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20200508-law-mccormick

Janet McCormick/The Lawrence Herald

Carrot Cake Cupcakes are a sweet treat that taste as good as they look.

I’ve spent a few days looking back. That’s what you do when the present and the future fail to promise a view worth seeing.

There is so much present uncertainty, but right now I am clinging to hope and thankfulness. I am very thankful for the time I set aside — despite not really having the time or money necessary — to take a little getaway. It was right after Christmas — a weird time for me business-wise, but perfect for a small vacation.

We took a trip to St. Augustine, Florida — a spot that has my name written all over it. It’s basically a giant walking tour filled with views of a calm serene ocean on one side and the most picturesque historic homes straight out of a movie — miles of them spaced throughout town squares that also include charming shops and restaurants, fountains, park benches, cast iron fences, old trees dripping with Spanish moss, and flowers — the flowers!

Very close by, there was a fort in which Joe spoke of this magical coin he placed in the rocks used to encase the entire structure when he was a child. We spent hours looking for it while video taping the adventure for his brothers back home. The weather was perfect and afterwards, we stumbled into a cute little eatery, tired and hungry ready to end our day with a cool drink and favorable meal. The pictures we took were something to behold, simple, full of smiles and sunshine.

We ended that trip on New Year’s Eve with the most spectacular experience under a starry sky at Disney World. I, for one, am not the kind of girl who enjoys huge crowds, especially on New Year’s Eve. But this was well worth pushing the envelope, venturing out of my comfort zone, and staying up over 24 hours to enjoy. The light show, the music, the agreeing glances of my man, the coffee slurping to stay up and the overall spirit of celebration was a memory worth remembering.

We had an early flight to catch, so we opted to stay up, get ourselves packed and head back to the airport. Even the early morning convenience stores proved to be noteworthy. It’s always a little sad when we have to leave our adventures and return home to the reality of work and colder weather. While mulling in that sentiment in the aisles of the store, I spotted the cutest little cupcakes that ended our travels with a shiny little sweet exclamation point.

It’s no surprise I knew I’d be making carrot cake cupcakes back home as they were as delicious and unique as they looked. Having loads of time on my hands, here they are, in all their monumental and memory infested glory. You can’t be sad when you’re eating cupcakes. They’re too beautiful to eat …. said no one ever!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

1 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups grated carrots

2/3 cup oil

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 jar of caramel topping

4 ounces cream cheese

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven 350 degrees. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the carrots and the oil. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mix well and add in the beaten egg and stir. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill each liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake 13 minutes and check for the golden brown look and springy top. Add a few minutes if they’re not finished. Allow to cool and frost.

Blend in a food processor the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar. Top each cooled cupcake with frosting. Drizzle with caramel and chopped pecans.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.

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