Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baking With My Favorite Little Helper

It's December! Christmas is nearly here! It's kind of hard to believe. Even with all the counting down I've been doing, it still seems like it kind of snuck up on me.

Today, after church, we met up with my sister and her family for lunch. I mentioned to my nephew that he should come home with me, and he looked at his mom and said, "MOM! I want to go with LAUREN!" So naturally, I brought him home. I had promised to make a dessert for my mom for her Bible study, so my nephew and I made ginger cupcakes with lemon spice buttercream frosting together. He was a much better helper than I expected him to be. He helped with measuring, pouring, stirring, and almost anything else I asked him to do. He really seemed to enjoy it. The only part he didn't want anything to do with was using the mixer. He doesn't like loud noises, so whenever I would turn it on, he would run into the other room and cover his ears.

Here is the recipe if anyone is interested. I believe the cake recipe came from a Laura Ingles Wilder cookbook. The frosting is from Southern living with a variation of my own.

Ginger Cake

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp each of baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves
3 cups flour

- Sift dry ingredients and set aside
- Cream sugar and butter. Mix in brown sugar mixture, eggs, and milk
- Stir in dry ingredients
- Pour in 9 x 13 inch baking pan (I did cupcakes instead)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (The cupcakes only took 20-25 minutes)

Lemon Spice Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (the recipe calls for orange, but I like the way lemon compliments the ginger cake)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

- Cream butter at medium speed of an electric mixer
- Gradually ad sugar, beating until light and fluffy
- Add lemon juice and spices
- Beat until spreading consistency

After we finished the cupcakes, we decided to make Minty Snowmen. With this one, he mostly just watched. He is not a big fan of getting his hands into stuff. He did enjoy eating them though. ;) Mine are not as well done as the ones in the picture on the recipe, but I did enjoy making the little Superman one...and yes, I know the colors are off on the S shield. I also got a little bored of the snowmen and decided to make a Christmas tree.
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