Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Holidays! Kinda.

Like all normal people, my friends and I had our gift-giving-holiday get together on Sunday, January 13. This year, all of my gifts were homemade (baked or knit - I forgot to photograph the knit. I suck). But you can still behold the baked goods in all their questionable glory:

First, I made two dozen Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and one dozen Fauxstess Cupcakes from Vegan With a Vengeance:

Then the fun began.

Fauxstess cupcakes are so fun to make. Once they're cool, you poke a hole in them with your finger and pipe it full of fluffy frosting. If you're me, you fill some of them with pink fluffy frosting.

Then you dip them in warm ganache, which I believe is French for chocolategasm.

Then it's time to turn the cupcakes into records. Using a small, circular thing I found at NY Cake Supplies which may or may not be a cookie cutter, I cut a hole in the ganache and scraped it off. In two cases, I cut a little too deeply and removed some cupcake too. It was tasty. I replaced the disc of ganache with a disc of colored marzipan: the label.

Then I used royal icing to write the band names on the labels and to do the regular Fauxstess squigglies. My royal icing was WAY to thick and I had a lot of difficulty getting it to pipe. All my lettering was completely illegible. So I added water when I added the pink food coloring, scraped off the old letters and rewrote the names. The icing was too runny, and the letters were all over the place. But I was at the end of my tether, so I decided to leave them alone and translate if necessary (for the curious, they say !!!, Interpol, The Beatles, CYHSY [Clap Your Hands Say Yeah], Ben Folds and Ambulance [LTD]). I also used dabs of ganache to make the spindles.

The first half dozen Crimson Velveteen cupcakes were for my friend who loves red velvet (and sweets in general), so I topped them with a brightly colored swirl of Old Fashioned Velveteen Icing from VCTOTW and silver dragees.

The next set of Velveteens were for someone who loves Star Wars, so I dyed the icing and some marzipan green and made Yoda cupcakes. They came out way better than I expected them to and made me very happy.

The next set were for one of the people who taught me to knit, so I stole VeganYumYum's knit cupcakes idea. Unfortunately, her site was down when I was working on these and I'd only printed out the pictures, so I didn't know how to keep the marzipan from cracking. Fail. These and the vinyl took the most time. The vinyl because I think I spent two hours just fucking around with the royal icing and these because I had trouble getting the marzipan to stick to itself and stand the way I wanted it to (I ended up making little marzipan "pillows" to hold up the fabricy looking pieces).

To get all of these done before our party, I actually ended up baking and cooking through the night. While I was working on one of these knit cupcakes, I realized it was after 10 AM, I hadn't been to bed and I still had gingerbread to decorate. Guess which cupcake I was working on when the realization hit:

A work-in-progress in an ugly colorway:

A ball of yarn:

A fringed scarf:


Ball of yarn with needles:

Lastly, I made gingerbread hipsters with the recipe from The PPK. When I made a test batch of gingerbread, I used an eight inch cookie cutter which made gingerbread men the size of small children. Seriously. The heads were bigger than my fist. Awesome as that was, I wanted something slightly smaller for this, so I got a five inch cookie cutter. It worked much better.

I had hoped to decorate these in loads of different colors and get all fancy and detailed, but I was tired, my icing was runny and my brain wasn't working, so I ran out of cliches after about two. Damn. I suck.

Left to right:
Top row: asymmetrical hair and a stud belt, fauxhawk and eyeliner abuse, asymmetrical hair and bling, a MisShape.
Middle row: obscure band t-shirt, sideburns and what may be pinstripe pants, asymmetrical hair and stud belt, I don't know what the last one started out as, but now I think it's a bald Carlos D.
Bottom row: my Chucks failed so they became Uggs. I think the last speaks for itself.

Despite how sloppy and unprofessional the cupcakes and cookies looked, everyone seemed to like them, and that's what counts. I received many a food-related gift this holiday season and look forward to using them to make food for others (especially if I'm baking. Everyone but me should eat the baking!).


Liz² said...

so. damn. cool. it all looks amazing! and the painstaking effort is ohso apparent. I especially want a yoda cake. :o

aurorasinistra said...

I think your friends are very lucky indeed. The greatest gift we can give is our time...and you certainly spent some time on those cupcakes.

They looked great! I especially loved the knitting ones! Marzipan can be a pain, but it always looks so good.

Seitan Wörshipper said...

I love thóse Star Wars cupcakes!! Also Great decorations in all other of those bakings but thopse little,green faces with funny ears makes me smile :))

lauren said...

I was so distracted by my yarny cupcakes that I didn't even see anyone else's but Shawn's. THEY ALL WIN. SO MUCH. OMG.

Seams Unlikely said...

Those cupcakes are awesome! I especially love the Yoda ones!