Months ago my younger daughter’s school was having a charity auction. Her teacher whom I like very much, sent a mail out to all the parents in the classroom asking for donations. Since I just couldn’t say no to her, I agreed to donate 2 dozen cupcakes for a child’s birthday. I sent her a couple of links from my blog with ideas – and made a couple of stipulations that it would have to be an agreed upon date, and that the person would need to pick them up at my house. I thought I had covered all my bases.
A nice woman purchased the cupcakes, and even though the date she suggested was not ideal (the weekend before Thanksgiving, and the week before my younger daughter’s birthday), I agreed to it. The stress started when she told me the theme. She had a son, and he loves “diggers” or “dump trucks.” That would be the theme for the party – so anything I could do to work that into the cupcakes would be great. Diggers? Dump trucks? Those are not in my vocabulary. I have girls. They are girly girls. They love pink and purple, and the words diggers or dump trucks are not topics of conversation at our house.
Well, I love a good challenge – and so there it was – staring at me in the face. I had almost given up trying to figure out what to do, when she sent me some links from Etsy – where someone had made some fondant dump trucks. I thought about doing that, but since I haven’t worked with fondant before, I decided to go the chocolate route. I went to my favorite cake/candy decorating store and bought a mold of dump trucks, and my older daughter and I spent the afternoon making them. It was a multi-step process, but when my husband came in to check on us, he was blown away. They looked fantastic. I couldn’t believe it, but I had actually pulled it off. I ended up making some very simple chocolate cupcakes from Cooking Light, and my favorite marshmallow frosting to hold the chocolates into place – but really it was all about the dump trucks.
They were a huge hit – and the woman that purchased them asked if I would take orders from some of her friends at the party. I laughed and was flattered, but I will stick to my day job for now…
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cupcakes, place brown sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in vanilla extract.
Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 18 cupcakes.
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