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White Chocolate Honey Chamomile Cupcakes

  Macklemore, cupcakes, s'mores bars, How I Met Your Mother, piano, and friends.  That's the past two weeks, in a nutshell.  Between those events are attacks of senioritis, and when they happened I would literally watch 5 episodes of HIMYM in a row.  I don't know how I find that show soothing, but somehow it helped.  Please don't ask how many seasons I watched, I've already grounded myself from it for the time being.

  There have also been frequent bouts of shopping.  I went to Anthropologie for the first time ever a week ago, and oh my lands....dem dishes.  I died.  50 times.  Let me introduce the newest member, a little salt cellar with a matching spoon.  Worth every penny.

  I have been rather occupied, and I've also been trying to be better about the amount of sweets I thrust upon the poor members of my household.  It's sort of been working...

  Anyway, that's why I have another Sundays with Joy post for you.  This time round we're doing Joy's chamomile cakes with honey frosting.  Nooooms!

  Ohh, how to describe these?  It's pretty much like everything that's good about teatime in your mouth all at once.  I'll admit, I was a little skeptical about chamomile-ing a perfectly innocent little cupcake.  And then, after reading Hummingbird High's post, I decided to go a slightly different route than stated within Joy's recipe.

  Apparently, infusing the milk with chamomile rather than just dumping it into the cake batter dry will result in a fluffier, less grainy cupcake.  I can't say this is entirely true, since I haven't actually tried Joy's non-infused-milk method, but I can say that my cupcake was indeed fluffy and lovely.  And I also know that the other members of Sundays with Joy made theirs with equal success, and there were no complaints of graininess.

  That being said, I'm very happy with the way these turned out.  Chamomile-infused, a bit of crunch on the outside edges (I love me a cupcake with some texture), a sweet honey glaze, and all sorts of loveliness.  Make these, love them, and share them with your lady friends!

  Also, today is Sundays with Joy's first anniversary!  I'm so happy to be with this group, and a year really flew by.  We've grown from 25-150 members, and are halfway through Joy's book of 100 recipes.  It's a great place to be if you're a Joy the Baker fan, join in while there's still recipes to make!

  Please note that you'll have to infuse the milk with the chamomile a day in advance, but it's totally worth it. 

White Chocolate Honey Chamomile Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers (from tea bags)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

Ingredients for the frosting:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon  honey
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • White chocolate chips or shavings, for garnish

Put the 1/2 cup buttermilk and 3 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers in a liquid measuring cup and stir to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.  

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with liners.  Pour the buttermilk mixture through a fine mesh sieve strainer set over a bowl and use a rubber spatula to squeeze out every drop of buttermilk from the chamomile.  Discard the chamomile left in the strainer.    

Place the flour, sugar baking powder, salt, and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on low speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the chamomile-infused buttermilk.  Beat until well blended.  Add the egg and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling each half full (There isn't much batter to go round, and I discovered after trying 2/3 full that it really likes to rise.  Don't be me.).  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, whisk together the powdered sugar, honey, cream, and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk until smooth.  Use a butter knife or an offset spatula to generously spread the frosting/glaze atop each cooled cupcake.  Garnish with white chocolate immediately after frosting, before the glaze gets too hard.  Cakes will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Sources: adapted from Hummingbird High and Joy the Baker's Cookbook and blog post