We made cupcakes together. Not just any cupcakes, but S’mores Cupcakes, from scratch. My daughter texted me about them and I found the recipe in Real Simple so I gathered the necessary supplies prior to her arrival. It felt like she had a million questions that night. Is this right? Where should I put this? What should I do next? I was starting to lose my patient, loving feelings for my daughter who had within the last year graduated from a top university in our nation’s capital.
Yes, the eggs were expired. But no I didn’t know how bad the vanilla smelled until it was too late. When we combined the stick butter with the spread, we probably had close to the right amount. Amazingly the kitchen wasn’t as messy as it should have been with the multitude of ingredients. The interesting part came when the marshmallows came out of the oven. They were a lovely expansion of white with a bit of a tan. As they cooled, they flattened out, but were still beautiful. At least until we started trying to pry them from the parchment paper to put on top of the cupcake glazed with a wonderful chocolate ganache!
We pulled and prodded until each marshmallow pulled loose, but then it would get stuck to our fingers. Then we would get stuck to each other as we tried to help one another. Then it happened. I couldn’t help it. We were laughing, yes, but then my body took control and refused to stop. It was like a Lucy and Ethel moment. We could have been on the candy line shoving chocolates into our bras to hide our mistakes. The goo that ended up on top of the cupcakes in no way resembled the lovely pillow it started out as. Who would want to eat this after we mangled the topping? Of course we had to try one to see what it was like.
Have you ever dropped sand in your cake batter? It was more like a gritty piece of cornbread than a light, airy treat. Think about what it’s like when you are making S’mores at a campfire, sometimes you drop your ingredients and get a little dirt in things. But you eat it anyway because it’s so wonderful with the melted chocolate and gooey marshmallow. Well, this cupcake wasn’t worth eating any more of at all.
Even funnier, we had planned on taking them to my parents house the next day as a treat. We were too embarrassed to even share them with family. But when we arrived in the late afternoon, I spied them in the kitchen, sitting on a cooling rack. It was them, the cupcakes of infamy.
“Rebecca, come look, quick!”
“What?” she complained until she turned the corner into the kitchen.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
They say everything happens for a reason. Our cupcakes failed, so that my mom could shine. It was the first time she had cooked for the family since she had been sick. It had been months since she felt herself. With the surgery about 3 weeks behind her, she was finally able to get up and move around for longer periods of time. Long enough to wrestle with the seemingly impossible cupcakes. She did admit that it wasn’t until the second batch of marshmallows that she had success. Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, it would have only taken one batch.