We finally got news about where we’re transferring to!
Wait…I should back up a bit…
Okay, well, most of you know that I’m a military wife. The hubster is a Coast Guardsman. We move around a lot. So far, in the length of our *thisclose* to being 10 years of marriage, the longest we’ve lived anywhere is three years. That was only once, though, all of our other tours have been two years. Including the one that is drawing to a close now.
The exciting thing is that our next tour will be four years. Four whole years in one state, one city, one home, one kitchen!
Don’t get me wrong, I actually love moving around so much. I love getting to see new places, meet new people, and redecorate new houses. Eventually, though, it starts to get tiring. It gets harder and harder to say goodbye to those friends, and harder and harder to make temporary homes your own. We still have ten years of transfers left, but almost half of that will be in one place, and I can’t even pretend not to be delighted by this.
We finally know where we’re going, and for any of my friends out there who are also military families, you know what a relief that is…to finally know. A weight is lifted. Plans can move forward. Houses can be hunted. Yay!
Where are we going then?
I’m not telling. Yet.
I will say that we are very happy about it. We’re super excited to be going, and we can hardly wait to get there!
I’ve decided to make you guys guess where we’re going! *evil snicker*
Sometime in the next few weeks, after Valentine’s Day, I’m going to bake up some clues, whip up some hints, cook up some tips. Then, you guys can give it a go, and try to guess where we’re headed. I’m sure there’ll be a fun prize for the first correct guess.
In the meantime, I decided that we needed some “we-finally-know-where-we’re-going-next” celebration cupcakes. Something sweet, pretty, and happy! What better than lovely cherry chip cupcakes?
I stumbled onto these sweet cherry chips recently, and I immediately knew I had to make cherry chip cupcakes for our celebration. How could I not? Especially with Valentine’s Day coming up. They simply had to be made!
In addition to the cherry flavoring, I added just a dash of lemon zest to the cupcakes to add a hint of tartness, keeping these cupcakes from being cloyingly sweet.
The cupcakes are quick and easy to mix up, and the batter tastes wonderful. Not that I’m recommending that you eat raw cupcake batter. Not at all. At least, not if you want to have any cupcakes to eat…
I added a dash of pink food coloring to my cupcakes, for the fun of it, but you can obviously leave these as-is.
I finished them off with sweet cherry buttercream, then dressed them up for Valentine’s Day with pretty heart shaped sprinkles and chewy cherry heart candies.
Just like with the cupcakes, I added a dash of lemon to the frosting, and I think it was the right decision. The lemon juice is just subtle enough to add a lovely tartness to the cherry flavor, without making this into lemon frosting.
These turned out to be one of my favorite cupcake recipes. I usually prefer chocolate or spice cake type flavors, but this cupcake is so scrumptious, it really gives all those other recipes a run for their money.
If you’re looking for the perfect recipe for gorgeous Valentine’s Day cupcakes that are speedy and practically effortless, then these are perfectly ideal. They only take minutes to make and bake, and the frosting is just as effortless. Both recipes are also very easily doubled, and keep well, so you can make them early, if needed.
Of course, they’re wonderful for “military orders finally arriving” celebrations, or even no reason at all, too! Enjoy!
Cherry Chip Cupcakes [Printable Version]
Makes 1 dozen standard cupcakes
1 1/2 cups ( grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10 ml) cherry extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1/2 cup sweet cherry chips, such as Gurley’s
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, cherry extract, and lemon zest and mix well, until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the cherry chips, and get rid of any remaining flour by stirring the mixture by hand, with a spatula.
Place three tablespoons of batter in each prepared baking cup. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Sweet Cherry Buttercream [Printable Version]
Makes 12 ounces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 lb. (about 2 cups or 250 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons cherry extract (to taste)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream
Beat the butter on high speed for 6 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar until combined. Stir in the cherry and vanilla extracts, lemon juice, and salt. Add the heavy cream and whisk on high for 8 minutes.
Recipes by Darla