With a Cherry on Top
Chocolate-Cherry Almond Cupcakes
I am a messy cook.
It took me awhile to admit that, but the day The Husband refused to clean up after me because it would be considered “cruel and unusual punishment,” I knew I had a problem. It probably goes without saying then that if food ends up splattered all over the kitchen, it ends up all over me as well. That’s why I always tie on an apron before things get hot and heavy.
A few months ago, when a representative from Jessie Steele aprons contacted me about reviewing their products and possibly hosting a giveaway, I was immediately interested. I was already familiar with their products because their aprons are exactly my style – bright colors and patterns, feminine shapes, cute little details. Because really, who wants to cover up a cute outfit with something that looks like it came straight from the pages of Little House on the Prairie?
They sent me two aprons and a potholder to try out. Right off the bat, I was impressed when my aprons showed up at my door packaged in this nifty gift box.
Jessie Steele’s iconic Cherry Cupcake design is their most popular and recognizable pattern. My favorite was the Kitchen Cherry design. I loved the colors and the big red flower on the lapel.
My cutie-patootie mama and me. Don’t we look cute?
I had a few underlying criteria – personal preferences really – that the aprons needed to meet before I would give them my stamp of approval – fabric quality, coverage, length of the ties, and how easy is it to wash.
- Fabric quality – the fabric is thick and durable. Splattering grease or tomato sauce won’t seep through onto your clothes.
- Coverage – when I’m down in the trenches, I don’t fool with those cute little half aprons. I need something that is going to cover me from collarbone to kneecap. The bibs on both of these aprons are wide and the skirt wraps around your sides, so they give great coverage without making you look like you are wearing a potato sack.
- Length of the ties – this is totally a personal preference, but I like long straps so I can wrap them around my waist and tie them in the front. These straps aren’t quite long enough to do that, but it’s not a deal breaker.
- How easy it is to wash – because if you are really using this apron to cook in, it’s gonna get dirty. The flower on the Kitchen Cherry apron is easily removed. I was concerned about the colorful fabric bleeding, so I washed them on their own with a white T-shirt. The t-shirt came out clean.
And now for the good part – consider it an early Christmas gift. Jessie Steele aprons can be purchased here – or they have also generously agreed to send one lucky reader their choice of one of the two super cute aprons shown below. You can choose between “The Audrey” in the classic Cherry Cupcake print or “The Courtney” style in Kitchen Cherry.
This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone that partipated!!
How to enter: Leave a comment and tell me, if you won this apron would you keep it for yourself or would you give it as a gift? Once you answered the question, log into Rafflecopter below. You can either use your name and email or your Facebook account. Click the “Do It!” to let me know you have completed the task (and please, just to be fair, actually do the task). Leaving a comment is the only requirement, but if you would like more ways to win just complete a few of the other tasks listed.
Prize: (1) Jessie Steele Vintage Apron in either “The Audrey” style in Cherry Cupcake or “The Courtney” style in Kitchen Cherry.
Open to: U.S. Residents Only
Giveaway period: Starts at 12:01 am on Monday, November 26, 2012 and continues until 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 2. All times are Eastern.
Finally, so I’m not leaving you high and dry without a recipe, I made decadent chocolate cherry cupcakes just like the ones featured on Jessie Steele’s Cherry Cupcakes apron. How fun would it be to make these cupcakes wearing your new Jessie Steel Apron? These little guys (or gals since they are pink) were very easy to make and I had fun working with the bright pink cherry-flavored frosting. They would make a great addition to a holiday party.
Disclaimer time: I was sent the above mentioned products by Jessie Steele to try out in exchange for a review. The opinions given here are my own. I don’t promote a product I wouldn’t use myself.
Chocolate-Cherry Almond Cupcakes
- ½ cup butter
- 4 egg whites
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup maraschino cherry juice
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 12 maraschino cherries, optional
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice or milk
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 24 maraschino cherries
- Allow butter and egg whites to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. In the meantime, either line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. In a smaller, separate bowl, combine buttermilk and cherry juice.
- Beat butter using an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until well-combined.
- Mix in egg whites, ones at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add one-third of the flour, mix well. Add half of the buttermilk mixture. Mix well. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture, mixing well after each addition.
- Fill each muffin cup ⅔ full.
- Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cook in muffin pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before icing.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Slowly add one cup of powdered sugar.
- Beat in cherry juice and almond extract.
- Gradually add remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
- If needed, add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
- Ice each cupcake, Top with a maraschino cherry.