When the going gets tough, the tough get . . . baking.
I’m a stress baker. (And stress shopper, but that’s an entirely different post.) Last Sunday I was wandering around with my head in a fog, anxious and upset and struggling to make sense of things that make no sense. In one of my circuits around the kitchen, I spotted my trusty cupcake carrier. And for a half hour, the chorus of worry in my head was quiet.
There’s something so Zen about baking. As I get more adventurous, I feel comfortable crafting unusual recipes and sliding away from always using recipes. In fact, I didn’t use a recipe for this one at all . . . which, as you’ll see, was no big deal. Because it’s not really a recipe. More of a culinary suggestion, if you will.
Everyone likes angel food cake, right? It’s light, fluffy — and for all you New Year’s resolutioners, fat-free. (Yes!) When I raided the cabinets for something to bake last weekend, I came across a box of angel food cake mix and tried to think of how I could use it.
Angel food is delicious, yes, but not very . . . sexy. Or interesting. It’s just sort of, “Hi, I’m here — your regular old angel food cake.” At the suggestion of my sister, I jazzed it up. And since I’m obsessed with extracts (rum! coconut! almond!), I fumbled around until I found my orange bottle. And I added some.
Combined with a tub of orange frosting left over from last Halloween (it was fresh and unopened, I swear!), we crafted a batch of fluffy, chewy and delicious orange angel food cupcakes that were consumed with a day or two. I might have had two (or three . . .) as soon as they cooled.
Here’s what I did — but remember, it’s simple. Like, really simple. Almost as simple as this “recipe” I created.
But sometimes the easiest things are the most delicious.
Orange Angel Food Cupcakes
1 box angel food cake mix
Water, as called for on box
2 tsp orange extract
Colored frosting, as desired
Sprinkles, as desired
Prepare angel food cupcakes as directed on package, adding 2 tsp orange extract to batter. Bake as directed, or until tops of cupcakes are brown and dry. Cool in pan, then move to cooling rack. Frost and decorate as desired, or enjoy as-is! Yields 24-28 cupcakes.