There's a woman in my office who is the cupcake maven. She brings in delicious cupcakes for a bunch of occasions, and she makes me jealous. In a good way, if that's possible. Anyway, she--and my friend Lara who also makes fabulously beautiful cupcakes--inspired me to start making cupcakes. When my mother read about my forays into cupcake-making on this blog, she decided to get me a cupcake-related gift for Christmas. In order to live up to the expectations of the gift, which was a cupcake tree, I had to make some uber-fabulous cupcakes. These tasted great, but I have some work to do learning how to work with decorative frosting. I made these for our annual Winter ReGifting Party, and appropriate to the occasion, used a recipe from Amy Sedaris, the comedienne. http://www.amysedarisrocks.com/recipes.htm
I made some alterations, though, most notably, using two vanilla beans that I brought back from Mexico months ago. They were a lot of fun to make, and I think people enjoyed eating them. My work colleague and I agreed to collaborate for our next office occasion that calls for cupcakes.