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Cupcakes & Christmas

This year I declared I would not use paper wrap. We do still have like 5 rolls left over from previous years, but I won’t be buying any more, and only 2 things were wrapped in paper this year. Everyone else got cloth wrappings!

See how pretty it all looked under the tree? I was hoping to get the wrappings back to reuse again, but some people wanted to keep them to reuse, so that’s good too. I’ll have to pick up more xmas fabric in the post-xmas sales.

obsixmaswraps

And I made some festive mini cupcakes…. and carried them in MY NEW CUPCAKE COURIER! (yes, they are tiny ones, so they don’t fill the spaces)

obsixmascc

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Arty shot by hubby

And look what I got for Xmas….

obsiscarecrow

A scarecrow! MiniObsi’s idea, made with help from her Daddy 🙂

(it even has cork earrings, a belt buckle and drawn on fingernails)

and my rose bush decided to grow a bunch of roses in the centre of the bush…. for some unknown reason…

roses

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And lastly…. Because I won the last round of cupcake competitions, I got to pick the next recipe. Chai Cupcakes!  (I did one half with vanilla frosting and half with the chai frosting, but we like the chai better)

obsichaicupcakes

Chai Latte Cupcakes
(Makes 24 large cupcakes)

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups milk
2 black (normal) tea bags
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of ground black pepper
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup castor sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla essence (or vanilla bean)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups Plain flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour

Method:
1). In a saucepan, heat the milk until just before boiling. Add the teabags and spices (including the split vanilla bean if using this), cover and remove from heat. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then give the milk a stir and remove the teabags, squeezing them to remove as much tea flavour as possible. (and remove and scrape the vanilla bean). Allow to cool. Measure out 1 1/4 cups of this, adding extra (plain) milk if some has evaporated off (I needed to add 2 tb).
2). Beat the sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs. Sift together the baking powder, salt and flours.
3). Gradually add the spiced milk and sifted flour mix alternately, mixing well.
3). Spoon mixture into baking cases and bake at 190C for around 20 minutes, or until cakes are cooked (skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Allow to cool before icing.

~ If you would prefer to use Chai teabags instead of the spices, use 3 Chai teabags and do not use the spices or black teabag, however the result will not be the same flavour as using the spices. If you really like Chai, try the Chai frosting, or if you prefer something more subtle, perhaps a plain vanilla frosting. ~

Vanilla Chai Frosting:
100g softened butter
100g softened cream cheese
Whatever you need from 3 cups icing sugar)
1 tsp vanilla essence/paste (or 1 vanilla bean)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Beat butter and cream cheese together, then add spices, vanilla and enough icing sugar to make the right consistency. Halve the spices for a more subtle flavour.

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