Oh man, its Valentine’s Day! One side of me says, “So?” The other says, “Whoa … I’ve got to come up with something meaningful – you know, to avoid the impression that it’s a meaningless day!” Of course, my beloved knows, by this time in our relationship, just what my feelings are, but I also understand, at this point in our relationship, that a woman just likes to be reminded once in awhile. So, after some heavy consideration, I came up with what I think is a nice Valentine.
Sandee has always been a chocolate lover – well, hell, she’s a woman! Some day they will find the chocolate gene among the DNA of all females – No, I’m not joking – I’m convinced that women, much more so than men, have this chocolate thing that causes them to do some absolutely crazy things to get chocolate. Men don’t do this. But, I digress, where was I – oh yeah, my chosen Valentine for Sandee.
You need to understand something – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – I can’t just go out and buy one of those “hearts” down at Safeway! I can’t do that for several reasons – first is that I know by now that a woman would see that as an easy out – spend $10 and be home free! Yeah, I been around at least that long. The other thing, for me at least, is that neither Sandee nor I need to be adding a Valentine heart filled with candy to our already vast list of local temptations. And we both understand that. So – no hearts today.
Nope, for a long time, I’ve known that my best bet on many fronts was to make something that she’d consider a meaningful creation. Yeah, good idea – but, I’ve still got to watch out how caloric it turns out to be. This element tends to tie one’s hands, right? After all, what can you think of that’d be a good Valentine’s present, but not be caloric? Huuum … Not much, is the right answer. So, I add a new rule that allows a certain amount of leverage here – and that rule is, As long as the ingredients are already present in the house, it’s OK to use them to make something. Now the reason why this is OK is because if they’re already in the house, we’re going to eventually eat them anyway – right? Yes, I know this is flimsy, but it’s the best I’ve got right now.
So, I continued my in-depth thinking and decided to do a deserty thing, but to limit its caloric impact. There, that’s a worthy compromise, is it not? I finally settled on the cupcakes before you here – these are Nutella filled and swirled vanilla cupcakes, without as you can see, any icing. Frankly, because of the swirled Nutella, they were never intended to have icing – so I felt real good about that. Since I haven’t tasted them yet, I can’t critique them, but a baker always knows! These are GOOD cupcakes.
And surprise! These are not mine – I found this recipe here, and I haven’t changed a thing about it. It really isn’t an offender, sugarwise – 3/4s of a cup, but then, each cupcake has about a tablespoon of Nutella too. But, … hey, give me a break here – this Valentine has got to be meaningful – and I think this one is!
Here’s the recipe.
Nutella Swirl Cupcakes
10 Tbs. (140 g.) butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 ¾ cups flour (softer preferred, AP ok)
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Nutella, apx. ½ cup
Preheat oven to 325 – butter a 12 cup muffin tin.
Cream together butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, until fluffy.
Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder until no flour is visible.
Fill each cup about 2/3 full of batter.
Drop about 1 ½ tsp of Nutella on top of each filled muffin cup.
With a toothpick, swirl the Nutella into the top of each muffin.
Bake for 20 – 23 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes – remove from muffin tin, and continue cooling.