Pancakes in the morning. Ice Cream every other Sunday from Dairy Queen. Animal humane society visits. After school reading. Nature walks. Kite flying. Watching scary movies together. Poking fun at Grandma. Doing math homework. Making sandwiches. Watching America’s Most Wanted. Cooking fried chicken. Going to the State Fair.
Those are some of my favorite memories with my Dad.
He was special. No, actually he was more than that… He was extraordinary.
One of my favorite pictures, my Dad and I at the Minnesota State Fair
My Dad had bright blue eyes, a big smile, and a voice that could fill any room.
He was the type of person who loved getting up early in the morning, just so he could enjoy the day longer. The type of person who knew to enjoy the sunlight and appreciate every hour, every moment.
In my eyes, he could do anything. He could fix my brakes, paint my room, bake the best yellow cake, give advice on life, and even make me laugh in my worst moments.
Four years ago on August 29th, 2007, I lost my Dad. A day that I never knew was coming until I got a phone call. I’ll never forget it.
But, I’ll also never forget how much he influenced me and made me the person I am today. How much he is still present in my life.
I think of him often and miss him. I wish he could have seen me graduate college, begin my career, and even this blog. I know he would have been proud.
And so I bake. I bake for the memories. I bake for joy. I bake to soothe my soul.
I bake for you Dad.
Dad always loved a classic yellow cake with chocolate.
Bake these. Say I love you with them. Say Happy Birthday with them. Say thank you with them.
They’re extraordinary cupcakes, for something or someone extraordinary.
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup whole or 2% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of fresh coffee
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. You can also double the recipe to make a 9 x 13 pan cake or 24 cupcakes.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Put aside for later.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
- Next add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until smooth. Pour batter into cupcake liners, do not fill more than halfway. You may have extra mix left over.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 23-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out nearly all the way clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Makes about 12 cupcakes.
- For the ganache: put the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and coffee in a microwavable bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time until melted. Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache.