April 3, 2013 by Renee
Every now and then times are especially hard. Sometimes your husband’s boss is crazy-go-nuts and decides to fire him for no good reason. And right before your wedding when you could have really used the money. These things happen. What are you gonna do?
One solution we’ve come up with is using our creativity to make a bit of extra cash. It’s usually not much, but it has definitely paid for a nice dinner out, or in the case of my husband, helped to pay the rent.
But it’s more than just the money. We both have boring desk jobs right now, so our side projects also help give our busy minds a purpose. You can’t hold anything back if you want to survive in this world.
My pretend business is Treatsies Bakery. Mostly I make desserts for friends to take to parties, but occasionally I get invited to an event as a vendor. It’s on the DL, seeing as how I haven’t quite gotten all my paperwork in order. Someday I’d love to turn it into a for real job, but right now, I bake what I can when I can and try to get people to trade cupcakes for cash.
My husband does website design through his soon-to-launch company Griggabytes. He’s much more legit than I am. He designed my website, obviously, as well as a few local non-profits. He gets paid real money for his work. And for reasons I cannot quite comprehend, he really enjoys it.
I love how so many of my friends are making their lives a little richer by using their gifts to create something. And the internet is mindblowingly awesome for making that possible.
Check out my friend and former student, Westin at 7th and West. She makes and sells jewelry, and it’s so freakin’ cute. You wish you were wearing one of her pieces right now, don’t you?
I also have a long lost cousin on Kauai who makes these awesome fringe t-shirts through her project, Lily Love. She’s also a fantastic photographer. You should totally pay her to capture you looking beautiful.
Treatsies Bakery was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to peddle our wares at an event recently. I made chocolate almond mint cupcakes, banana cupcakes with honey cinnamon frosting, and caramel-stuffed apple cider cookies. I’ll give you the recipe for the chocolate mint. Don’t tell anyone how easy they are, though. 😉
My father has this annoying habit of telling me that I can do anything I set my mind to. Mostly I try not to listen to him, but I always find myself doing things I’m probably not qualified for. If courage is being scared but doing it anyway, then I’m super brave.
I hope you’re using your hidden talents to make a bit of extra cash. It’s tough out there. You gotta hustle.
Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
recipe from Olive Magazine
For the cake:
175 grams (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
100 grams (1/2 cup) chocolate chips
200 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
100 grams (2/3 cup) ground almonds (I can never seem to find these, so I buy slivered almonds and chuck them in my food processor to grind them)
275 grams (1 1/4 cup) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
150 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
- Preheat your oven to 350 and prep 24 cupcake papers. If you only have one pan, stash the batter in the fridge between batches. It’s not the end of the world.
- Boil some water, then measure out your chocolate into a bowl. Pour 120 ml (1/2 cup) of the boiling water over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smoothish. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- With your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla to your beaten eggs.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the egg mixture.
- Add the chocolate, and for all that is holy, use a rubber spatula to get as much of the chocolate out as possible. Don’t let any of it go to waste.
- Add the buttermilk and mix until combined. If you’ve been using a stand mixer, you can abandon it at this point. It’s elbow grease from now on.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda over your wet ingredients, then add the almonds.
- Fold the wet and dry ingredients together.
- Divide your batter between the 24 cups. I use my cookie scoop. Each one gets two generous scoops. Fill them about two thirds full.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they spring back when touched.
- Let them cool in the pan for about 2 minutes, then cool them completely on a wire rack if you have it. Or the counter is totally fine, too.
for the frosting:
200 grams (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
250 grams (2 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp peppermint extract
green food coloring, or not, whatever you like
- Beat the butter and powdered sugar together with your mixer on medium high for about five minutes. It should be light and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer down to low and add in the peppermint extract and food coloring for your desired effect.
- Marry your cake and frosting in whatever way you see fit. I used a Wilton 1m tip straight above the cupcake. Just squeeze it for about three seconds. Easy peasy.
*Original recipe is metric, so use your food scale if you’ve got it. Math’s not my thing.
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