Don’t you just hate the title of this blog?
So, just to update you on my party-planning misadventures, I think things actually turned out pretty nicely today for my dear boss’s baby shower. Many thanks to the ladies of 2137; coworkers Stephanie, Ami, and Natalie; and of course, my perpetually-party-planning ma.
Speaking of my ma (let’s affectionately refer to her as “Nanch”), she all but forced me to make what I’m about to show you here. To be honest, Nanch, it wasn’t really something I think I’d ever choose to do on my own. But in the end it turned out adorably, and it didn’t tip the whole shower into the “cutesy” category that I was oh-so-earnestly trying to avoid.
So without further ado . . .
Purdy darn precious, eh? Good news!!! They’re easy to make.
While I baked the cupcakes last night, I made the pacifiers out of candy earlier in the week. (oh yes, my friends, they are edible) You begin with white lifesavers and jelly beans in your colors of choice. I chose yellow, pink, and blue.
In order to create edible glue, all you need is royal icing. To make a full batch of royal icing, you need:
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
In this case, you certainly don’t need an entire batch–so I’d suggest halving the recipe. In my photos I’m creating a full batch since it didn’t occur to me to do otherwise until much too late.
Beat the egg whites and the lemon juice.
No need to whip it up for too long. Add the sugar a little at a time until it looks like this:
The end! For the icing, I mean. Use it quickly and store the rest in an airtight container, because the stuff turns to glue in a hot minute.
Next, take the lifesavers and place them smooth-side-down on a cooling rack. Carefully, dip the side of another lifesaver in a dab of icing (just a dab).
And secure it into the nook of a lifesaver on the cooling rack.
Do not worry about them not sticking. The icing=glue, and it sets up faster than a jackrabbit on a date.
Pretty soon you’ll have a little army of lifesavers.
Make sure the candies are dry and hardened before turning them over. (Notice I had to switch cooling racks because I wasn’t smart enough to use a slotted one the first time) Also used a bowl to hold my cooling rack up a bit, so that the bottoms of the lifesavers didn’t drag the table. You want them to be level for the next step.
Like you did with the lifesavers, dip a jelly bean into the icing, just a dab.
And place the jellybean icing-side-down into the lifesaver nook.
Wait a minute . . . those kind of look like . . . wee pacifiers!
And you know what? You can eat ’em. Great idea, Nanch! Duff should hire you to work at Charm City Cakes.
Has anyone ever eaten at the Magnolia Bakery in New York City? Well, on my quest for the perfect cupcake recipe, I found their recipe on the internets. I tried it out once and–while not as delicious as the cupcake I actually ate at the bakery–it was the best recipe I’d found so far. So I decided that the candy pacifiers would be presh on top of a yummaaay cupcake.
To make the supposed Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcake, you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs at room temp.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
This is an easy, easy recipe that produces a gorgeous yellow batter (perfect for bowl scraping/licking). So first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. With a mixer, cream the butter until it is smooth.
See that action shot? Yowza! I ❤ my KitchenAid.
Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is delicious and fluffy-looking.
In a separate bowl (you can also do this before combining the sugar and butter), sift together the flours.
I love sifted flour. I think it is beautiful, like a beach or a desert sand dune.
Aaaaaaaaah. Now shut up and set that bowl aside for a minute. Gather the eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Add the eggs, one at a time, until all four are incorporated.
Take a break and play with cat.
Play until he can’t play no more.
Back to work. Take your flour mixture, and add it in three batches; alternate between adding the flour and the milk.
NOM! That batter is just as tasty as it is purdy. Mix in the vanilla to make it taste even nomm-ier.
Line your cupcake tins, and fill them 2/3 or 3/4 full of batter. This recipe EASILY makes two dozen cupcakes.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until they look a little golden. The toothpick trick doesn’t hurt, either.
When done, they look scrumptious.
Just like my quest for the perfect man, my quest for the perfect cupcake has never yielded what I consider to be anything “perfect” in terms of icing (not even perfect-for-me). So far the perfect icing comes from my friend (and closest thing to the perfect man), Duncan Hines. I asked Jennifer and Steph to ice these while I set up the rest of the table. Place the candy pacifiers on top, and . . .
Adorableness. Notice that my homemade chocolate lollies turned out all right, too.
At the end of the day, I think the party was a success. People ate, drank, laughed, ooohed and aaaahed over all of the baby goodness. And my tables managed to distract me from the fact that I was trying to have a party in the most austere and unfriendly of corporate conference rooms.
And I think the mom-t0-be had some fun, too.
I mean, just look at all that stuff!