Today is one of those days when I confess I am remembering why I go to work. It's been raining since last night, and so we haven't gone anywhere. A friend from work who was supposed to visit had to cancel. My other friend ended up not being able to meet for coffee. I considered making a trip to my favorite ice cream store, but thought better about it once I realized I'd have to cross roads that are perpetually flooded to get there. And my hair salon couldn't fit me in for a haircut (which I have not had for over six months) during N's "naptime." N. has been refusing to sleep except on my shoulder, and sometimes even crying when she's on my shoulder, because it's not comfortable enough for her to fall asleep (no kidding, girlie). We had been walking around the house like zombies since about 7:30 a.m., and as much as I love my daughter, the end of the day couldn't come soon enough. I don't know how those of you who are stay at home moms do it; my hat's off to you amazing women.
I am yearning for spring, for consistent better weather, and for a time when N. figures out how to take naps instead of getting mad at the world for interfering with her ability to go to sleep.
In the middle of my frustration, I remembered a little canister of culinary lavender that I'd been given by my husband's friend and coworker. We had been talking about cupcakes over a batch of pistachio rosewater cupcakes that I'd made over the summer, and they had been encouraging me to start a business from my cupcake-making hobby. We were dreaming up flavors together, and the natural extrapolation from rosewater was lavender. I had complained that I wanted to try lavender cupcakes but hadn't been able to find culinary lavender. Some time later, in late fall, my husband brought home a small package from them, containing the most wonderful-smelling delicate lavender flowers. Today was a good day, I decided, to make lavender cupcakes. It's been a while since I've baked anything fancy, and perhaps I needed to taste spring. And after all, didn't you start reading this blog for the cupcakes?
I happened to have self-rising flour, which I used in place of the flour/baking powder/salt, but you can use the separate ingredients; just sift them together before you add them to the batter. Though I can't do a damn thing about sleep training, hopefully if we bake some of these, spring will come faster. Right?
1/2 c., granulated sugar
1/4 t. dried lavender flowers
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 T. milk
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Put the sugar and the lavender flowers in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Tip the lavender sugar into a bowl with the butter and beat together until pale and fluffy.
Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, then sift in the dry ingredients and fold in. Stir in the milk.
Spoon the mixture into the paper liners. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes, until risen and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Honey Lavender Frosting
2/3 c. cream cheese, softened
3 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 T. honey
red and blue food coloring (optional)
Choose one or both:
1-2 t. dried lavender flowers, ground
1-2 t. dried lavender flowers, whole
Beat the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer, until light and creamy. Beat in the honey and a few drops of the food coloring. Stir in the ground lavender flowers.
Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with the reserved lavender flowers.