This weekend we celebrated Sj's 6th Birthday! Even though I've been struggling to get through some days lately, I embraced the opportunity to bake for the party. A party with a dozen kids and what do I decide to bake, oh 4 dozen cupcakes. There are always siblings that drop by a party and parents, not to mention passing along a cupcake to a favorite neighbor. And then there's the baker's dozen in my house, which is not 13, but rather 11. Because this baker needs to always taste test one first.
I probably spent way too long Friday night mulling over recipes in cookbooks and online. I wasn't quite sure what flavor I wanted to make, then I had to decide on which recipe to go with. Billy's Bakery vanilla cupcakes that use the one bowl method or Magnolia's vanilla cupcakes that are just as wonderful in my opinion. Looks like New York City bakeries went neck and neck in the first round. I decided on Magnolia's vanilla cakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. Of course we had to go a bit untraditional for the second batch of cupcakes I made. Sj decided on Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes and frosting! I felt content my favorite cupcake bakeries would be represented at the party, even if I couldn't walk into one of their shoppes, I would simply recreate their treats in my own kitchen.
To top off the baked treats, Sj also chose a design for her cupcakes to be decorated in. We found a great link to make "Mouse Cupcakes" on Martha's website. Of course, we decided to make them colorful with strawberry licorice, bold colored chocolate covered sunflower seeds, and Necco wafers. I was on a little wild goose chase hunting down all the necessary candy supplies, but really it's all a part of the fun.
Even though baking is a very sensitive process, especially at 5,400 feet here in Colorado, I love the rush of baking. I know the sound of my KitchenAid stand mixers motor at varying speeds, I don't have to look. I most prefer the hum of a number 4, not too fast but not too slow. I sometimes raise a weary eyebrow wondering if the batter turned out too loose or too thick, but seem to smile when I can anticipate it's just right spooning it into their little paper wrappers. I wait not so patiently until the timer beeps, wondering if the cupcakes will be a success or if I will peek through the oven window to find little caves have taken over the baked delights.
Saturday night, I baked to my heart's content. 48 cakes total in two batches, one strawberry and one vanilla. Luckily most cupcake recipes make a double batch so it's easy to get them done and baked in one safe swoop! Sunday morning I left for decorating and frosting. The cupcakes turned out wonderfully. I feel so content baking, through out the entire process. My usual everyday life stress, just melts away when I am surrounded by bags of flour, baking sugar, pounds of butter, fresh organic strawberries, measuring cups/spoons, and bowls with remnants of cake batter.
Although this weekend I realized pursuing cupcake baking on a retail level isn't something I see in my cards, even though I love to dream about it, I will always love baking. I love feeding others baked treats. Maybe I'll just insist to bring a cake to every party we are invited to. I don't think I can get enough of it.
Who's birthday is next...
Want recipes? Try Martha's Favorite Cupcake Bakeries recipe section! Thanks Martha!