It’s official. I work and live in the state of Maine. Given the tax-free nature of NH, I’m shocked I decided to make the jump, but now that I am here- I’m glad I did it. This marks the sixth state I have ever lived in, my first grown-up-looking-and-feeling house, my first HOUSE in general, a shorter commute to work (47 miles vs. 73), a shorter trek to the beach (2.5 miles), my second official residence with my Brad, and the first time I do not live in walking distance to a store. As I pulled out of my driveway this morning I could smell the ocean. I love it.
Bragging aside (as you know my love of a good bragger), I’m going to share another secret recipe. I have no idea why I have been giving so many recipes lately, but I feel you all like them. Why? Also, MAINE-ly (see how I did that?) because it is the first thing I baked in my new kitchen! Caveat: this is not one of the “super healthy” ones.
It was my SVP‘s birthday on Cinco de Mayo, and I thought I would bring some of my baked-goodness into the wonderful world of TideSmart Global for Monday morning. I was going to go with a bundt cake, but I felt that Gunnar and Brad should be able to taste-test, so I went with cupcakes. SVP’s favorite? Vanilla with chocolate frosting.
My grandmother Lois was the founding artist of this recipe, but it has been tweaked over the years. The best part of what I am about to explain to you? You can create this melt-in-your-mouth-goodness with ANY flavor.
Grocery list: flavor of choice cake in a boxed mix (chocolate, carrot devil’s food, vanilla, red velvet, etc), corresponding flavor instant pudding mix (so if you buy chocolate cake, get chocolate pudding, for red velvet- I suggest dark chocolate if available and carrot, go with vanilla), frosting flavor of your choice, PURE vanilla extract, REAL butter in sticks, and eggs. Extra goodies: white/dark/milk/chocolate or butterscotch chips.
Basically you follow the directions on the box, adding the powdered (not prepared) pudding mix, a healthy pour of vanilla extract (I find it cuts the battery/egg flavor), subbing butter for the oil portion, and only 2 eggs. Some boxes will ask for 3. You don’t ever need 3 eggs. I don’t know why it went to 3, but don’t listen to them. For the topic of the office-birthday cupcakes, I added white chocolate chips as well. Don’t forget to let them cool for a while before you add the frosting (you don’t want the melted mess of frosting everywhere).
Aside from a colleague spoiling the surprise in the Monday morning meeting (by announcing that cupcakes were in the building), the cupcakes went over without a hitch and were inhaled by each member of the TSG team with the joy of anyone who is eating a cupcake made from a recipe inspired by a grandmother.
I wonder what I will make next.