Alexander Turns Old Enough to Make a Baked Goods Request

I have supplied the baked goods for my little friend Alexander at his birthday party each year. This year, Alexander turned four -- or, much to my delight, old enough to finally care about his birthday and make a specific request for baked goods. Alexander's mother passed along his wish for cupcakes with blue frosting, and I was all too happy to comply.

I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes, but I thought that the red color would really clash with blue frosting -- so I just made the red velvet cupcake batter without the food coloring. The cupcakes came out light brown because of the small amount of cocoa in the cake batter. I used blue striped cupcake liners and dyed the frosting to match the lighter blue color on the liners. These cupcakes were tasty, although it really does throw people for a loop when you hand them a red velvet cupcake that isn't actually red. I think that the visual component of a red velvet cupcake is an important factor in most people's enjoyment. And let's face it, the name "Tan Velvet" doesn't sound too interesting.

I also decided try the basic recipe for Fat Witch Brownies from the Fat Witch Brownie cookbook. There are no bells and whistles to the recipe. It calls for butter, bittersweet chocolate chips, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and salt. The recipe provides the option of substituting unsweetened chocolate and additional sugar for the bittersweet chocolate; I decided to try this since the unsweetened Guittard chocolate I use is very high quality, and I think it's important to use good chocolate in a brownie. These brownies had a lovely aroma as they were baking, and they looked great when I took them out of the oven.

I was disappointed in these brownies. They were more fudgy than cakey, but the texture was soft and not very dense. I thought the main problem was that they weren't very chocolate-y. The texture might have been improved if I had chilled the brownies before cutting and serving, but the flavor was just not interesting enough to make me want to try them again. Fortunately, I think that most of the kids at the party were too busy playing with Alexander's new Stomp Rocket to really care about how the brownies tasted.

Let's see what Alexander asks for next year!

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