Sweets & Treats Gallery

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

chai cupcakes...

My friend Maria gave me a fabulous tear-away calendar with a new inspiring cupcake recipe for every day. Maria is good a giving gifts, thoughtful gifts.  She's also good at laughing from her soul and making me smile.

The recipe on the tear-away calendar for today sounds delicious. I’d like to share it with you.

White Chocolate & Vanilla Chai Cupcakes 
From the book 500 Cupcakes
Yields 1 dozen cupcakes

Cupcake batter:
2 cups self-rising flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
Pinch of pink salt
1 Tbsp. chai tea powder (however, who would argue if you doubled it?)
¼ cup (½ stick) sweet butter, softened
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 egg whites
2/3 cup butter milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup (3 ½ oz.) white chocolate chips


For the Frosting:
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 baking cups in a muffin pan. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and chai powder. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg whites slowly, beating well. Slowly add the flour mixture, and finally the buttermilk, vanilla extract and white chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Spoon batter into the cups and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

To make the frosting, mix the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar together in a medium bowl and beat. Add the lemon and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Spoon the frosting over the cupcakes. Store unfrosted in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


 For Cinnamon & Orange Chai Cupcakes, replace the white chocolate chips and vanilla extract with 2 tsp. of cinnamon to the dry ingredient mixture and 1 Tbsp. orange zest to the mixture with the buttermilk. Yummy! Take it one step further by exchanging orange juice (and by adding a little orange zest) in the frosting ingredients for the lemon juice.

I will be baking cupcakes tonight. I realize that creating doesn’t have to be a tangible thing I can give in a box or sell for extra money. I couldn’t pinpoint that before. I can now. I love my 8 hour job because I’m good at it, it’s meaningful and I have to pay my bills. Moreover, this job provides and opportunity to foster leadership skills, positive youth & adult partnership and plant seeds of change. I don’t claim to be perfect in my work. Heck, they usually end up teaching me infinitely more than I'll ever teach them. I certainly don’t claim to be their best friend, or 100% successful 100% of the time. But I can tell you that caring adults who believe in youth can, will and do make a difference. That makes me feel empowered and I hope they feel empowered too.


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