Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recipes Revisited: Laura V's Dessert Filled Birthday

A clear line has been drawn in the war on nutrition.
This past weekend was the birthday of one of the most awesome ladies I know- Laura V. For four years in college, she proved her supreme worth as a human being by serving as my faithful RA (LauraRa is far catchier than this new Laura V stuffs). She always kept me well nourished with her To Catch a Predator like bowl of candy and kept me entertained with her love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that almost managed to rival my own (but the real props go out for all the times I got her to awkwardly draw an arrow on me for NOD, the most interesting of Rice parties). I decided to pay her back for her years of service with enough birthday treats to kill a small elephant.  In order to do this, I reached into my bag of confectionery tricks and came up with 3 of my favorite recipes for party-goers: Strawberry Whoopie Pies, Margarita Cupcakes and Snickerdoodles.
The birthday girl demonstrates that a proper whoopie pie should be on the same scale as a human head.
Strawberry Whoopie Pies
Just as I feared, it could've used more glorious filling.
If you read this blog, then you know all about my fascination with the giant cookie from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. This leads me to periodically craving whoopie pies to attempt to fill the massive cookie shaped whole in my life. I went with the superior strawberry filled variety, so we would have a fun play on a chocolate covered strawberry for the event. The magnificent beast that is the brownie/cookie hybrid perfectly encapsulates the cream cheese filling for a cookie that goes a long way (seriously I recommend cutting each into 6-8 pieces). As much as I think cupcakes win in the centuries old war of desserts (it's kind of like Underworld but with less hair and leather), these whoopie pies make a compelling case for their cookie brethren.
The closest I ever want to come to a shot of tequila again.
Margarita Cupcakes with Lime Curd Filling
Mollie gets into the cupcake modeling game.
Laura is known for her love of fine liquor and distaste for beer (I'm guessing it's the result of smelling one too many beer pong games during her first tour as RA). Since I couldn't think of a cupcake to mimic her otherworldly sangria, I instead went for my Cinco de Mayo fave Margarita cupcakes (because they're awesome, not just because she's Mexican... mostly). The tequila and lime both shine in these cupcakes. The cake itself is my definition of a perfectly baked moist cake with slight hints of the tequila and lime that are further accentuated by the buttercream frosting. The real kick comes from the lime curd filling that hits your like a powerful shot for a mini birthday cake to remember. Fun fact, I actually tried to make these look fancier with some decorative oyster pearls to mimic the salt rim of a margarita. Then I tried one and realized it was hard and didn't taste particularly good, so I read the packaging and saw that they were for decoration only (whoops, as always, I blame the tequila). 


Two desserts just didn't seem like enough, plus I needed a medium for writing out happy birthday (and I assumed the guests wouldn't want to spend the party reading it scribbled on my chest), so I went with the ultra simple yet incredible cinnamon and brown sugar filled dynamo known as the snickerdoodle. I usually cover these in rich King Cake frosting, but I decided to give everyone a mild sugar break and only wrote on them with store bought icing that made me feel like I was cheating.

I continue to prove my ability to make a perfectly round cookie... It just seems like such a waste not making them big enough to crash into the side walls while baking.
Of all the desserts I used to try to prove my nearly decade long admiration for my former RA, the whoopie pies seemed to be the clear winners as they were the first to go. However, Mollie did declare the margarita cupcakes to be the greatest thing ever (and in the process ripped a hole in the space-time continuum and made freshman year me quite jealous). The day of baking was well worth it to give Laura a birthday fitting of her awesomeness. 

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