Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ode to Cupcakes

Cupcakes are the world's most perfect, most selfish, most self-indulgent culinary gifts on the planet.  They're miniature treats created for the sole purpose of individual satisfaction.  When done correctly, cupcakes are the perfect ratio of cake and frosting, not too sweet, fluffy and light as air.  They're best enjoyed slowly, painfully slow even, because when they're gone, they're gone.  Unless you buy two, which is what I like to do.

Tourists to New York often go to places like Magnolia Bakery or Crumbs for cupcakes because it's what they think they're supposed to do. Real New Yorkers, or transplants like me, know that Magnolia and Crumbs are for tourists only.  Instead, we've fin our own favorite bakeries and will go toe-to-toe with anyone who thinks otherwise.  I actually thought of dedicating an entire blog to my love of cupcakes, instead just this post.

Sugar Sweet Sunshine is tucked into the lower east side and is one of my favorite places for cupcakes.  When my friends visit the city and request Magnolia, I concede on the condition that they try Sugar Sweet Sunshine as well.  Not only is it run by two powerhouse women, it's completely down to earth and cozy.  No cookbooks lining the walls, no pretentiousness just sugar sweet sunshine in a cupcake.  Also in the running for best cupcake in New York City is Billy's Bakery. The frosting here is sweet, but not painfully sweet.  Babycakes, the Vegan cupcake staple of NYC has killer cupcakes as well.  When I first had a Babycake cupcake I knew for sure I was eating milk, eggs, and butter-but I wasn't.

These cupcakes are all good.  But the cupcakes at Pinisi Cafe are the best in the city.  Not only do they come up with wild flavors like coconut, blueberry, and pistachio they manage to make them into lightest, fluffiest cupcakes I have ever had.  It's like they add seltzer to the batter or something (maybe they do).  The frosting on these cupcakes is perfect-a fluffy, not too sweet deliciousness that always has me sucking on the rim of the paper wrapper hoping for more sugary perfection.

So what's a girl trying to go something that maybe starts with a V to do when she craves cupcakes and can't eat them?  She dreams of them.  And caves when they're in my face-even the worst of 'em.

Today at work a Crumbs cupcake got the best of me.  One of those giant ones I used to eat all by myself.  I had a fourth of one and it tasted good.  Except now I have a toothache and my tummy hurts.  Better start figuring out how to make vegan cupcakes so I don't throw away my money at Babycakes.

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