There are certain unalienable rights that i believe we have as humans- from the time we’re born until the moment our heart beats for the last time. You may know some of these from the Declaration of Independence; i.e. life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. But as far as I’m concerned, and perhaps this fits in with ‘life’ or ‘liberty’ or more likely ‘the pursuit of happiness’… but to me, one of those rights is the right to love certain things (or people!) without being judged/mocked/hated/etc. This isn’t just a marriage equality thing I’m talking about, although obviously it goes for that too, without saying. But really it goes beyond that, sneaking into all of our lives, even into the smallest & most seemingly unimportant things.
If you love something, it’s guaranteed someone else is gonna hate it, and chances are they’re going to try & make you feel stupid or wrong for liking it in the first place.
I can hear it now: “Oh no… not only is this bitch gonna rant now, but based on that picture, obviously she’s gonna post a cupcake recipe too…”
For example, here are some things I love, things which include but are not limited to:
Pink hair. All shades, but most especially that soft cupcakey, Marie Antoinette-pink that almost looks faded. Oh, how I miss my pink hair days (although mine was more magenta)…
Pizza. Again, all kinds; but margherita pizza has the ability to cure the grumpiest of my moods.
Sleeping animals. If there’s a sleeping pet around, I will get down to wherever they are & harass them, squealing over their cuteness. I don’t do this with wild animals, but there have been occasions where Jay has had to convince me not to chase rabbits or feral cats/ kittens & shove them in my pockets to bring them home.
I love my nose ring. I mean, I love my nose piercing in general, but I really love wearing a ring in it instead of a smaller screw. I don’t know why. I think maybe I feel too conservative or ‘sorority girl’ with a small one. *shrugs*
Uggs. They’re warm. They’re comfy. So listen, I don’t give two shits- when it’s 24° F, snowing, I need to run to the store & I’m already wearing sweatpants, I don’t care if Carrie Bradshaw would gasp at my outfit. Screw her & her Jimmy Choos. Step in a snow bank in those & then lemme know if you wanna borrow my fleece-lined, suede & wool hamburger bun boots. (I’ll say no)
Cooking shows. No, I don’t care that you hate Paula Deen and no, I’ll never get tired of seeing anyone bake anything on TV. Go watch intelligent things like the Kardashian’s and leave me alone, thanks.
Neck tattoos. That’s all. Just…. neck tattoos.
Okay, this one is more sarcastic, but I love when they say that PopTarts are “crazy good” in the new commercial. Now… I’m not above eating a s’mores PopTart once in a blue moon but crazy good? No, truffle macaroni & cheese is crazy good. PopTarts are a lazy breakfast option for kids or snack option for adults who smoke funny cigarettes.
Early ’90’s Hole.
And cupcakes. SO… MUCH… BETTER than full-size cakes. Eff cakes. Cakes are like, the utmost in drama & needless steps- like extra frosting (crumb coats?! WTF is that about?!). And fondant tastes like feet. Not that I know what feet taste like, but I can imagine.
And at this point, everyone’s all like “Oh I am SOOOOO over cupcakes!” And I’m pretty much like, “Uh… Who asked you?” Not me.
See, first off: I care not what your opinion is of something I enjoy. When I make fun of your ugly chair or hideous choice in clothes, and you didn’t ask what I thought, and then you feel put out or insulted… remember that. Cause see, we’re all entitled to opinions. But if you say “I LOVE LOLLIPOPS!” and I say “Ugh, lollipops are for losers, they’re total shit! They’re made with high fructose corn syrup, and only a total idiot would eat them knowing that!” that’s me making you feel bad for liking them, and I’m a dick. If I say, “Eh, they’re not my thing”, or “I don’t see the appeal”, that’s different. Giving your opinion in a way that doesn’t make someone else feel stupid is one thing. Telling them that they’re an idiot for liking whatever it is they like… that’s shitty. Stop doing that, guys.
Because bottom line: no one should make you feel bad about liking/loving whomever or whatever you choose.
And second: I’m personally “totally over” the following: pork belly, quinoa, mustaches on everything, high-waisted pants, kohlrabi, kombucha, kale & ANY MENTION OF THE PALEO DIET. Seriously. Every time I see one of those on a blog post, I want to scream & murder anyone within 40 feet of me. But yet I never say it. I don’t go around yelling at people to stop eating quinoa because it’s “played out” or “over done.” Who cares? It’s not up to me to tell you what to eat or do just because I’m tired of it. You love quinoa, eat it. You don’t, don’t.
And I happen to love cupcakes. Which is why I love this article by Allison Robicelli. She says everything I want to say right here, but better, with better examples, and more profanity than I’m currently using. I think I love her- but that’s another story. Like I said on Facebook, this blog isn’t a cupcake worship blog. It isn’t just ALL cupcakes, all the time. It’s about so much more than just one little cake. But it doesn’t even matter, because I reserve the right to love what I love either way. And also, like I said on Facebook, you judging other bloggers doesn’t make you look any cooler. As a matter of fact, you being an asshole about what I choose to do/like doesn’t make me look bad, it makes you look insipid.
So yes. I love cupcakes. I won’t apologize for it, I don’t feel bad when a snobby food blogger scoffs at them in favor of a green tea cookie with local honey glaze or lemon curry marmalade, and I don’t care if the people I reading this are tired of them. I am not. Besides, what is there NOT TO LIKE? It’s a small, individual cake. Just for you. That you don’t have to share (!). It’s an only child’s dream, which is probably why they struck a nerve with me. I am an only child, see. Anyway… I don’t care about snobby food bloggers who are “too good” for cupcakes. I can be snobby too. Better yet? I can make snobby cupcakes. Like these, rosewater-vanilla bean cupcakes with sugared (or candied) pansies.
I think that’s just as good as a rhubarb shrub cocktail or kohlrabi summer salad, don’t you? Probably better, actually. Because I think kohlrabi is boring, and anyone can make a cocktail. Well, maybe not anyone; it’s generally frowned upon for children.
Okay, so, yeah. Cupcakes. Rosewater-vanilla bean cupcakes, and sugared pansies. How pretty, springlike, and mature.
They really are mature, too. These aren’t for kids. Or picky eaters. Even though there’s only 1/4 teaspoon of rosewater in them, that 1/4 teaspoon packs a punch. There’s also both vanilla bean & vanilla extract in them, to kind of even out the rose, but it doesn’t eliminate it at all. So if you’re not a fan of roses, rosewater, or anything in the edible flower family I’m warning you now: stay away from these. These are not for you.
They’re gorgeous. I know. And yes, these were indeed my fall-back Mother’s Day dessert after that abysmal rhubarb failure. I really didn’t want to make anything similar to something I had already made, but I think these candied flowers bring it to a whole new level. So as far as I’m concerned, it’s totally different than the last time.
So here’s the recipe & the how-to on making sugared pansies (or flowers).
ROSEWATER-VANILLA BEAN CUPCAKES
- 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon rosewater (I use Nielsen-Massey)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Pur the milk into a glass measuring cup & scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk, set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into large bowl. Beat butter and oil in a separate medium bowl. Add egg; blend.
- Whisk in milk, rosewater, & vanilla extract. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just to blend.
- Divide batter among liners, filling them about 2/3-3/4 full.
- Put cupcakes in oven & reduce heat to 325°F. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to racks; cool.
SUGARED FLOWERS (PANSIES)
- Edible flowers, such as pansies or rose petals
- Granulated sugar, or superfine sugar
- Pasteurized egg whites
- Clear but opalescent edible glitter, luster dust or disco dust (optional)
- Wash your flowers or petals carefully, and pat them dry. Spread newspaper on a table, then a few layers of paper towels. Place the flowers on the paper towels.
- Thoroughly coat the flowers with the egg wash (it’s best to use a small food safe paint brush). Sprinkle the sugar & edible glitter over them, and then gently shake off the excess.
- Let them dry for an hour before using. Flowers will last a few days if fresh, if dried then they’ll last up to 3 months in an air-tight container placed somewhere cool & dark.
And you’re done. Make sure the flowers you use are not only organic, but meant for eating. DO NOT USE FLOWERS TREATED FOR BUGS. You’ll be ingesting chemicals. Make sure you specifically purchase or pick flowers meant for this purpose. If you grow roses, and you know for certain they’re not coated in any kind of bug spray or insecticide, then that’s okay. Just don’t pick roses in someone else’s yard unless you’re sure of the same. You can also buy edible flowers at certain markets.
Magenta (or purple) liners from this multipack at the Layer Cake Shop!
As far as frosting, I used a plain ol’ vanilla buttercream tinted green, nothing fancy. It’s better with these cupcakes to use a plain vanilla frosting, or else it can be too much. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Keep it simple. You’re already giving them rosewater in the cakes, and a candied flower on top.
And by the way… any and all cupcake hatred can be directed to my e-mail, and all will be answered with the same thing: “You’re an idiot.”