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An Old Favorite

February 12, 2010

Every year as February 14th approaches, I aspire to do many things to get ready for Valentine’s Day.  I plan to make cute goody bags for Maya’s classmates.  I tell Maya that we will make her cards this year instead of buying Hello Kitty ones again.  I decide to make some delicious, complicated desserts for friends and family.  And as a result of all my good intentions, I find myself mesmerized by the gorgeous crafts, cookies, and cupcakes that plaster the covers of the “Mom magazines” that I pretend I don’t read. 

Yes, it’s true.  I read Martha Stewart’s Magazine.  I am officially old.

On the rare occasion I stop being cheap and actually buy Martha’s magazine, I take it home and Maya and I contemplate which Valentine’s Day recipe we are going to tackle.  After many arguments and the inevitable name calling session, we finally decide on something and make a list of the utensils and ingredients the recipes calls for.  Since it is rare that we have any type of food in our kitchen, and even rarer that we have baking supplies, we drive down to our not-at-all-convenient Target to purchase the needed items: heart-shaped muffin tins, cupcake liners, sprinkles, frosting, and cupcake mix.

When we finally get home and unload all the stuff Martha tells us we need, plus $100 worth of other great stuff we didn’t need but purchased anyway, Maya and I look at each other and instantly feel overwhelmed.  And tired.  Target takes a lot out of you, you know. 

So we put away the heart-shaped muffin tins for another day.  We store the heart cupcake liners next to the ones we purchased from Target the previous year but forgot about.  We stash the cupcake mix in the cupboard for when Ali demands some trans-fat filled dessert.  And we pull out this tried and true recipe instead.

Vanilla Jam Cupcakes

1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup of white sugar or NuNaturals Baking Blend
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk (I use Vanilla Almond Breeze)
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Strawberry Jam

1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
2. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and mix well.
3. Add the milk and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well.
6. Pour into 10 greased muffin tins (or cupcake liners).
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled take a serrated knife and cut the cupcake top off. Using a small cookie cutter, cut out a heart in the middle of the cupcake top and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Drop a teaspoon of jam on the base of the cupcake, and center the cupcake top back on. The jam will hold it in place.

Thanks to Maya’s knife skills, and finger licking habits, these might not look as professional or pretty as Martha’s cupcakes do.  But I promise that they taste just as good, and dare I say, even better?

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Anjum permalink
    February 12, 2010 9:55 pm

    wow! Maya has knife cutting skills? Impressive. Even at 11, I won’t give Rehan a butter knife 😉 Cupcakes look mighty yummy.

  2. February 13, 2010 4:19 am


    And I read Martha Stewart Living too…whatever, she has great craft ideas!!! Nevermind that I never do craft projects 🙂

  3. February 13, 2010 4:50 am

    I have a similar problem with putting too much on my plate and planning something extravagant for holidays… eventually I get overwhelmed and can only manage something simple. But those cupcakes look like the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day. I wonder how they would taste with a chocolate filling…

  4. February 13, 2010 6:24 am

    Funny story!! And you know, Target does take a lot out of you.. but oh how I love Target.
    Those cupcakes look fabulous!

  5. fitandfortysomething permalink
    February 13, 2010 6:37 am

    I too read some “old lady” magazines…..Target wears me out too and I always spend too much in there.

    Great post!Even better cupcakes-yum…..

  6. Danielle permalink
    February 13, 2010 7:03 am

    I’m not gonna lie…I’d probably enjoy reading Martha Stewart’s magazine (and I’m in college)

    Those cupcakes are so cute & I’m really impressed with your design-cutting abilities 😀

  7. traynharder23 permalink
    February 13, 2010 7:08 am

    those are such pretty cupcakes! =D

  8. February 13, 2010 7:24 am

    Those cupcakes are perfect for Valentine’s day! And we do the same thing…end up with doubles of things because we forget about them. Target is always hard to come back with only what you went for 🙂

  9. February 13, 2010 7:47 am

    looks lovely! Martha doesn’t have a thing on you and Maya.

  10. February 13, 2010 9:25 am

    Martha can make anything amazingly beautiful. it’s not age, it’s class!
    your cupcakes look so sweet

    nice job mama!

  11. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce permalink
    February 13, 2010 9:32 am

    maya wielded the knife? she did a pretty amazing job, those look SO GOOD! wow, i love heart shaped anything, but i am especially fond of heart shaped jam, as evidenced by pretty much every piece of toast i’ve posted on my blog haha. oh, i know target is such an energy suck, something about all the $ being drained out of your account really takes its toll. if reading martha makes you old, then i guess 21 is the new 51

  12. February 13, 2010 9:51 am

    Those cupcakes are gorgeous!! And they look yummy too!! 🙂

  13. February 13, 2010 10:02 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes sweetie!! Sorry ive been kinda a blogger slacker lately=/ Work has mad kicked up and we are slammed. Ah well, happens right?? Anyways those cupcakes looks so fabulous. Thanks for sharing! Any big plans this weekend? I heard its going to be up to 80 and sunny on Monday! woohoo! Oh and btw I so read Martha Stewart too. I only wish I was so crafty! ha! Have an awesome day!

  14. February 13, 2010 11:04 am

    Gorgeous looking cupcakes! Go Team Mom & Maya!

  15. February 13, 2010 12:41 pm

    Nice one…

    Looking tempting must be yummy… wanna taste them once…

  16. February 13, 2010 1:24 pm

    I love Hello Kitty Valentine’s! I think I had that carebear or strawberry shortcake every year when I was younger. Those cupcakes look divine! Love your blog!

  17. February 13, 2010 5:13 pm

    Those look delicious!!!

  18. February 13, 2010 5:46 pm

    Your cupcakes are so pretty:)

  19. actorsdiet permalink
    February 13, 2010 5:49 pm

    seriously – can i come over and bake with you guys sometime?! that is so beautiful!

  20. February 13, 2010 5:58 pm

    Now that is beautiful seriously. I would eat the whole tray for sure.
    Vanilla frosting with the heart shapes …and love the cakey part…excellent.
    You better eat them up Ameena 🙂
    Yah…Martha has some great cookie recipe books actually…outstanding.

  21. February 13, 2010 9:34 pm

    the cupcakes look divine! i mean, sooo perfect and yummy!
    alcoholic balls…yes, they are freakin amazing. tomorrow’s post 🙂

  22. February 14, 2010 6:00 am

    Well said sister… I used to pick a recipe and go out and buy all the things I needed for it and come exhausted and not interested in baking or cooking that recipe…

    You guys did great on your cupcake though… A+ for Maya’s knife skills (knife skills at 4?) and you better than Martha cupcakes 🙂

  23. traynharder23 permalink
    February 14, 2010 9:37 am

    hahhaa well it happened LAST YEAR so of course i’d remember that. now if it was like 10 years ago, hell no i wouldn’t remmeber!

  24. February 14, 2010 10:48 am

    Those are absolutely beautiful!

  25. whydeprive permalink
    February 14, 2010 12:44 pm

    Those cupcakes look so good!!

  26. February 14, 2010 2:45 pm

    These look so yummy 🙂 PS, happy late birthday!!

  27. February 14, 2010 4:20 pm

    Happy birthday and happy valentines day daaaaaaahling. I am so glad you have so much to be thankful for. Thats the best present a person could ask for.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. cool bag 😀

  28. Erika permalink
    February 15, 2010 4:38 am

    Hi, first time here on your blog, belated Happy Birthday.. your family truly is an example of what a family should be. Have a fantastic week..

    • February 15, 2010 8:33 am

      Hi Erika – thank you so much for your kind comments. So sweet and very much appreciated!

  29. February 15, 2010 9:16 am

    What a wonderful post…and looks like you had a fabulous Birthday…Happy (belated) Birthday…Have a wonderful day!

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