Winter is one of our favorite seasons. As we seem to be sprinting towards the end of 2013 (where did all the time go?!) we find ourselves bundled up in extra blankets, sweaters, and cozy socks as the weather turns colder and the sun is retreating earlier and earlier. All of that to say – I love the cold, but I could absolutely do without all this darkness.
Back in September, much to my surprise, I started running. Okay it probably couldn’t actually be called running so much as jogging. Being totally honest, it’s more like slogging – slow jogging. But more importantly, I willingly got out of my house into the sunshine, and started jogging three times a week after my husband would come home from work. One of the obstacles I’ve been trying to find a way around with a wiggly baby in my presence at all times is exercise, and this seemed to be my best option. It gave me 30ish minutes three times a week to take care of my body, have some alone time to decompress my always cluttered brain, and enjoy touring my neighborhood. Win-win-win! I had made it up to just over two miles each afternoon when something went horribly wrong – it got dark.
I like to think that I am a graceful person, but I know my limits. If I’m completely honest I’m a bit of a klutz. Case in point: when daylight savings reared its ugly head this year I told my husband I was concerned about running in the dark – I’d likely trip. To prove my point I went jogging Saturday morning, and managed to trip in broad daylight when I was looking at someone’s house across the street. Graceful, but definitely klutzy. All said and done – I’d gladly sign away the extra hour of sleep we get each Fall if we could just keep it sunnier longer.
But there has to be bright side to dark, right? I didn’t have to wrack my brain for very long to find something darkly delicious in my recipe arsenal.
Chocolatey Guinness Cupcakes
1 c Guinness Stout
10 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/8 c unsweetened cocoa
2 c sugar
3/8 c sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp orange extract
2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°
1. Combine beer and butter in a sauce pan over medium heat until butter has melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Whisk cocoa and sugar into cooled butter mixture.
3. In a large bowl combine sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and orange extracts together, and then add cocoa mixture and whisk till combined.
4. In a separate bowl combine four and baking soda. Whisk into your wet ingredients till smooth. The batter will be fairly thin.
5. Distribute into prepared muffin tins (greased or lined with paper liners) and bake for 15 minutes.
8. Stuff your face!
Cream Cheese Frosting – AKA my favorite frosting ever
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 c heavy cream
1. Beat powdered sugar and cream cheese together until smooth.
2. Add cream in slowly until frosting is spreadable.
3. Marvel at how easy that was.
4. Try not to insert all frosting directly into your face.
5. Frost cupcakes.
6. Now stuff your face!
If these don’t bring a little sunshine into your heart, I don’t know what will. Most children don’t enjoy these as much as most adults are bound to. Do yourself a favor and have something else for tiny hands so these don’t end up half eaten, or Heaven forbid in the trash. I hope this winter season is brightened by this deliciously dark bite of goodness. Enjoy friends!