Scarlett's Birthday Cupcakes

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This year I decided I wanted to make some special cupcakes for Scarlett's second birthday. My mother used to make these amazing vanilla cupcakes for my sister and I when we were kids and I asked her for the recipe. The recipe is from an old cookbook called, "The Maple Leaf Recipe Book", that my great grandmother helped to make with her church in 1959 while my great grandfather was stationed in England. The cookbook has been passed down generation to generation and I was so excited to be able to borrow it and will be trying out many recipes from it. The recipe in it for vanilla cake called, "Dinette Cake - Small and Good", is the best cake I have ever had so naturally I just had to share it here! The recipe for frosting also comes from this cookbook.

Dinette Cake - Small and Good 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of flour,

1 cup of sugar,

2 teaspoons of baking powder,

1/2 teaspoon of salt,

1/3 cup of soft shortening,

2/3 cup of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract,

1 egg.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well bended. Add shortening, milk, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes then add 1 egg and beat for another 2 minutes. Grease and flour an 8 in. square pan or, if you're making cupcakes, line muffin tin with paper liners. Bake 30-35 minutes. Makes 12 cupcakes (I doubled the recipe).

* I baked them for 30 minutes but they probably could have been in for a few less minutes (they were a little too brown but this could just be my oven). 

7 - Minute Frosting

Ingredients:

2 egg whites,

1 1/2 cups of white sugar,

a dash of salt,

1/3 cup of water,

2 teaspoons of white syrup,

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Method:

Beat together egg whites, sugar, salt, water, and syrup double boiler. Continue beating for 7 minutes or until frosting thickens and holds its shape. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and continue beating until stiff enough to spread. 

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I searched the internet for a recipe for candied pansies because I thought they would make a sweet topper but couldn't find anything that didn't include raw eggs. I didn't want to feed my family raw eggs for fear of getting them sick so I decided not to make them. A day later I was going through another old cookbook my mother lent me that belonged to my grandmother called, "Out Of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens", and came across a recipe for candied violets that didn't call for raw eggs! I was so excited and immediately began working on them.

Candied Violets

Ingredients:

1 cup of sugar,

1/4 cup of water,

1/4 teaspoon of almond extract.

Method:

Make a syrup of sugar and water and boil for a while, stirring "if it gets uppity" (I found this a funny phrase lol). Add almond extract and let syrup cool. Now take the violets which you have gathered and put some of them, a few at a time, into the syrup. Let them stay there for a minute or so, being sure they are treated all over. Then remove to a maxed paper with a skimmer or your fingers and put more in. If the syrup gets hard halfway through, cook up again adding very little water. Leave the candied violets to dry thoroughly before storing. 

* I used a small paint brush to brush syrup onto the violets and pansies after I dipped them in the syrup. This was also helpful when trying to flatten the flower while it was trying to curl up. 

I hope if you guys ever try this old recipe out you love it as much as we do!

xo Christina.

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