*Bunneh Test Kitchen; not for sale*
I haven’t baked since the last post – the Easter cupcakes. Can you believe it? Neither can I. It was very upsetting. I was living in an apartment with a small kitchen, trying to pack, most of my baking supplies in boxes in another location, trying to get a house ready to move in… then we moved in but I had no oven… UGH.
Yesterday we finally got the right hose or connector or whatever to hook up the brand-shiny-new gas oven. I lusted after this oven for months before we ordered it. It was THE oven that I wanted; I would hear nothing about other ovens once I found this one and read the reviews.
The inside blue looks quite a bit more purple in person than it did in the shots I saw online, so it doesn’t match my Kitchen Aid mixer (aka Baker Smurf) exactly, but it’s still super pretty. As you can see, not much else about the kitchen is done yet… there were cabinets where this oven now lives, so new stuff has to be built around it; there is no flooring yet; the cabinet doors need to be sanded; and the existing counter tops are hideous. But: OVEN.
First I did a “test” batch of chocolate chip cookies. I figure I’ve been making those cookies for … I dunno, a couple of decades now? so if something was off about them because of the oven, I’d know. I’ve never baked with a gas oven before, nor have I ever used a double oven. Once I felt good about the results I was getting with the cookies in the top oven, I went ahead and pre-heated the lower oven for cupcakes. And yes, I was constantly in love with the fact that I could do that. Two temperatures! Two products! Same time! WHAT!
I made spice cake cupcakes because I wanted something that looked sandy. At some point last year I saw these cupcakes online somewhere, maybe during one of my brief and overwhelming forays into Pinterest, but I’d just had other baking projects get priority over them… until now. Here it is, June 2nd, and it’s been gorgeous and sunny and warm here in Seattle for the last few days (we’re all waiting for it to change at any moment). So I felt it was time for some summery cupcakes!
I got the regular flavor Teddy Grahams, and gummi Life Savers for stretchability. I quickly learned that the bears with their arms up fit into their “floaties” much easier than the bears with their arms down. Boyfriend was surprised to learn that Teddy Grahams even come in different poses, but OH THEY DO. And so I diligently sorted out my bears and tucked them into their inner tubes.
I made cream cheese frosting, as that seems pretty much the standard pairing for spice cake. Unfortunately, after over a month of not baking, I was out of practice and my frosting came out a bit runnier than I like. Booo. It was also about 200 degrees in the kitchen by this point. The windows in the house are old and open funny and yada yada we have to build screens for each and every one of them so the cats don’t get out. Thus, melty frosting (excuses). I guess that means the ocean part of the cupcakes looks more authentic?
The “sand” was made by crushing up Teddy Grahams because I couldn’t find our plain old graham crackers anywhere. Lots of bears gave their lives for these little sandy beaches, and I think Boyfriend had a little too much fun smashing them (in a baggie for cleanliness) with a rubber mallet .
The umbrellas were weirdly difficult to find. They didn’t have them at all at the grocery store I went to. I went over to the big liquor store and it took 3 employees and me to find them! Maybe there was a run on them with the streak of warm weather here. But I neeeeeeeeeeeeded them! Those bears are going to want some shade when they get out of the water! We can’t have sunburned bears!!
Final note about the umbrellas: pain in the butt to get them open, and I got a splinter from one of them. A SPLINTER. You see the ways I sacrifice for my art?