I thought long and hard before I settled on a post about cupcakes in mid-December. In fact, I originally felt quite grinchy doing it; tisk tisk-ing myself for not posting about Christmas cookies. Christmas cookies are the quintessential holiday dessert. You wouldn’t serve Santa a cupcake on Christmas Eve. Though such a sentiment makes me worry that I sound like a 50’s housewife, which I am not.
While I do own an apron and a set of pearls, I could hardly be described as quintessential or mild-mannered, especially if I’ve had more than one or two manhattans. Last weekend, my (snow leopard print) stocking was hung by the chimney with care, but not without a good deal of cursing. And truthfully, if I were to leave Santa cookies on his most important day of the year, I’d also leave him a white Russian or a nice cold beer. (Working through time zones, where the work clock literally moves backwards, has to be trying.) And so I’m stuck in some sort of domestic purgatory, caught between June Clever and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Which worked in my favor last week when I stumbled across a cupcake recipe from Magnolia Bakery just in time for a dinner I was hosting Saturday night. It was in honor of my sister, who was in town to shop for her wedding dress. After getting teary-eyed at the sight of her in a birdcage veil, it was time to get down to business. A day of dress shopping had left me with 30 minutes to make a meringue buttercream and frost cupcakes before company arrived.
Unfortunately, I forgot I had finished the vanilla extract the day before. Fortunately, Clever and Fitzgerald joined forces, raided my liquor cabinet, and settled on some Kahlua instead. This, I’m quite sure, was an improvement and while I served homemade butternut squash ravioli and gingerbread punch, these cupcakes got all the attention.
I’ve already had a request from one of the bridesmaids for the recipe and after bringing my neighbor some of the leftovers, I literally heard her boyfriend yell into the street the following night, "Emily, we need more cupcakes!" He almost sounded angry about it. I even brought a few to a dear, typically mild-mannered friend: she sent me an “OMG” email later in the day that was written in all caps.
So I'm going to try to let my hair down about the whole cupcake v. Christmas cookie thing; after all, being able to share them is the true spirit of Christmas (there goes my Clever side again). And if they are good enough to rouse the neighbors, they have got to be good enough for Santa. I hear he is chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf; so I suspect he won’t be complaining. Especially if I leave him a little extra Kahlua.
So Santa baby, a chocolate buttermilk cupcake will do, for you. I’ll wait up for your dear, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.