These beauties are not the subject of this post. They're made by the best cupcakery in the Bay Area, Sibby's.
I spend a lot of time on this blog telling readers how to do things: how to paint a kitchen, how to throw a fun party, how to make hummus, how to decorate for the holidays. Lots of my posts contain instructions on how to do this and do that. But sometimes telling someone what not to do can be just as important as telling them what to do. With that in mind, I've written down a list of Don'ts that I came up with after a particularly disastrous cupcake baking experience. Read and learn, people, read and learn.......
* Don't volunteer to bake cupcakes for your sons' soccer team and then promptly forget all about it.
* Don't remember you volunteered 2 hours before the team is scheduled to eat the cupcakes.
* Don't try to be a hero (or a martyr) -- BUY the damn cupcakes instead of attempting to bake them.
* Don't mistake your 1/3 cup measuring cup for your 1/4 cup measuring cup, thereby adding a full cup of sugar to your batter when the recipe only calls for 3/4 cup.
* Don't forget to buy cupcake liners.
* Don't forget to buy confectioner's sugar for the frosting.
* Don't attempt to substitute regular sugar for the confectioner's sugar -- or if you, at least make it into a simple syrup so the sugar crystals melt and you don't end up with crunchy frosting.
* Don't ask your daughter to read the frosting recipe out loud and get distracted, so when she says "1/3 cup milk", you think she has said "1 cup milk", and end up with liquid frosting. Crunchy liquid frosting.
* Don't stress out. It's cupcakes for a kids' soccer team, not the Food Network Challenge. I ended up pouring my crunchy liquid chocolate frosting into a covered bowl and telling the kids it was a chocolate dip for their cupcakes. They absolutely loved it! Getting to dunk their cupcakes into the "chocolate dip" turned out to be a lot of fun, and the parents loved it because their sons didn't end up eating a whole mound of frosting, just a thin layer.