Little Lamb Cupcakes

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In the spirit of Easter, I thought I would cook up a festive, rather than favorite, dessert. What I really like about this recipe is the meaning behind it, and for some reason, I like cutesy looking desserts. (I made reindeer chocolate chip cookies for Christmas).

The reason this dessert is festive, a.k.a celebratory, is because Resurrection Day is remembered as a joyous occasion, despite the fact that Jesus’ self-sacrifice was grueling and bloody. Without it, there would be no salvation.

Jesus is known as the “Lamb of God,” as a result of John the Baptist’s procla- mation, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29),” hence the relevance of the following recipe: Little Lamb Cupcakes. Don’t worry. There’s no actual lamb meat.

I also added substitution suggestions if you want to make the recipe easier and more cost efficient.

(Recipe Courtesy of FoodNetwork.com)

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes Ease of preparation: easy

Ingredients
1 vanilla cupcake, taken out of the pa- per, recipe follows
About 1 cup White Fluff Frosting, rec- ipe follows
1 large marshmallow
2 white candy eyes (Substitute for jelly beans)
1 purple Jujube candy (Substitute for jelly beans)
1 short 1/4 and 1 long piece 2 inch black string licorice
35 mini-marshmallows

4 purple and 2 pink jelly beans

Vanilla Cupcake
(Substitute for box of ready-made cake mix)
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners. To avoid cupcakes sticking if they overflow slightly, lightly spray the tops of the pans.) Put tins on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Process sugar and butter in a good processor until very creamy, scraping sides as need, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, pulsing after each addition. Add the milk, water, and vanilla and process to blend.

Whisk both flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients, in 3 batches to the wet, pulsing, and then scraping batter of the sides of the processor as needed after each addition. Process until the batter is very smooth and pourable like pancake batter. About two minutes.

Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cups, filling them 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and the tops are golden. 18 to 25 min- utes. Cool slightly in tin, and turn out of tin when cool enough to handle. Cool cupcakes completely on a rack before frosting.

Fluff Frosting
(Substitute for pre-made frosting)
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
5 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup marshmallow fluff Pinch fine salt

Whisk the milk and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.

Slowly beat the butter and sugar, in another medium bowl, with an electric mixer until incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.) Add the fluff and salt and reduce the speed to low. Add the milk and vanilla mixture, scrape the bowl down, and mix until fully incorporated. Raise the mixer to high and beat briefly until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use immediately.

Directions
Frost cupcake. Place the large marsh- mallow in the center. Lightly frost candy eyes and press onto the marshmallow. Frost the back of the jujube candy and put below eyes to for a nose. Frost the short piece of licorice lightly and press underneath the nose to make the mouth. Press mini-marshmallows all around the cupcakes and the face to make the lambs coat. Frost the tips of the pink jelly beans to make ears. Stick the purple jelly beans in the front and back of the cupcake for feet. Curl the long piece of licorice and press into frosting to make the lamb’s tail.

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