I love my kid, but last week was a doozy. Or is it "doozie?"
Regardless of how it is spelled, last week was one of the hardest weeks of my life: potty training. We had some successes, but a lot more failures. He must be potty-ready by his 3-year old class, or he can't move up (as I am consistently note-reminded). So we gave it a whirl, knowing that he has no interest in being a "big boy," or playing "target practice," or going "like daddy." My child is 2 3/4 going on a baby, and I think he quite likes not having to think about it. He came into the living room multiple times with diaper in hand, going, "On, Mama?"
In some of those moments, it was very hard not to get into a "battle of wills," believing he is out to break me, and I am meant to stand strong. He is 2, after all, and not after world domination, or even mommy-domination (mommy-dommy:). I have to admit, the whole realization of what happens in a diaper must be rather frightening, and I am not sure I liked it very much either.
One week down; the rest of his life to go.
Through the nuttiness of last week, a heck of a lot of baking brought me some sanity, as you will be glad to know. For starters, I give you these...
Seriously, these could be the most delicious things that have ever come out of my oven. These are Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes, and they are heavenly.
They are, if you are paying attention, a version of a cake I made for my husband, and then 4 more in the last few weeks as word of it's deliciousness has moved around...
I did decide to add a dollop of jam to the center of these cupcakes, which made them bake up sort of lumpy; which is why there is so much Lemon Cream Cheese frosting on top. I know I could have "cored" the cupcake, and then shoved some jam into it's innards; but then there is the question of what on earth to do with all of that leftover cupcake, with a tub of extra frosting and all les ecoutrements laying around. Not to mention I really don't care for a big hunk of jam in my mouth, and I wanted it's moisture to bake through the rest of the cupcakes.
And it did. And it was delicious.
So, if you would like to make a batch of these yourself, follow the recipe found here, only before the cupcakes go into the oven, take no more than a teaspoon of good quality jam and plop it right on top of each cupcake. Then take a toothpick or skewer and push the jam down and swirl it around the cupcake, gently. Do not expect to see some beautiful swirl creation- that's not going to happen. Just push it down so it's not floating and burning on top.
To assemble, first make sure that your frosting is pretty cool. Cream Cheese Frosting is softer than other buttercreams, and you will have a frustrating time assembling these if the frosting is gooey and room temperature.
1. Mound up the frosting vertically to about 1" high, using an offset spatula to smooth the sides and the top.
2. Take your offset spatula, and place it vertically into the center of the frosting heap. Turn, and remove a big chunk of frosting (this will be very frustrating if your frosting is room temp). Continue to work, until the negative space reaches to the cake (or almost).
3. Prepare a shallow dish of graham cracker crumbs. Take your frosted cupcake, and roll it in the frosting (the frosting will not fall off). Roll until every negative space is full, and set aside.
4. By spoonful, take your strawberry mixture and drop it into the negative space, being careful not to drip (and then drip anyway). Fill it until you are satisfied, and then voila!
Someone is going to be very, very happy, with these: the best things that will ever come out of your oven.
Off to engage Langston in his morning pee (the one he definitely has down). Yeah!