Maryland-made Cupcake Queen's Cupcakes Delivered to Spokane, WA

This is the photo that my brother just sent me when he received the Gonzaga vs Maryland bet payoff by fed ex this afternoon. He's never had a Cupcake Queen cupcake before, so that was the wager. The entire dozen cupcakes arrived unscathed (3000 miles) and were being enjoyed by the folks in his office. (I told him he better save 2 to take home to his wife and kid or he'd be killed!)

If you don't know what this is about, read the Week 31 entry below. It's all about college basketball! Gotta go. Maryland is getting ready to play Minnesota in just a few minutes! FEAR THE TURTLE, BABY!

Wow! 52 Cupcakes In The News...

52 Cupcakes got a mention in the Australian newspaper in Melbourne, called The Age! Here's the link to the story: Storm in a cake cup. "A once humble bakery item is at the frenzied centre of an international craze, writes Emma Miller."

Week 31: Lemon Meringue Cupcakes and the Mini-Magnolia

This awesome cupcake recipe is from The Artful Cupcake by Marcianne Miller. It has four parts: make the cupcakes, stuff the cupcakes, meringue the cupcakes, and then you get to torch them! It all took quite a while but it was so much fun.

I made the cupcakes on Saturday night so that I could have at least one thing done. Then on Sunday, around 2;00 (earlier I had to make a visit to the Montgomery County Refuse Center (the dump) to get rid of all of our recycleables left over from this past week and then of course, I had to stop at Target to see what was going on there...I was there at least 2 hours roaming the aisles. I heard some lady talking on her cell phone that she was STILL in Target...I knew just what she meant. I was talking to my Mom on my cell phone while I was in Target and I felt someone pull my was someone from my office...I'm always meeting people I know in Target) anyway, back to the cupcakes. I really did follow the recipe except for this one thing. I made a pie crust and crumbled it up in the lemon curd so that there are bits on crust in it. I got this idea from the Pumpkin ice cream that the University of Maryland Dairy makes...they put pieces of pie crust in the ice cream and it is delicious!...So, I dug a little hole in the cupcakes and squirted in the lemon curd (with pie crust pieces) and then put the top back on. Then I made the meringue...which took quite a while to turn into meringue...and then I frosted the cupcakes.

The best part was fooling around with the torch! It only took a minute to figure out how to do it so that it didn't burn...but once or twice I had to blow out the fire on the cupcake. Then, at first I wasn't sure how to turn it off and I was basically pointing this torch around the kitchen (not even pointing at the cupcake anymore) looking for the off switch! The house is still standing and all the meringue goo has cleaned up nicely. They are really lucious!

Story Number 2: My brother, Jim, lives in Spokane, Washington, Unfortunatley, he is an ardent fan of the Gonzaga basketball team and whenever they play Maryland, we bet on the game. It happens that Maryland was playing the Zags on Monday, Nov. 21 in the Maui Classic. The bet was whoever loses has to make a dozen cupcakes and fed ex them overnight to the winner. He has been dying to get a hold of one of my cupcakes and I think he paid the team to play even better than they ever had to beat the Terps and they did!

I decided to make the Magnolia Bakery's vanilla cupcake recipe because it's one of my favorites and hard to mess up, too. I made their basic vanilla frosting recipe, turned it pink and added peppermint.mmmmm. It's really great! I've never fed ex'd overnight. I'll let you know how it goes.

With the left over batter, I made what I'm calling "Mini-Magolias." They turned out so cute! People at work: you don't get any of the minis...sorry, you have to be content with the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. Download this recipe HERE

Way to Go Hostess: Hostess Race Divas Promote Cupcakes!

Guess what? I just read that Hostess Cupcakes is going to sponsor three of the top female professional race car drivers...who knew there were three??...the Hostess Race Divas...Danica Patrick (IRL), Leilani Munter (NASCAR), and Melanie Troxel (NHRA)...I am not a race car person but this might do promote Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes!

"Starting in February, limited cupcake editions will feature the likeness of the trio on-pack and on in-store displays. A yearlong PR effort and a Tracks & Treats sweepstakes, still in development, support.

"Having grown up with Twinkies and Cupcakes, I am thrilled to have Hostess as a sponsor and to be part of the Hostess Race Divas program," said Danica Patrick, who has emerged as an international superstar of racing as the 2005 IRL Indy Car Series Rookie of the Year...from article in Brandweek.

This leads me right to my recent purchase...spontaneous purchase, that is...right at the cash register, that is...of my very own Hostess Twinkie Baking Set...for $19.95 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I could not help myself from buying it. It comes with the 8 twinkie pan, a spatula, an icing injector, Twinkies container and a bonus recipe booklet. OMG! I really want to make the chocolate twinkies more than the vanilla, but I can see that this might become some sort of passion. Imagine, making your own twinkies! But, I don't see how I can do it before the weekend, what with Thanksgiving getting in the way and all...Maybe Saturday I can squeeze them in with this week's cupcakes. I can't wait!

Week 30: Black Bottom Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Here's the story of my black bottom cupcake adventure...I actually started out making a cherry muffin earlier this morning. Note that it is now 1:20 a.m....well, they really sucked so I threw them out...then I had some other stuff to do today and kind of put off thinking about my alternative cupcake...hmmm...when I got back from going out to dinner (really good food at this place in Gaithersburg, MD, called The Nibbler...we always eats Ropa (or as our family calls it, the Rope). Anyway, back to the cupcake...around 9:00 tonight I decided to make a stawberry cupcake. I remembered that I had seen a large carton of strawberries in the fridge earlier in the day. Around 9:30 I went to get the strawberries and they had does that around here.

Back to square, around 9:48 to be exact I decided I better head for Fresh Go (which closes at 10:00) and get the ingredients for the Black Bottom Cupcake...I was lacking cream cheese and gingersnaps. Lucky for me I made it to the store with about 5 minutes to spare. Of course, I had to pick up a couple of other things and soon I heard the voice on the loudspeaker say that everyone should come to the cash register NOW, because we are CLOSED! Who do you think was at the cash register with me? No one..well, just me and the checkout kid. The doors locked tight at 10:00. I had to exit thru the in door. Embarrassing? Yes, but at least I had my gingersnaps! Needless to say, I have no pride and advance planning is not one of my strengths! Now I get to go to bed....

Recipes will appear (magically), if you click HERE.

Week 29: Malted Milk Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

What could be better than malted milk and cupcakes? I love malts...and these cupcakes were sooooo easy to make, and really fun, too! It's a recipe from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson. The frosting is called "Chocolate Fudge," and it almost tastes like it! I added a malted milk ball to the top of each cupcake. And, since we had a birthday in our house today, I added the candle...

When I went to the Safeway early this morning to do my cupcake material shopping, I couldn't believe the crowded parking lot...not normal. It seemed pretty busy inside, too. Shortly I found out why...more than 50 people in line for flu 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Unfortunately for the late-comers, there were only 50 doese of shots! But, some really funny things happened while I was there...Over the loudspeaker, someone announced...Nelly. Nelly. Tell the nurse she has a call from her SUPERVISOR right now! One can only imagine what that was about! The next announcement was made by a guy. He said: Ted, if you're here, call Dave on 149. If you're not here, don't call! Now, that was funny!

Recipes will appear (magically) if you click HERE.

Week 28: Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

What I learned making these cupcakes: How to make marzipan carrots and crumble up chocolate wafers to have them look a bit dirty (fresh out of the garden, that is!) was pretty fun to do this part and the carrots turned out so tiny and cute! I was very VERY happy...definitely reminded me of my childhood playing with PLAY_DOH®...who can resist that? The rest of the recipe was pretty easy...grating the fresh ginger made the whole kitchen smell great...or should I say grate?? You do have to grate a lot of carrots, but it's definitely worth it!

And, the Cream Cheese Orange Frosting...divine! It has orange zest AND grated ginger in it. The cupcakes can be kept up to 3 days, but it's my guess that they won't make it more than 24 hours, if that!

Recipes will appear (magically), if you click HERE.

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook!!!

I bought Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook today...Oh BOY! I'm going to spend the evening reading (salivating over) it..I can't wait! It has sections on General Baking Tips, General Baking Equipment, General Baking well as these chapters: 1. Simple Baked; 2. Cookies; 3. Cakes; 4. Pies, Tarts, Cobblers and Crisps; 5. Yeasted Baked Goods; and 6. Pastries.

There are four cupcake recipes: Maple-Walnut Cupcakes, Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes, One-bowl Chocolate Cupcakes, and White Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream. And, the photos are awesome!

Pincushion Cupcake Taped Door Opens Other Doors!

This is the photo that I found taped to my door this morning when I got to cute~I do not crochet or knit...but, I do know a cupcake when I see one! And the person who left this also left a note that said: "I will learn to make this!" It was signed "Cupcake Groupie"...Oh Yeah!

A little later, someone else who had seen the little cupcake pincushion photo stuck to my door wanted to know how to make one, too. So I did some investigation on the web and found the link to the directions on the Good Housekeeping website.

That's how I found out about the book that it came from. It's Kids Crochet : Projects for Kids of All Ages by Kelli Ronci, who, it happens, was the former Martha Stewart Living assistant holiday and crafts editor, and did cool stuff like this Sugar Cube House with Kelli. You just never know where the web is going to lead!