This weekend, we had some friends over for some much-needed adult time. We grilled up steaks, had six cocktails too many, and generally blew off steam from several weeks of work-related psychosis.
My husband and I wanted to make this night easy, so we hit the local market, and got some great steaks and pre-made dips, all with the goal of making it truly effortless entertaining. Great plan, right?
But then, the voice started. It was my mother’s voice…ya know, that little voice in the back of your mind that starts scolding you when you are slacking off? That voice that says “what the hell are you thinking, I raised you better than this?”
See, my mom is not only a fabulous cook, but she can entertain like it is going out of style. However…she ALWAYS over-does it. Over-cooks, over-bakes, and generally makes enough homemade, gorgeously presented food and drinks, that she could supply half the free world in any one event. At every party, family get-together or funeral, my mom puts out a spread that looks like it is ready for a Southern Living photo shoot. My mom has some pretty high standards for entertaining; she treats every event like it is a personal reflection not only on her, but also on the care and respect she has for others. Also, she is a proverbial Nazi when it comes to homemade versus store-bought.
In fact, when mom gave me some of her recipes, she wrote at the top of the cornbread recipe, “Don’t be a lazy-ass and use a mix; it takes the same amount of time to make it your-frapping-self.”
So, as you can see, she instilled this mania in me, and it has taken root. Though we were all prepared for an effortless evening with friends, my inner-mom-guilt-voice got the better of me. How could I have guests and not have something homemade? Furthermore, how could I not offer them pretty, delicious variety????
Despite the 105 degree heat, I hit the kitchen, and baked up a 24 of these cupcakes. But was that enough? OF COURSE NOT!! Only one variety of dessert is bad enough, but one variety of dessert when the rest of the meal consists of pre-made, easy, lazy food? OH GOSH NO! (see the psychosis here?)
So I then bake up 24 of these cupcakes as well:
And then I bought flowers and arranged them in a centerpiece. And then I ironed some linens. And then I polished a silver bar tray…
By the time this gig was done, I had made 48 cupcakes for four people. Sick, isn’t it? I know one clown who didn’t mind:
That is, until he realized that both sets of cupcakes were fancy-schmancy flavors like sweet potato and cappuccino.
Then the sh*t really hit the fan.
Want to bake up your own psychosis? Try the Cappuccino Cupcakes today:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
- Double Shot Latte Buttercream
- Garnishes: grated chocolate or chocolate covered expresso beans
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin with paper liners. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
2. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until blended. Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling each liner about 2/3 full.
3. Bake at 350° for for 22 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely and pipe or spread Double Shot Latte Buttercream onto cupcakes. Garnish, if desired.
Double Shot Latte Buttercream
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. milk
1. Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 3 Tbsp. milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
3. If desired, beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until desired consistency.