Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Graduation Cupcakes & Big Life Changes

Big life changes are happening around here.

Graduate school is over. Next weekend I'll be in Portland for graduation, and just like that, I'll be Amy I., MSW. Qualified to manage your cases, write your grants, organize your communities, and mess you up even more in therapy. This program has been a long, strange trip, but I couldn't be more excited for this transition and a fresh start!

Graduation Cupcakes

The graduation thing is just the beginning of the excitement I have to share with you, though. The real news, the big life change that I may or may not have been alluding to for a while now, is that...

we're moving to the Bay Area
!

My techie husband got a phenomenal Silicon Valley job, and we could not be more thrilled to be returning to our home state of California next month. I'm most excited about living in a foodie wonderland, not to mention the sunshine, year-round veggie gardening potential, and proximity to friends and family. For the next month or so, life will be full of boxes, big decisions about real estate, and takeout. In the meantime, though, my little house on the internet isn't going anywhere.

The cute little mortarboard cupcakes are constructed using mini peanut butter cups, Ghiradelli chocolate squares, and sour belts, all glued together with frosting. With love. For best results, refrigerate overnight to let everything solidify.

Anyone else going through a transition this summer? Feels like change is in the air!

Devil's Food Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Makes 32 cupcakes
Printable Recipe

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4-5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Makes 4 cups

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container; before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.

16 comments:

grace said...

congrats, and congrats! i hope your move goes smoothly.
oh, and the cupcakes are obviously adorable and appropriate. excellent. :)

Melissa said...

Congrats on graduating! One of my best friends is graduating with a masters in SW too and I know its a difficult two years. Also congrats on your big move, you'll love living in the bay area and being "home" again! So many exciting things happening to you!

Marianne said...

Congrats and HOORAY, you'll be in the Bay Area!! I hope I get to meet you someday!

Linda said...

Oh congrats on the gradutating and the move. I'm so excited to hear about your adventures in NoCal!

Megan said...

Congratulations on your graduation and the big move! Great cupcakes!

Natalie said...

congrats on all of the exciting news! I LOVE these cupcakes, too cute!

Emily said...

Cheers to graduation, cupcakes, and exciting life changes!

Kat said...

YAY! Congratulations!
Wish I knew a local graduate I could do these for. All my graduates are many states away, boo-hoo.

Elisabeth said...

So excited for you guys! It's going to be an eventual summer for us too, with Silas's new job, a new baby, and moving out of our "honeymoon apt" into something more family friendly. I want everything to speed up and happen - but at the same time I want things to stay exactly how they are right now.

Renee said...

Congratulations on graduation! Guess I won't get a chance to bump into you again, so good luck with the move! Hope you get settled in quickly and easily.

Renee said...

Oh, and ADORABLE cupcakes!

Jen said...

Yay! I'm excited for you. Those cupcakes look amazing.

Lauryn said...

congrats, Amy!!! So exciting that you graduated! And wow, that is so cool that you are moving to the bay area! What a fabulous place to live!! Wishing you nothing but happiness with all of these exciting changes!

lionessphinx said...

^o^ Thank you! I stumbled on this and my eyes nearly bulged out of my head. I am graduating this year (Whoo! SEN10RS..!) and I had to make this for my friends!
http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/3170/cupcakesq.jpg

vanessaaluia said...

yay for cooking/blogging social workers (I am one too... :))

jbateman said...

Congratulations on gradutating!
Cute cupcakes! Maybe a mini m&m glued on top over the tassel for a finished look. Have a great life!

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