Thursday, June 13, 2013

A bad case of the "I Don't Wanna!"s and how to make rainbow cupcakes that are amazing.

Friends. Friends.

I have a really bad case of the "I Don't Wanna!"s.

I think this has something to do with the fact that the last week of school for my children was really busy and hectic, and frankly, I'm a lazy person. I've been really enjoying sleeping and getting up and not cleaning my kitchen and writing all day long on projects I want to work on. But that means I've been loathe to meet my other obligations, as evidenced by the week of no recaps last week. While I realize that most of you are cool with stuff posting just whenever, I feel like I have a responsibility to myself to stay on track with the schedule I've set for myself.

OH! That reminds me: for all you Roadhouse watchers, the last episode we filmed? Was amazing. Unfortunately, something went terribly wrong with the video. All we have is the audio. I'm working on a way to make that work. So, right now we're on a brief hiatus while I figure out a new way to film the show, fix the stuff we filmed, and plan on this NEVER HAPPENING AGAIN. This happened to us before, we filmed the perfect show and the file just VANISHED. We just have to stop filming good shows, I guess.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Schedules and the "I Don't Wanna!"s. I've been writing like it's a compulsion. All I do, all day long, until my husband begs me to stop, is write. Yes, this is what I'm usually like, but somehow it's different over this past week. It's been less, "I am writing because it is my job and I enjoy it," more, "I am writing because IT CONSUMES ME UNTIL ALL THAT IS LEFT IS BONE AND ASH." And the weird thing is... I Don't Wanna. I don't want to write. I want to do other stuff. In eight days, I'm going on a retreat to an isolated cabin on the Keeweenaw peninsula, for the soul purpose of finishing The Girlfriend- or, at least, getting it very close to being finished- and trying to spot Mishipeshu. I know I've got a busy summer ahead of me when I get back, with revisions for Such Sweet Sorrow and proposals for the next two books in that series (Wondrous Strange), publishing the POD and e-book versions of The Boss and The Girlfriend, finishing and shopping out a proposal for another vampire series, and writing Raptors of The Great Plains. Maybe that's why I'm locked into the "I Don't Wanna!"s right now, as well as the compulsive writing.

There's no real point to telling you all of this, I just find it interesting/slightly worrying from a mental health standpoint. I'm going back and forth between wondering if this is a healthy thing going on, or the beginning of some mania.

But now, let me teach you how to make some amazing cupcakes.




I've written on this blog about making rainbow cupcakes and tie-dye cake before. But I'm not sure I told you how to make them extra-awesome with Air Heads, so here. This is how you make them.

You're going to need some stuff:


You're going to need boxed cake mix, probably some eggs, definitely a bowl, a lot of bowls, food coloring, a mixer... look, you know how to make cupcakes already probably, right?

For these particular cupcakes, you're going to want white cake mix (it makes the colors pop better). So, you're going to need egg whites. Do you have one of these?:


If not, get one. You hang it on the edge of the bowl, crack the egg into it, and it separates the white from the yolk. But you need this specific one, because it has a face on it, and it's shaped like an egg, and you can pretend you're committing some kind of sick, cannibalistic torture/murder while you're doing it because look how goddamned horrified it looks!

Okay, so, now you've made your cake mix as per the directions on the box. Now you have to color it. This is where the "definitely a lot of bowls" part comes in:


I like to go with four colors. More than four, and your cupcakes will probably turn out too big. I recommend Wilton's icing colors for this job, because they're gels, they incorporate well, and they don't make the batter runny or anything. But as you'll note, I also used some non-Wilton's because they're lurking in the background.


First, you're going to put down a single color in your baking cups or prepared baking pans (but use cups, nobody wants cupcakes you put your fingers all over). You're not going to fill them; just use enough to cover the bottom.


You're going to continue filling the cups and getting batter all over your stove top by carefully dolloping a little of each color batter into each cup- but you're not going to overfill the cups, ya dig? You're only going to fill these about 2/3rds of the way full. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but I have faith you'll figure it out.

I love this part of the process, because it looks like the imaginary food from Hook.

After you bake your cupcakes according to the directions on the box, and they're all cooled and ready to decorate, you're going to need frosting. I don't like canned frosting, but if you do, take it out of the can and whip it up with your mixer first, so it's fluffy and not so dense and grainy and weird.



Before you color all your icing blue- because it's the sky, get it?- you're going to reserve about 1/6th  of some of the uncolored icing in a decorating bag. Or, if you're like me and you can't find any of the fucking couplers for your bags and ACE Hardware in Hastings is already closed and your husband won't drive you all the way over there to buy a piece of baking hardware at this time of night anyway, you use a sandwich bag with a teensy bit of corner cut off.


You're also going to need some Air Heads Xtremes in Rainboberry flavor. If they don't have this where you're from, really any rainbow candy will work, you just have to get creative. You could probably do a 2d version of the cupcakes I'm making with Skittles or M&Ms or some shit. If you are using Air Heads, though, you'll want to cut them in half.


Frost the cupcakes (and do a better job than Mr. Jen did) with the blue icing, then bend the cut-in-half Air Heads in an arc and secure/support with a glob of white frosting for clouds. Then when your amazed friends and family bite into them...


They'll be like, "OMG you are so talented and creative! Those are amazing, how did you do that?" and then they'll want you to make them and bring them to the family reunion or whatever, so maybe best to not share them at all.

EDIT: I wanted to add that I think the idea for these came from Pinterest, but they very well may have been from a cupcake book that I got a few years ago as a gift, then stupidly lent to someone because I will NEVER LEARN.

30 comments:

  1. Those are AMAZING! And look tasty too!

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  2. If you like that egg separator, you really need to get this one: http://www.amazon.com/Birchstone-Studios-Snot-A-Mug-Egg-Separator/dp/B0000CFGP6

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    1. Too funny, I love the egg separator.
      I tend to use my hands, but you have to be gentle or the yolk will break.

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  3. So pretty! I have a tie dye bias.

    Did I send you the Khaleesi cupcake in the shape of a horse heart? If not: http://pinterest.com/pin/423479171181786383/

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    1. That *looks* cool, but who would want to eat that much fondant?

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    2. LOL, I was going to make human heart cupcakes for me and D-Rock for the Hannibal finale, LOL.

      You know what I would do? I would put a layer of buttercream between the cake and the fondant, so you can peel the fondant off and still have some frosting underneath. Or, fill the cupcakes with cream, so it wouldn't just be dry ass fondant.

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    3. Yeah, too much fondant, but makes for a great visual impact. And I like the buttercream. Raspberry coulis would be nifty, too... oozing stallion blood streaking down one's arms...

      I can see it now, at least for me:

      "Happy 8th Birthday, Honey! Here's the heart cake you wanted!"

      If fondant was chocolate flavored, I don't think I'd mind it as much.

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  4. You can always post your roadhouse episode sans video, a la podcast. :)

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  5. And now... I have to go make rainbow cupcakes because my twins are obsessed with all things rainbow...

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  6. Well now I know what to make for my daughter's Cub Scout meeting that asks for donations of cakes. Or I might just make them for us.

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  7. *ahem*

    *sole purpose

    <3



    Those cupcakes look fucking amazing.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe it's all what her soul longs for? ;-)

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  8. I make really great baked things, but this is not one I've ever tried because I am simultaneously a super perfectionist and really lazy, so I make everything from scratch, but then I'm like, FUCK getting fancy, just get in the pan. But I would totally come over and eat these. And I would bring the greatest carrot cake cupcakes in the world, or chocolate with espresso ganache or whatever. Now I'm hungry.

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  9. "You're going to need boxed cake mix" what a funny way to spell "butter, flour, sugar and a splash of milk"

    dang though, I kinda want to try fancier lookin' cakes now

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  10. Holy crap, those look awesome and yummy! I am stealing this idea for one of my 7YO's school parties next year. I promise to give you credit, though. :) You should post this recipe on AllRecipes.com!

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  11. I made the silly mistake of checking this with my sick son watching, and now guess what he wants....

    They look amazing!!!

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  12. I know what that's like, being obsessed to do something when you really don't want to and'd rather do something else. I'm like that with Jewel Mania. Except of course by the end of the day, you have books, and I have colorful jewels dancing in front of my eyes. So, that. :-/

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  13. HOLY GOD. I am such a rainbow fanatic and those cakes look like THE MOST AMAZING CONFECTIONERY EVER CREATED. Now I just need to figure out the English equivalent of half the ingredients and brands you listed...

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    1. Most of them should be easy enough to find, but I'm stuck on the rainbow ribbon on top. I think ASDA do some in their won brand sweets range.

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    2. Er, I mean OWN brand sweets range. Right letters, wrong order.

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  14. When I either lose all motivation for everything or go on a spree where I do a whole lot of something I normally love but don't really want to do it and do it anyway nonstop because if I don't I will explode until there's nothing left...usually it means a round of major depression is setting in. Which is why I wasn't on Twitter or doing much of anything this last week. Something on an intervention was staged because I was close to downing a bunch of leftover Oxy and Vicodin and Dilaudid. Hopefully your writing-mania doesn't indicate the same thing happening for you.

    Also I love Hook and want to live at your house because you have pretty counters and cabinets and I don't have a kitchen at all.

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  15. ugh I totally understand, whenever I get really productive I'm like "ok... am I getting manic... or just getting my shit together and being responsible"
    Sometimes I never find out the answer for sure

    anyway, these cupcakes look amazing. wow. and nice hook food reference

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  16. I don't mean to be a downer, but food dyes are seriously carcinogenic and/or toxic, yo. My hippie self is horrified by these.

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    1. I bet you could find non-carcinogenic ways of doing it. Like, using strawberries in some of the batter and maybe anatto seeds for orange, etc. I bet you could come up with some cool flavors that way, too!

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    2. So is the air we breathe, and you don't even want to know how toxic computers are. You can't legally dump these things, and they were almost subject to the CPSIA until it was decided that there was no feasible way to enclose the components so that users couldn't get to them without destroying the computers and that the alternative would be to ban computers. And cars? Yeah, carcinogenic death traps/ So I'm less worried about using beetle butts to color my food.

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  17. Gorgeous cupcakes! I want them in my mouth now! Also, Hastings is like an hour away from me. Hi, neighbor!

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  18. Screw it we are all gonna die anyway.
    I'd rather eat a lovely cupcake once in a while.
    I just made a german chocolate cake tonight since my husband was going on about it being fater's day weekend and that all started once he got home from work and continues until he goes back to work on monday morning. So I made him a cake that that shut him up, plus after seeing your yummy looking cupcakes I had to have something.

    Jen you should get yourself a "Sue" like from the book then you could write all you want and Sue would take care of everything else. :)

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  19. I must make these cupcakes. Or just go to Confections Cupcakery and buy a dozen maple bacon cupcakes.

    I have a case of the "I don't wanna"s, too. And it's escalated into forgetfulness. I spent all day yesterday re-reading Red Dragon and taking notes for my future blog post on it, the movie, Manhunter, and the TV show in the lazy way (photos of pertinent bits of text). I was so absorbed in what I was reading that I forgot to eat. All day. I didn't realize I was even hungry until it was about ten after midnight.

    Forgetting to eat sucks.

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  20. If we're talking kitchen gadgets, you must get the Silpoura! It's only $10 and you can use it on most bowls and pots. You just clip it on and you can pour smoothly without any drips!

    http://www.silpoura.com/

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  21. Weird random thought if you can't salvage the Roadhouse episode and are left with just the audio.

    What if you got an artist (or artists... maybe some who read your blog) to do stills that go along with the discussion and it was a slide-show? It could be fancied up a little, with things popping into scenes or whatnot, but basically just a bunch of still frames. Like a storyboard! It might even be cute if was rough sketches like a storyboard.

    Just the first thing that popped into my head. ^_^

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Say some stuff! If you can't think of anything to say, leave a link to a cute dog picture. I'm easy.