Happy Easter!

Hope the bunny was good to you! I'm actually celebrating Easter next weekend because I'm working at the bakery today. My family -- minus a couple siblings -- is going to trek up to Boston next weekend for Easter lunch/dinner with my boyfriend and me. (By the way, my boyfriend's name is Jeff, and I'm going to start referring to him by name instead of saying my boyfriend, my boyfriend, my boyfriend. It starts to sound annoying, doesn't it?)

I'm very excited because I haven't seen my family in a while (my dad hasn't even seen where I live, and I moved in with Jeff almost a year ago now!), and it will be my first time hosting the holiday. I have a great Easter menu planned (and maybe some special birthday treats for my mom and sister), but you'll have to wait to hear about it. In the meantime, what are you having today? Are you doing a brunch or a dinner or both? Most important, what are you having for dessert?

I made these cupcakes this past Wednesday.

While I'm getting my Easter fill at the bakery between our colorful cupcakes and Oreos, meringue Peeps, hot cross buns, and carrot cake cupcakes, I still needed to make something festive at home, mainly because I ordered the most adorable sugar bunnies, chicks, and carrots from King Arthur Flour, and I was dying to use them.

I thought about making carrot cake cupcakes, but there's no chance Jeff would eat them and I knew wasn't going into the office during the week (where I usually bring my baked creations), so I'd either eat way too many cupcakes myself or too many of them would go to waste. So that wasn't the best idea.

While I was tossing around other ideas, the copy of Ad Hoc at Home that I'd ordered arrived in the mail. (Short tangent: This book is gorgeous, hilarious, and full of amazing recipes. You must get it!) When I saw a recipe for white cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting in the dessert section, my decision was made.

I found this cupcake recipe very interesting because you make a normal batter, but then you whip egg whites and sugar until you have a meringue, and then you fold that into the batter. I've folded beaten egg whites into a batter before but not with sugar too -- at least not that I can remember.

It made for some very light, airy cupcakes.

Where I got creative and festive was with the frosting. I decided to divide it up and make different pastel-colored frostings.

Jeff loved this frosting, and that is saying a lot because he finds most buttercreams way too sweet and never enjoys the frosting, whether on my cupcakes or cupcakes we've gotten at various bakeries. I have a feeling I'll be using this frosting from now on. (He has more than hinted at wanting me to make it again.) I agree that it's very good, maybe because it's lighter and there's no confectioners' sugar in it to give it such a cloyingly sweet taste or dense texture. The only drawback is that it's a bit involved because you have to whisk egg whites and sugar in your mixing bowl on the stove over a pot of simmering water first. Then you return your bowl to your stand mixer and add in chunks of butter and vanilla paste (or extract -- I used paste because I had it).

My only warning on this is to not rush it like I did. Definitely rub a little of the whisked egg white and sugar mixture between your fingers before taking it off the heat. The sugar might look like it is dissolved, but that may not be the case. My frosting was a little gritty, but it was just sugar grit, so it's not like that was a bad thing.

Happy Easter!