Category Archives: Cooking

Chocolate Baking Overload

Tonight, I’m baking three dozen chocolate brownie cupcakes. Tomorrow, I will decorate all of those with an as-yet-to-be-determined frosting and then bake a chocolate fudge cake with caramel frosting. I can’t decide if this makes me brilliant or insane. Maybe both.

My oldest turns seven on Monday. Seven! We decided to throw him a “friend” birthday party this year at our local children’s museum. He has a mix of friends from his former Kindergarten class, new friends from homeschool group, neighborhood friends, and a best friend since birth. It’s all very exciting for him, but I’m discovering quite an undertaking in addition to our regular family party.

My son K, being the kid he is, had his eyes on all the quirky cupcakes in the recipe book, like pistachio, until he saw the chocolate brownie cupcakes. I think I’ve used more white flour and white sugar tonight than I have in the past year. I usually avoid both, but, I’ll make an exception for special occasions. I really want so badly for him to have a great party with all his friends. I don’t want him to be that weird kid whose mom made the beet chocolate cupcakes with avocado icing. (I have made both of those things, actually, but not together.)

The first batch has come out of the oven and I can’t decide which is better, the batter or the warm, gooey cupcakes.

Having drastically changed my family’s diet in the past two years towards more traditional, unprocessed food, my kids are used to my kitchen “experiments”. But some special things you just don’t mess with, like chocolate birthday cake, unless you absolutely have to. That being said, no cake has to come from a box. I can make a perfectly decadent traditional chocolate cake with grass-fed golden butter, pasture raised hen’s eggs, and high quality chocolate and totally devoid of artificial colors, corn syrup, preservatives, and cheap rancid vegetable oils. I feel much better about baking my own cupcakes and cakes than anything I could make from a box or buy from the bakery. Baking from scratch is my compromise.

As I plop the batter satisfyingly into each little paper cup, I think about my son. Just yesterday he was a sweet little newborn with a silky black hair and knowing eyes. Now he’s this seemingly huge boy, with big boy legs and smelly feet and big-toothed grins. My big boy will get his (unadulterated) chocolate cupcakes and turn another year older, surrounded by love and laughter and friendship. Love you, kiddo!

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