C and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day much. We never have, even the first year we were dating. Fact: Our very first Valentine's Day was spent at a Mizzou basketball game with the rest of C's family, and then the evening was spent at my parents house, probably eating pizza or something and watching a movie.
Valentine's Day 2009
We really don't have a strong desire to fight crowds at fancy restaurants just because some holiday says we should have a nice dinner. We get each other cards, and maybe a small gift here and there (two years ago C bought 2 dozen cupcakes from Cupcake a'la Moda. Luckily we were spending that Valentine's weekend at my parents house again--it's a thing apparently--so we took them with us to share with the family). Even without a big celebration, I like to do a little something special to recognize the day. Baking is usually my thing. This year, I was so excited to find a recipe on Pinterest to make exactly 2 chocolate cupcakes. I frequently want to make cupcakes, but don't want the added temptation of having 1-2 dozen cupcakes laying around the house. I decided to give the recipe a try, and it did not disappoint.
These cupcakes came out moist and chocolaty. I didn't make the frosting in the recipe because I had some leftover chocolate frosting in my freezer from another baking expedition that I wanted to use up. Also, I let these bake about 5 minutes, and then dropped a Reese's heart in the center for a delicious peanut butter filling. I highly recommend this. Plus, look at the adorable heart on top of the cupcake!
So make a few cupcakes for you and your loved one and celebrate a nice quiet Valentine's Day at home. Or make two just for yourself. Either way, it'll be a good Valentine's Day.
Two (Exactly Two!) Chocolate Cupcakes
By Brett Bara
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda (just eyeball half of a quarter-teaspoon and it will be fine)
1/16 teaspoon salt (otherwise known as a pinch)
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/16 teaspoon vanilla (ie, just a few drops)
1 tablespoon chocolate chips (optional)
Chocolate Frosting (mini recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a second small bowl or spouted measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and stir till combined, whisking well. (I thought the batter seemed a little thick still and added just a splash more water and oil) Divide batter between two cupcake liners and sprinkle with chocolate chips. (I didn't use chocolate chips since I did the Reese's filling) Bake for 18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
Chocolate Frosting For Two Cupcakes
By Brett Bara
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon half and half or any milk/cream
dash of salt
Melt the butter in a small bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients to the butter and whisk to combine. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until frosting is partially set. Whisk again then allow to rest at room temperature until cupcakes are cool enough to frost. (Start making the frosting as soon as the cupcakes go in the oven, so that it will be set and ready to go once the cupcakes are cool.)