Buttercream & Blemishes

Ok. So I see this buttercream frosting recipe a few weeks ago and my steel trap memory kicks in and I have a nostalgic flashback to 1978 and my Auntie Marion who used this particular frosting on every single cake that she ever made.

And it is good.


So good that I could literally taste it in the back of my mouth.

And I tried to make it that day.  Twice.  And again a day or so later and I could not get it right.  HOW DID AUNTIE MARION DO IT?

In addition to Autie Marion, there were a number of old school church ladies who used this frosting recipe, evidenced by the fact that there are a handful of variations in the original St. Agnes cookbook. Except now the name of the church is Our Lady Of the Lake. Which I never knew that you could just presto chango the name of a church.

And I have to be honest and state that the name creeps me out a little and conjures up images of a ghostly, misty apparition rising out of Lake Superior during the night.

(Sorry people that live there)

So I still call it St. Agnes, which gives my mother fits.

Much like this frosting recipe gave me fits and stressed me out so much that I got an enormous pimple on my chin. I kindly spared you a picture of said pimple, but girls, this was a doozy. You know the kind that just appears out of nowhere and you think it is not going to be so bad (and why do I still get pimples at 40?) but then you realize that this particular pimple is one of those.

The kind that starts in your very soul.

AND it is in the exact spot as the wart on the wicked witch of the west’s face from Wizard of Oz. Which if  there is a facebook quiz “Which Oz character are you?” I am most likely to be her and not Dorothy, because that is the way I roll on the whole FB quiz front.

Pimples like this take forever to go away. And I was scared to put too much pimple cream stuff on it because I had a girlfriend once who experienced the perfect storm of a first date and a pimple. She tried to kill it with pimple cream except that she put so much on it gave her a chemical burn and she had this rather large area of skin damage. I told her to tell him it was a birthmark, which in retrospect wouldn’t have worked, because he probably would have noticed a birthmark the size of California when he asked her out. So she went with the popular “It is not a pimple, it is a curling iron burn’ excuse .  Not to be confused with the ever popular ‘It is not a hickey, the vacuum cleaner got stuck to my neck’ excuse.

Lucky for her it was on her forehead and not her chin.

Do you really want to hear about frosting now?

You start out by leaving 2 sticks of butter out until it softens to room temperature. Let them out for at least a few hours. You really want the butter to be soft. But DO NOT microwave it to soften it up. That won’t work with this recipe. Trust me.

Add a cup of sugar to the butter. If you can, use the super fine kind. Regular sugar will work, but you just have to beat it longer.

Take a cup of milk and put it in a saucepan. I used whole milk because with two sticks of butter, what is the point of 2% right?

Whisk 4 tablespoons of flour into the milk. This is not the time to try out whole wheat in a recipe.

Best mini-whisk ever. From Pampered Chef.

You whisk the heck out of it while heating on medium-medium high heat. It will thicken up and look kind of like goopy, gluey mashed potatoes.

Remove it from heat and cover it with some saran wrap so it does not get that  disgusting skin on top.

Let it cool to room temperature. And while it is cooling you need to beat the heck out of the butter and sugar. You have to beat it constantly for 10-15 minutes until the sugar is no longer grainy, but fully incorporated into the butter. Don’t cheat. If you don’t beat it for long enough it is not going to be any good. This was my problem all along and I finally had to call my mom and have her go through the St. Agnes cookbook for the instructions. Just so you know, ‘Beat butter and sugar together’ does not cut it as proper instructions in this case.

Add your gelatinous goo mixture, to which you have added 1 teaspoon vanilla, thereby turning it a sickly gray color. But don’t worry. Beat it into the butter/sugar mixture for a few minutes and it will turn out like this:

And everyone will cheer and tell you it is the most amazing frosting ever.

Except Mr. Right.

He said it tasted like a melted crayon.

Because he apparently eats those all the time.

No wonder I get pimples.


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About Janice

I am 40 years old. Loving life and (finally) being a grown up. I have 3 great kids that sometimes make me want to drink copious amounts of wine. I have been married to my amazing husband since 2001. I have more great girlfriends than you can shake the proverbial stick at. Join me in this adventure that is my life.
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2 Responses to Buttercream & Blemishes

  1. Sister Cindy says:

    But is she really your Aunt? HA HA HA!!!!

  2. Kymberly BH says:

    And if you can find white Mexican vanilla it will be even prettier — and please let me know if you find white Mexican vanilla anywhere in this town … I’m almost out. 😉 Looks great!

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