Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cupcake Fiasco

Tonight Zach decided to go to basketball with Mike, so Drew and I had an evening for just the two of us. Drew wasn't thrilled at first, and said to me, "I not like Dad and Zach leaving 'cause it boring," so I knew we needed to have some fun of our own. We started the night by playing hide-n-seek, which generally entails me covering Drew with pillows on the couch, going out to the stairs to count to 10, and then coming back and looking all over for Drew, narrating the entire search. Usually Drew waits about 2 seconds to shout, "I under here!" but tonight, he stayed hidden and didn't say a word until I actually found him. He's growin' up!

After the hide-n-seek, Drew wanted to read some books. We'd already read about 10 books before the hide-n-seek, but I grabbed another stack and we read through them all. One of the books was Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. As we finished it, I asked Drew, "Should we make some cupcakes?" half hoping he'd say no, but also knowing he'd probably say yes. And he did. So we finished reading our books and went to the kitchen to do some baking. I had one chocolate cake mix, but I didn't really want to use it because I didn't want to make quite that many cupcakes. I love to bake, but if I don't have a special occasion to bake for, it's too dangerous for me to make something I really love, because I will eat more than my share. So, I found a recipe in a cookbook that involved only ingredients we had on hand... mostly. We didn't have any unsweetened chocolate to melt like it called for, so I just used semisweet chocolate chips instead. And I had about 5 Tbsp. of butter, and I needed 5 1/3 Tbsp., so I added just a smidge of margarine (usually I only bake with real butter) to make up the difference. Oh, and we decided at the end of the mixing to throw in some mini chocolate chips as a little bonus. I figured those small changes couldn't hurt too badly, right?

Drew loves to help me bake, and he's a good little helper. He helped pour the dry ingredients into the bowl, and then, surprise surprise, after he stirred them up for me, he pretended his spoon was an excavator and he kept scooping up spoonfuls. I was shocked he didn't spill any of it. He was sad when he had to finally pour it all into the other bowl. But he was easily distracted by putting the cupcake cups into the pan.

At one point he had flour on his nose and he looked so darn cute, but by the time I snapped this picture, I guess he had wiped it off. He still looks cute, though, I think! He loves the chef hat, which barely fits him anymore, and the apron.

While the cupcakes baked, Drew and I ate dinner. I checked on the cupcakes a couple of times and felt like they looked a little funny, but I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. When I took them out of the oven at their prescribed time, I again thought, "Hmm, not quite what I expected, but maybe they'll still taste ok." Then I turned the pan over to dump them out onto the cooling rack, and any part that had baked up over the edge of the cups basically stayed on the pan, and the cupcakes were totally mangled looking. I should have taken a picture. All I can say is it's a good thing these weren't for a special occasion! That gave me a chance to taste our work, though, and it was actually decent.

Next I had to find a chocolate frosting recipe that again involved only items we had on hand, and thankfully that wasn't too hard. By this point Mike and Zach were back home, and I mixed up the frosting pretty quickly, hoping it would turn out better than the cupcakes looked. Then the boys and I sat down to frost our masterpieces.

Drew attempted to frost his own, but ended up needing a little help spreading the frosting around. Then Mike helped him take the wrapper off, and that's when the real trouble started. Basically, the frosted top of Drew's cupcake came off in his hand, and he was not happy about that. "This not good! It come apart!" he said. I started to say, "Well, I don't think we'll make this recipe again," but by this point I was laughing so hard I was basically crying, and Drew did not appreciate it. Mike was taking pictures, and Drew was very sternly saying, "Stop laughing, MOM!"

The whole thing was a bit of a fiasco. I bake a lot, and I am pretty comfortable taking on somewhat complicated recipes and usually have good results. I mean, the way I look at it, if you follow the recipe, how hard can it be, right? So I just had to laugh at these darn cupcakes. They really do taste good, but they look like Drew made them on his own without my help, honestly. And the fact that Drew and I made them as a sort of fun reading-extension and they made him cry is just kind of funny to me, too. Once I showed him how he could eat it by breaking off pieces, he was pretty happy, and I guess my final take on it is all's well that ends well. Next time I'll probably just use the mix and only do half of it, though.

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