Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Baking with Laura Schaefer (The Teashop Girls)

CA: I'm so excited! As you may know, Gus's (and my) favorite thing in the whole world is eating! We're thrilled that our guest today in Cynthia's Attic, is Laura Schaefer, author of The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster, Paula Wiseman Books-Dec. 2008). But first, a little bit about the book.

The Official Rules of the Teashop Girls:

1. Teashop girls are best friends forever.
2. Tea is held every week, no matter what.
3. All tea and scones must be split equally at all times.

Annie, Genna, and Zoe have been hanging out at the Steeping Leaf since elementary school. The Teashop Girls do everything together -- at least they used to. With the end of eighth grade approaching, Genna's too busy with theater, Zoe's always at tennis, and Annie feels totally left out. What happened to tea every week, no matter what?

When Annie convinces her grandmother to give her a job as a barista at the Leaf, things begin to look up. In between whipping up chai lattes for customers, and attempting to catch the attention of her Barista Boy crush, Annie is finally beginning to feel as grown-up as her best friends. But an eviction notice spells trouble for the Leaf and unless they can turn the business around, the teashop will have to close its doors forever.

Fresh, honest, and sweet, Laura Schaefer's debut novel is sure to resonate with readers everywhere

CA: Laura has graciously and deliciously posted her Apple Cupcake recipe! You'd better believe I made them and they're amazing! So, without further delay...heeeere's Laura (and her cupcakes)!

My apple cupcake adventure started out when I had a sweet tooth attack coupled with the realization that there was no baking powder in the house. As most bakers know, it's tough to make a cupcake without baking powder. But I did have baking soda, so it wasn't long before I was googling "cupcake+baking soda" and seeing what came up. Not much. Fortunately, I did locate an apple coffeecake recipe that looked delicious and didn't call for baking powder. I figured I'd modify it a bit and see what happened. I value taste before beauty anyway and I always have yummy granny smith apples in my fridge.

I got to work on the mixture and popped it in the oven. Alas, my cupcakes did, indeed, collapse. The 'cakes actually formed nice little concave bowls in which to place the cream cheese frosting. "Works for me!" I thought. The result was truly delicious, albeit best eaten over the sink. There is nothing better than tea and cupcakes. Yum.

Here is the recipe. I added baking powder to it, in the hopes that your efforts might turn out a little more rounded. Good luck!

Apple Cream Cheese Cupcakes

8 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large tart apple, cored and chopped
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners.
3. Cream 5 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar. Add egg and milk and beat well. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and apples. Batter will be stiff. Spoon into prepared cupcake pan. Bake about 25 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and remaining butter. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Frost the cupcakes after they've cooled. Makes 12.

"The Teashop Girl, Laura Schaefer"

CA: Yum, Laura! They look delicious, especially with those cream cheese bowls! Hope everyone enjoyed my guest today, but I gotta run! Off to bake more muffins (and to read Teashop Girls!)

The Teashop Girls - Amazon

The Teashop Girls - IndieBound

Laura Schaefer Website

Mary Cunningham

"Discover the Magic in Cynthia's Attic"


Darla Sue Dollman said...

I can't wait to try this recipe--they do look yummy!

Mary Cunningham said...

They are! I tried them over the weekend and loved them! The cream cheese really puts them "over the top."

Thanks for the comment, Darla.

Chris V. said...

Ooh yummy! I love tea also. And what a cute book cover!

Mary Cunningham said...

Great book cover, and I love tea, too! Gus is partial to the cupcakes, though. How about Sam?

Thanks for stopping by, Chris.