Ultra-chocolatey and spiked with coffee, these handheld babies are dangerously good. If you want to just get down to the business of baking, (click here.)
I spent last weekend, a good portion of the weekend before that, and pretty much every single evening in-between making dust pies and acquainting myself with the many delights of Home Depot.
I have decided the lumber section is my favorite. The smell reminds me of Christmas and hugs. I could skip the tool section for pretty much ever. Mostly because it’s expensive and we struggle to leave it without having tucked a new toy in our cart.
Also because the tool section is narrow. It’s hard to navigate with a dog and a cart and a husband. So I’ve started making laps around the tools section, leaving Garrett to ponder the pros and cons of the $100 and $200 jig-saw-thinga-magingy.
Zeus has decided any section where he can get loves is his favorite. Which is pretty much any section. Because while he may be a 100+ pounds, he still has a puppy face that wins just about everyone over.
For the foreseeable future, dust pies (with a sprinkling of homemade ice cream, Thai shrimp bowls, and BBQ chicken salads) will be consuming my time. Pretty much everything above and beyond work has been put on hold. That includes #ZeusWalks and workout sessions.
However, I’m going to say cleaning and moving 600+ bricks, shoveling, leveling, and generally stomping my feet counts as a bit of a workout.
For his part, Zeus has been adequately terrorizing the yard and learning to toss the ball in my general direction. “Here you go mom. I went and got it. Now it’s your turn to throw.”
What he’s failed to do is learn to chase away the deer. One pesky Bambi came in the middle of the night and ate all our strawberries and flower tops. Seriously! #strawberryfail
Working side-by-side with Garrett’s been hard, frustrating, tiring, and sweaty. In short, it’s been amazing. We’ve listened to Mariners games, sung country songs, and developed farmer’s tans. We’ve shared shower beers, cursed even starting the project, and dreamed of dining al fresco in the near(ish) future.
I’ve laid nearly 50 of the bricks. Garrett’s fixed probably 25 of them. We’ve done at least one load of laundry every day. And at night, we’ve crashed into bed – snoring thanks to the dust that’s clogging our noses.
Ain’t love grand?
A few years back I helped host a bridal shower for one of my old basketball friends. Her sister, Asha, brought over a lot of delicious food. But the star was a batch of Molly Wizenberg’s cupcakes.
I hadn’t made the recipe in years. And still hadn’t until two weekends ago. My sister-in-law, Krysta, is tying the knot. Though in a lot of ways it feels like she already has. Brandon’s been part of the family since before I was around.
Krysta loves chocolate. And I love chocolate. So that works out pretty darn well. (On a side note – she makes a KILLER chocolate mousse. We’re talking unctuous status. We’ll see if I can talk her into sharing the recipe.)
Back to the cupcakes. These babies are handheld, making them perfect for a shower. And they’re dangerous. A moist and luscious type of danger that’s ultra-chocolaty and spiked with coffee.
Asha called them her ‘Man Gettin’ Cupcakes’. Man. Woman. It doesn’t matter who you set one of these in front of, they’re going to pause for a second.
Man Gettin’ Chocolate Cupcakes
Name compliments of Asha Potter
Recipe by Molly Wizenberg (with a jig of Mikaela)
I first made these cupcakes in college. They come from Molly Wizenberg’s memoir, A Homemade Life. As is befitting a college student, I added a jig or two of Grand Mariner. I like the addition – college or no college. But, it’s not essential. You can certainly make them without the booze and be (almost) as satisfied.
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I often use a heavy hand when measuring this one)
½ cup hot brewed coffee
1 cup sugar
¾ cup flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup well-stirred whole-milk yogurt (do not use low fat or nonfat)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 – 2 jigs Grand Marnier (optional)
8 – 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 TBS butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a standard-sized muffin tin with paper liners.
Put semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl with hot coffee. Allow to stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat eggs until they are pale yellow, roughly 1 minute. Add oil, yogurt, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Beat until fully incorporated.
Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating to thoroughly combine. Add dry ingredients and beat on a low speed until just combined. Use a rubber scrapper, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl to make sure dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Evenly distribute batter between all 9 wells of the muffin tin. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Transfer pan to wire rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Gently remove cupcakes and place on wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
Once the cupcakes cool, place 8 – 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl with 1 TBS of butter. Heat for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval until chocolate is fully melted and butter is incorporated.
Using a spoon, dollop a healthy portion of chocolate on the top of each cupcake. Use the back of the spoon to spread the chocolate to the edges. Serve immediately or once chocolate has cooled.
To save, store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.