Oh yes, a birthday marvel.
For ages now, I've made cupcakes for Matt's birthday (and for others as well) and this year was no exception. I ask what he wants and he gives me a flavor profile, usually, and this year he asked for lavender and vanilla and macadamia nut. He was slightly more specific, but I know him and his tastes and knew exactly what to do. 'Cause that's how we roll, here. With understanding.
Now, macadmia nuts - as pricey as they are - come in bulk at Whole Foods and so I was able to get just a handful of them. My dad had given me loads of dried lavender when I was in Ohio last, so I had that, and so it was really just a simple matter of how I was going to do it without having that soapy-lavender taste that happens. Since only one person called them "bubble-bath-cakes" (although, they did say they were the most delicious "bubble-bath cakes I've ever had"), not to mention that people really killed these and the birthday boy himself apparently ate four of them...
To make the lavender butter, simply take your dried lavender and use the flower bits, not the stems or sticks, and chuck it in a saucepan of melting butter. I did about two tablespoons, but maybe a little less would be fine. I used one stick of butter.
Mmmm...naturally dried lavender and delicious butter.
My father is so proud.
Melt down, turn heat to super low, stir and make sure it doesn't burn while you cook it for ten to fifteen minutes. Strain. You can use cheese cloth or a seive or something - I had a tea strainer that was mug-sized, so I used that and pressed the lavender with a spoon to get all the butter out.
- one stick of lavender butter, melted but cooled
- one cup of flour
- half cup of sugar
- one vanilla bean
- pinch of salt
- teaspoon baking powder
- two eggs
- splash of milk (if the batter doesn't come together)
Now. Mix all those together. I did the butter, vanilla, and sugar first. Beat until combined, then add the eggs and beat. Add the flour and baking powder and eggs and beat again. If not battery, add milk.
You should have a delicious batter! Taste it and see if it needs anything - more sugar or vanilla are the likely culprits.
Pour into baking cups in your muffin pan and cook at 350 F for about twenty-five minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For the frosting
- one stick of softened butter
- splash vanilla
- chopped up macadamia nuts
- one and half to two cups powdered sugar
Blend on high util the butter and powdered sugar is creamy, add vanilla and macadmia nuts. Blend. If too thin, add powdered sugar. Taste. Now. If it is too sweet, either add a little more butter and/or splash in some milk. If it is too buttery, add some powdered sugar.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost and give to pleased individuals.
And of course feel free to use adorable cupcake holders....
They really add something, if you ask me.
Then again. I'm always looking for cute ones. Even if I don't get a direct chance to use them!