Beater Licking Good.

One of the happiest childhood memories that I have is licking the beaters whenever I helped my Mom in the kitchen. Whether it was cookie dough or brownie batter or icing, licking the beaters was always the best part about baking at that young age. It's that little preview of the treat you're helping to create, that little something extra that seems like it shouldn't be allowed but it is.

I also have a less than happy childhood memory associated with the beaters. When I was a kid I had long curly brown hair that I would always get compliments on. I'm sure you can see where this is going. Long hair + beaters = bad news. So this one time when I was helping my Mom with the baking I got a little too close for comfort and a piece of my hair zipped right into the running beaters and yanked out. Ouch. It wasn't much but it still hurt. Needless to say we didn't eat that batch of cookies and from then on I was to tie my hair back when helping in the kitchen. But I did get to eat some Soda-Licious gummy fruit snacks to ease the pain and dry my tears. That was never allowed at home. Fruit snacks were strictly for school lunches and nothing else, though I did attempt to sneak them whenever I could.

The reason for all this nostalgia about beaters is yet to come. As an adult I don't normally lick the beaters anymore. I tend to just throw them in the sink and my inner child always fights to get free and save the smidgen of wasted batter still clinging to them. There are times though when licking the beaters is absolutely necessary like with this White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. I stood there in my kitchen and licked clean the spatula, the scraped bowl and the mixing paddle. I couldn't help myself. My inner child made me do it. My electric beaters might have transformed into a Kitchen Aid Mixer paddle attachment, but that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to lick it. Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

Source: Adapted from Piece of Cake's Strawberry Cupcakes.

2 1/4 cup cake flour (or substitute) 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 3/4 cup strawberry puree 4 egg whites 1/4 cup milk Juice from 2 lemons for syrup 1/4 cup powdered sugar for syrup Printer-Friendly Version

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set them aside.

Stir together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt either with a whisk or with a stand mixer on stir speed. Add the butter and mix on low speed until it's well blended and resembles course crumbs. Add the strawberry puree then mix on low speed then increase the speed to medium and beat it for 2 – 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.

In a large bowl whisk together the egg whites and milk then, with the mixer running, add it to the batter gradually in 2 or 3 additions making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake them for 20 – 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. While they're baking, make the lemonade syrup by stirring together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until there are no lumps. Cool the cupcakes on cooling racks for 5 – 10 minutes then poke holes in them with a fork. Spoon the lemonade syrup over each one, making sure it soaks into the holes instead of just rolling off.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: Adapted from Piece of Cake's White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

1 250g pkg cream cheese, room temperature 4 cup powdered sugar, sifted 3 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled 1 tsp vanilla extract With an electric mixer blend together the cream cheese and powdered sugar on low speed at first then medium speed until it's light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix it until it's just combined.

Refrigerate the frosting until you're ready to use it. Once the cupcakes are cooled spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice and frost away. Enjoy!

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