Everybody who knows me knows that I'm very Republican (a non-liberal teacher, told you I was special! ;p), but whether you're right-winged or left-winged, I think we can all meet in the middle and agree that we are truly blessed to live in this beautiful country. So, in honor of our independence, I decided to create an American flag made of cupcakes! Now, just like all the struggles our country has had to overcome to get to where it is today - this was no easy feat! I literally spent ALL morning making and decorating these! I decided to take them to my parents' shop to distribute to all the customers and they were a hit. Here's my long and arduous journey to celebrating my country through baking!
I actually baked the cupcakes the night before. I don't know where this spark of genius came from (as my brain is usually fried from studying), but I am grateful to it. I baked 24 cupcakes from scratch, following the Magnolia Bakery recipe for vanilla cupcakes (can be found here: http://www.kitchenlink.com/cookbooks/2005/0743246616_2.html). Yup, THE famous Magnolia Bakery in New York! Feel free to indulge yourselves :). Anyways, I thought it would be smooth sailing the next morning in terms of decorating. Boy, was I mistaken! I had everything all prepped and ready to go.
I tried not to fill the cupcake liners all the way to the top so that they could come out as flat as possible; this made frosting them easier and ensured that the "flag" would be evenly frosted. As you can see, I used red food coloring, blue food coloring, white spice drops (my least favorite flavor - awesome, considering they were the only ones I didn't eat myself! I may not be able to consume dairy, but I am a candy FIEND!), and a cookie gun. I don't know if that's the right term for it, but my mom calls it a cookie gun and she's my inspiration so there! Anyways, it's the pink thing. It's made by Wilton; you fill the plastic canister with either cookie dough or, in this case, icing, and can adjust the tip for whatever design you want. Contrary to a lot of people, I actually enjoy piping frosting, so this was fun for me! Until I realized 2 containers of icing was not nearly enough. I had to run over to Publix and buy another 5 - yes, 5! The girl at the register (she thinks we're BFF, I guess since I always run over for baking supplies and she's usually the express checkout girl) even asked me, "What do you need 5 cans of icing for?!". To knit a sweater, duh.
Okay, back to the actual creating a sweet stuff. I mixed the food coloring with the icings right in their containers. No specific reason, other than it made my life easier (and less messy!). The coloring is a little tricky, especially the red. You want to put enough so that you get the right color, but if you put too much your icing will have a strange taste to it. My red came out just a tad neon-y, so I guess I'll need to experiment with coloring a little more :(. I mixed the white icing with the food colorings using a toothpick and scooped as much as would fit into my handy dandy cookie gun. I arranged the 24 cupcakes onto a foiled cookie sheet in 4 rows of 6 cupcakes each. I began with the blue frosting because it was pretty integral to do so. I piped blue frosting onto the first 3 cupcakes of the top 2 rows and then filled in any empty space between the cupcakes with more piping (hence, the foil lining). I then piped the red stripes and finished with the white ones. I did all of the red before adding the white in order to measure it out evenly and since I had no need to mix the already white icing with any food coloring. Lastly, I arranged the white spice drops in the blue section to represent stars. I was actually going to roll them flat and cut them into little stars but, honestly, I just got lazy.
About 3 hours later I was finished! Everyone loved them, no one wanted to be the first to grab a cupcake. As a matter of fact, I think my sister did the honors (figures!).
God bless you America, you're beautiful.