VANILLA CUPCAKES/ Social Distancing

I usually keep it light around the Clinic but due to these somber times with the global Coronavirus Pandemic, an outbreak the world has not seen in 102 years, this is time to be serious.

Now is as good a time as any to remember to always practice The Golden RuleDO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU ... meaning think of others and do the right thing for all of humanity, not because of money, power, politics, prestige or what you will gain but because it is about being a good person and caring about others.

My parents quoted the Golden Rule to us often as it was pounded into their psyche during their school days during The Great Depression of the 1930’s and WWII in the 40’s. Those were difficult times when our country came together. Well, now it’s our time. It is our time to take personal responsibility, be selfless and consider how our behavior affects others.

My family, friends and neighbors have put our lives on hold as we have been practicing Social Distancing for the last two months. In recent weeks, nearly everyone out and about wear face masks to protect their own health and the health of others. It will continue for an unknown number of weeks and possibly months as the Governors of the State of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Virginia have shut down all non-essential businesses and issued a 'Stay Home Order'. Along with millions around the globe, we have sacrificed our freedom and are isolated from family members. My siblings have not seen their children or grandchildren and vice versa. Everyone is working from home and not leaving the house. Surely, most and I hope all of you, are doing the same during these trying times. As for those who fail to see the gravity of this global tragedy, they need look no further than the 1918 Pandemic where 50-100 million souls perished worldwide. There are numerous accounts of the 1918 Liberty Loan Drive Parade in Philadelphia which spells out the tragic consequences of ignoring Social Distancing rules.

The Coronavirus is afflicting all, young and old everywhere. We don’t know how long COVID-19 will be here or who and how many will become sick, but we the people must do our part, all of us and stand together to lick this thing. We will get through this but we need each other more than ever. It’s imperative we follow the CDC guidelines, practice Social Distancing, stay informed, stay busy, stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive, be kind, be empathetic, be wise, think of others and take care of yourselves and loved ones.

Vanilla Cake
2¼ cups Softasilk Cake Flour (or 2-1/8 cup Flour), sifted
1½ cups Sugar
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Crisco Shortening
1 cup Milk
1½ tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs

Mix Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt. Add Shortening.
Add a little over half of Milk to the dry ingredients. Add Vanilla.
Add remaining Milk and Eggs. Mix well.
Pour batter 1/2 full into 24 cupcake liners.
Bake 18-20 minutes at 400 until cake tester comes out clean.
[This is the Rich Golden Cake recipe from the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook]

Creamy Buttercream Frosting (large recipe)
2 cups Butter (4 sticks), softened
8 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
½ tsp Vanilla (optional)
1-4 tbsp Milk or Cream
Wilton French Tip #199
Beat butter for 4-5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the sugar 1 cup at a time beating well after each addition.
Add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until frosting is smooth.

Split frosting between 2 bowls. Color frosting.
Fushsia Frosting: Color with AmeriColor Teal and AmeriColor Deep Pink
Blue Frosting: Color with AmeriColor Teal and AmeriColor Sky Blue
Fill each piping bag with color. Pipe swirl with French Tip #19.

Stay calm and bake ...



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There used to be an unspoken fashion rule that white was only worn in the summer with the season beginning Memorial Day weekend and ending Labor Day weekend. To wear white any other time was taboo. White patent leather shoes, white lace dresses and white slacks were unseen for three seasons of the year and reserved only for warm weather months. Some of you may remember those days. It was a time when girls and ladies even wore white gloves with their Sunday best. All that changed by the 1970’s when winter white became chic and now white is worn all year. Think about it … snow is white, so why not wear white in the winter. No matter, today the fashion rules are out the window and anything goes.

The grape cutter has been in my collection awhile yet this is the first time I’ve used it. I did not want to decorate these grape cookies with blobs of icing to resemble grapes. So, I decided on a white-on-white, elegant, monochromatic color scheme using the brush embroidery technique.

Grape Cookies
Grape Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted White with AmeriColor Super White
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing.
Flood cookie with white icing. Let dry overnight.

Pipe dots with #2 tip in white outline icing.
Using a paintbrush, pull icing to create design. Repeat process. Let dry two hours.
Hint: Occasionally dip paintbrush in water to remove excess icing on brush. Wipe on dry paper towel.




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