It’s official. Â I work and live in the state of Maine. Â Given the tax-free nature of NH, I’m shocked I decidedÂ toÂ make the jump, but now that I am here- I’m glad I did it. Â 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. Â As I pulled out of my driveway thisÂ morningÂ 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. Â I have no idea why I have been giving so manyÂ recipesÂ 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 GlobalÂ for Monday morning. Â I was going to go with aÂ bundtÂ cake, but I felt that Gunnar and Brad should be able to taste-test, so I went with cupcakes. Â 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. Â The best part of what I am aboutÂ toÂ 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,Â carrotÂ devil’s food, vanilla, red velvet, Â etc),Â correspondingÂ 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. Â 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. Â Some boxes will ask for 3. Â You don’t ever need 3 eggs. Â I don’t know why it went to 3, but don’t listen to them. Â For the topic of the office-birthday cupcakes, I added white chocolate chips as well. Â 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.