I got to leave work early today.  The weather was just perfect.  Why stay inside?!?

I wanted to finish reformatting my laptop computer and getting it set up to work outside, so Her Highness The Dog and I headed out back.  Cybil crawled under her favorite rhododendron and I started with the simple stuff – reinstalling the virus protection.  I’m downloading the free McAfee from Comcast, but the preinstalled Norton won’t delete.  McAfee won’t install with Norton on the computer and then I lose my wireless internet.

Three hours later, everything is working just as it should and I have to move because the sun is way too hot and the glare is way too glaring.  The saltines I ate for lunch have not fulfilled their promise, and it’s getting time for dinner.  If I had just spent three hours in the kitchen we’d be eating like kings tonight.  I definitely hadn’t thought this through.

Pork chops on the bone, a stovetop variation of Phoebe’s baked beans, and brussel’s sprouts with mustard.   I have the coals ready, the beans on the stove, brussel’s sprouts a cookin’ – and decide I’m making cupcakes for dessert.  Right now.

I had planned on making them earlier in the day, but I spent three hours playing with the computer.

Out comes the three-year old copy of Bon Appetit and the Limoncello cupcake recipe.  A quick scan tells me that the limoncello is in the glaze/icing, so I don’t have to run downstairs right away.

Stir the beans, zest and juice the lemons, sift the flour, stir the beans.  Cover the brussel’s sprouts, measure the buttermilk.

Victor comes into the litchen at just the right time, and he is immedieately delegated to grill the chops.  I love a man who can cook!

Cupcakes get into the oven, pork chops perfectly cooked, beans are great, brussel’s sprouts overcooked and mushy.  Oh well.  Three out of four ain’t bad.  Four minutes into dinner, the timer goes off.  Cupcakes are out and cooling.

Sometime during all of this I realize that there is no limocello downstairs.  Drat.  Victor needs to make a new batch, but just hasn’t gotten around to it.  But there’s plenty of butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar…  A lemon cream cheese icing is born.  Basic.  Simple.


The Bon Appetit recipe:

Strawberry-Topped Lemon Cupcakes with Limoncello Glaze

2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely grated lemon peel

Glaze and topping:
3/4 cup (or more) powdered sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp limoncello or other lemon liquer
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel

18 strawberries

For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in dry ingredients in three additions alternately with buttermilk in two additions. Beat in lemon juice and lemon peel. Divide batter among liners.

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to racks.

Meanwhile, prepare glaze and topping: Stir 3/4 cup powdered sugar, butter, limoncello, lemon juice and grated lemon peel in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts and glaze comes to simmer. Whisk in additional powdered sugar by tablespoonfuls if glaze is very thin. Spoon 1 tsp warm glaze over each warm cupcake. Cool cupcakes completely.

Arrange 1 strawberry atop each cupcake. Drizzle remaining limoncello glaze over. Let cupcakes stand until glaze sets, about 2 hours.

They were really good.  One thing to note, though, is the cake is much more of a sponge-type than a soft-crumb type.  The cream cheese frosting was great, but I can really see how the warm limocello glaze being drizzled over the warm cupcake would be perfection.

Make the glaze!

I’m going to, next time!