On a whim, I took a cupcake decorating class, and was hooked!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cupcake Books

I visited one of the local Half-Price Books locations a few weeks ago, and picked up a handful of cute cupcake books.  One of these days, after my class is over and before my shoulder surgery puts me out of commission for a while, I'm going to bake cupcakes from scratch!

 Easy Cupcakes by Love Food

Easy Cupcakes (Love Food)

Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella

Crazy About Cupcakes

Cupcakes Year-Round by Sara Neumeier

Cupcakes Year-Round: 50 Recipes for Every Season and Celebration

Cupcakes by Susanna Tee

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Myrtle's getting a rest.  No baking this weekend, or next. Too much homework!
Until I return to baking when my class is finished, I leave you with this:  Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Surprise phone call

Last week at work, I got a phone call, completely out of the blue.  It was Chuck, one of the audio engineers at VOICEcorps, and he was just calling me to tell me how much he had liked the Deviled Eggs, and all the other treats I bring in to the staff and volunteers there.  He took the time to look up my work number in the volunteer files, and called me just to thank me and compliment my baking skillz.  It absolutely made my day!

So, of course there was nothing else to do except make up a batch of cupcakes and take some to Chuck.  I made a batch of Betty Crocker yellow cake (I don't think I like Betty Crocker, but am reserving final judgement.  The mini cupcake liners peeled off of a bunch of the baby cupcakes again, and going back reading old posts, it was too crumbly once) and chocolate buttercream icing.

Chuck got 4 jars full of cupcakes, examples of which are pictured in this post.  Cheers, Chuck! 

My cousin Jenny, who, over the course of a week, actually did eat all six jars I mailed her, visited me from New Jersey this weekend.  She got another half a dozen jars, and of course, I put almond extract in the icing for hers.  Six jars = 12 mini cupcakes, and should be about a third of a batch of icing.  Except I used an entire batch of icing on her six jars and made a completely new batch, without the almond, for the rest of the cupcakes.

Lessons learned:  Don't rush the cupcaking.  I was a crazy woman on Thursday making cupcakes.  I could have made the cupcakes on Wednesday and iced them on Thursday, and would have been a lot less stressed.  Of course, the stress helps burn off the caloric intake from icing nibbling quality control.  Doesn't it?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Deviled Eggs... Cadbury eggs, that is!

This is a first-and-only.  The first and only time I'm going to make these "Deviled Eggs." 
I first saw them here.

They are cute as heck, but boy, what a pain to make!  Here's an example of the cuteness:

Isn't that adorable?  I thought so, and thus began my descent into madness. 

Start with a bunch of Cadbury Chocolate Creme Eggs.  I suppose you could use the regular Cadbury Creme Eggs, but I like chocolate, so ... decision made.  Get about half again as many as you think you're going to need.  Get a sharp knife, and cut them in half along the seam.  Weep.  Gnash your teeth.  Because you are going to get a few that come out like this:

And (unless your knife skills are a better than mine, which is pretty likely because I don't set the bar all that high) you're going to get WAY, WAY more than you'd hope that come out like this:

Make a batch of buttercream or cream cheese icing.  I made vanilla cream cheese icing, which made up for some of the weeping, because YUM!

I used Wilton Gel Dye in lemon yellow to color the batch (I probably should have started out coloring half the batch, because that was plenty for the number of eggs.  So now I've got a lot of leftover yellow cream cheese icing, which actually works out pretty well, because I want to make lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing, and this will be a good start).

I chose a 199 tip, and probably should have gone with a different one to get a more traditional deviled-egg feel.  I ate too many of the rejects, and now I am completely wired, let me tell you!  And I still have to figure out how to carry these to work with me tomorrow morning.

Lessons learned:  Don't do this again.  Just.  Don't.  It is not worth all the broken egg heartache!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Actually, it kind of is easy being cheesy

I used Myrtle's shredding attachment for the first time today.  It was brilliant!  Myrtle went through a 10-ounce wedge of parmesan cheese in about a minute, including the time it took me to cut the wedge in half to fit in the hopper.  Way to go, Myrtle!  This would have taken forever using the knuckle-buster.