When I was working full-time and traveling a lot for my job, I often baked on weekends and at spare moments, sometimes at 3am if I had insomnia. While I baked potatoes for dinner, I could whip up a batch of brownies and bake them, too, so I always had a stash when a note came home asking for donations to a bake sale.
I baked nut-free (but not gluten-free) cookies so kids with allergies could eat them.
I also somehow managed to bake all the cupcakes and cakes for my 3 daughters’ birthdays: the class party, the birthday party with friends, and the family celebration.
It all worked seamlessly, until the day it bit me in the ass.
I had baked cupcakes for Sela’s birthday, and frozen the unfrosted cupcakes. The night before her school celebration, I made frosting and decorated all the cupcakes.
What I forgot to do was count the cupcakes. I had inadvertently left a bag of cupcakes in the freezer.
The next day, I delivered the cupcakes to the school and blithely went off the work. I got a hysterical call from Sela hours later. She had handed out her cupcakes and was 2 short. One kid said he didn’t like chocolate, so he gave his cupcake back, but Sela didn’t have one for herself.
Her best friend shared hers and Sela had cake that night (baked at midnight the night before) but 8 years later, she still reminds me of the time I tried to do it all.
What I needed was a book like Sesame Street B is for Baking. This book has lots of easy recipes for parents to make with kids. And many of them get a healthy, Sesame Street make-over.
Cupcakes have whole wheat (and white) flour, olive oil, applesauce and chopped apples; the quick frosting has a low-fat and low sugar mixture of cream cheese, Greek yogurt and maple syrup.
The oatmeal muffins, with rolled oats, olive oil and buttermilk, are so simple and delicious that you will also save money if you fill your freezer with these. Grab one for breakfast and save the $3 at Starbucks.
But if you are bringing for the whole class, follow the lead of The Count and make sure you have enough.