About a week ago, Jay asked me if I’d mind baking some treats for him to take to work. I didn’t/don’t fully recall what the reasoning behind it was, but I think his manager is trying to make things a little more festive around the workplace for the holidays. Baked goods are my thing, so I told him I’d bake up a batch of cupcakes. Winter is officially here in full force now, although when I decided on the recipe I’d use, it was still balmy (for December in South Dakota) and I was still hoping for a winter like last year.
That was Christmas Day, 2011. Gods that was a perfect day. We awoke to this today:
Ugh! If I somehow knew that this was all the snow we’d get and it was maybe February or early March, I could live with it. However, I fear this may just be the beginning, and I will soon begin my descent into winter-fueled claustrophobia and depression. And before people like my sister start spouting off about “Well, you chose to move to South Dakota!” or whatever, until you personally deal with the crushing weight of depression or the panic attacks at feeling trapped for what seems like forever in the winter, don’t bother talking to me. You can’t understand. And as I remind Jay every year, it’s not something that can just be turned on or off. I can’t just decide to be happy and Poof! I’m happy! No, it doesn’t work that way.
What I can do to somewhat quell the rising panic I feel and combat the depression is busy myself in the kitchen. I could also exercise, but let’s be honest, I’m probably not going to bother with that. Although, we have a borrowed space heater from one of Jay’s coworkers, so I may get that out tomorrow morning and do yoga. It’ll help.
But so does baking. And I originally decided I’d make Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. Then I took a look at my pantry. I had less powdered sugar than I thought I did, and I had also decided to make Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting for another project. That would eat up the remaining powdered sugar, so I started looking for Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipes that might pair well with gingerbread. My first thought was a Maple SMB, but all the recipes I found used maple extract, which I do not have (and I’m sure as eff not going anywhere today to get some!). So then I thought I’d just use the recipe I usually use for SMB, but use brown sugar instead of white.