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I like to shoot guns. Being a girl who lives in Wisconsin, that’s really not too unusual. In fact, I was a Deputy Game Warden for the Wisconsin DNR for a few years and I loved it! That’s right, at one point I was sarcastic AND I got to carry a gun for my job.

Catch any fish today?

Occasionally I would work with another female warden. She was in her 50s, short, stout, had a men’s haircut and pretty brash. Some hunters actually thought she was a man. She was old school and she was awesome. One day we were on the lake checking fishing licenses and bag limits when we noticed a boat with a few people in it trying to flag us down. They stopped about ten yards from us and one of the passengers yelled across the water, “Hey, there is a big log floating in the water by the entrance to the channel over there! We thought you should know so it can be moved so no one hits it with their boat prop.” Of course being a public figure, the proper response to this statement should have been, “Thanks for letting us know. We’ll take care of it.” But instead she shouted at the top of her lungs,

“I AIN’T NO FUCKIN’ LUMBERJACK!”

And then we promptly drove away.

Good times man. Good times.

We were invited to a trap shooting party and I thought cupcakes with camo liners and chocolate clay pigeons on top would be appropriate. These were super moist vanilla cupcakes with a rich chocolate buttercream. It’s my favorite cake/frosting combo, so enjoy!

Ready to shoot some clays!

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
Adapted from Tidy Mom
Yield: 24 cupcakes

     For Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (6 oz), softened

    For Chocolate Frosting

  • Dark Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For Clay Pigeons

  • 1/3 cup orange candy melts (or white candy melts with orange candy coloring)
  • Bon bon or other small circular candy mold

Instructions

For Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and line cupcake tins with paper liners
  • Using a small bowl, combine milk, cream, eggs whites and almond extract and vanilla with a fork and set aside.
  • Using paddle attachment on electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed. Add butter and continue beating at slow speed until mixture looks like wet sand.
  • Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Add remaining milk mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Do not over mix.
  • Divide batter evenly between cupcake wells and gently shake to smooth batter. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

            For Chocolate Frosting:

  • Combine the cocoa and boiling water, stirring until the cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt until pale and fluffy.
  • Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
  • If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.

            For Clay Pigeons:

  • Melt orange candy melts (or white melts with orange candy coloring – make sure it’s candy coloring, not icing coloring, or the chocolate will seize!). Fill circular chocolate mold half way full and place in fridge to set.
  • Tap candy mold on table to release clay pigeons and place on top of cupcakes. You can break a few of them and place on top of cupcakes in pieces so it looks like you shot a few!

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