Personal snow day.

In case you didn’t hear, it snowed in Seattle this week.  Facebook was filled with #snowpocalypse and #snowmageddeon.  Everyone complained of being “snowed in” and not having power.

I loved this video, it’s a perfect depiction of how Seattle responds in the snow:

I ventured out into the snow each day  of the “storm.”  I work at a hospital in a department with a direct impact on patient care, thus, we must be present.  Since I’m the manager, I can’t tell my employees they are required to be at work while I stay home.  Nope, I played taxi to some employees and was at work by 6 AM every day during the “storm.”  I really would have enjoyed having a few days to do projects around the house, but I didn’t.

Luckily, ski lessons this weekend were cancelled, so I used my day off as an opportunity to create some baked crafts.  I’ve seen cupcakes in a jar on blogs, and a local business sells mini pies in a jar, and since I’m basically obsessed with mason jars, I decided to try to make these things on my own.

First up, cupcakes in a jar:

Mayonnaise Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This recipe is very special to me.  My late grandmother used to make it, and even in later stages of dementia, she knew the recipe by heart. It comes from the days of food rations, mayonnaise replaces the eggs and oil in this recipe.  I promise, you can’t taste it.

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/3-1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder (I used ~1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods is the best!!)
  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I used my mixer to combine the ingredients and poured the batter into 12 muffin tins (they were pretty full and made giant cupcakes).   Bake at 350 for ~20 minutes (or until you lightly press the top of the cake and it bounces back, my preferred method of checking cake doneness)

My Mom’s Frosting Recipe:

(I doubled this recipe and got 9 jars worth of cupcakes and had enough frosting to generously frost the remaining 3 cupcakes)

  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSP-1/4 c milk (don’t add too much, you want THICK frosting!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix the ingredients well with your mixer.  My mom always checks for “doneness” by using a spoon to see if it “plops”.  It shouldn’t be runny.

Cool the cupcakes completely before putting in the jar.  Break in half, stick the bottom portion in the bottom of a 1/2 pint mason jar.  Add a layer of frosting  (use a cake decorating tip if you have one) and then break up the top of the cupcake, and add another layer of frosting.

Give the jars away, and keep the 3 remaining cupcakes for yourself and your spouse to allow for moderation.  That’s my RD advice.

I also made mini apple pies in jars.  Although tedious, they turned out very cute.

I used this recipe for the crust: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/butter-flaky-pie-crust/detail.aspx

(I have issues with shortening so I looked specifically for a recipe with butter only.  It takes a little extra time because you have to refrigerate it for a while, so be prepared).

And this recipe for the pie: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/apple-pie-by-grandma-ople/detail.aspx

I doubled the pie crust recipe and probably could have halved the apple pie recipe.  I had lots of leftover apples and topping.  I highly recommend the recipe, it rocked!

I used 4 oz mason jars.   I rolled the dough out to be pretty thin because when you put it in the jar it gets a little crowded.  I used a ~6-7″ Pyrex bowl as my “cookie cutter” and sort of jammed the dough in there.   I made it so there’s a little edge hanging off for my “lattice” to adhere to and then cut off all of the excess with a knife.  I used a fork to press all of the edges together to look more like a real pie.  However, the recipe requires you to pour a sauce over the top of the pie, so the edges are hidden by gooey-caramel-goodness.

These actually come out of the jars quite nicely,  Just run a knife around the edge and turn it over onto a plate.

You could use any pie or cupcake or frosting recipes for either of these, I am excited just thinking about the possibilities!  The local pie place sells these for $5 each.  I’m sure they’re delicious, but mine cost way less.  The jars were about $0.75-$0.90 each and the ingredients were also relatively inexpensive.

I need more of these days to do crafts!

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