Aggie*, our bittiest Shannon, likes to bring me presents. She does it all day, every day. She brings me plastic bags, toy mice, dirty socks from the hamper... once she even brought me a shoe. And, if you've ever seen how small she is, you know that took real willpower--and like five minutes to drag it from the living room closet. I appreciate Agatha's determination, creativity, and of course her thoughtfulness.
This morning, I woke up and she had brought me a cupcake.
She had taken one off the cooling rack, trotted into the bedroom, and dropped it next to my nightstand.
What a nice way to start a day.
Chocolate Chip Cupcake (if you're following along in The Betty Crocker Cookbook, this is an adaptation of The Silver White Cake)
Heat oven to 350.
- 2 1/4 Cups White Flour
- 1 1/3 Cups White Sugar
- 2/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening (I was really excited to find Spectrum's Organic Vegetable Shortening, but in the past I've baked with Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening. Is this good for you? Not even a little. But neither is all that sugar. So let's just accept these cupcakes would kill you slowly if they could, and live as gods.)
- 1 1/4 Cup Soy Milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 4 Tablespoons of Ener-G Egg Replacer (just the powder; don't prepare according to the box)
- 1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (crushed)
- Baking Spray (There are several vegan versions but be sure and read your labels; many have lard in them. No joke.)
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients but the Egg Replacer and Chocolate Chips. Blend with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes. Then, add Egg Replacer and blend for another minute. Fold the Chocolate Chips into the batter.
Now, I made a dozen regular sized cupcakes, and 40 mini-cupcakes. I really like the little cupcakes with my coffee in the morning and they're easy to hand out to friends, loved ones... whoever.
So if you're like me, spray your mini-cupcake pan with the Baking Spray, as well as the inside of 12 silicone baking cups. Put the baking cups in the regular-sized cupcake pan. With a soup ladle, fill the mini-cupcake pan cups and the silicone baking cups half-way. You may want to keep an eye on those Chocolate Chips to make sure every cupcake gets some. They tend to bunch a bit.
Then, bake till they're golden on top and you can insert a bamboo skewer in the top and remove it cleanly.
Remove them from the pans and let cool on a rack. You may want to let the regular- sized ones cool a bit in the baking cups so you don't burn your hands.
Now, while those cool... we make the Ganache Frosting!
- 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 4 Tablespoons Margarine
- 4 Tablespoons Corn Syrup (I usually like to use Agave Nectar, but Betty asks for Corn Syrup, and we have some leftover from another recipe. So let's just accept that these cupcakes are that friend who you love dearly but can only hang out with on weekends.**)
- 2 Teaspoons Water
Now grab your sweetest little saucepan; you know, that little one that looks like it was meant for a doll house. If you don't have a tiny one, use a regular-sized saucepan; just watch out for scorching, because the glaze will be spread out thinner. Toss in all the ingredients, and stir while they melt. Once they're melted and blended, put the whisk attachments on your hand mixer and blend them again for about 30 seconds.
You're almost done! All that's left to do is to frost the cupcakes.
Take your cupcakes and dip the tops in the Ganache. YUM!
* If you're interested in other Agatha updates: She is currently asleep on my desk on her pillow.
** I intended to post something here about Spike from Buffy, but I had to dig through too many homemade tribute music videos to try to find the clip I wanted, and seriously. there's a limit to how much Godmack and Evanescence I can listen to. But you all probably have enough nerd-cred to insert your own favorite Spike clip here mentally. Make it so!