Friday, March 16, 2012

Owl Cupcakes and Death Valley

It would be a gross understatement to say that my friends Cecilia and Michelle like owls -- they love owls. They sport owl t-shirts and owl jewelry. Cecilia even has owl measuring cups. I can't really blame them. Baby owls are pretty darn adorable. So when I saw these owl cupcake liners from Meri Meri I immediately knew what had to be done...

Two weeks ago, Cecilia, Michelle, and I were lucky enough to camp in and around Death Valley, CA for 5 days for a planetary geology field trip. The views were overwhelming. I felt so small in the vastness. Standing in front of millions-of-years-old features makes you feel like a blip in time.

Back to the owl-lovers... here's Cecilia at Badwater Basin:

and Michelle at the Kelso Dunes:

and the 3 of us around the campfire - thanks for the picture, James -
We got not 1, not 2, but 3 flat tires on the trip, which naturally led to this series of pictures with all of the Canadian graduate students:

...which naturally led to the creation of this tumblr. But I digress.... The point: Death Valley is awesome!

You know what else is awesome? Cupcakes. And owls on cupcakes are stinkin' cute. Make some for your owl-loving friends and hear them squeal with delight.

*Note to rich men looking for a wife who will make our future children cupcakes like this all of the time:
I'm available, and waiting.

Vanilla Cupcakes
Martha Stewart

yields 24 cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl, and beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, cinnamon and milk and beat for 2 minutes. Spread on anything.
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  1. Ok, first, I LOVE owls too! And I have the same liners! I LOVE the little owls on top! So cute!

  2. What great photos and such cute cupcakes. I also love owls...just blogged about one!! So glad I stumbled on your site. :)

  3. Aw.. these are absolutely adorable! Love it.

  4. I think I would just skip the owls.. :)))

  5. sounds you have great time with your friends.. I envy you.. because it's been pretty long time, I didn't hang out with my besties since we live in different town and they have family to taking care:) that cupcake liners was total cute.. so the owl stick too.. the forsting make me want to have it all!


  6. Those cupcakes are just adorable! I have a thing for owls too. Last summer I went on an "owl walk" at a local state park where we called owls and even had a few responds!

    The camping trip looked like so much fun! You guys did a great job of making the best out of the situation with the flat tires :)

  7. These cupcakes are too cute for words!!

    Awesome camping photos!

  8. amazing photography!

  9. Those owl decorations are too stinkin cute!! I've been on an owl kick recently, definitely going to be on the look out for them! Your pictures are gorgeous! Sounds like you had a nice trip. :)
    -Lacy @


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