mmmmm caaarmel.

I woke up last Sunday and felt really ambitious.  That rarely happens.  So, I decided to trek into more uncharted territory and make salted caramel cupcakes.  Best decision of my life so far.  Well, that might be a stretch, but it’s right up near the top of the list.  Lucky for me, I found a recipe that made it pretty easy!

This whole ordeal was full of firsts for me.  I’ve never had/made a brown sugar cupcake before.  It may be my favorite kind of cupcake.  I don’t know how I’ve lived this long and never made them before!  Super simple and crazy good.

Also, I’ve never made filled cupcakes before.  Fortunately, I got this cool little tool for removing the stems from strawberries at Williams Sonoma, and that worked perfectly to make a tiny little divot to fill with caramel-y goodness.

AND I’d never worked with homemade caramel before.  Who knew that you can dump a little sugar and some magic in a pan and it makes caramel?  It’s not surprisingly delicate to work with.  It can go from perfect to a black mess in a blink.  I have more sympathy for those caramel-burning pastry chefs on Cupcake Wars now.  Seriously, every week, someone burns the caramel.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t totally thrilled with the frosting at first.  All I could taste was butter.  BUT when I ate one later, it was delicious and I could taste the caramel.  I think I was just used to eating (drinking?) the real stuff from the pan.

Sometimes, baking is science.

Last weekend, just before the grape amazingness, I decided to be really ambitious and delve into uncharted territory in the landscape of my baking experience.  I decided to bake with yeast.  As if baking wasn’t like science before, it’s REALLY like science when you throw some yeast into the process.  I’ve assisted with bread projects before with my Grandma, so I wasn’t caught totally off guard by the bubbling of the active yeast.  However, whenever I’ve done a bread project by myself, a breadmaker has actually done all the work; I just threw a bunch of crap into the bucket, closed the lid, and hit the “make bread” button.

So, I woke up a week ago and saw this awesome picture of pretzel rolls on one of my friends Pintrest board.  After looking at the recipe, I thought “well, that doesn’t sound THAT hard.  Totally doable.”  It says something about only using some of the flour and then adding more…I’d say just use it all right away if you’re making the full batch.

And you know what?  It WASN’T that hard.  It was pretty doable, and made me want to do more yeast-y baking.  They may not have looked pretty as the ones on the recipe, but whatever.  At least the rolls tasted great!!