Cupcakes for the Masses

7BFP-SpringCupcake-SQ1000-05There was another birthday party at the office. Guess what happened. This.

The request this time was for cupcakes, of all flavors, and after I briefly considered opening a bakery, I decided the only way to approach this task was to make it as efficient and simple as possible. (Who says you can’t mix productivity and baking?) See, I’m a not a professional cake decorator or baker (although sometimes I pretend to be when I break out my cake decorating kit with all of the fancy icing tips) and although I do enjoy having people over for coffee or brunch, I’m not really accustomed to making things for a large group of people, let alone bake and decorate cupcakes en masse.

So maybe I cheated a little bit and made a giant batch of my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe (which you can find here and multiply according to your needs). Despite the numerous (and extremely varied) requests I received, I decided to narrow down my flavors to three classic options: plain vanilla, chocolate chip and butterscotch chip. Oh, and they were all going to have buttercream icing too. Ba-bam. Who could argue with that?

Once my batter was mixed, I divided into three separate mixing bowls. I left one batch plain and stirred in 1 c. of chocolate chips into one, and 1 c. of butterscotch chips into another, stirring gently to mix. I baked them according to the instructions here and left them on a rack to cool completely before decorating.

To “color-code” all of the flavors, I found three different patterns of muffin cups and decided to coordinate them with three different colors of frosting to further increase the recognition. Making several colors of frosting can be labor-intensive but luckily isn’t too difficult once you’ve made yourself a big batch of icing and separate it accordingly. I never worry about making too much icing- it’s always handy to have some extra on-hand to clean up mistakes. In my case, having too much icing was a little bit of a happy accident- I wasn’t initially going to draw flowers but I couldn’t resist using up the rest of those sweet spring colors.

It feels silly to admit it now, but baking such a large amount of cupcakes was a (needlessly) intimidating experience for me. Despite the fact that they were not among my best or most exciting baking adventures, they were definitely one of the simplest and weren’t any less tasty. It was worth it to see the look on everyone’s face when I brought a giant plate of them out into the waiting room. It reminds me that I bake for my own enjoyment and for others; my baking is for sharing, and not for impressing other people.

Besides, sharing is totally calorie-free.

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Why just stick with baking a big ol’ batch of vanilla? If you’re the mood to change things up a little bit, I’ve baked chocolate cupcakes, banana cupcakes and a whole whack-load of muffins here, here, here and here. Or if you mosey on by the blog tomorrow, I might have another super special cupcake recipe to share with you too!

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

 

Baking with B: Chocolate Chip Cookies

KBB_baking_chocolate_chip_cookiesI am notorious for making batches upon batches of these and then giving them away because I can’t stand to have all of these tasty cookies in my house just waiting to be eaten. I used to make them for parties and have enough left over for goody bags I would shove into my guests’ protesting hands. Christmastime inevitably involves giving away tins of these dipped in chocolate, or covered in almonds, or peppered with peanut butter chips. They’ve been used in care packages, at art shows, as housewarming presents and as going-away presents. It’s because they’re simply the best chocolate chip cookie ever, and I will seriously fight you on that. But my mouth will be full of cookies. Just saying.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 30-34 cookies)

1 1/8 c. flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. butter

1/4 c. brown sugar, plus some for garnish

1/2 c. white sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

½ c. chopped walnuts (optional)

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add vanilla and egg. Beat until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt. Add into wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. Roll into teaspoon-sized dollops on a greased baking sheet. Bake your cookies at 350F for approximately 10 minutes, or 20 minutes for crispy cookies.

Happy baking!

B

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Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.