Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes

My daughter came home from school last week, tossed down her bag and told me her friend was sick and not at school. J said she wanted to call her friend and tell her about “science”. (I have since learned that’s a code word.) Her conversation began while I was in the kitchen near her, and a science experiment was indeed discussed. Minutes later, my daughter had gone into the other room and told her friend, “Oh yeah- And- you missed the first day of dancing with boys in P.E.!!” Her tone seemed like such a task was irritating. But I knew all to well; it’s only irritating if you don’t get to dance with someone “good.” I remember my first school dance. I was in eighth grade. I was wearing a new gray and mauve jumpsuit. The intro to “Stairway to Heaven” began to play and I panicked. This was the most important song of the whole dance because it was the longest: six minutes, twenty-four seconds. My eyes nervously scanned the group as I tried to see if any boy was moving toward me. I checked the doors for the nearest exit. If an “undesirable” began closing in, I’d have to make a quick exit to the hall for a drink. I was delighted to be asked by Doug, and although perhaps there was still a bit of awkward conversation, and lack of coordination on my part, I was happy to be dancing with someone “good”. So, today we celebrate dancing with boys! Here’s the recipe for a cupcake suitable for celebrating:

Strawberry Cupcakes

1 strawberry cake mix
1 small package strawberry cream or vanilla instant pudding
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup water
1/3 cup oil
Mix all ingredients in Kitchenaid until blended. Increase speed and mix 2 minutes. Spoon batter into 24 cupcakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15+ minutes. Cool.

Strawberry Cream Frosting

8 oz. softened cream cheese
½ cup soft butter
2 small packages Strawberry Cream instant pudding mix
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla, pudding mix, and powdered sugar. Beat on high for two minutes.
Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a strawberry slice.

The truth is, according to my husband, who was the first one to tell me the truth- I dance like Elaine on Seinfeld. Nevertheless, I’m happy to raise a cupcake in the air, and toast- “To dancing with boys!”

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