Yes, everyone - not just sickening couples whispering sweet nothings to each other over candlelit dinners. This day o' luuuuuuuuuve is for all of us! And to help you celebrate, I'm sharing an amazing (and, incidentally, vegan!) chocolate cupcake recipe I found.
I don't know, you may be muttering. I'm not much of a cook.
Baking from scratch is not hard, people. Do not be afraid if you don't get things exactly right. Keep in mind my baking motto, YCMAE: You Can't Measure An Egg. This means that the people who write recipes have no way of knowing the exact volume of everything you need - every recipe has wiggle room. So let's begin!
Sweet Chocolate Cuppin' Cakes a la Sri
Phase One - Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar (OR 1/2 cup Splenda for baking, with half the calories!)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tsp vinegar
Vinegar? you ask, understandably confused. Yes, vinegar. Don't panic, mama knows what she's doing.
1. My very favorite thing about this recipe is that it has one mixing step, which is this: combine all ingredients and blend with electric mixer until smooth. Though, I do like to stir the dry ingredients before adding the wet to ensure an even distribution.
2. Fill cupcake cups 2/3 of the way - 1/2 is not enough, 3/4 is too much. But Sri, you might frown and say, what about YCMAE? Look, if you wanted coherence go ... uh, somewhere. Else.
3. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to whip up some frosting!
Phase Two - Frosting
1/2 cup shortening (vegetable shortening works just as well, with no trans fat!)
1 tsp vanilla extract (note - any other extract, like lemon, would work just as well)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk (or regular milk, if you're not married to the whole vegan thing)
Red food coloring (optional)
1. Beat together the shortening and vanilla.
2. Add one cup of sugar while beating.
3. Add one tablespoon milk. And beat again. If you don't have an electric mixer, your arm is going to fall off right about ... now.
4. Alternate sugar and milk slowly until desired thickness is achieved.
5. Add two or three drops of red food coloring and tah-dah! Pink equals love.
Phase Three - Decoration
Let the cupcakes cool during one whole intro from Veronica Mars (didn't I mention Weevil Navarro was a key ingredient?), or about ten minutes. My frosting came out so fluffy that I had to apply it with a spoon ... mmm, delicious. Now, use some hideously dark purple gel icing from the store to write "VD" on all the cupcakes and coat generously with red sprinkles. The idea is to evoke the image of, without actually depicting, oozing sores.
What? You recoil, bewildered. Wait ... what?
Shhhhh, I told you. This recipe is for everyone. Refrigerate the cupcakes overnight to let the outside of the frosting get a little crusty. Serve them to your friends and coworkers with a smile. And have a very happy Valentine's Day.