Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Magnolia Doubleheader

Yesterday was just another one of those days where I figured I had too much on my plate. After I got home from work, I not only had to get Claire to a Girl Scout meeting (which I also thought I needed to stick around for in an effort to gather information for an upcoming weekend event); but I also had to bake for a work birthday and for a PLTI alumni meeting the next day.

Not knowing how much time I realistically had to work with, I decided to make cupcakes for the work birthday. I needed a recipe that worked and made a lot of cupcakes. Thus, I turned to the tried-and-true Vanilla Cupcakes from More From Magnolia. (This same recipe also appears in The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook and The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook.) The published recipe yield is two dozen, but I always end up with 30 cupcakes from a batch of this batter. That would more than accommodate the work crew. I went with the Magnolia chocolate buttercream for the frosting, then sprinkled a little praline crumble on top of each cupcake for a garnish.

Then, after discovering that I didn't need to linger at the Girl Scout meeting, I zipped home and made peanut caramel brownie bars, also from More From Magnolia. I've also made these bars before. They're a layered concoction, with brownie at the top, with a layer of peanut-butter-chip and toasted-pecan-studded caramel below, all atop a graham cracker crust. I spent a few minutes racking my brain to remember what exactly it was that I thought I should do to the recipe after the first time I'd made it. I'm pretty sure it was to bake the graham-cracker crust before adding the toppings, so I did that. The bars are time-consuming to assemble, but I think they're worth the effort.

I managed to get all this baked, and the cupcakes decorated, and myself to bed nearly on time. Imagine my surprise, then, when I extended birthday wishes to my colleague this morning and she replied that her birthday is actually Friday, not today. Good grief. I've been late before, but never early.

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