Saturday, April 14, 2012
Remember when you were a kid and you would whine and moan that you were so bored and you had nothing to do and everything is boring? Well that was the worst thing to say to my Mom because she would just say, “Ok, you’re bored?” then without blinking she would shoot off about a million things for me to do.
“Well you can clean your room, wash the dishes, fold the laundry or read a book”. Mostly I ended up reading a book, which thankfully has explained my love of reading and my desire to join with a group of women and start a babysitting gig…
I’m just kidding. Mostly, it just made me learn how to keep myself busy at all times as an adult…quite neurotically so.
Cut to: Last Wednesday night after these Hello Kitty cupcakes had been, decorated, boxed up, and picked up and T and I found ourselves with absolutely nothing to do. I’m not gonna lie, I really enjoyed it. But then a strange feeling of boredom had come over us because for about a year straight, every minute of my waking life has been taken up and the feeling was foreign. Nothing to do. “I think I might be bored” we said to each other. “Yeah, I’m bored.”
And it was as if God, himself said, “Well let’s do something about that,” and I got a phone call for another cupcake order. Immediately, we had about 8 things to do (including taking the order for some very particular Dallas Cowboys cupcakes) and we vowed never to say, “I’m bored” again. Well, I can say it right now because I’m currently writing, eating breakfast, calculating this recipe and commenting on Facebook so I am certainly not bored!
These cupcakes were so much fun to make. Hello Kitty is an icon, so you have to make sure that if you are making Kitty faces by hand, that they are the closest possible to the image of Miss Kitty. There are cookie cutters for her face but I couldn’t find one anywhere other than the internet so here we go, freehand!
My favorite thing about these cupcakes is the frosting. Mariel’s Best Buttercream flavored with strawberry jam. But did I buy the jam? No, that would be boring. I took a pint of strawberries, a quarter cup of sugar, blended, strained and cooked it down until the kitchen smelled sweet with strawberry.
This recipe makes enough gel to flavor your favorite frosting recipe…even the canned one if you so choose. It is basically taking fresh fruit and cooking it down to activate the natural pectin and concentrate the flavor. It is delicious as a sauce for a sundae or tossed with fresh cut strawberries to use as a natural glaze.
Strawberry Gel Makes ¾ cup
1 Pint Strawberries, sliced
¼ cup Sugar
1. Let the strawberries marinate in the sugar to release the natural juices.
2. Puree the strawberries until smooth.
3. Strain the puree in a fine mesh strainer.
4. In a sauté pan over medium high heat, bring the puree to a boil, stirring occasionally.
5. Once the mixture becomes foamy, it will begin to gel. Continue to stir quickly to prevent scorching.
6. Reduce the mixture by half and the color will be a deep red and the scent will gloriously fill your kitchen.
7. Chill the gel completely.
Depending on your frosting, you may have some left over. For 2 ½ cups of Buttercream, I used the full ¾ cups of strawberry gel.