your first taste


I’m Sami, and some might call me the more anal-retentive one when it comes to our kitchen. I think it might stem from my mother who instilled the fear of G-d in me should there be dishes left in the sink overnight. But anyway, after our cake-party-turned-dance party, the Brooklyn pie contest, and then birthday parties 1 and 2, our kitchen has taken a beating over the past five days. I started on Thursday making a cheesecake layered and topped with Oreo crumbles, and a poppyseed cake with creamcheese frosting that will just make you fall out of your chair. In the last minute I decided to whip up a couple dozen Tres Leches cupcakes, which require a designated post of their own for a later date. This was all for our cake and booze party. For the Brooklyn pie contest the next evening, I had planned to enter a chocolate rum pudding pie, but that changed slightly when Claire accidentally placed an apple in the refrigerator, smack into the middle of my pie. After a minor freak-out, I busted out a whipped cream topping, drizzled with Emily’s heavenly ganache, which saved the day.

Last night, for Dan and Claire’s birthday, Zoe bought a bushel of crabs from a guy we met at the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, and yes, she steamed them ALL in Dan’s apartment. I decided to make Snickerdoodle cupcakes, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book. I have a soft spot for Snickerdoodle cookies— for years my grandmother has always sent me a few batches around every Jewish holiday with her fingerprint carefully pressed into each one. My grandfather then wraps them in literally pounds of bubble wrap to ensure that not a single one breaks. The cupcakes turned out really well. They taste just like a snickerdoodle! But in cupcake form! And Em gave me a little trick for the whipped cream top…

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes:

2 ¾ cups flour

¼ corn starch

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp

1 ¾ cups sugar

4 large eggs, room temp

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups milk


1 cup Whipping Cream

1 ½ teaspoons of JELLO vanilla pudding mix

Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Cream the butter and sugar until it gets nice and fluffy using a mixer on medium speed. Then add each of the four eggs, one at a time, making sure that they are beat in well before adding the next egg. Beat in the vanilla and turn the mixing speed down to low. Add in the flour in three batches, interspersed with two additions of the milk, and mix thoroughly after each addition.

Fill the muffin tins ¾ full. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the tins 180 degrees, and then bake for another 10 minutes. When you stick a toothpick in, it should come out clean. Cool on wire racks.

For the topping, whip 1 cup of whipping cream with 1 ½ teaspoon of the JELLO Vanilla pudding mix. Spoon onto the cupcakes once they are cooled, and sprinkle with cinnamon.


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