Sunday, April 19, 2009

Family cooking project 1 (sorta): Easter Cupcakes

So, okay, I know I'm supposed to be *mainly* focusing our Family Meal Rehab Project on healthy food and all, but hey, Easter was looking me in the face, so what's a girl to do?

A girl makes cupcakes, that's what she does! With lots of little helpers. I let Miss D. pick our Easter project out of a great cookbook she got for Christmas, called Hello Cupcake! by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson. Miss D. picked the Easter egg cupcakes seen on the bottom of the page here.

Compared to most of the cupcakes in the book, these seemed manageable. I was greatly relieved, because as you know, I do not bake, and I am also painfully devoid of any kind of "crafty gene." Crafts and I don't mix. I mangle crafts, if I do not manage to kill them outright. I don't know how Martha Stewart manages things--that witch--and I never will.

I also cheated like hell.

I used a Sprinkles cupcake mix from Willliams-Sonoma. And jarred icing. I know, I know, this is a pathetic start to a food blog of any worth, but our weekend was packed with activity and I hate to bake and, well, I suck, okay? You knew all about my suckage from the first post in this blog, so don't expect a girl to change overnight.

Miss M. and Miss D were so excited about the cupcakes (and made so much racket and havoc) that I was actually able to entice my Supercool Stepkid R into the kitchen. When cupcakes win out over Grand Theft Auto 4, you know you've got a good project going on.

The Sprinkles cupcake mix--dark chocolate--came together easily as per package directions and the girls found the batter irresistible.



They baked up dark and rich and promising, much better than I actually expected from a mix. Wahoo! This is easy peasy stuff!


Not so fast, caterpillar. The next step involved trimming graham crackers into attractive egg shapes using a template and a serrated knife. Ummmm, have you ever tried to trim a graham cracker? You know, those graham crackers that are scored so that they are easy to break into sqares, not ovals?

Thank God for Supercool Stepkid R, because he patiently trimmed an ENTIRE box of graham crackers down to TEN successful egg shapes. It was a mess! We did discover, about halfway into the process, that it was a little easier to cut them if we slightly dampened the tops with water. Desperation breeds invention.



The rest of the process was much easier. We frosted the graham eggs, rolled them in superfine colored sugar, attached the eggs to the top of the cupcakes with a little dollop of frosting, and embellished accordingly.


I thought our finished product was a reasonable facsimile of the cookbook photo. And yeah, we cheated like bandits, but we had a lovely time and got good and silly and messy. R did make a cupcake that looked eerily like Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko, but we got over it.



















So perhaps I shouldn't really count this Easter cupcake episode as an official start to Family Meal Rehab, but it wasn't a bad way to spend a few hours on a gloomy afternoon. And I got my 16 year old away from the Grand Theft Auto 4!! Am I proud or what?

4 comments:

  1. It is not cheating; it is creative baking.

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  2. I just snorted water out of my nose when I read about your Donnie Darko treat. You are a rock star, my friend.

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  3. We love us some Donnie Darko in this house.

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