Our ability to accessorize is what separates us from the animals…

That joyous time of year again. The time of year where everyone declares what they are going to do in the New Year better than they did the year (or years before). For some it is motivation, but to me the changing of the year only means one thing…I will write the date wrong on everything for a month. :P
I thought about doing a Best of 2010 like a lot of bloggers do, but quite honestly, I am all about looking forward to the future rather than looking back into the past. Certainly we can learn a lot by looking at our past, but dwelling on it can be a bad idea. Reading many of my friends resolutions so many of them are ridiculous ones like “get back to the size I was in high school”. First off that does me no good, as I was no petite flower back then either.  And second it also doesn’t help you be happy with the current you. And if you aren’t happy no one around you is either. So forget about squeezing into your old jeans and just buy more handbags and necklaces. Accessories will fit you no matter what your size (rings sometimes don’t qualify, but with the right amount of lotion you can make it fit).
Me, I’m not dwelling on anything. I’m not making a list of all the things I am going to do in 2011. I will tell you the things I’m NOT going to do (or at least that’s the plan).
1. Pose naked. I’m sure you can rest easier knowing that (sorry F)
2. Watch the Jersey Shore.
3. Go cow tipping.
4. Call up the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles to praise the team for giving a second chance to Michael Vick.
5. Explore the world of glitter eye shadow.
6. Be drafted by the NHL.
7. Tell people how many calories something is while they are eating it.
8. Become a famous athlete and send photos of my private parts to people….I will only do that when I am not a famous athlete. ;)
9. Give up eating ice cream just because I am allergic to dairy…that’s what the pills are for right?
10. Be featured on the People of Wal-Mart website.
What about you? What will you NOT be doing in 2011?

So in honor of just buying more accessories, I accessorized my cupcakes a little. I originally just wanted a vanilla malted cupcake (mini of course so you can eat more of them). But they seemed so plain for a New Year’s treat. I have been obsessed with malted milk powder as of late. It’s hard to find so when I do, I stock up on it. Mine is made by Carnation (hey Carnation, want to send me free Malted Milk Powder…please do!). I love the flavor it gives. But then again I think Whoppers should be its own food group. I even added it to my sugar cookies this year for Christmas.
The stained glass candy is something from my pastry school days. But it’s not that hard, you just have to catch the sugar before it turns a caramel color. Helen over at Tartlette did some really pretty stained glass caramel awhile back and you can see hers, here.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. I am staying in. Me and the pup. Probably some bubbly I have been saving and some cheesy John Hughes movies. Have to be up on New Year’s Day to watch the Winter Classic. :)
Cheers my friends and see you in the year 2011!

Malted Vanilla Bean Mini Cupcakes with Stained Glass Candy

Malted Vanilla Bean Mini Cupcakes:
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup malted milk powder (Carnation makes this…if you can’t find you can use Ovaltine but that will give it a chocolate flavor that the regular malted milk does not)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar (preferably superfine)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
2 vanilla beans, beans scraped and pods discarded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two 24 cup mini muffin tins with cupcake papers or spray with baking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the flours and malt powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
Add the sugar and gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl whisk together the vanilla beans and milk.
Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the vanilla bean milk. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in tins for 10 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Malted Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup malted milk powder
2 vanilla beans, beans scraped and pods discarded

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and malted milk powder.
Then the milk and vanilla beans.
On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.
You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Cupcake recipe adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes From New York’s Sweetest Bakery by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey
Stained Glass Caramel
1 cup granulate sugar
2 1/2 TBSP water
Various food colorings
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop a few drops of food coloring onto the paper. Do not touch them, swirl them or move them.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water, do not stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel reaches the soft crack stage or 140C – 285F on a candy thermometer (do not let it turn color). Immediately pour over the parchment paper with the food coloring.
Take the baking sheet with your hands and move it left to right, right to left to move and swirl the colors. Let set until completely cooled. Break pieces of your desired size to decorate the cakes with.
Candy recipe from Tartlette.com


  1. Happy New Year, Peabody.

    We are staying in with the pup, and I’ve bought 5 new jigsaw puzzles that are labeled “extremely difficult”. Of course there will be dessert.


  2. I feel the same about resolutions. But I will not in 2011 be taking up
    the baton and marching to brass band music. And you can’t make me.

    I will go to work today, as soon as I get out of these pj’s, and then come home and snuggle up with some booze and my husband on the sofa, and see in the new year. Cheers!
    All good wishes to you for 2011. (I am sad you won’t be exploring the world of glitter eye shadow. I am sure you would be tres bons!)

  3. i love the stained glass candy! Yum.

    Wishing you, your pup, your bubbly, and your John Hughes movies a HAPPY NEW YEAR. :) I am so sad that I will miss the winter classic. Hockey Rulz.

  4. Hahaha, I remember F.
    He will be totally dissapointed when he reads the No.1 Not-to-do.

  5. Indeed! ;-P

    Those cupcakes are so tempting!

    happy New Year!



  6. Happy New Year ♥
    Moltissimi Auguri
    per uno splendido 2011

  7. wishing you all the best in 2011!
    joy, peace, good health, magical moments!

    great recipe & post!

  8. This post had me cracking up! Happy 2011, Peabody.

  9. It has been a pleasure following you on your baking journey Peabody. I look forward to all that 2011 promises.

  10. I love your list of NOT resolutions. they are way more fun. And practical. I mean, you might have been enticed to pose naked. Somehow. but now you’ve resolved not to do it! So you’re safe.

    Love the sound of these minis! I haven’t experimented much with malted milk powder yet though I want to. I really truly want to. CARNATION are you listening?!?!?

  11. These are gorgeous! And I’d like to say “ditto” to your resolutions. I think you covered all the bases pretty well so I don’t feel the need to chime in. Have a great 2011!

  12. I love your list of 2011 and what you are not going to do…count me in on #4….I’m with you on that!!!! Have a great new year…

  13. I’m sure you already know, but just in case, as a fellow hockey fan I thought I’d let you know the time for the Classic has been moved. I am a die-hard Caps fan and will have a hard time waiting an extra 7 hours. Oh well. Hope you enjoy it!

  14. Malted Vanilla Bean Mini Cupcakes Vanilla Malted Cupcakes – be still my heart. I think you know how to accessorize perfectly!
    It would be funny to see you wearing glitter eyeshadow, eating yogurt, watching the Jersey Shore (but flicking every now and again to the cow tipping competition), as a commercial comes up featuring you on the People of Wal-Mart website, and the phone is ringing and it is good news – you have just been drafted by the NHL!!!!

    I am not touching #1, #4, or #8!
    And I know you would never do #7 to us.

    I used to make resolution and then I figured I will just do what I can do, and the rest can wait until next year.

  15. oh i so agree w/ you about the whole new year’s “thing”. as i said to someone earlier today it only matters if you are a race horse or an account whose year ends at the end of dec. (&not all fiscal years do) otherwise it just means i’m going to write the year incorrectly for the next couple of weeks…..

  16. Happy New Year, Peabody! Love the non-resolutions.

    Gorgeous cupcakes :)

  17. Beautiful! Also, I like your take on resolutions.

    I have an ice cream related non-resolution, too! I won’t stop eating it… No matter what size I get ;)

  18. These are beautifully dressed cupcakes, indeed! I must say, I think that the abundant flecks of vanilla bean may be more fetching than the toppers, even.

    Happy holidays Peabody, and best wishes for the New Year!

  19. Best way ever to start out the new year!

    I resolve to not buy any more cookbooks……Naw, just kidding. I hope that didn’t make you snort tea out of your nose. ;-)

    Happy New Year!

  20. Seriously, no cow tipping? What fun is that :P I love these little cupcakes, when I first saw them the pieces of candy made me think of shark fins sticking up out of the water!

  21. I resolve not to ask anyone how they’re doing unless I really want to know. And to not eat so much I don’t have room for dessert. I like your accessorize idea!

  22. HAHA this was hilarious. Happy New Year :)

  23. hi! 2 things:

    1. breyer’s (i think) makes a lactose-free ice cream, which is heavnely to eat without pills first! but it’s only in vanilla (for now…)

    2. i, too, am obsessed with malted milk. this is my favoritest sundae ever: the dusty road. top chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup. top the syrup with malt powder. DELICIOUS!!

  24. Happy New Year Peabody! I hope it’s a great year for you!

  25. These look fantastic! I love the little specks of vanilla bean in the frosting :)

  26. Thanks Mary, though I am allergic to dairy, not lactose intolerant, so those ice creams don’t relaly help me.

  27. I’m laughing so hard on some of your resolutions, Pea – you are the best, girl. ;)
    These cupcakes are so adorable – I love the vanilla seeds popping out in the icing, beautiful!

  28. Loved your list. I can add my name to all of those as well. Happy 2011!

  29. 7. Tell people how many calories something is while they are eating it.

    THANK YOU!!!


  30. KUDOS on number 4 on your list! I couldn’t agree more! I clicked on your blog to check out your adorable cupcakes and found myself laughing out loud while reading your “don’t” list!

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