I turned 35 a few days ago. 35. I was 25 yesterday, I blinked and now I am 35. It is not so much the number that bothers me but more the passage of time. It goes by too fast. I would rather be where I am now at 35 than where I was at 25. I like myself more now than I did 10 years ago. That is saying a lot because I am a pretty harsh critique of myself.
So to celebrate the start of my 35th year we hired a sitter and Bubba and I went to an excellent restaurant in the North End called, Carmen. I had linguine with clams in fra diavolo sauce. The sauce was fresh and spicy and creamy all at the same time. The pasta was cooked to perfection and the clams were off the boat fresh. Bubba ordered scallops on a summer risotto with bacon. Amazing! After dinner, we took a long stroll and ended up at Lulu’s Sweet Shop. Lulu’s is known for their cupcakes. I love cupcakes. After eating a carrot + pineapple cupcake with cream cheese frosting in less than 3 minutes, I started thinking about cupcakes, a lot.
The next morning I obsessively looked at dozens of cupcake recipes until I came across one by Smitten Kitchen called Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting. I’m sold! I love peaches but peaches in a cupcake was something completely new and exciting.
These cupcakes are very easy to make. The cake itself is very moist and light. The peach pieces add a fresh sweetness. The frosting is not like any frosting I’ve had and I think this it would work well on a number of cakes or cupcakes. I might try it on a carrot cake or spice cake next time.
I didn’t tweak either of the recipes at all. Maybe next time I’ll switch things up a bit, but I think they are pretty perfect just the way they are. Give them a shot! You will not be disappointed. Take them to a friend on her birthday. Who doesn’t love a cupcake?
Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
by Smitten Kitchen
Yields about 24 cupcakes
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, sour cream or full-fat yogurt ( I used full fat plain yogurt.)
3 large peaches, peeled, cored, and chopped small
Preheat the oven to 350 and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Add the vanilla. Gently mix the yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Do not over mix. Fold in the peach chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. I use an ice cream scoop for this part.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Check at 18 minutes and continue baking if necessary. Cool the cupcakes for about five minutes in the muffin tin. After 5 minutes, place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch (Brown sugar is more damp than granulated or powdered sugar and is missing the cornstarch thickener. Adding cornstarch helps the frosting to set up.)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar. Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla. Beat until frosting is smooth and light. Refrigerate the frosting until it thickens back up, about 30 minutes and spread on cooled cupcakes. I bought an inexpensive Wilton’s decorating kit at Michael’s. This is a good purchase if even if you only like to occasionally decorate cakes and cupcakes.