Tag Archives: Cupcakes

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

 
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Cookie Monster cupcakes have been done. Many, many times. But for our son’s first birthday, I decided awesomeness was far more important than originality. And then they turned out to be even more awesome than I expected, so I thought I’d come out of hiding to post my results.


Cookie Monster Cupcakes

First off, the cupcake beneath the awesomeness needed to be okay for a certain young man who was just turning one. This was complicated by his dairy sensitivity, which unfortunately he has yet to grow out of. I ended up making the applesauce spice cupcakes from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, replacing the butter with a non-partially-hydrogenated margarine we picked up at Whole Foods and the sugar and brown sugar with coconut palm sugar, an alternative sweetener that falls very low on the glycemic index. What that means for a one year old is a sugar high and subsequent crash are much less likely. The cupcakes were pretty good. They tasted great, and they were very moist, though possibly a little too moist. I think if I bake with the coconut palm sugar again, I’ll give it a whirl in the VitaMix first because it seemed too coarse to cream properly with the margarine.

More importantly, the birthday boy signed Delicious after tasting them–ah, the way to a foodie mom’s heart! If you sign with your baby, I highly recommend working on Delicious from the minute they start solid foods. Sure, More and All Done are practical, but your job satisfaction rating will soar the first time you get a rave review like this. Continue reading

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Three Types of Ganache

 
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Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Three Ganaches

Tres leches, move over. There’s a new cake in town with three iterations of the same component: tres (or maybe it should be trois?) ganaches chocolate raspberry cupcakes. Sounds decadent, right? Well, they were. Decadent, extravagant, and definitely delicious…if possibly slightly unnecessarily complicated.

Not only that, but I used expensive eating chocolate for all of them. Bars and bars of the $3-$5 for two frickin’ ounces kind of eating chocolate. Valrhona raspberry ganache fills both the raspberry inside the cupcake and the one on top. Around the interior raspberry is a Scharffen Berger ganache. Finally, Michel Cluizel ganache frosting swirled on top crowns it all. The only reason I said that it was possibly unnecessary was that while eating the cupcake it wasn’t necessarily apparent that there were three different chocolates in play. But you definitely could tell that the chocolate involved was really, really good chocolate. Continue reading

Seeing Signs in Cupcakes

 
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Rainbow Cupcakes

I’ve written about these cupcakes before, but in few enough words to hide the real story, the one I wanted to tell the moment I snapped this photo. But now that we’ve passed a magic number I’ve untied my own hands, so I want to share: the moment I looked down through the camera lens and saw that tiny, little red heart, I knew I was going to be someone’s mom, and that someone wanted to say “Hi.”

I’ve long thought that studying literature in college makes you more likely to see symbolism and structure in your own life. I’ve never decided whether those material metaphors woven into the ups and downs of daily existence truly mean something. It’s tempting to think so, especially when you have questions that no one can answer for you but time. Still, in a rational world, it’s natural to be suspicious of any signs you think you see in the world around you. Particularly when the sign in question has a bit too much in common with those images of the Virgin Mary that “miraculously appear” on a piece of toast. Back when I was working a dessert buffet as a pastry cook, all it took to burn the image of Trogdor (a cartoon dragon, for those not in the know) into the top of a giant creme brulee was a deft hand with a blow torch.

But this heart convinced me better than the actual pregnancy tests I took days later did. Those were easy to doubt, to question, but the moment I saw the heart, I knew. Sure, it helped that I’d been getting lightheaded all morning while I was up and around baking, and that what was to become a four-day straight headache had just set in. That didn’t stop me from knowing that this was a message just for me, the girl born on Valentine’s Day.

Hopefully, between the cupcake and the heart, this is a sign that we’re going to be welcoming a very sweet, very loving child into our lives. If nothing else, a lot of people have come by the site to see what I consider our first “baby photo”, even if they didn’t know what they were looking at.

So for my long absence–and my severe aversion to even the thought of those vegetarian Peeps I made–I have our future foodie-in-training to thank. He or she will be showing up around the first week of December, so I probably won’t be posting another flood of cookies and chocolates around Christmas again this year. But now that I’ve hit the second trimester and I’m feeling more like cooking, I hope to catch up on answering comments and be around more regularly.

And I mean that this time. As long as no one mentions those Peeps. I’m still having issues with them.