A practicum in problem solving, a crash course in creativity, and some cupcakes
Holidays and baking. It’s our thing. Doesn’t even have to be a holiday.
Yesterday afternoon, Babygirl pulled out her cupcake and cookie decorating book she’d gotten for Christmas and flipped to “Easter bunny cupcakes”. The cupcakes were topped with white frosting dusted with cocoa to look like dirt, with marzipan rabbits and carrots. I scanned the ingredients needed: yup, check, it’s all in the pantry.
Our baking pantry has got depth. Not in a literal space way, but in an options and backup way. We don’t just have chocolate chips (Ghiradelli dark, two pound bag). We have unsweetened and sweetened cocoa powder, baking chocolate in bars, melting chocolate in white, milk and dark, and snacking chocolate in infinite varieties (from sea salt caramel to spicy Mayan).
We are serious, people.
So when I saw “marzipan”, I was like, No problem. We have that.
So we mixed up the batter, threw the cupcakes in the oven, and gathered up the decorating supplies.
Food coloring gels and sugar sprinkles in spring pastels, check. Confectioner’s sugar and unsalted butter, check. Marzipan in a tube, check. Let’s do this, baby!
A bowl of buttercream frosting later, and we were ready for dyeing marzipan. But-
Oh no! The sealed tube of sweetened almond paste was hard as a rock! The expiration date was June 2011! Shit!
Babygirl looked at me like: Woman, you better figure this out.
I suggested sweetly: “Honey, this is where we get creative.”
Never once did it occur to us to change our design plan. Oh, no. There were going to be bunny cupcakes for church, dammit.
And so the experimenting began. We tried rolling buttercream into shapes, but it was too soft. We added confectioner’s sugar, but it was too crumbly. A dollop of half-and-half did the trick.
We didn’t have enough frosting made to cover the cupcakes as well as mold the creatures and carrots, unless I whipped up some more. But wait: we did have flaked sweetened coconut. Very fluffy! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? We expanded some of the buttercream into a batch of “furry coconut” frosting, and Voila! Bunnies.
But the ears! The furry flaky stuff just couldn’t be transformed into perky little ears. But wait: we had marshmallows. I cut them into slices. The mini marshmallows didn’t work: they looked like horns. We giggled. Devil horned bunnies! Unibunnies!
Large marshmallows worked better. Kinda floppy-eared bunnies! Yes! We stayed up late to finish our project. We ate ALOT of frosting.
The finished products were totally kiddie DIY. These are NOT Pinterest- worthy.
But you know? We were so proud, and that was SO fun. And I’m not kidding when I suggest that our semi- obsessive trial-and-error super-creative Easter project was an educational endeavor. One that also tasted really delicious!
(Note to folks who try this at home: buttercream frosting mixed with coconut is so yummy, it should be illegal. Addictive! Use with caution.)