Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tee Time, I mean Tea Time.

One of the many beautiful qualities that my husband, Joe, possesses is that he loves to take tea like a real gentleman.  He happened to be home all day today and the weather is really taking a turn for the worse.  It is supposed to snow tonight.  Bummer.  So anyway it was quite a chilly day.  Around 2pm I told him to come downstairs for a little surprise.  Nothing cheers me up more than afternoon tea!  I have all of the flowers in the house that were left in the garden.  It seemed like a day to set the table with Herend china and dahlias.  Brewed a little Earl Gray tea and set out some fresh baked quadruple lemon cupcakes.  We had our little tea party for an hour and reminisced about all the great hotels around the world where we have enjoyed this guilty pleasure.  London, Paris, California Ritz Carlton and the best……drum roll please…..The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.  Wow, is that ever an experience!

Lemon Buttermilk Poppy Seed Cupcakes
Makes 30-32 depending on much you put in each cupcake holder

1 package (18.25 ounces) Super Moist White cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) lemon Jello
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla paste or seeds from one vanilla pod (optional)
½ cup canola oil
½ cup buttermilk (or substitute ½ cup milk with 1 Tablespoon vinegar)
4 large eggs
the zest from one lemon and then
juice from one lemon
2 teaspoons lemon extract

One can of cream cheese frosting
Sprinkles or jimmies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.  Set pans aside.  Place the cake mix and jello mix in a bowl, mix together while dry.  Form a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour all the other ingredients into the well.  Blend with an electric mixer for about 1 minute on low speed.   Scrap down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes.  The batter should look thick but not lumpy.  Load each paper liner with about two thirds full.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Top each cupcake with frosting and jimmies if desired.

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