Monday, July 11, 2011
I made cupcakes on Friday evening for a cookout we were hosting on Saturday. It happened to be the birthday of one of our guests, and even though that wasn't exactly the reason for the gathering, I thought it would be nice to make something celebratory and cake-like for dessert.
So I whipped up the Barefoot Contessa's coconut cupcakes, using mini cupcake pans. The recipe says it makes 18 to 20 regular-size cupcakes. But if you make mini ones somehow you end up with about 300. Seriously, I did this once before, and I had mini cupcakes all over every surface of my kitchen. And delicious cupcakes on every surface of one's kitchen is both good and bad, if you know what I mean. So I decided to halve the recipe this time.
It wasn't until the cupcakes were out of the oven that I realized that I'd messed up, as I often do when I'm halving (or doubling or one-thirding) recipes. I was supposed to put half the coconut in the batter and save half for sprinkling on top of the iced cupcakes. But I put it all in the batter instead.
So the cupcakes were very coconut-y (but Mr. E swore they were delicious, all the same). And without the coconut to sprinkle on top, they looked a little . . . plain.
Not awful, but not very "happy birthday" either.
This was my quick fix:
I cut out some strips of paper.
For this project I cut paper from a catalog, namely the Hancock's of Paducah quilt-fabric catalog. I've never quilted anything in my life, but Hancock's has wonderful fabric, and their catalog is a colorful, pattern-y delight. My craft punches get giddy with excitement when the Hancock's catalog arrives.
I folded the strips in half.
Then I smeared a little glue on one side of the inside, put a toothpick in the crease (I picked these toothpicks up at Safeway a while back), and smoothed out the whole business.
The relative flimsiness of the catalog paper is actually a good thing, as it helps the paper adhere to the toothpick. And when the glue dries, the flag feels quite sturdy.
I cut triangles out of the ends to make flag shapes.
It took me about 20 minutes to make a bunch of these.
On Saturday morning I just popped the toothpicks in the cupcakes before our guests arrived.
It was a fun and easy way to inject a little birthday spirit into our gathering. I like the way the flags look a bit like birthday candles, but with an adult twist. (If pink princess flags can be said to be "adult," that is.)
The one thing I wish I had done is snip the pointy tops off the toothpicks with kitchen shears, so they look more like flags and less like toothpicks.
Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to do this until Sunday. And by then there were considerably fewer cupcakes to photograph. ;)
Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now
Friday Faves @ Naptime Crafters
Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge
Weekend Wrap-Up Party @ Tatertots and Jello