Monday, May 23, 2011

Dolce Far Niente

homemade gluten-free vanilla cupcakes from the Babycakes cookbook (with broken sugar cookies to fill in the empty spaces)

following the Hello, Cupcake cookbook, I piped tinted frosting through a ziplock bag to look like noodles

meatballs: ferrero rocher hazelnut chocolates / spaghetti sauce: sugar-free strawberry preserves

add grated white chocolate to look like parmesan cheese

dolce far niente is my favorite italian phrase. according to this clip from the Eat, Pray, Love movie (the book is amazing by the way. read it now.), it roughly translates into "the sweetness of doing nothing..."

ok so, it actually has nothing at all to do with the photos or the recipe or the fact that these are cupcakes made to look like spaghetti. but as i was coming up with a title of this post my mind went hmmm... spaghetti cupcakes... spaghetti... italy... italian phrases...   you see, i am an ignorant american who associates pizza and spaghetti with italy.

but back to the cupcakes. i made these over the summer with my cousin Victoria who was absolutely instrumental when she saved me from a major emotional meltdown small mishap after I accidentally added too much baking powder to the recipe. the cupcakes survived (if not a bit chewier and more muffin-y than cupcake-y) and so did i, thanks to her. (Tor, if you're reading this - mad props.) the Babycakes vanilla cupcake recipe turned out to be delicious. i'd never made homemade cupcakes before and let me tell you... you can taste the difference. fresh meyer lemon zest and vanilla extract explode in your mouth in a way that the powdery chemicals from a store-bought box could never do.

i had almost as much fun decorating the cupcakes as i did reading and re-reading my Hello, Cupcake and What's New, Cupcake? cookbooks (visit their site, these people are geniuses.)

we served these little pieces of art at a family 4th of july party and they were a smash hit. we all enjoyed them with a small bottle of Veuve Clicquot split between about 6 of us (everyone got about two sips worth) and watched as my other cousin Andrew set off fireworks that he got while visiting the South. luckily, no boat covers were set aflame nor party boats forced to capsize as has been custom in years past....    (i'm not kidding, this has happened. but i'll save those stories for another post.)

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