A Cupcake Update, Apple Dumplings

The cupcakes have been tackled. And I learned an important lesson.

Last Tuesday, my friend Jill joined me in the Baking Odyssey. We only had to make one emergency grocery store run, and that happened (surprisingly) after the batter was made: we needed more cupcake liners. The batter went smoothly, we made Fudge Cupcakes, except the only baking SODA I had in the house was in the refrigerator (this issue has since been resolved). And so, I used baking POWDER, thinking the two basically interchangeable. As it turns out, they are not. The cupcakes still turned out yummy, but they were slightly denser than expected, as well as not rising a whole lot.

On the bright side, while they were baking, we made 2 kinds of frosting! Which means 3 recipes down in one day.  We made both fluffy white frosting (which tastes exactly like marshmallow fluff) and lemon butter frosting. The lemon butter frosting should have come with a warning: it’s really more of a glaze than a frosting. It did give a little zest to the fudge cupcakes though.

It was also really nice to have someone baking with me. What I love about baking is that it can be an either solitary or social experience. It was nice to have Jill around to help translate the recipes as well. I love BH&G for their vagueness with phrases like “sprinkle generous amounts of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg”, but I’m not such a fan of it when the recipe is too vague even for me. Jill and I spent a good 20 minutes throughout the couple of hours she was over trying to figure out what exactly they meant. But in the end, it all worked out swell. 🙂

For Father’s Day, I decided to make my dad Apple Dumplings. I have never made Apple Dumplings before, and was quite excited to try it. I had a certain picture in my head of what they were supposed to look like, which it turns out, was quite wrong. The majority of the recipe went snazzy, and then the time to actually put the dumplings together came. You roll out a just-made dough, cut it into squares, fill with apples, top with spices, moisten edges and bring edges together. When I read “bring edges together”, I thought, upwards. So I brought all the edges up into a point at the top, which of course didn’t work, and then I just smooshed it all together, thinking it was just the first one and the next one would be prettier. Repeat for 6 dumplings.  As I was falling asleep, after they had baked and been taste-tested (I wasn’t going to give Dad something that might not taste good!), I had an epiphany. I should have made a square, or even a triangle, but not an upright smooshyness. And that was my error. But in any case, they were yummalicious. Which is what’s really important, right?

Even more importantly, 9 recipes down. 279 to go. I can totally do this (though I may not eat, or even try to eat, the Prune Whip recipe that is one of the 279 remaining…. Ew. Really– Ew. It will also be interesting to ask for Gooseberries at Publix).


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