Tag Archives: 500 Cupcakes

A Failed Attempt at Cupcake Camp NYC Still Ended Sweetly

This past Friday was the second annual Cupcake Camp NYC. You may find yourself asking, “What is this camping cupcake nonsense?” Well, yes, there are cupcakes, but no, there isn’t any camping. It’s basically an ad-hoc gathering for cupcake lovers alike. From bakers to writers and bloggers, and everyone in between, it’s an event to get together and mingle with other cupcake nerds. And Cupcake Camp happens all over the WORLD!

Having heard about the event awhile ago, I was pumped and ready to go. When the tickets were finally made available in March, I made sure to get myself and my fiancé a pair. Since they were free, I was more than ecstatic at the mere thought getting to see (let alone eat) some awesome cupcakes, and potentially brush shoulders with some seriously important cupcake people. You know, like my favorite blog Cupcakes Take the Cake. Or the owner of Buttercup Bake Shop! So once the day rolled around, my fiancé and I made sure to leave work 45 minutes early to get into the city as soon as possible.

Cupcake Camp was held at Happy Ending on Broome Street on the lower east side. When we were approaching our destination, my heart sunk. The event started at 7pm, and it was only about 7:10. The line was not only out the door, but down the street, and around the corner. I mean, I knew it was going to be crowded – everyone loves cupcakes. I couldn’t help but think to myself; “I got my tickets a month early! I love cupcakes way more than these people! I’m even wearing my cupcake necklace! My fiancé and I have mushy gushy cupcake love! THIS ISN’T FAIR!”

The dreaded line

The dreaded line

After whining in my head till the end of the line, we got in line, and waited. We waited and waited, and we didn’t actually get in until just a bit after 8pm. On the way in, we heard a few people echoing “There aren’t any cupcakes left!” while they walked out with boxes of leftover goodies. I sincerely hoped they were lying, but my hopes were dashed once I finally got inside. Any cupcakes that were left were already spoken for by others. There were a few authors selling their cupcake books, and everyone was just mingling and enjoying one another’s company. The bar was so packed, it was nearly impossible to move. After making our rounds, my fiancé and I left, a little disappointed, and very hungry.

I am utterly shocked at how many people were there! It was truly impressive. I mean, I know cupcakes are the “it” trend right now, but man! I suppose the word “free” might have played it’s part as well. I’m definitely going to make an attempt at next year’s gathering. But I think some camping might be involved this time. Forget about leaving work 45 minutes early – I’m going to need to take the whole day!

After that fail, we decided to head over to Dos Toros Taqueria, a place I had read about on SeriousEats. They compared it a lot to Chipotle, so as a burrito fanatic, I was in. When we got there, though, we faced our second fail of the evening. It’s an extremely small place – only one window bench with about 4 seats. And, the line was out the door. Since it was a bit chilly and windy, we decided to save that deliciousness for a day we could really enjoy it. We settled on the Thai restaurant Spice. We passed one of their other locations en route to Dos Toros and had already perused the menu, so we figured that would suffice. I really think Friday was the night of the foodies. We walked past Momofuku‘s Milk Bar and that line was even more outrageous! [I still need to get in on that chicken dinner!]

When we got to Spice, we were told we’d have about a 20 minute wait, which isn’t so bad for 9pm on a Friday in the city. Thankfully, we only wound up waiting about 10 minutes, and we were brought upstairs to our table. We decided to get an order of the spicy calamari to share. It wasn’t spicy so much as it had a nice crisp black pepper taste. The dipping sauce was sweet, tangy, and peanuty with a little kick all at the same time. I really enjoyed it.

Spicy Crispy Calamari with Sriracha honey chili sauce

For our entrees, I went with the Drunken Man Noodles, and my fiancé went for his go-to Pad Thai. The Drunken Man Noodles were broad rice noodles (my favorite!) with chicken, shrimp and squid along with chili, egg, and green beans.

Drunk Man Noodle

Our food came quickly, and it was actually really good. Being the spicy lovers that we are, we asked for extra spice. Surprisingly, despite the restaurant’s name, the food wasn’t spicy. That would be my only gripe about the place. The service was friendly, but they didn’t check-up on us once. It worked out since everything was fine, but if it hadn’t been, I wonder if we would have had trouble flagging someone down. At any rate, for a $30 dinner in the city, I really can’t complain.

To end our night on an even higher note, we headed over to 16 Handles. My fiancé and I actually went here on our fourth date, after dining at the Telephone Bar which is sadly now closed. 16 Handles really is as great as it sounds. There are 16 different flavors of frozen yogurt that you get to choose from yourself, followed by a plethora of toppings. It’s all done buffet style, so you get to pick your cup size, yogurt and topping choices, and then pay by weight. They have everything from sweet to tart flavors, non-dairy and low fat options, and both fruity and candy-like toppings. Being the sweets junkie that I am, I went for red velvet, cookies & cream, New York cheesecake and peanut butter yogurt (just a dollop of each!). I then topped it off with some cookie dough bites, brownie bites, crushed graham crackers, crushed Oreo, and mashed Reese’s peanut butter cups. Oh. Yes. Take a look at the masterpiece!:

16 Handles of deliciousness

So all in all, despite not getting a cupcake, I think I had a successful foodie evening. And I made up for the lack of cupcakes by getting a Crumbs cappuccino and half baked cupcake Saturday. Plus, I’m on Sunday I was able to whip up some peanut butter cupcakes from my 500 Cupcakes recipe book! Maybe next year I’ll be adventurous and bake my OWN cupcakes for the event! We’ll see 🙂

2 Comments

Filed under Cupcakes, Food Review, Restaurant

Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

Since our half marathon training is coming to an end, we only had to run once this weekend, and it thankfully fell on Saturday. So, this left me with lots of options for my Sunday. I haven’t made cupcakes in awhile, so I figured I’d give them a whirl.

I got the 500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly for Christmas, but hadn’t actually made any recipes from the book until today. The book itself is really cute and displays nicely in my kitchen, but I found myself shying away from it and going to the internet to find recipes instead. Well, last night I buckled down and decided on a recipe from the book; Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

The recipe is pretty straight forward – eggs, peanut butter, sugar, butter and flour. I didn’t have any self rising flour, so I added a teaspoon of baking soda. I also snuck a taste of the batter before putting it in the cups, and it seemed to be missing something. So, I also threw in a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Look at me, getting all inventive with my recipes! I decided to use my hand mixer this time, and it was much easier. I still want a stand mixer, though!

The batter itself was really thick. I had trouble getting out of the bowl and into the cupcake wrappers. I wound up using two spoons – one to grab the batter from the bowl, and another to then scrape it off of the first spoon. They looked like messy blobs when they went in the oven, and I was sure they were going to come out looking equally messy. After 20 minutes, I was surprised at how cupcake-like they looked!

The recipe came with a peanut butter inspired icing, but I decided to go chocolate. I mean, what goes better with peanut butter than chocolate? Just ask the people at Reese’s. There was a chocolate buttercream recipe in the book, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was low on butter, didn’t have any milk, and I didn’t think it was worth a trek to the store, when I have to go later for my weekly grocery shopping anyway. I had some left-over frosting, so I iced one with chocolate, and one with vanilla. Then I remembered I had some semi-sweet chocolate chips. So, I decided to melt them! The cupcakes have a really glossy sheen on them, and they look as delicious as they taste! Though, as you can tell, I need to work on my icing skills.

Here’s the recipe for the Peanut Butter Cupcakes. If you’re in the market for a cupcake cookbook, I definitely suggest this one. There are TONS of variations for each of the recipes, and clearly if you stray a bit, they still work out well!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
4 eggs
1 cup crunchy peanut butter

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 18 paper baking cups in muffin pans.
2. Combine butter, sugar, flour, and eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in the peanut butter until well combined.
4. Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake 20 minutes. remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack. Frost & enjoy!

Happy nomzing!

1 Comment

Filed under Baking, Cupcakes, Recipe

A Foodie Christmas

This Christmas couldn’t have made it any more apparent how incredibly obsessed both my boyfriend and I are with food. This is a fact that I am more than okay with. I actually think there are some realms that our obsession is lacking, and I plan to make up for that in the coming year.

At any rate, the abundance of food related gifts were abundant this Christmas. I purchased a first-timer beer making kit for my boyfriend, from Mr. Beer. I’ve been told it’s an average beer making kit, and some of the more seasoned beer makers laughed at my purchase. Not knowing much (read: anything) about brewing beer, I thought it would be a good starter kit. For under $100 my boyfriend is going to get to brew two batches of beer!

As for me, my boyfriend got me two cookbooks. I’ve been pining over both, and apparently made comments about them every time I saw one. The first is a cupcake cookbook, 500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly. It boasts to be “the only cupcake compendium you’ll ever need.” I can’t disagree with that statement; not only does it have 500 recipes, it has a plethora of variations for each as well. I also received Hungry Girl’s 200 Under 200 book. This book details 200 recipes each under 200 calories! And let me tell you, there are some seriously impressive recipes in there; cupcakes, pizza, chips and dips, breakfast, desserts, shakes and smoothies… the list just goes on. I’m really looking forward to making them, since I’ve found a few of their recipes on the website and have been more than pleased with their outcome.

For both my boyfriend and I, we received quite a few appliances. One would think we were on a wedding registry! Together, we’ve stockpiled a giant George Foreman grill, a waffle maker, a four slice toaster, and a nice toaster/convection oven. We have so many appliances on our counter that we’re running out of space. While trying to make breakfast yesterday and running the toaster and microwave at the same time, I managed to short the circuit… whoops.

Not directly related to food making or consumption, but I also received a beautiful cupcake necklace on Christmas. When I unwrapped it, I thought it was a cupcake shaped keepsake box. Being inquisitive I opened it, to find a beautiful gold and diamond cupcake on an extremely thin gold chain. Nothing says “I love food” more than wearing a piece of food around your neck. Or, of course, simply writing it across your forehead.

Needless to say I’m starting to see great things in terms of food for 2010. This year really allowed me to delve into my foodie passion, and I hope to explore it more in 2010. Maybe I can even get a group together for more consistent foodie excursions!

I’ll be making Guinness with Bailey’s icing cupcakes for the New Year’s Eve bash I’ll be attending tomorrow, so look for a post in the near future about how they turned out!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Baking, Beginning Food, Food Blogging, Food Review, Home Cooking