Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Moving, Family Traditions, and Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes!

I took a small break from posting here for the past couple of weeks... March was a big month for us! In addition to both my husband and I working slightly more than usual and me getting a bad cold, we also moved to a new apartment! We're loving the new space; its a bright and beautifully maintained apartment in an old home that's full of character. To the right is the view from the picture windows in our living room. We've been wanting to move for so long  now, but were holding off until we found a place that was a good fit; we're very happy we finally found it.

It's been fun to carry on all our little traditions in this new space. There's something so important to me in doing all the little things - they really become the story of who you are as a family. A lot of our traditions revolve around food (my husband works as a chef) - and one of my favorite traditions is always cooking a big breakfast together every Sunday morning. We try to make it a point to have it be a special meal, especially since Sunday marks the first day of Russ' work week, and he leaves about an hour after breakfast is done.

The weekend that we moved, though, we didn't have a chance to make a our usual Sunday morning breakfast, as we hadn't even unpacked most of the kitchen at that point. I was pretty bummed about it, as this is something we really never skip. So I unpacked like crazy that day, and decided to make breakfast for dinner that night. The only part I couldn't include was our traditional cup of coffee - so I improvised by making chocolate espresso cupcakes for dessert!

I adapted a recipe from Art of Dessert; you can find her original recipe here. This recipe makes 30 cupcakes. 

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup whole milk with 1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 muffin pans with cupcake liners. Beat together butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine the buttermilk and coffee together. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. 

I added a basic cream cheese frosting (although the original recipe calls for a Kahlua Espresso frosting, which also sounds delicious!), then topped it with Trader Joe's Sugar, Chocolate, and Coffee Bean Grinder - which is such a nice novelty item to have on hand. I use it on so many things! If you haven't seen one, they are these great little spice grinders filled with white and brown sugar crystals, dark chocolate, and coffee beans. I use it to top ice cream and all kinds of other desserts.

If you've noticed that my pictures look a little off, it's because my camera got slightly damaged in the move. These photos are from my iPod - but hopefully my camera will be back in the game soon! I'm so glad to be settling into my new space, and very happy to be back to posting in this space as well.

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