Frisky Puss Cupcakes

To start of my series of recipes inspired by plays is a cupcake inspired by David Ives’ adaptation of Georges Reydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear.


This witty French comedy is all about timing.  Characters bounce in and out of the house and hotel, often one person is walking out a door as another walks in another.  The second act takes place in the Frisky Puss Hotel, a shady place that caters to those with perhaps questionable morals.  All the characters end up in the hotel, running in and out of doors like their in an episode of Scooby Doo.

A line in the play likens the hotel to a chocolate covered cherry, a cheap chocolate covered cherry.  This was the starting point for my inspiration.

Not the cheap part, but the cherry and chocolate.


Maraschino cherry juice gives the cupcake a cherry sweetness.  Not the kind of sweetness that makes your teeth hurt, but the kind that leaves you licking your fingers for more.  It also adds a pink color to the cupcakes.  Whipped white chocolate frosting adds a playful flavor, meshing with the sweet flavor of the cherry.

This cupcake even has a surprise.

(more…)

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Almond Sugar Cookies

While killing time between rehearsal and a performance I wandered into Williams & Sonoma, I had been thinking about getting a new spatula for a while and discovered a Darth Vader spatula.  R and I decided it was too cute to pass up on.  I giggled and quoted “Come to the dark side… we have cookies” while R said “cooo-kie” in Darth Vader like breaths.

To break in the new spatula I made an alteration on the Sesame Sugar Cookies, a darker cousin.  Almond Sugar Cookies, they are much richer, lack the crispness of the sesames but the almonds add a moisture to the cookies and a smoky, woody taste.   The white chocolate frosting adds a touch of sweetness without being to indulgent.

Toasted Almond Sugar Cookies
(makes about 6 dozen)

2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond slivers
2 ounces white chocolate, melted

Spread the almond slivers on a cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until evenly toasted.  Let cool in a paper towel to absorb moisture.  Then grind until you have a crumb-like consistency.

Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  In a large bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add brown sugar, beat until well blended (make sure to break up the clumps).  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour mixture and 1/4 cup of toasted almonds.

Refrigerate dough approximately 2 hours or until firm.  Shape into balls.  Roll in remaining toasted almonds.  Place on greased baking sheets.

Bake in a 400 degree oven 6 to 8 minutes or until bottoms are a medium brown.  Cool completely.  Drizzle melted white chocolate over cookies.  Let chocolate set.  Enjoy!