Sunday, April 22, 2012

Practice makes Perfect...I hope.

Well....I made my first batch of cupcakes since starting this blog and my second batch from scratch ever.

My first batch was "Skinny Girl Red Velvet Cupcakes" which should have been named "Bite Size Pieces of Cardboard." This was around the time that I realized you couldn't skimp on dessert. Unless it's fruit & yogurt or something of the sort, if you're gonna cheat - do it right. My nephew enjoyed licking the frosting off of these & then the rest went in the trash.

This weekend I made Sugar Cookie Cupcakes. It was one of the low points in my life. Where you spend all of this time preparing for it and then you work really hard and the results are terrible (kind of like my Stats exam this time last year -- but we won't go there). All last week all I could think about was getting home to bake. I'm a stress baker and considering this is the last week of classes - stress is high. I stopped at Kitchenworks in University Mall in Chapel Hill (WHICH IS AWESOME BY THE WAY!) and picked up some decorating tips (Ateco 809 (first picture), 825 (second), & 866) and a 12" decorating bag so that I could start experimenting with icing techniques. Proceeded to make Mikey go grocery shopping with me when I got home and laid out all of my ingredients at midnight Friday night. I had decided on Sugar Cookie cupcakes because the recipe seemed fairly simple and I figured it was a good idea to start off simple. And Mikey LOVES sugar cookies, so why not incorporate the best of both worlds? Woke up bright & early Saturday morning, went for a run (Have to run to get the cupcakes. That is my motto after all!), then got to work in the kitchen. I followed the directions to a tee and was uber excited when my batter was thick like the recipe said it would be. Filled my muffin tins and popped them in the oven. Once the timer went off I was a little skeptical when some appeared more brown than others but figured it was due to using two oven racks and hot spots. I left them on the counter to cool while I took care of some other things. I didn't have time to frost them on Saturday so I put them in a container and enjoyed the rest of my Saturday.

I took a nibble of one when they came out of the oven and it seemed pretty good, but now I'm questioning whether or not everything tastes better hot? Finally, after church and lunch with my family today, I was able to bust out my homemade buttercream and my new decorating equipment and go to work on some cupcakes. At this point, I was coming to terms with the fact that Sugar Cookie Cupcakes are not that great and what's meant to be a cookie should be left a cookie, so I figured why not just get some decorating practice? Which I did, not very much however because I had no idea just how much frosting you need for 30 cupcakes. About 20 didn't get frosted if that tells you anything! And my buttercream was well....buttery. It just wasn't sweet enough.  All in all, this baking experience was a FAIL! But again, Caleb licked the icing off & gave Papa John the cake part (which he ate...maybe he likes tasteless cupcakes?)

I took some pictures anyway so I would have a record of this tragedy. The pictures are a little blurry (yeah just add that to the list) because I took them with my cell phone but they give you an idea. I would like to add that I also made a bath of homemade White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies from The Girl Who Ate Everything which were AMAZING! These are Mike's other favorite cookie so he was especially happy that these didn't end up in the trash with their cupcake counterparts. Click the hyperlink to go to the recipe!

I guess this was God's way of telling me to slow down a bit. I've been pinning & researching cupcakes like a mad man the last few weeks and this was a bit of a reality check. Don't design your storefront before you've mastered the flour. I may be a boxed cake mix extraordinaire but I still have a lot to learn about baking from scratch. So it's back to the drawing board for this chick. Fingers crossed that the third time is the charm!

Happy LWOC, LDOC, & Finals College Students! 2 weeks til freedom! And Happy Week to everyone else!


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