We all know a person like this. This person always has some new scheme brewing in the back of their mind, some new job, career, business proposal, whatever. The constant entrepreneur. Sometimes they just tell you about it, sometimes they get you involved. For a week you and this person will talk about nothing but this latest idea. You’ll spend your time jotting down notes, emailing potential business contacts, calling Chinese manufacturers to request price quotes on tomato paste-processing equipment…
You know, stuff like that. Sometimes it might actually develop into a real project, sometimes the plan turns out to be more daunting than previously imagined, and sometimes it all just fizzles out when a new idea pops up.
I know this person; he worked out in Iraq in an office near mine. I watched this scenario play out many times on several coworkers, until one day it was my turn.
The idea? A cupcake shop.
What a coincidence that I’ve previously discussed my fantasy cupcake shop, selling Iraqi-themed cupcakes. How unfortunately that I’ve previously discussed how saturated the market is with cupcake shops already.
Nevertheless, for about a week straight I had cupcakes on my mind. I spent my precious free time brainstorming possible names, locations and, most importantly, flavors for my fantasy cupcake shop. It was a fun little escape from the Baghdad blues, and although my fantasy cupcake shop may never become a real cupcake shop, I made it a goal to perfect my cupcake ideas when I returned to DC.
Well, here I am, and here’s a cupcake recipe for you.
“Oatmeal cookie” isn’t the original idea I had in mind, but sort of a side project. The final result will be a surprise, but I was looking for a cupcake base to emulate an oatmeal cookie. The people who graciously agreed to taste-test these gave them plenty of praise. I didn’t have time to experiment with the other components of my idea when I made these, so I browsed through Cupcake Project to find a fitting frosting. The brown sugar frosting pairs well with the oatmeal and really gives the whole package a different depth of flavor and an unexpected richness. The sort of comforting “Mmm…” moment, like munching on a fresh-baked oatmeal cookie right out of the oven.
– “Oatmeal Cookie” Cupcakes – adapted from Martha Stewart
1 cup + 1 tbsp rolled oats
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup plain soy milk
– Preheat oven to 375 F.
– Combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and run for about thirty seconds. The point is to grind up the oatmeal a bit for a smoother texture, but not so much that you lose that distinctive oatmeal cookie texture.
– Cream butter and sugars in a stand mixer on medium speed until pale. Add egg, vanilla, yogurt and milk and beat until fully incorporated.
– Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir until it is just combined. The mixture should look like a goopy cookie dough; thick, but still wet and sticky.
– Place a heaping spoonful into cupcake liners. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The tops will not brown but they may develop some cracks.
Makes 11 cupcakes, though you could probably stretch it out to 12.
– Brown Sugar Frosting – found at Cupcake Project (I quartered the recipe)
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
– Heat the butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.
– Add milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly.
– Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
– Gradually add powdered sugar until it’s spreadable. (I didn’t use the full 1/2 cup, the consistency came out like peanut butter)
Stay tuned for more cupcake experiments!