RE-DISCOVERING MY LOVE FOR BAKING


As a mom I rarely find time for myself. When you constantly have your attention being pulled in different directions at all times it’s hard to do the self-care that so many people say one needs. I get it. For your health and your mental state you need to take some time for yourself, but that is so much easier said than done. When you don’t always have help at your disposal, self-care gets put on the back burner. One of the things I used to love doing was baking. I sort of still baked with Parker but after having Jude I completely stopped. I may occasionally make a batch of chocolate chip cookies because they’re my favorites and I will always find time for them, but anything more complicated than that means Tyler actually getting a Saturday or a Sunday off so I can focus on baking. And nowadays, even if Tyler does get a random Saturday or Sunday off we have so many house projects and just wanted to actually get to spend time together with the holiday season consumes us. My mom was here this past weekend and she asked about why I wasn’t really baking anymore and I explained to her I just don’t have the time. She made it a point to go to the grocery store and made me pick out things for baking and then she watched the kids at night while I was in the kitchen They left me alone so that I could enjoy my time and it felt so amazing to get to do something I am passionate about again without feeling guilty for missing family time. I would love to make more time for baking. Maybe I will in the new year, but only time will tell with that, lol. But anyways, I was able to bake these amazing gingerbread cupcakes with a caramel cream cheese butter cream frosting. Oh yes, all of those ingredients make for the best frosting you’ll ever taste! I used the recipe from half baked harvest and if you guys don’t follow her blog you need to start! She comes up with the best recipes. If you don’t have time to read blogs then at least follow her on Instagram because she puts a lot of her recipes on there and she has a cookbook that just got released here. I’m sharing her recipe for these amazing cupcakes below.



Ingredients 
Cupcakes
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons fresh nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/ 1/3 cups molasses
3 eggs room temperature



Caramel Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
16 ounces cream cheese softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place cupcake liners in your cupcake tin. In a medium bowl sifted the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt. in a separate bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda, mixing well.



Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses until completely combined and then add the water/baking soda mixture alternating with the flour mixture until everything is combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.



Divide the batter evenly amongst cupcake liners filling 1/2 way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.



While cupcakes are baking make the buttercream. Using an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salted caramel sauce. Beat for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy.



After cupcakes are completely cooled off using a small cookie scoop place the buttercream on the top of the each cupcakes. Using the leftover salted caramel drizzle over the buttercream then place a gingerbread cookie (mine are from Trader Joe’s) on top and sprinkles, if desired.

RECIPE NOTE: Cupcakes adapted from Half Baked Harvest

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