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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cupcake Wars

Well - I like to think that I can cook but since I'm only ever feeding myself (usually) I don't really have any confirmation of that. I also like to think that I do alright in the baking department; no one has ever complained over any sweets I've made. Our church recently announced plans to hold a Cupcake War-style competition after our 5th anniversary luncheon and my interest was piqued...at first.

I'd pretty much made up my mind that I wasn't interested but during a Wednesday night Bible Study a couple of the ladies encouraged me to throw my hat into the ring and see how I'd do. I finally decided to go for it and once I'd put my name on the sheet...ideas of exactly what kind of cupcake to make started rolling through my head...

First things first - you've got to have a cupcake holder, right?

Just a few of the ingredients I needed to bring my cupcake vision to reality.
I struggled back and forth with what I wanted to make but finally decided that you can never go wrong with chocolate. Not just any chocolate though; my idea was over the top deliciousness and I knew exactly what I wanted to make: a milk chocolate cupcake with mini chocolate chips with a cream cheese filling, topped with chocolate butter cream icing and a white chocolate drizzle. It sounded delicious in my head...now I just had to make it a tasty reality.

Step One: Bake the cupcakes...

Let them cool for the afternoon....while you're hawking cards at Hallmark...

Step Two - Use you handy dandy tool from Hobby Lobby to remove centers...

I may have wandered around the kitchen singing "Holy Holy Holy" while I did this...I can neither confirm nor deny this.

A delicious cream cheese filling...I think I'd have been happy to just eat this whole bowl. And then I'd probably have been sick...

Homemade chocolate butter cream frosting - being shown off by my Sous chef, ha-ha!

So close to being done!
I must confess - making these cupcakes was a long process but I figured it might be if I wanted them to turn out as well as I envisioned them in my head. I made the actual cupcakes before I went to work on Saturday afternoon, letting them cool while I was gone. Once I came home and knew the cupcakes were sufficiently cooled then I removed a little bit of the middle from each cupcake with a little tool my Mom and I found at Hobby Lobby for $2.95! We mixed up our cream cheese mixture next and filled a plastic bag so I could pipe it into each cupcake...filling it full of yummy! Once that step was done, we mixed up our chocolate butter cream icing and honestly worried that we weren't going to have enough - but we worked it out just fine and even had some left! We suffered some minor burns (and a couple shouts of shock) warming and working with the white chocolate and Mom pulled it through, drizzling that stuff on the top of each cupcake like a beast!

Pulling out all the stops - she's a beast because that bag she's holding was HOT.

The finished product - I thought they looked quite lovely!

I wish I had another one...

Ready to make the journey to the church!

Milk Chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips in the batter
Cream Cheese Filling
Chocolate butter cream icing with a white chocolate drizzle

Watson says "I'll be a taste tester...gimme some!"
So, on Sunday morning off we went with our cupcakes. I have to say that once we arrived and I saw some of the other competition, I got a bit nervous. There were nine other cupcakes - some just looked awesome and others looked like they tasted absolutely awesome. I'll be honest and tell you that there was a little part of me that felt very competitive but the larger part of me wasn't actually that worried about whether I'd win or not. I knew my cupcakes were good and I'd enjoyed the time I spent with my Mom making them, so for me it was a win whether I actually won or not. After lunch, my Mom and I joined the tasting line and cast our votes...and then we waited.

Some of the other cupcakes - a burger & fries, a Banana cupcake with Honey Cinnamon frosting, a Key Lime cupcake, a Pumpkin Caramel cupcake, a Mocha cupcake & the most awesome looking little bears!

Maybe not the best shoes to have worn for being on my feet for hours & hours...

People lining up to taste the cupcakes!
Once all was said and done, I was completely shocked when Paula said that the winning cupcake was #10! I sat for a minute and Mom said "that's you goofy!" and I gave a little shout and hopped up excitedly! I must admit, when I agreed to participate last Wednesday night I don't think the thought that I'd win ever even entered my mind. I figured it would be fun to try and think up something neat to make and see how well I could do with a creation from my mind. Even when I started to feel a little bit competitive, I still didn't think I'd actually win because I tasted the other cupcakes and thought many of them were delicious! I guess you just have to take a chance and see what you can do - you might even win a Cupcake War!

Coincidence that it looks like it has an N on it? I think not!

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