Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chocolate Mint Frosting

Emma's turning two. Do you know what that means? It means, well it means a lot of things, like that she can climb onto the sink and turn the water on and get a "drink" ("shower"). It means she can open the fridge and that she can flush (but not use) the toilet. It means your toothbrush is not safe from her and that the knives and medicines must be kept way way way up high. It means she insists on kissing everyone in the family before going to bed and that even when she's being naughty she'll come to me and say, "Huggies," which really does make so many things right in the world. It means she can dance, and sing, and try to shoplift candy from the store and pitch a pretty good tantrum. It means she can imitate nearly everything her brother and sisters do or say (for better or for worse). And it means she looks wicked sweet in a couple of pigtails. 

But today, today what it means is that for another year or two I don't have to worry about her insisting on getting a 4-layer rainbow cake (not that I would mind if she did) or having pink everything (not that I would mind if she did) and that I can just whip up a simple wacky cake in a simple 9x13 inch pan and add whatever kind of icing sounds good to me today. For an after-bustle-of-Christmas birthday, that's kind of nice. I intend to enjoy it while I can.  

You'll find my wacky cake recipe here. You mix it in the pan. It contains no eggs, milk, or butter, and is therefore extremely cheap while also being allergy/vegan friendly if you're interested in that sort of thing. It is incredibly moist and simple and perfect in every way. Today I decided to take a walk on the wild side by frosting it with a chocolate mint frosting. Emma seemed to think that was a great idea. She was covered in chocolate before lunch and is now onto her 2nd shirt. How many do you think we'll go through before birthday number 2 is over? 

Chocolate Mint Frosting
Makes enough for one 9x13 or two 8 or 9-inch round cakes
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cost: $1.30
(butter: .25, cocoa: .25, milk: .07, sugar: .70., other: .03)

1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1/2 C cocoa
3/8 C (6 Tbsp) milk
4 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp mint extract

Heat butter, cocoa, and milk. If you want to feel sweet and old-fashioned-y, you can do this in a saucepan. It smells lovely and invokes images of early 20th century grandmothers. If you're onto the 2nd birthday of your 4th child and it's 16 days after Christmas, you can do this in a big microwave safe bowl in the microwave. You need to heat it until your butter is nearly melted and everything is warm. 

Now beat it all together until it looks like chocolate awesomeness. But don't taste it because unless you like things 100% dark, it won't taste good. Now try telling your kids that. Okay, add the powdered sugar and beat it until there are no lumps and it's creamy and beautiful. Now try keeping your kids and their spoons and their clean shirts out of it. 

Add the mint extract. Beat it in and you're done. Frost the cake when it's fairly cool. If it's in a 9x13 inch pan, it needn't be entirely cool, but it can't be hot either. 

Now go change your shirt. I think someone grabbed your arm. 

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