Bridal Shower Cupcakes

17 Jan

One of my best friends Deborah is getting married in March, and her sister Adriene and my mom threw her a bridal shower. These things are my mom’s specialty, it’s ridiculous. The tables were all set up with matching purple and lavender napkins, there were wine coolers, cheese straws, assorted crackers, chips, and pitas, cheese and bean dips, and hummus, not to mention the actual meal and dessert, which included my cupcakes, petit fors from Andre, and chocolate chip cookies from Nooky’s. Everyone had a really great time, and all the food was yummy – especially Adriene’s feta dip!!

I made it very clear ahead of time that I was going to make cupcakes because ¬†Deborah and I have been doing cupcakes since we were in high school (more than half a decade ago!). It’s a sentimental thing, and we’ve advanced far beyond boxed mixes and my mom’s buttercream. I had this whole plan for these, which kinda fell through. I was going to make Martha’s Brownie Cupcakes with Lavender Frosting from her Cupcakes book. I made the brownie cupcakes (with Valhrona) and frankly, they were terrible. I was embarassed to even show them to my mom.

I chucked them (yes, they were that bad) and sat around sulking while my mom listed out cupcake ideas from some of the other books I had. While looking through the book Sabrina gave me, I came across a walnut cupcake. I remembered I had a ton of leftover hazelnuts from the pies we made in Corpus, and thought that would be a nice combo instead of walnuts with the lavender frosting.

I toasted up the hazelnuts, ground them up, and get this – used the food processor to mix everything together. Nope, overmixing did not occur. In fact, these were the most perfectly domed little cakes I have ever made. They were absolutely beautiful! Any worry about my cake disaster was wiped from my brain and I moved on to the lavender frosting.

I steeped the lavender in some milk and made the kitchen smell fantastic. I think I will try steeping my milk with lavender more often – it was really good! I mixed up my mom’s buttercream using the lavender-infused milk and colored it with some purple icing gel. I set aside a tiny bit and colored it green to make leaves for the tiny little purple flowers I was going to put into the cakes. I put them in tea light candle holders left over from Sarita‘s wedding – yes, mini cupcakes are perfect for anything tea light-sized.

They turned out ultra-adorable and tasted amazing! Hazelnut + lavender = best friends. I’m definitely saving this as a special occasion cake. They also taste good crumbled into Blue Bell Pistachio Almond ice cream…

Next on the menu: Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chip Cookies -VS- Best New Recipes Chocolate Chip Cookies – who will be the winner? Can Thomas Keller’s mix of two different types of chocolate and demerera sugar swing my vote over to the family side, or does my loyalty stay with the cookie that made me proclaim is the best cookie I’d ever eaten upon first bite? Come back tomorrow to find out!

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