Recently, I was lucky enough to go on Spooky Tours, one of the many haunted tour companies in the city. I discovered them by chance (it’s a pretty silly story actually) but, boy, am I glad I did. I know what you’re going to say: “A haunted tour? Geez Sweetboy, when did you turn into a tourist?” But the fact is, I think we could all stand to be a tourist in our own city now and again. Life, my friends, is about discovery. And it is only when we push ourselves out of our routine that we discover something wonderful - something that we otherwise may have missed.
While the actual tour was very fun and informative, the real joy of this tour is the complimentary treats they serve. Strange, I know. But at least four other people on the tour quietly admitted to having been drawn in just by the buzz circulating around town about the tour’s frighteningly delicious snacks.
We were lucky enough to be served cupcakes. On the outside, these cupcakes are simple, understated, almost forgettable. However, inside, there is something beautiful. Something pulsing with life, and energy. Something that dances on the tastebuds and sticks in the memory. This was a treat I can honestly say was love at first bite. And, like the vampire, I find myself hungry for more.
It is no secret that District Donuts Sliders Brew is hands-down my favorite #sweetspot in the city. Open less than a year, District’s secret donut recipe has managed to sharpen my sweet tooth into a sweet fang (if you can believe that!!)
However, I have a confession: despite the wonderful decadent flavor options they have (berries&cream, pineapple upside-down cake, grapefruit rosemary) I always order the same donut. Glazed.
Each time it’s the same. I’ll get to the counter, make some comment like “oh my god, all these options!” and then, with a voice full of shame and retreat, I will murmur “I guess I’ll just take a glazed please…”
The other day, a cashier at District (they are angels sent to us from treat heaven) reminded me to take pride in my choice. ”Be proud”, she said “you are getting a glazed!” And with that, my entire view of the world changed.
We spend far too much time apologizing for our choices, minimizing what we do, shrinking. A donut is never JUST a glazed. Just like you are never JUST an office assistant, and your painting is never JUST a hobby, and your dreams are never JUST dreams. A glazed donut - like you - is a miracle. Something that makes the world sweeter just by existing.
Alert alert. Delicious cookies spotted at Who Date Cafe. Those of you familiar with the New Orleans Coffeeshop circuit (NOCSC) you’ll know this place is great. But did you know they now have the most delicious molasses and ginger cookies? Well now you do. Go try them, right this minute!! Tell them Sweet Boy sent ya.
I saw recently saw the recipe for these Chocolate Malt Cupcakes (yes please!!) on thatwinsomegirl.blogspot.com. They are the type of decadent little treat that makes you think “Who me? Nah, I could never make that.” But guess what? You can, and you will!
Schedule a night this week (I find Sundays and Wednesdays to be the perfect baking nights) and release your inner pasty chef with this recipe. You’ll surprise yourself. You always do.
Chocolate Malt Cupcakes
adapted from The Culinary Chronicles
makes approximately 30 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1½ cups malted milk powder
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
½ cup malted milk powder
4 tablespoons unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
5 cups confectioner sugar, sifted
*Chocolate Covered Malt Balls and Straws to garnish (Optional)
For the cooking method, see the expert here.