hours days, Saurus and I try to convince Husband to allow us to have some sort of ridiculous animal. Usually an alpaca. Because they’re awesome.
Saurus: Mama, let’s get alpacas. I’m going to name it Sweetie.
Me: Yes, let’s. Now we just have to convince your dad.
Saurus: I think I want one of those white ones.
Me: Me too.
Saurus: But Mom, if you have a white alpaca and I have a white alpaca, how do we tell which one is named Sweetie?
Me: You’ll have to paint one with polka dots.
Saurus: Yeah. Yours can be white and you can paint mine with dots.
Me: Whoa, whoa. I’m not painting alpacas. It’s your alpaca. You paint it.
Saurus: But what if it gets scared when I try to paint it?
Me: You’ll have to rope it.
Saurus: Oh. Okay.
Husband: I can’t believe this is a real conversation.
Saurus: It’s going to have purple and blue polka dots.
Saurus: But I think it would be beautiful.
Me: As fitting for an alpaca named Sweetie.
Saurus: I’m still worried about it getting scared when I try to paint it.
At which point Husband steps in and convinces Saurus that the way to calm alpacas is to do the All Black’s haka dance, which they both proceed to do for the rest of the morning while Little Fox and I laugh and eat cupcakes.
Cranberry white chocolate cupcakes, specifically. Which are perfect for the season and any time alpaca painting is being discussed. So pretty much they’re fitting for all occasions. And they’re also beautiful. They’d give Sweetie the polka-dotted alpaca a run for her money, I’m sure.
- 1 C sour milk
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3/4 C butter, room temperature
- 1 C pure cane white sugar
- 2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 3/4 C flour, sifted
- 3 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/3 C Grand Marnier
- 1/4 C orange juice
- 1/4 C water
- 1/3 C pure cane white sugar
- 1 1/2 C cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 C salted butter, room temperature
- 3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 C powdered sugar
- 1 C white chocolate chips, divided
- 2 tsp vanilla
- heavy cream, as needed for consistency
- sugared cranberries, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350
- Stir vanilla bean paste into the sour milk and set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Add in eggs and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Alternately add flour/baking powder/salt and milk/vanilla and stir gently just until combined.
- Spoon into prepared cupcake tin and bake at 350 for approx 15 miuntes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- (While the cupcakes are baking, make the cranberry filling.)
- Set on a wire rack to cool. After they've cooled, cut a little hole in the top of each one for the cranberry filling. Eat the parts you cut out. You know, just to make sure they're good.
- In small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together Grand Marnier, orange juice, water, sugar, and ginger.
- Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Once it begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until thickened and the berries have broken down. This takes approx 4 mins on my stove.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Allow to cool then fill cupcakes.
- Melt 3/4 C of white chocolate chips in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.
- Finely chop (I just used the Ninja) the remaining 1/4 C of white chocolate and set aside.
- Beat butter and cream cheese until well-combined.
- Gradually sift in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the melted white chocolate and vanilla and keep beating until desired consistency is reached. You might have to add some cream or additional powdered sugar.
- Fold in chopped white chocolate chips and pipe onto cooled and filled cupcakes.
- Top with sugared cranberries.
- To make sour milk, whisk 1T white vinegar into 1C whole milk and set aside for about 5 minutes or until it looks absolutely disgusting