Lately I’ve been thinking that if you told me summer was to last forever, I would almost believe you.
If you told me that we could forever leave our heat off and windows open and eat ice cream from cones and corn from the cob, I might not even bat an eye.
And if you told me that we could watch sunsets past nine, and that farmer’s markets would stay color-splashed and berries would stay ripe- I would smile. I would almost wish it so.
But I think I would miss fall. I’d miss the squash and the apples. The thick woolen tights and the boots. I’d miss the smokey fires and early evenings and fluttering leaves.
I’m still keen on summer though, still happy it’s here. I like my sun-tanned lines and freckled nose. The drippy peaches and sun-warmed tomatoes. I like that Jimmy and I spent all weekend at the pool and I like that the evenings were hot enough to sit on our front stoop and drink big glasses of wine.
And then there are the blackberries- my goodness, we’re just swimming in them. I even got primeval and braved bramble-bitten wrists to go berry picking. And you know what? I couldn’t have been happier.
You know what else? I thought of you the whole time. I even used those blackberries to bake cupcakes, just for you, because I feel like I don’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you coming here- how your comments and emails totally make my day. Every day. So thank you, again and again.
And I hope, for those of you braving earthquakes and hurricanes, that you are safe and sound. My thoughts are with you.
Happy week, friends.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting
These cupcakes are nothing short of the most transcendent and uplifting vehicle for frosting consumption. They are moist and structured, but still soft and light, and they have just the right level of sweet. As for the frosting: well lets just say don’t do what I did and dip a single finger-tip into the bowl. This is highly inadvisable as it will set off a trance-like reaction in which one must continue to dip said finger-tip again, and again, instantly muting all thoughts of reason and better judgement. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
for the cupcakes:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split lenghtwise
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons self-rising flour
2 tablespoons whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper liners. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the split vanilla bean into the mixture and beat well to combine. Mix in flour, then milk. Divide batter among prepared cups filling each about two thirds full. Bake until golden brown and tooth pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack and cool completely.Adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2008
for the blackberry cream cheese frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
10 small blackberries
Muddle blackberries until mostly pulp and juice. Strain pulpy mixture through a fine mesh sieve pressing down to extract all the juice. You should get about 3 tablespoons. Using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add the blackberry juice and mix until batter is a pale lavender color and all the juice is evenly mixed in.