We’ve still got SO many things to do on the farm before Winter. Lots of those chores are ones that I can’t really do by myself. Keith is TOTALLY the “Mr. Fix-it” around here. But…. If it’s not a bad pain day for me… I can PAINT! And BOY, do we have painting to do. So, today, I painted the entry, the hallway and did some touch-ups in the family room. (Well, “family room”, “Living Room”, “Great Room”, “Not-so-Great” room… whatever you want to call the main gathering room in our little farm house.)
Anyway, I was feeling pretty proud today… UNTIL I decided to paint the front door. Now, something you might not know… I certainly didn’t… is that you have to figure out if your door has been painted with oil based paint or with latex BEFORE you decide to paint over it. You see, if your door was painted with exterior latex paint, then you can paint it easily with latex paint in any color you want. HOWEVER, if your door is painted with oil paint… your latex paint will not stick to it and you’ll end up with a big GIANT mess. Are you getting where I’m going with this? Yep! You guessed it! My door had oil paint on it… and I painted over it with RED latex paint. Take a moment and just imagine me painting and then, as I go over the place I just painted… and the paint peeling up and wrapping up around roller. Oh yea… it was awesome. 😐 I finally just tried to cover the door with one coat and made plans to buy our new door at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore this weekend. I would have showed you a photo of my handiwork on the door… but I’m just too embarrassed!
It’s a good thing that we live way out in the sticks…. our old HOA would have had a hayday with this. We used to live within a VERY strict HOA. It was so strict that, if you wanted to paint your house, they gave you a diagram of the shape you had to paint your selected colors on your garage so they could approve it. Oh yea… good times! *Blech! Let’s just say that I will be leaving the painting of the new front door to Keith. Lucky, lucky man.
Monday was Keith’s birthday. I love birthdays… Keith, on the other hand, does not. He’d rather just forget that he even has a birthday. I always want to make a big deal of it even though he tries his best to push it into the shadows.
Last year, I threw him a little surprise party at work. I worked with his teammate, Andrew, and we secured a meeting room and an “important meeting” that Keith had to attend in that room. I was thrilled that we pulled it off… though Keith made me promise that I would never do that again. Hehehe.
As I prepped for the party, I baked lots of little treats. But, one of the favorites, turned out to be my Chocolate Cream-Filled Cupcakes. They were like a delicious, homemade version of the famous chocolate cupcake with the little white swirls on top that we used to bring in our lunches. Well… I never got them, even though I really wanted them and all my friends got them. *tear.
Here is the awesome recipe for those little special cupcakes. Everyone loved them and I think you will too!!
Keith’s “Don’t Ever Surprise Me Again” Birthday Cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream Filling:
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup light corn syrup
Vanilla Cream Filling: With an electric mixer, beat together the vegetable shortening and butter until blended. Turn the mixer down to its lowest setting and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Turn the mixer back up and beat a high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With a drizzle, gradually beat in the vanilla and corn syrup until the filling is the consistency of mayo, about 2 minutes more. Scrape the vanilla cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip.
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
Ganache Frosting: Put the chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the cream just to the simmering point. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and, working from the center out, gently stir with a whisk to melt the chocolate and blend until smooth.
Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Using either mini or regular muffin tins, fill pan with cupcake liners.
Into a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together three times. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at high speed for 15 seconds, until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes more. With the mixer on its lowest setting, beat in a third of the flour mixture. Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla, then another third of the flour. Beat in the coffee and then the remaining flour. Fill the cups of the muffin tin two-thirds full and bake for 15 minutes, or until the centers spring back when lightly pressed and a cake tester comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Fill with vanilla cream. No need to cut a hole in the cakes… just stick the tip into the top and squeeze. Be sure that there isn’t a lot of filling sitting on top of the cakes. If there is, just use a butter knife and take off any extra. Chill for 15 minutes. Dunk the cupcakes into the ganache to coat, then place on a rack, frosted side up. Transfer to the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set before serving.
I hope you enjoy these treats. They are absolutely delicious! Happy Baking!!!