Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cinnamon Mocha Cupcakes...a request from my dad

There is something going on here.  I don't mean here like in this blog, let's be real these are really just my wandering random thoughts for the day including this one.  What I mean is here in the world...Going south sometimes I realize how much inequality there still is between races, genders and even sexual orientation.  Somehow living in D.C. I sometimes forget this because of simply how many different people there are.  Living here, well any big city I guess, you meet so many different people, and make friends that are literally from all over the world.  True, people do clump together in groups, I just hung out with a group of people the other night and 95% of them went to Florida State, but those groups will always at times run into other groups like different puddles converging.  

I was for some reason thinking about this on my drive home the other weekend.  Thinking about how much I hope the generation that is growing up now pushes the inequality even further away.  I mean I will be  a realist here for a minute; I get there will always be some people, because parents even now are ranting in someway about their beliefs and children pick up on this.  But a girl can hope right?!?!  That maybe women will be seen as equal, hey we might even "fingers crossed" have a female president by the next election.  That in the near future no one will care about whether or not you are gay, straight, bi-sexual or transgender.  I think we can do this right?  I know this is not the biggest problem in the world; I mean we have hungry people in our back yards but I am trying to help this by volunteering for events like the Run for Shelter 10K/5K that benefit Carpenter's Shelter in Alexandria.  So this is my little spot to try and make a difference for another cause.  Although if you are a runner or walker, you should totally sign-up and come out on November 23 for this race.  

Back on topic here for baking...These cupcakes we actually made for my dad as a super belated birthday dessert...that and he always seems to ask why I haven't baked him something when I come home now.  I wonder why... He actually sent me the recipe for these in the mail, and I was intrigued by the flavor combination.  Although, we he sent me the recipe I bet he didn't even realize he was sending me a recipe for vegan cupcakes.  I however did not make these vegan, because I still have a hard time wrapping my head around making frosting with Crisco.  The flavor combination did come out very delicious, I should have know they would...I mean chocolate and coffee are kind of best friends and throw some cinnamon in there and its like adding a whole other friend to the mix.  These are definitely worth a try if you are up for something new.

So, I forgot to return my mom's cupcake pans to her...looks like I am pulling out her old ones for these cupcakes.

Say hello to the wet ingredients.  Apple cider vinegar, canola oil, skim milk, vanilla extract, instant espresso. 

Dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

Wet meet dry and whisk until just combined.

2/3 full and into the oven.

Time for the frosting.  I definitely recommend using a hand-mixer.  I was just too lazy to get one down.

Frosting ready for the cooled cupcakes.

Morning light...did I mention these were made before 8:00 a.m. and then frosted after a quick trip to the farmer's market?

Cinnamon Mocha Cupcakes:  (recipe adapted from Chloe's Vegan Desserts)
*makes 12-14 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee

Mocha frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 1/4 cup water

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffins tins with cupcake liners and set-aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until combined.

3.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the skim milk, canola oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and espresso powder.

4.  Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined.  Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 16-20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cook in the muffin tins for 5 minutes, and the move to cooling rack to finish cooling completely.  While cupcakes are cooling prepare the frosting.

5.   In a large bowl, using a hand-mixer or a whisk, cream the butter.  Then whisk or mix in the vanilla extract and one cup of powdered sugar.  Then whisk in the espresso.  Next adding 1/2 cup at a time, add in the remaining powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  Once cupcakes have cooled, frost them liberally, and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon.  Serve and Enjoy!

*Note: Keep these stored at room temperature; no need to refrigerate.

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