Hi there, I hope you all had a great Christmas filled with love, fun and good food! :)
I arrived in a foggy and grey Trieste on Christmas Eve and for the past two days I’ve mostly been at my grandma’s house talking to my family and eating! I have been chatting a lot, telling everyone about my new “official” work as a blogger and photographer and talking about holidays and travels. I blame the wine, but not entirely.
The fact is: lately I have been feeling so relaxed and well…happy! I used to be grumpy all the time, from stress and frustrations that were probably 99% work-related. Now that I have left my advertising job I feel like I took one massive weight off my shoulders! Sure, I still get grumpy sometimes and other times I lose my temper for little silly things, but I am also happy and excited about the future! I hope this feeling will last for a long time!
I am not sure if I will have time to write another post before the new year: tomorrow I’ll be flying to Morocco and I will be there for a week. So I’m taking this opportunity to wish you all a fantastic 2015 in which all your dreams will come true! Here’s to a happy and exciting new year!
Before I leave though, I want to share with you a recipe to make Reindeer Christmas Cupcakes.
Perfect to keep your kids entertained on Boxing Day and this weekend. They are super easy to make and fun to decorate! I found the inspiration on Pinterest, where you will find lots more decorating ideas. The recipe from th Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream is by Joy The Baker. I didn’t use all the frosting from the original recipe, so I had enough of it left over to ice a sponge cake.
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the frosting
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup double cream
- 1/3 cup Ovaltine
- 48 pretzels
- 48 mini marshmallows
- 24 red M&M’s
Preheat oven to 180 °C. Line two cupcake trays with paper cups.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together milk, vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the vanilla milk mixture in three batches, starting and ending with the flour. When the batter is almost combined, stop the mixer and finish mixing the batter with a spatula, making sure that any flour bits at the bottom of the bowl are well incorporated.
Divide into the lined cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely before frosting.
Cream together butter, cocoa powder and salt. Butter mixture will be very thick. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar. Turn mixer on low and mix in powdered sugar while adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth.
In a 1-cup measuring glass, stir together heavy cream and Ovaltine. Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream, until you’ve reached your desired consistency. You may not need the full amount of Ovaltine and cream. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.
Decorate each cupcake with one red M&M’s for the nose, two small white marshmallows for the eyes and two pretzels for the antlers. Your reindeers are ready!
Keep the cupcakes in the fridge or in a cool room until the frosting is set.