NYC Eats: Molly’s Cupcakes

A couple of weekends ago, I was lucky enough to have one of my closest college friends come to New York to visit. In addition to doing the “typical” city stuff like taking in the Met, wandering through Central Park, and waiting waaaay too long for the subways thanks to those pesky weekend schedules, my friend C also made it clear that she expected there to be some fabulous cupcakes making an appearance in our day.

Well, I mean, if you’re going to twist my arm…

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Sister Love: A Cupcake Class at Butter Lane

Let’s talk about cupcakes. Specifically? Butter Lane cupcakes.

This year I started buying Christmas presents in October. Well, one present. I knew without a doubt when I saw this Groupon offer that it was the perfect gift for my sister (the Middle Chip!)–a cupcake class for the two of us at Butter Lane! Mixing, frosting, sampling…seriously, could you ask for a better present?!

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A Jolly Olde Time in London Towne!

Cheerio, mates! As those of you on Twitter may remember, I’ve just returned from a wonderful, whirlwind weekend spent visiting my sister (affectionately, Middle Chip) in London, where she’s studying for the semester. We had such a fabulous time, and I was so sad to leave her again until December! But it’s definitely a weekend I’ll always remember sharing with her. :)

Now, the two of us didn’t get up to all that much cooking this weekend (although we did manage one kitchen creation!), but what follows is a bit of a tour through our antics and escapades…most of which involve a lot of sugar…

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Williams Sonoma Cupcake Mixes: Reviewed

Photo courtesy of metrolic.com

What are the first things that come to mind when you think about the UK?

Tea and crumpets? Big Ben? Prince William?

All fine answers. Now, your list probably doesn’t include cupcakes. It’s okay; I understand, really. But if you’ve been reading this blog for any appreciable length of time, you’ll know that my sisters and I have a deep affinity for these darlings of the baked good world, and we manage to find a way to work them into any occasion, if not all.

So what was the most recent of these occasions?

Well, my dear Middle Chip has decided to spend her fall semester abroad in jolly ol’ England. She departs in just under three weeks–I can’t believe it! And so this weekend, we had all of our extended family and friends over for a UK-themed Bon Voyage party. It was, to quote the lovely Julie Andrews, “practically perfect in every way.”

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Chocolate PB Sand Pail Cupcakes: An entry for Cupcake Project

True confession: The very first baking blog I started reading was the Cupcake Project. Day after day, I found myself heading back to Stef’s page to read about these fantastical cupcake (and other) creations that I never imagined I’d have the skill (or courage) to try myself. One day, months after I’d started reading and a few weeks after my own fledgling blog took its first steps, I saw it: the 2011 Ice Cream Cupcake Contest! Along with the fine folks at Scoopalicious, Stef challenged her readers to create a recipe for ice cream cupcakes.

Hooked yet? That’s what I thought.

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Hoppy Easter cupcakes

Whether you celebrated Easter or Passover or simply the arrival of a disconcertingly large rabbit last week, chances are you noticed some sort of seasonal cuisine. This season brings with it such tasty morsels as pizza rustica, hot cross buns, and anything matzo. My tastes, I’ll admit, are a little less refined.

Unless we’re talking refined sugar. Then we’re getting somewhere.

This colorful cake above is only the beginning of the Easter baking fun the Little Chips and I had last weekend. Follow the jump for more adventures in cupcakery!

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Bite-sized? Fun-sized!

Happy Friday! In honor of the weekend (weekend), you could watch this video. Or, if your brain cells can’t take it anymore, you could look at these yummy (yummy) pictures and plan your next cupcake excursion in New York. I know which one I’d pick. But that’s just me.
So, today my coworker found out that her boyfriend got his job placement (he studied to be an air traffic controller) and…it’s in New York! Yay! (Yay because it could have been at any airport in the country. Oof.) And to celebrate with us, she went out and bought a tray of these teeny little cupcakes from Baked by Melissa. Now, I had never heard of this place before–a rarity when it comes to me and cupcakeries–but I was, of course, immediately enchanted by the meticulously applied toppings that each tiny cake had. (It’s hard to tell from this picture, but each cupcake top is only a little bigger than a quarter in circumference.)
What a lovely Friday treat! Clearly we’d already started to indulge when I whipped out my phone to take this picture.
Know what my favorite part of mini cupcakes is?
You can eat a bunch of them and they all add up to one regular cupcake. True story.
S’mores on the left, and Cookie Dough on the right

Above are my initial two choices, and both were scrumptious. All of these cupcakes had a super moist cake–one of my coworkers commented that they almost didn’t look like they were done cooking (they were; never fear). But as a girl who’s had many an unfortunate crumbly cupcake, I’ll take that just-baked taste any day. Also, in spite of their deceiving size, the majority of the cupcakes were filled! So the S’mores cupcake had a tiny bit of graham cracker inside, and the Cookie Dough one was packing another little daub of dough like the one you can see in the picture. The icings on both were also spot-on–that delicious fudge-y chocolate that’s not quite a ganache but richer than a buttercream. Mmm.

I may or may not have gotten peer pressured into having a third cupcake. No, it didn’t really take a lot of arm twisting. But the Chocolate Chip Pancake was calling my name (it’s the one with what looks like vanilla icing [it's actually maple syrup buttercream] and chocolate chips in the picture above). That little guy was actually made out of pancake batter-dough, according to the menu:

And it tasted like it! Now, perhaps you’re not interested in the uncanny experience of eating a pancake in cupcake form. (I don’t know why you wouldn’t be.) But if you are, this cupcake somehow made that magic happen.

Thankfully (or not so much), I was able to stop myself at three. But according to my fellow noshers, all of the other flavors were equally divine (Red Velvet was lauded in particular).

If you’d like to celebrate spring’s arrival (finally), or maybe just escape the April showers, Baked by Melissa has not one, two, or three, but four locations in NYC! Chances are, there’s one near you. And if there isn’t…I  mean, that’s what lunch breaks are for, right?


Links in this post:
http://www.bakedbymelissa.com/#

TGIF, f’realz

So, just a short post to say that in spite of the fact that today included:

  • savagely burning myself on the office toaster oven
  • a wicked paper cut resulting from jogging my proofs too earnestly
  • hellacious email drama and
  • walking out the office door to rain–surprise!–with no umbrella,

I did not throw myself in front of a passing city bus because my dear Middle Chip brought me a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. Vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. In its own jaunty little Magnolia Bakery carrying case. I may or may not have shut my office door at 4 p.m. to eat my cupcake in peace because it was the bright spot in my life at that moment. So, dear sister, thanks from the bottom of my heart to you.

(Please excuse the crappy photo quality; I had to use my iPhone camera due to the spontaneity of such a wonderful gift.)

I think the cute boxes are half the reason I like boutique cupcake shops so much. Okay, maybe 25%.
Bringing much more joy and happiness to my office than my fake gerbera daisies ever can.
Just before digging in. :)

Happy weekend!

Links in this post:
http://www.magnoliabakery.com/home.php