DECEMBER 16, 2012


I am grateful. I am fortunate. I am blessed. This weekend I celebrated Levi’s 7th birthday with family, friends, and all of his buddies. Doing what he loves; playing football, eating bean and rice burritos, and running around being the king of the world. Those in Newton, CT. are dealing with loss, unimaginable sadness, and most likely are in shock. They are not going to see their children celebrate their 7th birthday. How tragic. What a senseless loss.

All weekend I embraced my children, told them I loved them 1000 times, and found gratitude in the small stuff. My kids are NY Giants fans. So these cupcakes represented their favorite team. Levi, luckily opted for a simple celebration at the park, with a handful of his favorite people. The energy amongst the parents was quiet, the party was subdued. Could not have asked for anything more.

A few candles, his brothers by his side, and his three grandparents sang him happy birthday. The rain stayed away and allowed us to enjoy the moment.

A game of football, some organized relay races, and capture the flag is all a group of boys really need. Our hearts go out to those who have experienced this loss. Levi’s 7th birthday will forever be remembered for my boy who grows more empathetic everyday and for those, in Newton, CT., who have captured our nation. Even President Obama shed a tear.

The Perfect Gluten Free Cupcake

for the cupcakes:
4 ounces | 114 grams | 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted, organic butter
6 1/2 ounces | 180 grams | 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons organic, pure cane sugar
2 large, organic eggs
3 ounces | 80 grams | 1 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
3 ounces | 80 grams | 1/2 cup millet flour
2 1/2 ounces | 70 grams | 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon almond meal
1 ounce | 30 grams | 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

for the butter cream
16 ounces | 456 grams | 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4  – 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, pulp removed
1 teaspoon. pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons whole milk

for the cupcakes:
• preheat oven to 350*. line muffin tins with 2″ paper liners. place on two parchment lined jelly roll pans. set aside.
• in a medium bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients. set aside.
• in the work bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar until combined.
• add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each egg. add vanilla bean paste.
• add the yogurt and mix until all ingredients are incorporated and you no longer see any white streaks in the batter.
• with the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix well.
• using a 1/4 cup ice cream scooper, place batter into prepared liners.
• bake 18 – 22 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes come clean.
• let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

for the butter cream:
• mix the butter until very creamy (about 3-5 minutes).
• split the vanilla bean down the middle.  with a pairing knife, scrape out the seeds from the bean. add them to the creamed butter and mix, pulsing slowly(save your pods and throw them in a jar of sugar. I keep vanilla sugar on hand it is a great way to dress up any dessert).
• add the sifted powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until you get the consistency that you desire.
• add the milk and vanilla.
• I like a thicker butter cream, so I tend to use more sugar and less milk.
• frost the cupcakes with a pastry tip of your choice or an off set spatula.
• enjoy!

I doubled this recipe to make 30 2″ cupcakes.