It's hard to admit this, but I don't think I have ever made cupcakes. I occasionally make a cake, constantly make brownies, and love making cookies. But cupcakes have always been mysterious objects escaping my chocolate-smeared fingers. Last week, I got a box from Amazon, more than likely because I ordered from them. I excitedly ripped it open to confirm the contents...two new cookbooks that I have really been wanting for months! Luckily, talking on the phone to my sister convinced me that I CAN treat myself to something nice every once in a while! So I made a few clicks with my mouse, and then waited outside by the mailbox for a week until my package arrived. Believe me, it didn't disappoint.
One of the books is called Bite-Size Desserts: Creating Mini Sweet Treats, From Cupcakes and Cobblers to Custards and Cookies, by Carole Bloom. Though it takes three full breaths to say, the title provides a good description of the book contents. What more would you possibly want from a book? I read it cover to cover as soon as I got it, and most of the pages are now ruined from my drooling over the gorgeous pictures of over ninety desserts. For some reason, her biography picture on the back page shows a very skinny person. I don't believe it. Must be a stunt-double. Anyone who creates and tests desserts for a living cannot weigh one-hundred pounds! That's actually a law in seventeen states. I've already picked out some things I will be making in the next few weeks for various events. How can one go wrong with names like "Wicked Brownie Bites" and "Peek-A-Boo Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies." She uses quality ingredients to make insane goodies, and I can't wait to try them all! I have this obsession with mini things anyway, so this is just aiding my addiction.
As if it couldn't get any better, I picked up the next book and felt as giddy as a little girl! I think I squealed in delight! I found this book several months ago at TJ Maxx but haven't allowed myself to get it. In order to get free shipping from Amazon, I had to spend a certain amount (spend money to save money...man, I fell for it again!). So I casually looked up the title of this book as well to see if they had it. Not only was it there staring me in the face, but it was ON SALE! I don't ignore fate, so with just a few hurried clicks with shaking hands, it was also in my online shopping cart.
This book was created by a magazine, Real Simple, with which I have fallen in love. The title is Celebrations, Easy Entertaining for Every Occasion and is filled to the brim of exactly how I love doing things! They broke it down into categories, like entertaining for the holidays, summer barbecues, showers, and yes, even cheese parties. Until now, I had no idea how badly I have been wanting to throw a cheese party! Who knew?! Each chapter includes everything from invitation ideas to menu lists to suggestions for party activities. I couldn't put the book down and have actually read it twice already! My very patient husband even looked at pictures with me because I was too excited to sleep. I am in heaven!
I finally whittled John down to let me try one of the recipes in the book. So, on Sunday afternoon, I made vanilla bean yellow cupcakes with vanilla sour cream frosting. I then shaved some Hershey bar chocolate over the top, just to make them look pretty. We can call my first cupcake attempt a success. John devoured them while he watched the NBA game, and I kept clapping my hands and jumping up and down because I was enjoying myself so much. I really do love cooking, but making cute, edible things is even better!
It was a splurge to get two new books, but my cup(cake) hath overrunneth with joy ever since they arrived. Some things in life are too good to pass by.