As you can imagine, it's not hard to do both. At the same time.
I love to bake. I love it when my friends have birthdays. Sure, I enjoy celebrating the day of their birth and all that, but I really just need an excuse to make four dozen cupcakes at once.
Here's the recipe. Because I've changed two of the main ingredients--and the overall taste of the finished product--I've changed the name of the recipe. (The original was the Yellow Cake recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this one's better. In part, because they're in cupcake form.)
Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting
3/4 c. butter, softened
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 c. plain yogurt
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place removable paper cups in a cupcake tin. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined and scraping sides of bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes more. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla and almond extract. Alternately, add flour mixture and yogurt to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Fill paper-lined cupcake tins to 1/2 full.
3. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the tins and leave to cool on wire racks. Frost with Browned Butter Frosting.
Browned Butter Frosting
3/4 c. butter
5 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
3 T milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan, heat butter over low heat until melted. Continue heating until buttern turns a delicate brown. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Add browned butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on medium to high speed, adding additional milk, if necessary, to reach spreading consistency.
Words to the wise: watch that butter. 15 minutes will go by. You'll think it's never going to turn. You step away for one second to feed your cat, Sally Shore, and it's turned to the Dark Side. As in, Burnt. Or maybe that's just me.
What do I do when I'm waiting for the cupcakes to cool?