
But cinnamon and chocolate are being cast aside today, because I've been in a lemon kind of mood. Not as in a sour mood...but a cupcake mood.
I decided to make these little gems this past weekend, when my brother-in-law, niece and 16-year old great-niece came for brunch. I know, I know, I am not old enough (snort!) to have a great-niece, but hey, we're a modern family, what can I tell you?
I didn't feel like a chocolate dessert, and I really wanted to use these fabulous animal print cupcake liners. So, yeah, I have to admit that I picked a dessert based on how they would look in these outfits. Little cupcake fashionistas, aren't they?
Speaking of outfits...while we were enjoying some lemon cupcakes, we were talking about shopping for prom dresses, and how some stores keep track of who buys what dress to wear to which high school prom, so, heaven forbid, two girls don't show up wearing the same dress!
I never would have thought there was a "boy" equivalent to this, but I took Junior Goo Shoes shopping for sneakers this past weekend, and learned that it is an unwritten rule that you cannot buy the same sneakers as another boy in school. Unfortunately, sneaker stores don't have it quite as together as dress shops, so no lists are kept at Foot Locker saying, "A pair of red and black Jordan 5's was sold to a Freshman at BlahBlah High School." Nope, you just have to know that no one else has them.
I'm sorry, but I just don't get the math. How can there possibly be enough different sneakers in the universe to avoid this teenage taboo? Junior Goo Shoes says, "Mom, you'd be surprised." And I am.
But I digress. Back to the cupcakes. I have made these many times, and the note I wrote the first time I made them said "omg fantastic!" The recipe comes from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook -- and they are sooooo good -- they are featured on the cover.
Mine look almost as good as theirs, don't they? And, if I must say so, mine are better dressed!
Now, don't go click away...these are not DIET cupcakes. They are pretty healthy, though, as cupcakes go.
While we're on the topic of "healthy," my niece lives on a farm and writes a blog called Garden Spotlight about gardening advice, professional growers' tips, farming adventures and recipes. She is an amazing cook, and extremely knowledgeable about all things garden-related. Check it out, and leave her some comment love!
Her daughter...my great-niece...has been blessed with the gift of an incredible singing voice, and is an up-and-coming country artist. You can see her perform here at a recent radio concert series on the Joe Daily Show. She has such poise for a 16-year old! I just had to give her a little plug (with her mom's permission, of course)!
These lemon cupcakes are a beautiful thing, too. I can guarantee you will be singing their praises!
LEMON CUPCAKES WITH CITRUS ICING
Recipe from Flat Belly Diet Cookbook
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup safflower oil (I used canola oil)
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
To prepare cupcakes:
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
Combine the oil, eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
Add to the flour mixture and stir until smooth.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 17 - 19 minutes or until lightly golden and the cupcakes are springy when gently touched.
Place the pan on a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan, transfer to the rack, and let cool completely.
To prepare the icing:
Combine the confectioner's sugar, orange juice, and orange zest in a bowl and stir until smooth.
Spread some of the glaze over each cupcake with a small spatula and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.
*If needed, add a drop more juice to the sugar if it is too thick.
NUTRITION PER SERVING:
3 g protein
15 g fat
1 g saturated fat
35 mg cholesterol
183 mg sodium
0.5 g fiber
That's it...Easy-peasy, right?
Well, it started snowing again this morning. We're supposed to get between 8 and 12 inches. I had to cancel my dentist appointment, and lunch and dinner plans in NYC.
Junior Goo Shoes is thrilled that they had a half-day today, and is hoping for a snow day tomorrow.
Sounds like a plan.
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