The Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing

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As I sit writing this curled up on my couch, under my favorite blanket and wearing my fuzzy slippers, I can hardly contain my giddiness.  It is officially east coast fall weather in California and that just makes me beyond happy.

I made the move out west 7 years ago and I still find myself getting home sick for those cool, crisp, east coast fall days.  The days when you officially know it’s the end of skirt season and you obligingly cozy up in your favorite sweater, make a cup of hot chocolate and know it’s ok to spend the next couple of hours curled up on the couch with a blanket either reading your favorite book or watching your favorite movie.  Oh how I miss those days!  So when I get one out west I savor every single minute of it – even it means leaving my apartment window slightly open and refusing to turn on the heat so I get that little chill.

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Next week at this time I will back home on the east coast and can not wait for some real fall.  I also can not wait for Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, and to be spending it in my favorite place, cooking with my mom in the kitchen I grew up in.

While it has been a crazy year, there is so much I have to be thankful for, especially one person in particular, our nanny.  Being a mom is the probably the hardest job I have ever taken on, but being a working mom just adds to the complexity.  When we brought our nanny into the family exactly a year ago, as I decided to make the decision to head back to work, I don’t think any of us knew what to expect.  To say she is now a part of our family is an understatement.  She literally keeps our home afloat, our son happy and gives the hubby and I complete peace of mind when we head out the door every morning.  I do not know what we would do without her and I just feel so incredibly lucky every day that she chose us as her “west coast family.”

Last month was her birthday and, while she had her real family out from the east coast to celebrate, I wanted to make sure she felt as special as she truly is.  I looked high and low for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe and spent the night before her birthday preparing these beyond delicious from scratch cupcakes.

I know I usually type up the recipe below and add in my adaptations but this recipe was literally, beyond perfect.  I also want to give a fellow blogger her due credit.  If you haven’t already please check out Sally’s Baking Addiction – I think it has become my new addiction.

Here is a link to her perfectly, delicious chocolate cupcake recipe.

If you are a novice home baker like me and do not have a pastry bag, you can use a ziploc bag with the tip cut off to pipe out the icing.

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