Monday, March 4, 2013

A Zest For Cupcakes

A busy week.  Have I been photographing outdoor flowers like crazy?


Have I been taking blurry pictures of birds to help in identification?

Sure thing (that's a male downy woodpecker, by the way).

Have I been making bouquets...

...and then taking endless photos of my favorite flowers?


Have I been checking the trees constantly at dusk for signs of those owls?

To an annoying degree, yes.

But I've also been knitting up a storm.  In some long-forgotten yarn swap, I received a partial ball of this yarn:

Rainbow yarn is not my favorite, but you never know how it will knit up.  Sometimes it settles in a predictable rainbow order, and sometimes it pools in a pleasant way.  I decided to use it to knit a pair of tiny newborn baby booties for a pregnant friend who doesn't yet know the sex of her baby.  

As you can see, the yarn side of the bootie this way:

...and another side this way:

The booties are a Mary Jane style, and I chose a dark purple for the strap.  I thought it would coordinate well with all the colors.

The bottoms are a waffle-like garter stitch...not that a newborn will be doing a lot of walking on them!

By next week, I hope to have one of two gloves finished to post...if my wrist holds up!

I've also been baking quite a bit.  Actually, I've baked more in the past 3 days than I've baked in the past 6 weeks...jumbo cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg-stuffed rolls with a decadent cream cheese buttercream frosting, rich pumpkin coffee cake with a thick ribbon of cheesecake, zesty lemon cupcakes, and dense, sweet banana bread with a buttery, sugary oatmeal streusel.  What can I say...when the mood strikes, I bake!  Thankfully I've been able to send much of it to work with Todd, although we still have a freezerful of lemon cupcakes.

They're not such a bad thing to be stuck with, though.  Light and delicate crumb, bursting with juicy blueberries and blackberries, and topped with a lemon zest-studded cream cheese frosting?  Not too shabby!

Lemon Cupcakes
Annie's Eats
Makes 14 - 16 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
¾ cup cake flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. milk, at room temperature
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries (I added blackberries, too)


  1. i think you will find that your bird is probably the red-bellied woodpecker if it is about 9" long. (even tho its head is red and its belly isn't!) the downy is only 6" and has just a small splash of bright red on the nape of the male's neck.

  2. That will teach me to not consult my bird book before deciding! We have so many different types of woodpeckers here - four that I've counted so far, and the males and females look different, too. I'm still working on my 'sight identification'!