So I made my first-ever cupcakes over the weekend. I am pretty sure they were my first cupcakes, and if they weren’t, they were most definitely my first vegan cupcakes. I used to be scared as hell of cupcakes because they are so dainty and precious and nicely decorated, not like cookies that you can plop onto a pan and if they’re lumpy, you can say they have character and if no one likes them, it’s their loss. No more! Now I am all, “Bring it on, cupcakes! I can take you.”
Backstory: My parents had a Memorial Day cookout with various neighbors and family members, and my sister and her lover-man were visiting, so it was kind of an occasion. I asked my mom what to bring, and she whipped out the Tiramisu Cupcakes recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (she found it online—my mom is awesome, but not yet awesome enough to have her own vegan cookbook collection). I was like, “Really, woman? Those are some involved cupcakes.” So we compromised. I baked the cupcakes and made all the fixings, and we gutted/filled/frosted/decorated them together. That way, if they sucked, I only had to take half the blame. Red took pictures:
When we were finished, I was amazed by how good they looked. I was expecting some malformed, poorly frosted cupcakes, and they came out beautifully. I couldn’t wait to try one.
You will not be shocked to learn that they were ROCKIN’. These are epic cupcakes, y’all. They are sweet and boozy and filled with delicious cream cheese frosting. It was well worth the time we spent delicately hollowing them out, soaking them with Kahlua, and carefully placing those chocolate-covered espresso beans on top. Afterward, I wanted to fall asleep on a bed of clouds and dream of dancing biscotti while a choir of baby angels sang opera. I am a cupcake convert.
However! My dessert adventure was not over. As I was baking the cupcakes (this is the day before the filling/decorating extravaganza, in case you are creating a timeline of my exploits), I began to worry that guests would outnumber cupcakes and called my mom to ask her opinion on this important mathematical problem. She suggested that if I wanted to make something extra, I should go for it. As I like to show off the delights of vegan desserts, I made Caramel Walnut Bars from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (they are supposed to have pecans, but I had a huge jar of walnuts and no pecans, so you know). Props to Red for making a crucial brown sugar run mid-project. They were much easier than the cupcakes, for which I was grateful, but no less decadent.
Two words can sum up these babies: SUGAR. BOMB. Holy tooth decay, that caramel is some serious stuff. Serious and awesome. (And of course all the walnuts = healthy, so you can have two!) Several minutes after I crushed a cupcake and one of those bars, all the sugar plowed through my brain and I spent the rest of the night bouncing around like I haven’t done since high school. Good thing I’d already done yoga.
So, to sum up: Dessert was a success (so was dinner because my mom made this pasta salad), cupcakes no longer intimidate me, and my dental hygienist will have her work cut out for her at my next visit.