This one time back in college I really liked this boy. He knew that I loved to bake, and he asked me if I knew how to make Black and White cookies. This boy didn’t really like sweets (I know, he was kind of a weirdo), but for some reason he really liked those cookies. I said I had never made them before, but thought to myself, “How hard can they really be?”
Well, this boy was studying very hard for finals at the time, so I wanted to surprise him (and impress him) by baking him his favorite cookies.
I read various recipes and finally settled on one that looked perfect. I spent the next few hours in my college kitchen, mixing, baking, and icing these adorable cookies. I made plenty of extra so he could share them with his roommates (I, of course, had to win over his friends, too).
Once every last cookie had been frosted, I perfectly displayed the cookies on a big plate and carried them over to this boy’s apartment. I rang the bell and waited. He was surprised to see me and even more surprised by the mass amount of cookies on the tray I was holding. He let me in and was eager to try a cookie. He took a bite and his reaction was….well….not what I was expecting.
He said, “These are the worst Black and White cookies I have ever had.” I could feel my face turn bright red immediately. First of all, how the heck was that possible? I was a PRO baker. And also, did he really have to be so blunt?
He told me to take a bite and see for myself. So, I grabbed a cookie and took a big bite. They were in fact, the WORST cookies I had ever had. To be honest, I am surprised he didn’t spit the thing out of his mouth. Something had gone terribly wrong. I tried to figure it out. Was it the ingredients? Had my eggs gone bad? The buttermilk? Did I bake them too long?
To this day, I have no freakin clue.
So, why did I tell you that story? Because there is a lesson involved, you see.
You MUST taste everything you bake and cook before you serve it.
And you must taste it twice if they’re cupcakes….because, well, they’re cupcakes…and you should be extra sure 😉
These little red velvet babies are a little piece of heaven. I made these for a friend’s birthday and they were a big hit.
They are simple, moist, and have the perfect hint of cinnamon in the fluffy cream cheese frosting.
Make them for someone special this Valentine’s Day. But remember what I told you…
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons red food coloring
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature*
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 4oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place a rack in the upper third of your oven. Preheat to 325 degrees.
- Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat quickly until the egg is well incorporated.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the cocoa, vanilla and red food coloring to make a thick paste (this may take some extra muscle to get the desired consistency). Add to the butter, sugar and egg batter and mix until well incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides so all of the batter gets the red color.
- Add half of the buttermilk. Then add half of the flour and salt. Mix until combined and then repeat with the remaining buttermilk and flour. Beat quickly until the batter is smooth. Then slowly add the baking soda and vinegar and beat for another minute.
- Spoon the batter into a muffin tray lined with paper cups. The batter should fill about 3/4 of the cups. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes rest in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
- Beat the powdered sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl until the three ingredients are well mixed. Add the cream cheese and beat until the frosting is well incorporated. Continue to beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy.