January 6, 2008

Aunt Ruthie's Black-Bottom Cupcakes

My grandmother's sisters had biblical names- Esther, Miriam, Ruth, Naomi -- you get the idea. Did you ever have one older relative who was the most fun of them all? My Aunt Ruthie was my favorite. In the late 1970's, she got me hooked on General Hospital. She took me to the swimming pool games on July 4th when none of the other grown-ups would. She could bake like nobody's business.

Aunt Ruthie's Black-Bottom Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt (scant 1/2 t)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.

Add oil, water, vanilla and vinegar. Fill small muffin cups (you can use small paper cup liners) 1/3 full with chocolate mixture.

Mix the following topping:

1 Eight ounce cream cheese
1 unbeaten egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 Six ounce portion chocolate chips (regular or mini)

Doubling the cream cheese topping mixture is a good idea. I doubled it on the advice of my mother, and it was necessary to have enough. Cream the cream cheese, egg and sugar together. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon over chocolate mixture by heaping teaspoons. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (just very slightly brown on top).

If you're in the mood for something rich and chocolatey, this is the perfect sweet. They're like mini cheesecakes. They freeze well and defrost in minutes, so you can make them ahead of time.

If there are recipes in your family that haven't been written down, take a few minutes to talk to the old folks. Ask them what their parents and grandparents cooked. You might be surprised at how much they remember, and learn some new old family favorites...and the eggs.


Psychgrad said...

Looks like a good recipe! I'll have to add it to my "to try" list.

JB said...

I loved those cupcakes and what a great picture of Aunt Ruthie. Wasn't it great to live so close to her for a while? I have great memories of that time. Thanks for this beautiful post!!

Anonymous said...

They look perfect!
love and hugs,

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Those look absolutely delicious.

Arties32 said...

Thank you guys :)
It's a great recipe, very delicious. They're mini, so you can eat more of them!! :)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Oh dear, those look lovely! Your auntie sounds great! I wish more of mine were still alive so I could ask them stuff.

Arties32 said...

Thank you, Jenn. Aunt Ruthie died many years ago, but my mother has copies of many of her recipes. I have been contacting other relatives lately asking for family recipies. It's not always easy to get answers, but I keep trying. It would be easier to see them in person- but we are all far away from one another.

JB said...

sissy - do you remember the the beef dish that Grandmother Louise made? She rolled up thin pieces of beef and stuffed it with something. I would love to find that recepe.

Arties32 said...

She called it beef birds or something. I am sure mom or dad will remember. It was a russian dish I think, it was great. Good memory!!!

Bridget said...

Oh, those look so yummy! I have one of those fun aunts, too! I hope my nephew thinks of me as one someday! :)

Arties32 said...

Thank you, Bridget. They really are yummy. I froze a bunch of them so that we make them last a long time, and they aren't bad frozen either :)

Sheryl said...

Those look great! and an adorable picture of Nana Ruth. I can't say i remember these particular delights, but i'd love to make them. maybe after her amazing brisket :) mm.

-cousin sheryl.