Wow, it’s already been a year. Back on Friday, Jan. 28 2011, Cupcake Friday Project was born. It’s funny to look back on what I wrote a year ago:
Today I brought cupcakes to work, partly because I baked for my Geek Girl Dinner Group, and partly because I reneged on my offer to bring in a lemon tart this past Monday in belated celebration of National Pie Day (yes, I know a tart isn’t quite a pie). Some of my coworkers spent a majority of the week teasing me about the missing pie, so I knew if I shoved cupcakes under their noses, they’d relent.
This morning I mucked through Philadelphia snow, ice and slush in combat boots and my husband’s tuxedo jacket with tails, with a dozen lemon-limoncello cupcakes with lemon curd filling and limoncello cream cheese frosting in tow. I delivered the cakes with a smile and many faces lit up with joy and sugary anticipation. Standing around the office, I joked about some of them becoming my taste-testing guinea pigs. And an idea was born.
Cupcake Fridays: My goal, in preparation of opening a bakery in the next 2-5 years, is to bake cupcakes at least 2 Fridays out of every month in an effort to hone my skill and create a library of recipes. Mainly cupcake recipes, but I’m sure a sprinkling of cookies, muffins and other confections won’t be turned down.
Who knew that bringing in some Lemon Limoncello cupcakes would lead to this. In the past 365 days I have:
- Baked cupcakes for 33 Fridays;
- Brought in cookies 3 Fridays and made cherry hand pies another Friday, resulting in bringing in goodies for 37 Fridays;
- Created approximately 38 different cupcake recipes;
- Featured 3 different cupcake recipes and one cookie recipe from 4 guest bakers
- Delivered 7 special orders, ranging from 4 cupcakes to 48, as well as one order for Sea Monkeys Maria and Taylor that included cookies, shortbread toffee and my selections for the ultimate cupcake decorating kit;
- Participated in 2 cupcake baking contests;
- Designed a cupcake recipe for The Bruery;
- Provided 79 assorted mini cupcakes and 57 cookies as the treat sponsor for GameLoop Philly in 2011;
- Made cake balls 2 times, 1 time resulting in Jonathan Coulton having very sticky fingers;
- Swapped boxes of cupcakes for other goods at the second Philly Food Swap;
- Reviewed 44 different bakery cupcakes and 9 books; and
- Wrote 183 posts (an average of 3.5 a week) and received more than 600 comments!
It’s been amazing, it’s been tough, and there have been days I wanted to throw a batch of cupcakes out the nearest window I can find. But it’s all part of the learning process. And lucky for me, I have 10-12 dedicated taste testers who donate regularly–keeping my butter and flour coffers from running dry–and give me their honest opinions. Without them, I wouldn’t have a Project. They keep me accountable, even though I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t draw and quarter me if I failed to bring in cupcakes on a day I said I would … I hope.
And there’s Ray who cheers me on and encourages experimentation and science in the kitchen. There’s my guest bakers who send me recipes and photos when I know I’m too busy; the folks on Twitter who comment on my photos and postings; and my lovely band of Sea Monkeys from the original JoCoCruiseCrazy who cheer me on. It’s the Facebook Fans who, surprisingly, I only know like 15 percent (Who are you guys?) who hit a “Like” button and add my cupcakes to their feeds.
Bottom line: THANK YOU.
What will the next 365 days bring? I have some exciting ideas up my sleeves, with my #1 idea being 52 different cupcakes in 2012. So far, I have managed 4, right on target. I’ll also be entering whatever baking competitions I can find. I’ll be filling special orders (I have 3 lined up so far! Keep’em coming!)
And maybe the biggest announcement … I have begun an apprenticeship at a local bakery! But more on that later.
This little blog has turned 1, and is gaining traction in the baking world 1 recipe at a time. And I’m stoked to be at the helm.