Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes and Kitchen Mishaps

It's been a long week, folks.

I'd love to complain to you and make you feel sorry for my pathetic cooking existence, but in the grand scheme of things it's not been terribly bad and so you probably won't have much sympathy for me.

Instead, I present to you my week in failed cooking experiments in pictorial format.

There was the too-dry bruschetta that I accidentally left too long in the oven. Crunch.

Failed gumdrops that actually, prepare yourselves, melted after a few days. They were supposed to cyrstallize and get all chewy. I was aiming for Jujubees (yet another you-can't-get-it-unless-you-live-in-Jerusalem. I'm over Beit Shemesh envy-- those folks scare me!!) But fear not, dear readers, for Dr. Country mouse will experiment with these crazy Israeli products and report back to you with an improved recipe that will pull your fillings out.

First, however, I had to tackle this mess of a kitchen that comes with trying to sift a double batch of chewy challah into your food processor. Ick. Although the challah was quite yummy.

But more on that another day. Because today, you see, is my baby's birthday. One year ago we had the experience of a lifetime when he made his appearance, delivered by my mother, in the dormitories of the University. No I'm not kidding.

So I guess if I'm the kind of mom who has her kid (by accident) at home, I may as well be the kind of mom who makes her kid carrot cake for a birthday cake.

In my defense, I'm sick of chocolate cake. And I'm done with making big huge fancy desserts when we don't have tons of guests to eat them up. And he probably has no idea that it's even his birthday.

These cupcakes weren't exactly a mishap, but I was disappointed that they weren't as tasty as my usual carrot cake recipe. I mean, I thought for sure that Paula Dean would have killer carrot cake, but apparently you shouldn't try to look for a new recipe if you already have a fabulous one.

Lesson learned.

Want one more lesson for the road? Sparklers will melt your frosting. And your kids will love it.

Don't worry, though. We have plenty of guests coming for shabbat, so more interesting baking is coming your way soon!

Here's the recipe you should make. Believe me. Would I fail you?

Heavenly Moist Carrot Cake

For the Cake:

1.5 cups cooked pureed carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1.5 cups canola oil or applesauce
4 eggs
2.5 c flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 c chopped pecans (optional)


1/2 cup butter
8 oz (200 g) cream cheese- SUCK IT UP AND BUY THE AMERICAN KIND. If not, I suggest the blue round "Gad" brand or buying the 32% milkfat from the dairy counter.
~4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon maple extract (yum!)


Preheat oven to 35F0/165C. Mix carrots, sugar, oil, and eggs. Add rest of ingredients. Bake 20 minutes for cupcakes, or 40 minutes for 2 loaves/9x 13 pan.

For frosting, soften and whip the butter. Add cream cheese and flavoring. Add powdered sugar, mixing well, until you have the consistency you want. Dollop on top of cake or cupcakes.

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