My mom keeps a picture of Noelle and me during those first few moments of her life. I sit in a white rocking chair, and Noelle rests quietly in my arms. I’m captivated by her tiny presence. My face is obscured from the camera, my eyes locked on her perfect button nose and on those wide brown eyes. From that moment forth, Noelle infused my days with laughter, adventure and companionship. She is a part of who I am…a part that I adore.
Noelle and I loved to dance and sing together.
I made her star in many of my self-directed plays.
We jumped around on our living room furniture, squealing in delight as one of us bounded over the coffee table and made it safely to the love seat.
We pulled off sheets and comforters from our bedroom and constructed tents for secret rendezvous.
We sucked on popsicle after popsicle as we spent afternoons splashing in the bath.
Almost every good memory of my childhood has her standing/running/cuddling/laughing by my side. In a few days, Noelle turns 20. And although we’re no longer little girls, we’re still the best of friends.
After experimenting with a few different recipes, I found one worth sharing. This cupcake is like the delicate and graceful cousin of banana bread. It still has that quintessential banana flavor, but more subtle, soft.
I kept the recipe simple by drizzling a powdered sugar glaze on top of each cooled cupcakes. But a cinnamon buttercream would make these treats even more special and decadent.
My little sister is coming to stay with me for her birthday weekend. She is even more special to me than on that first day I held her in my arms. We cried together (most often on our bedroom floors), we laugh together (most recently while watching Meerkat Manor), we walk together (up Colorado mountains, through busy Austin streets), and we love each other, unconditionally, always.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP cream or whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line one muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar. Beat with until combined. Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time. Incorporate the dry mixture and wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined. Add the bananas and walnuts, being careful not to over mix. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 way full. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops turn golden-brown and when a toothpick, inserted in the middle of the cupcake, comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and let cool.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over cooled cupcakes.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores