I had a vision of coloring the vanilla buttercream blue and making the hydrangeas we learned about in Cupcakes 101. Made the buttercream, and put a good-sized blop of it (~2 cups, probably) into its own little bowl, and put another blop into a second bowl, leaving some in the mixer for emergencies.
First step: Wilton gel coloring! I read the instructions on the box: Dip a toothpick into the color, then swirl it into the white icing. Toothpick? I have a whole lot of icing here. Dip a toothpick? Really? So I dipped a toothpick, and swirled it into the white icing. BOY, is that stuff concentrated. As I stirred it in, the icing just got bluer and bluer. Amazing! Made the other bowl a little darker, and then put alternating blops into the icing bag.
The first colored icing
I had the tip connector thing in, the star tip on, and the bag ready to go. Upon piping my first cupcake, I realized that I had chosen the wrong tip.
Aside: Having the tip connector thing should have enabled me to swap out the wrong tip for the right tip in a jiffy. But. There are (at least) two sizes of decorator tip. Regular ones, like the one on the bag above, and ones with a larger diameter at the base, like the 1M and the 2D. I'm pretty sure I should have used the 1M, but I told myself, "That's the one I use for big swirls. It can't be the one to make little flower petals" and I picked a little star instead. This meant that once I recognized the error, correcting it would be a fairly major undertaking. On hindsight, I realize that I could have gotten a new large icing bag, dropped the right tip in it, and just squeezed all the icing into the new bag, supplementing with blops from the color bowls if it got too homogenous. But it was late, I was tired, and all I could think about was what a mess it would be to reload that icing with the right tip. So I soldiered on.
Pour le chat
I read somewhere that the first crepe out of the pan is called "Pour le chat," or "For the cat." That's surely what that first cupcake was!! Bad, bad cupcake. Scrape it off into the blue icing and try again.
Better. Wrong tip, but better.
As I progressed, I made better flowers. And by the end of the night, I had made a panful:
Lessons learned: Use the big star tip for flower petals. And fer gossakes, don't be afraid to change the bag if needed!