Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sprinkles and squirrels

Image from Red Bubble
I've alluded to it a few times, but I think it's about time I told you all why I am afraid of squirrels.  If you don't really care to hear, there is a killer cupcake recipe at the bottom of this post you can just skip to, but it's a good story - promise.

Two years ago I lived in a third story flat in downtown Madison.  One day I decided to whip a batch of yummy chai cupcakes for my roommates.  Everybody absolutely loved them. Note to self- make those again soon!  Anyhow, I put them in a tupperware container on our kitchen table for storage.  Well, the next day I came home from class, walked into the kitchen, and there was a squirrel that was halfway through a hole in the screen of our window.  I dropped my backpack, screamed bloody murder, and he ran away.  Oh my gosh!  A squirrel.  In our apartment.  Ahhhhh!!!!  After several minutes of freaking out, I realized I should probably close the window so he couldn't get back in.  I thought maybe the hole was there before or something.  It was a very old house after all.  So I opened the window next to it, that had no holes in the screen and promptly called the landlord (who seemed less than concerned).  The next day, there were still some cupcakes left.  I went to class again.  Came home again.  Only this time when I walked in there was a giant hole through the other screen, the tupperware container previously full of cupcakes was flipped on its side with the top on the floor.  Cupcake wrappers were in shreds everywhere, frosting was everywhere (including on the screen).  They had demolished everything!!!!  As if my neighbors didn't already think something was going on upstairs, I screamed, louder this time.  There was no squirrel in sight, was is it still in the apartment?  I was home alone.  Freaking out.  I called Josh and explained what happened in a very frantic somewhat crazy tone.  He burst out laughing.  At this point I was crying.  What was so funny about this situation?  There are squirrels, in my apartment, and they ate my cupcakes!!!!!!  I insisted that he come over right away and make sure that they were gone.  He thought I was ridiculous, but he quickly realized that I was not kidding.  He came, no more squirrels, and no more delicious chai cupcakes.  So the moral of the story - squirrels like cupcakes, and will break into your third floor apartment to get them.  Beware!

Now you know.

I promise, that story is no exaggeration.  I still have nightmares thinking about it.

I'm not sure if squirrels like sprinkles as much as they like chai, but I closed the windows last night after I made these, just to be safe.

Better than boxed funfetti cupcakes
adapted from www.iheartcuppycakes.com
Ingredients (for 12 cupcakes)
  • 1 1/4 c unbleached AP flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c room temp butter
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg  + 1 egg white
  • 1/2 c minus 2 T milk
  • 2 T vanilla creamer
  • 2 T rainbow sprinkles
Directions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Line cupcake tin with liners
-Mix together flour, bp and salt in medium bowl 
-Cream butter and sugar together in mixer until light and fluffy
-Add in vanilla and egg + egg white, mix well
-Pour milk into glass measuring cup to almost 1/2 c mark, fill the rest up with creamer (this is not 100% necessary, but gives a little richness to the cupcake)
-To stand mixer, add 1/3 of dry ingredients, mix, then half of the wet ingredients, mix 
-Do this twice, ending with dry ingredients, until everything is incorporated.  Try not to over mix this.

-Stir in sprinkles 
-Use an ice cream scoop, measuring cup, or spoon to fill cupcake liners 2/3 full
-Put in preheated oven, bake for 17 minutes, or until toothpick tester comes out clean
-Let sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool on a rack

For the frosting - ingredients
  • 1/4 c room temp unsalted butter (don't use salted, it will be nasty)
  • 1/4 c non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 1/8 c milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • food coloring (optional)

Directions
-Cream together butter and shortening in stand mixer 
-Scrape down bowl, add powdered sugar, mix on high 5 minutes
-Add milk and vanilla, put on whisk attachment, whisk on high about 7 minutes (do it! just walk away from the mixer and leave it alone, this makes it nice and fluffy)
-Now add food coloring if desired.  I recommend using Wilton Gels.  You don't need to use much to get a nice vibrant color.  I used a toothpick to get a little dye, and just swirled it through the frosting.  
-Mix on high until the color is solid
careful not to get it on you, it will stain
-Frost however you desire.  I filled a piping bag
-Then I cut a large hole in the bottom (about an inch from the tip)
-Then I just squeezed a "dollop" onto each cupcake, and spread it out with a knife
-Then I added a few sprinkles for good measure
-Now sing happy birthday, happy thursday, happy donewithacrappydayatwork, or happy spring - whatever you are celebrating!

Warning: keep away from squirrels

3 Comments:

At March 22, 2012 at 9:45 PM , Blogger Sara K said...

hahaha i remember that day!

 
At March 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM , OpenID thisthatandtheotherthang said...

Hahaha! You are too funny, girl! And oh my golly I am SO making those cupcakes this weekend! :)

 
At April 3, 2012 at 9:17 PM , Blogger Bridget E. said...

I'm so glad that you retold the squirrel story for your bloggers to read! Crazy squirrels in our apartment... stay away from the chupchakes! :) So proud of you and your blogging. Love!

 

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What's Annie Making?: Sprinkles and squirrels

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Sprinkles and squirrels