Winter Blues Remedy

When my mom isn't cooking, blogging, cleaning, or working, I’m certain she is a superhero. 
This was something I was always suspicious of when I was younger, but never entirely sure of- until now.
Nothing. I mean, NOTHING can stop her. She’s invincible. Yup, she’s a super mom. :)

I say this because Mom came down with an awful cold this week. She’s been fighting with the sniffles and the sneezes…and yet she hasn't missed a beat. Although, I don’t think I really need to explain all this to you. I’m sure you can tell just by trying to keep up with all the good food that’s been posted here daily.

But by my orders, today I’m taking over the blog…and the kitchen. So, as I take the next few days to play ‘mommy’, Lady Gourmet is all wrapped up with a warm cup of tea and one of these sweet, sticky carrot cupcakes I baked up for her.

Carrot Cupcakes
(Adapted from Reader's Digest - Creative Cooking)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

For carrot cupcakes you will need:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 eggs
1½ cups finely grated or shredded carrots
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
2½ cups AP flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup warm water

For Cream Cheese Frosting you will need:

1 8oz. package of cream cheese
1½ cups confectioner’s sugar
Juice of half an orange
Dried craisins for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins. Grate carrots into a medium side bowl with a paper towel, to soak up some of the excess water. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next beat in cinnamon, nutmeg sugar, and grated orange zest. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then gradually stir in the carrots and nuts.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the carrot mixture with the warm water. Fold in the flour just until it is well moistened.

Pour the batter into the cupcake tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean.

A few minutes after removing from the oven, loosen the cupcakes from the sides and turn out on a rack to cool.

Combine cream cheese, sugar and orange zest for frosting and generously spread over each cupcake once cupcakes have completely cooled. If desired, add a few dried craisin on top. (I have an apparent obsession with craisins, but they go really well with these cupcakes)!