Sometimes I wonder how certain holidays got their “classics.”
You know, like how Santa Claus became synonymous with Christmas. Or how come bunnies are associated with Easter?
Last I checked, all bunnies do is poop everywhere and smell like hay. Sure, they’re cute and fluffy… until you have been sold two “male” bunnies by some scary lady hawking rabbits at the park and come home one day to find your “male” bunnies in a cage with a bunch of babies.
And sadly enough, come home the next day to find out the hard way that dad bunnies don’t really like their baby bunnies…
So, yeah, I kinda don’t like creepy baby-eating rabbits to represent a holiday where I’m supposed to hunt for eggs filled with candy and enjoy my once-a-year-egg salad sandwich.
And whatever, I don’t really care if a dude is sliding down my chimney bringing me presents as long as A) he brings me good stuff; B) he doesn’t use our bathroom (ehhh I feel weird about strangers using my bathroom; sue me) and C) he eats only his share of cookies. I mean, obviously in return for presents I’m happy to share some chewy cookies, but seriously, let’s not be selfish pigs here.
Then we have Valentine’s Day. Synonymous with… naked babies shooting arrows? strawberries and chocolate? lots and lots of hearts?
Okay, the heart thing is understandable. Cupid from… whatever. And strawberry and chocolate… check, check.
I guess Valentine’s Day doesn’t have any problems. I mean, you get free stuff from someone who loves you–like flowers and chocolate and cards and jewelry–and there are no bunnies laying eggs around your house or obese men using your toilet.
It’s pretty brilliant, actually.
In other words, did you know I love Neapolitan stuff? I do.
It reminds me of my sweet grandpa, who used to serve me neapolitan ice cream as a kid. The slice kind. Do they even make that stuff anymore? I want another slice of ice cream, please. Or two. Or four. Or, okay, eight and can you pass the whipped cream?
So keeping in the spirit of Valentine’s Day symbols and classics, I made some chocolate & strawberry stuff to appease the masses. Okay, okay, to appease me. And it worked!
Wanna know what’s going down in cupcake town?
For Brownie Layer:
1 box brownie mix
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
For Cupcake Layer:
1 box strawberry cake mix
2 Tbsp oil
1 & 1/3 cup water
3 egg whites
Marshmallow Buttercream (recipe & ingredients follow)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 paper liners. Set aside.
2. Place brownie ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until a soft batter forms, about 50 strokes. Set aside.
3. In another large bowl, beat together the strawberry cake mix, oil, water and egg whites until blended and combined, about 2 minutes.
4. Take a heaping Tablespoonful of brownie batter and put it in the bottom of each muffin cup, about 1/3 cup full. Bake for approx. 5-7 minutes, then top with a heaping Tablespoonful of strawberry cake batter and bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
2 sticks butter, softened
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow fluff or cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (32 oz) pkg powdered sugar
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy for about a minute. Stir in marshmallow fluff and vanilla and beat for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Frosting should be stiff yet spreadable. I used my whole bag of sugar, but you may use less.
2. Pipe frosting high onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with Valentine’s non-pareils or sprinkles, and a royal icing heart. Store airtight in fridge.
Have a wonderful Friday! TGIF!