Yesterday was the big day, M’s birthday. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I decided to make him a whole bunch of cookies & cream cupcakes to take to school and share with his classmates. Leading up to the day I started to worry a little. What if I burnt them, what if they didn’t rise properly, what if the oreo’s burned, what if I just couldn’t manage to wrangle a baby while baking and icing 30 odd cupcakes? Sounds pretty petty huh.
I bought the supplies and ingredients a few days earlier – 2 boxes of Greens vanilla cupcake mix, 1 tub of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting, a small stick of butter, 1 double box of Oreos, a single packet of Oreos, a tub of Mini-Oreos (the little tiny ones, about the size of a 5c piece), and some colorful paper wrappers.
I also have a tub of sour cream there, to use as an egg replacer, since we don’t eat eggs.
To start with, I turned on the oven to preheat, opened up the cupcake mix boxes, and made up the batter, following the instructions. It was a little cool that day, even though I had left the butter out for almost an hour to soften a little, it was still kinda hard so I pulled out my stick blender to tzuj it all up together for a minute or 2.
After I finished with the batter, I filled the cupcake tray with the paper wrappers, and then placed an Oreo in the base of each wrapper.
After filling the tray with wrappers, and placing an Oreo in the base of each wrapper, I poured the batter in using a 1/3 cup measuring scoop – it’s the perfect size.
Once the tray has been filled, I baked them in the oven for… I think it was about 23 minutes? By the time I got to around 16 minutes I started to smell a very very slight burning smell… hmmm. The cupcakes looked fine, though. They were cooking beautifully.
The first batch came out and I put them on the cooling rack and repeated everything over again – fill the tray with wrappers, Oreo in the base, top with batter, then back in the oven.
While all this was going on, K decided he was well and truly OVER playing on the floor in the kitchen (I usually give him a bright blue plastic juicer, a red tea strainer, and a plastic sushi mould to play with in there while I’m doing things), OVER playing with his toys in the lounge, and OVER his walker. While this batch was cooking I sat and fed him and played with him for a bit.
I ended up doing another half a tray after the second batch – 30 in total. While they were cooling, I started to crush up the Oreos for the frosting in a small bowl, until they were small chunks. A few nights ago I did a small test run of the frosting, and decided that I had crushed up the Oreos too fine – I wanted to have some smallish chunks, enough so that you could actually taste the Oreo in the frosting. Once they were too fine, the flavour of the frosting actually took over, and it became vanilla frosting with blackish brownish flecks through it.
After I crushed up the Oreos and mixed it through the frosting, I started to ice the now-cooled cupcakes. Again, K cracked it, so I ended up doing half of them while holding him, which was just stoooopid cos of course he just wanted to touch touch touch it all.
And then to finish it all off – top each cupcake with a Mini-Oreo! Just in case there is not quite enough sugar in it for you as is.
After I finished baking and icing them I stashed them in some plastic containers in the top of the pantry until the next day… All up it took me a little under 4 hours to make them!
That night I waited until M went to bed, and parked his birthday present – a new BMX bike – in his bedroom, with a big gold rosette on it. I went to bed expecting to be woken up with some squeals or shrieks or something, but instead he stumbled into my room around 7am and very sleepily said ‘Thanks for the new bike, mum’ before slipping into bed to snuggle with us. We lolled about in bed for about 20 mins before I said we had better get up if he wanted to be treated out to breakfast before school.
I got him ready for the school day, then we headed out with all the cupcakes. We stopped off at McDonalds for a birthday breakfast of hotcakes and OJ, then dropped him off at school. He was so proud walking into school with all his cupcakes, and all the other kids stopping, staring, and running over to check it out.
When I picked him up from school, his classmates were walking out saying ‘Thanks M’, and ‘Those were deeeeeeeeeeeeelicious’, and M was beaming. When we got home he unwrapped the rest of his presents – some clothes, a plasma lamp (one of those ones that looks like it has lightning bolts inside it), some stickers, and a new transformer.
While he was out and about, stickering up his bike, test riding it, and modelling his new clothes, I was picking up all the wrapping and tags, then started on his favourite dinner – Tacos! Yum. I love Tacos too, and they are quick and easy to make.
And then, in case you weren’t sick yet, after dinner came the birthday cake. Mud cake with vanilla ice cream. Yum. Of course, at that point M had had pancakes for breakfast, a cupcake for morning tea, only half a vegemite sandwich for lunch (and of course he skipped the apple I packed), and tacos for dinner (which he ate 2 whole tacos piled high with salad and beans). I seriously considered skipping the cake and icecream since he had had pancakes for brekky and the super sweet cupcakes at school, but decided it was a bit mean to bar candles and the Happy Birthday song, haha. It was only about 30 mins before I was due to pick him up from school that I changed my mind and decided to run down to the local and pick up some dessert. And I’m glad that I did, because really, singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles is the real deal moment for me.
And on that note, let me say that I am so glad that I don’t have to do all this for another 365 days… Oh. Hang on. The other kid. Damn…