BOOZY CARAMEL SAUCE with Kumquat Cupcakery

THOUGH WE MAY BE HALFWAY THROUGH JANUARY, I continue to wish friends a happy new year. Sometimes we need the reminder, I think, way beyond the first week. To help ease you into the next 350 days – or at least through winter – I joined forces with Keavy Landreth, the heart and brain behind Kumquat Cupcakery, in my first Stupidly Simple Snacks video of 2010! You may recall how I gushed about meeting Keavy at the Brooklyn Chocolate Experiment and then, of course, there was more enamored emoting on “Kumquat Cupcake Wednesday“. We got together earlier this week to make caramel sauce with a shot (or two) of whiskey to liven cupcakes, ice cream, and tart, green apple – not the worst way to start the year. amy january 15, 2010

WHAT YOU NEED 3/4 cup heavy cream | 3 tbsp unsalted butter | 1 cup granulated sugar | 1/4 cup water | bourbon (but whiskey will do just fine if you forget to buy bourbon) | 8 minutes to cook | 2 hours to cool

OPTIONAL apples, ice cream, mini cupcakes

MUSIC Peter Bjorn and John Young Folks

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January 15, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Brooklyn, caramel, cupcakes, Greenpoint, Stupidly Simple Snacks, videos. 7 comments.

KUMQUAT CUPCAKE Wednesday

Kumquat coffee caramel bourbonI ARRIVED EARLY TO SELL CUPCAKES ON WEDNESDAY. It was the first job I’ve had to physically report to in a year so I was anxious I’d be late. But thanks to actually leaving the apartment on time, I made it to the corner of 4th and Lafayette with ten minutes to spare! (Cue the happy dance.) If you’re wondering why I left my life of leisure for cupcakes, well, read on.

My new friend Keavy Landreth – proprietor and baker extraordinaire behind Kumquat Cupcakery – was in hot pursuit of a funny-sounding thing called sweet wort that beckoned her to Brooklyn on Wednesday. Unable to be in two boroughs at once, Keavy needed someone to sell her fantastic product at Gifted, the pop-up holiday flea market in Soho, in her stead. She sent out an SOS; I answered. And that’s how I found myself sitting with 400 mini cupcakes between a table of vintage knick knacks and an Australian skincare line the next day.

bacon mapleLast weekend, I stopped by Gifted when the space teemed with holiday shoppers jockeying for elbow room. In contrast, hump day customers came in drips. But I didn’t mind as I’m well-practiced in self-distraction and brought along the New Yorker food issue. I’d been meaning to read the Michelin guide article, anyway, so that’s what I did while waiting for sugar fiends to snatch up coffee caramel bourbon (left), peppermint chocolate (below), lemon lavender, red velvet, and maple bacon cupcakes (right). When passersby saw Kumquat’s small-scale cakes, their faces lpeppermint chocolate kumquat 3it up and the women cooed. Cupcakes are like puppies – they make you very popular.

At 3 p.m., my neighbors – the other vendors – descended. One after the other, they came by with dollar bills and a palpable look of relief. “We were holding out for three [p.m.],” they said, implying I would’ve been swimming in money earlier had it not been for their awesome self-control.

The pace picked up at 5 p.m. when the after-work crowd filtered in to poke around and hide from the rain. Some commonly-heard phrases: “These are the perfect size! Just small enough so you don’t feel bad about eating one.” “Debra, look at this. Aren’t they beautiful?” “These would be perfect for a party.” “Maple bacon!?” “I’m coming back for another one.” By 6 p.m. I was pretty confident in my cupcake-selling skills and was able to put maple-bacon skeptics at ease, reassuring them “the maple bacon cupcakes are kinda like pancakes with a side of bacon. There’s no bacon in the cake.” (According to the Kumquat website, the maple bacon cupcake is “maple cinnamon cake topped with vanilla frosting and a thick cut of bacon.”)

At seven, having successfully procured sweet wort, Keavy returned to Soho. She sent me home with a dozen cupcakes, which Jason happily ate for dinner as I already had my fill during the day. (Someone had to eat the six accidentally-squished cupcakes.) I ordered Japanese takeout, put on some socks, watched the new episode of Glee and filed it all under Happy Day. amy december 5, 2009

Visit the Kumquat Cupcakery blog! Pictures of me from Wednesday here.

December 5, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . cupcakes, Dessert, SoHo. 5 comments.