About a week ago, we were visiting one of our program vendors in SF. Since they always comment on my yummy looking cupcake Yahoo IM pictures...I wanted to bring them some goodies. I was a little cupcaked out from last weeks orders ... but we only see them every 3 months so I thought, buck it up and get creative.
So I made vanilla cupcakes with rosewater frosting. Honestly, this has to be one of my favorite combinations. I brought them up in one of the Wilton 6 piece cupcake boxes. While I am not a fan of the little decor on the outside (I'm a plain girl), it did make a fabulous transportation vehicle, staying cool and crisp and not smushed even after an hour long train ride into SF.
They were well received with much happiness, cheers, adoration. All of the happy faces and oohs and aahs and one of my program analysts saying the cupcakes made his day...it was all worth it.
Speaking of Herculean effort, this week...Thursday to be exact, I get a call from my Mom, who teaches 2nd grade. I was taking our pet rat...aka the Westie Portia, to see her kids on Friday, a once a year thing that happens usually the last week of school. But since I am traveling next week, we did it this Friday.
'The kids want to know if you are bringing cupcakes'. I said, 'Well, I have a dinner tonite..I won't be home'. 'Oh they will be so disappointed but I'll tell them'. Have I mentioned my Mom has the Catholic-guilt down pat??
So as the day wore on I thought...how mean would I be if I didn't take the cupcakes in? These are kids who don't really have very 'normal' family lives. How often does their Mom bake for them? Some of their Moms are not even around. Many of them don't have very good home lives. They mostly only get cupcakes or fun treats when my Mom brings them into school.
So I skipped my Pilates and went home instead. I only had an hour between getting home to actually be ready and out the door, so I admit it. I caved and went for a boxed mix, the first in about 6 months! Now I confess, I was raised on boxed mix and I really do love it, there's something about that sickly sweet taste. Though now that I have done so much more baking on my own, it definitely tastes fakey to me. So anyway, I figured kids don't care...they love sugar. I adapted it so I wouldn't feel too guilty, with buttermilk, an extra egg and lots of vanilla. Still tasted like boxed mix.
That night at 10pm, after returning from my event, I decorated them with ready-made canned frosting...I know! But they're 2nd graders. I figured they wouldn't really appreciate the intricacies of homemade frosting.
The decorating part was fun though....it's not often that I get the chance to be really creative with kid stuff. Pink and purple sparkling sugar and M&M's for the girls; and chocolate graham cracker 'dirt' and gummi worms for the boys. The visit was a hit the next day in the class...the kids were asking a ton of hilarious questions like does Portia jump through a hula hoop???
The funniest part was when my Mom said ... 'and she bakes ALL of her stuff from SCRATCH. She doesn't use a boxed mix!'...the kids were curious as to how that works...I just smiled meekly and handed out cupcakes. Oh well, 2nd graders..they won't know RIGHT?
Oops..!! Hand in the cupcake.
Later when Mom asked them what they liked better, Portia or the cupcakes, it was a tossup. So cute.
Lastly, I did a strawberry cupcake order this weekend which I have lots of cute pictures of, but will not get uploaded til I return from my trip. I used a recipe a friend posted that has Jello strawberry gelatin in it. On one hand, I loved the cupcakes taste and so did others. BUT they also tasted fakey to me, like a boxed mix does, which is the gelatin. I will have to play around with it and see how to get more of a real homemade flavor in it...I made a batch with less gelatin and actual strawberry puree which was better on the fakey but less on the flavor. Must experiment more.
In the meantime, here is a picture of the awesome fake looking pink batter. The cupcakes came out kinda hot pink!