Oh No Toe and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

by Joanne on December 23, 2012

What a great accomplishment.  Ted ran another record distance run for himself:  14 miles.  It wasn’t without a “war wound”

Bad toe

The photo is purposely left small since feet are, well UGLY and ones with blisters are even worse.  I can’t offer the recipe to follow if I offer a huge photo of Ted’s massacred feet first

I stayed with Ted so today’s long run of 20 miles was not too taxing on my body.  We ran to the beach

run to the beach

Doesn’t look like Christmas EVE, “EVE” does it?  It was cold when I went out for an initial 5 miles with the dogs. At this point (by the beach), I had ran 10 1/2 miles and my fingers were so frozen Ted had to help me open the gel pack. 

run to the beach2

Pretty happy since I was feeling so good.  Too good actually.  I like to feel as if I’m working for it but today’s run was slow and easy so it didn’t feel bad at all. 

When we got back into the plantation, I took Zoey out to finish off my 20 miler.  I’ve burned up both my dogs.  Shane wouldn’t go farther than a mile this morning, sore feet. When Zoey got home, there was a cut on the back of her foot. 

The result of today’s run:  3 down and 1 left standing.  Shane= OUT.  Zoey= OUT. Ted=OUT, although Ted is playing golf right now and will most likely be good for nothing tonight so I’m counting him OUT now.

The one left standing is taking Mum shopping for her birthday which falls on Jan. 2, just after Christmas.The malls near Pawley’s Island aren’t any where near as packed as in Utica so it won’t be such a hardship shopping this close to Christmas. 

Now, get the image of feet out of your mind and imagine a delicious Vanilla Bean CUPCAKE?!

A cute little cupcake with real Madagascar vanilla bean seeds.

I modified the recipe by Courtney Forrester offered in American Cake Decorating by reducing butter fat with one over ripe banana.  At this time of year, pumpkin puree might be a fantastic alternative.  Either one will firm up the texture of the cupcake but offer a  teasing hint of banana or pumpkin behind the rich vanilla flavor.

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Makes 12 standard cupcakes

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  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBS unsalted room temperature butter (If you want to use all butter instead of a banana or pumpkin, increase the butter quantity to 1/3 cup or 5 1/2 TBS.
  • 1 over ripe banana or 1/3 cup 100% pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (the original recipe used 2/3 cup PLUS 3 TBS)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds only
  • 2/3 cup whole milk (I used fat free 1/2 and 1/2 since I didn’t have any milk)

Preheat the oven to 300 deg. F.  Line 12 cupcake tins with liners.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter until light and fluffy then add the banana or pumpkin and continue beating another 2 minutes.   Gradually add the sugar, beating well for 2 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for 2 more minutes.

Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise then scrape out the seeds.  Add the seeds to the milk or half and half.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes5

Add the flour and milk in an alternating manner to the butter mixture.  Blend just until smooth.

Pour into cupcake liners and bake for 10 minutes, turn the pan then bake for 10 more minutes.  Allow to cool before icing. *Don’t over cook! If you do, make sure to make a sugar wash to add moisture back in the little cake.  Remember a simple sugar wash is 1/2 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and add 1 1/2 TBS vanilla.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds only
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup trans fat free vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Slice the vanilla bean as you did for the cupcakes and scrape out the seeds.

Beat the butter and shortening until creamy then add the seeds.

Add the confectioners sugar to the butter mixture on low speed until incorporated. Add extract and beat on high until fluffy and light.

Decorate with different colored sugar sprinkles

Maybe orange…

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Maybe yellow…

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Maybe orange and yellow…

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Possibly add some chocolate sprinkles…OH NO! Not THAT many!

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Oh well. That one’s mine.  Gosh that was good!

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Get baking. Get ready. Here come the holidays!

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  • At 2012.12.23 16:12, Tina@GottaRunNow said:

    The cupcakes look good, the blister – not so much! Great idea to sub the banana for some of the butter!

    • At 2012.12.23 16:16, Tina@GottaRunNow said:

      Oops, I forgot to mention your run… 20 miles and you outrun everybody! Great job!

      • At 2012.12.27 20:57, Pam said:

        Gross foot Dad! Great job on the long run Dad and Joanne 🙂
        Those cupcakes look devine. Have you tried using coconut oil in place of shortening to make the frosting or in place of butter for the cupcake? I haven’t tried either yet, but I hear coconut oil makes a great substitute. I also like to add pumpkin or applesauce to replace some of the fat, like you did.

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