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The sweet, happy world of USU’s Cupcake Girls

April 26th, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

By Melanie Klein

LOGAN—Move over Martha Stewart and make way for the Cupcake Girls. Penguin cupcakes, monkey cupcakes, sunflower cupcakes, turkey cupcakes.

The Cupcake Girls are five USU college roommates—Chelsey Martin, Lindsay Barneck, Brecken Malan, Kylee Howard and Dayna Knighton. “At the beginning of the semester we made cupcakes two-three times a week, which stopped as soon as we stepped on the scale,” said Martin. “Now we give them away to other people.”

Martin was introduced to the cupcake craze through the book Hello Cupcake. Combine that with weekly baking experiences at home with her mom, and Martin was hooked.

It also was therapy as Martin made a difficult transition to campus life. “I hated my roommates, hated where I lived, had nothing to do and cooking is my outlet, so that is when my cupcake fetish began,” she said.

The Cupcake Girls’ apartment is appropriately covered in cupcake memorabilia—a cupcake tree, cupcake pictures, and cupcake recipe books adorn their kitchen. Sitting at their counter, I was given a front-row seat to the cupcake process. From the beginning it was clear that these girls love cupcakes.

“Our apartment motto is ‘eat, drink and be chunky,’” Knighton said happily.

The specialty of the night was monkey cupcakes. To get started, Martin put all the ingredients and utensils on the counter. A cardinal rule of cupcakery, Martin said as she handing around the vanilla wafers: “Part of making cupcakes is snacking.”

Here is how the monkey cupcake process begins:

Get a cake mix (the Cupcake Girls used the funfetti mix). If you do not have the cupcake cups, grease the cupcake pan excessively. Set the oven to 325 and bake for 18-20 minutes and set out to cool.

Turning standard cupcakes into monkeys requires chocolate frosting, vanilla wafers, and black and pink icing. The recipe requires only one box of vanilla wafers, but it’s safer to have more.

Cover the top of the cupcake with the chocolate frosting. Then take a vanilla wafer and cut off a one-quarter of it to stick on one side of the cupcake to be your monkey’s nose. Place the cookie on one half of your cupcake frosting the top and other half of the cupcake to blend in the cookie. Take your knife and poke two holes on both side of the cupcake. Then place one cookie in each hole, and your monkey now has ears.

Finishing touches: Use the black icing to make monkey eyes and nostrils. Complete with pink icing for the lips.

The Cupcake Girls made quick work of the cupcakes and monkeys were starting to pop up all over the kitchen. I found that you just can’t just watch the cupcake process—you have to experience it. Even a kitchen disaster, including the occasional fire (just little flames), would be fine, they assured me. “You can’t destroy it,” said Martin.

I certainly didn’t destroy the cupcakes, although a couple of nostrils became moustaches, and it was obvious why the Cupcake Girls love cupcake-making. The process is limitless, you can use turn nostrils into mustaches, or use coconut shavings for monkey hair or beards. You can even give your monkey a mohawk with the right amount of frosting.

“So fulfilling and filling,” said Knighton.

Sending me home with a plate of monkeys, the Cupcake Girls offered more insight into the endless cupcake possibilities. “I put Rollos in the chocolate mix and placed them in the oven,” said Knighton. “Biting into them it was caramel melting in my mouth.”

“I tried that with Oreo’s,” said Martin.

It was fun monkeying around with the Cupcake Girls. A person could get used to a world where anything is possible and you can’t mess up.

In this reporter’s opinion, the Cupcake Girls have discovered the fountain of youth and it is cupcakes.



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