Cupcakes succumb to heat, but all’s well that ends well

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

It was around 1993, and my son Edward Westveer Forbes, Wes to us, was in the third grade at Rancho Isabella Elementary in Angleton. Like every child he didn’t want to be different or stand out from the crowd. It was October, and his birthday was fast approaching.

“Dad, the teacher said we could have a party for my birthday in my class at school.”

Like any parent, I wanted him to be proud of himself and his dad.

“Well, Wes that sounds great, what do you want to do?”

Wes looked at me eagerly and said, “I want to take cupcakes to school for my class.”

I thought this was a splendid idea, but since all the parents were sending store-bought cupcakes, I wanted his to be a little different.

“We can make our own cupcakes, and that will make them special” I told him.

“Can you really do that?”

“We will do it together,” I assured him.

I then went to my go-to cookbooks. I quickly researched and found a recipe for cupcakes, and instead of traditional icing, a honey glaze topping that sounded fantastic and required no decorating skill. His birthday fell on a Tuesday that year, and I didn’t want to make the cupcakes too far in advance, so Monday after work, we began.

He helped measure and mix all the ingredients for the cupcakes, and we put them in the oven to bake while we prepared the honey glaze topping. It was simple, and more importantly, we didn’t have to wait for cupcakes to cool to apply. It was a perfect plan.

The timer went off, the cupcakes looked awesome, a golden color. We brushed on the honey glaze generously, left them in the cupcake pans, two dozen to be safe, and trundled off to bed happy and satisfied we had done well.

The next morning arrived, and I clothed, fed and drove the children to school. I was to send the cupcakes to school after lunch. I had to work so I sent one of my female employees who also had children at Rancho Isabella Elementary to pick up cupcakes and deliver them to Wes’s classroom.

She leaves, and I get a phone call “Are these cupcakes on the kitchen counter what I’m taking to Wes’s school?” I assured her that they were indeed the ones we had made. “Well, O.K.”

That should have alerted me that perhaps all was not well, but it didn’t.

It seems that the cupcakes had deflated during the night and were no longer the visionary delight that they had been on the previous evening.

The only saving grace was they did taste good, and the children gave them their stamp of approval.

Wes was so proud of them that he saved two in a ziplock baggie for our special neighbor, Linda Miller. If you are a resident of Angleton, you know that some Octobers are rainy, some are cool, and some are tainted with the remembrance of August heat.

This October was of course the one that had to be hotter than Hades. So, Wes carries two deflated cupcakes in a ziplock baggie in the extreme heat in his backpack on the bus and hand delivers these culinary masterpieces two hours later to our neighbor.

I get my second phone call about cupcakes that afternoon from a hysterically laughing Ms. Miller about my sweet Wes bringing her two birthday cupcakes that looked like very tired, used hockey pucks. The following Thursday (my day off) I went to the school to eat lunch with my son. From the office staff and the teachers, I was questioned about my next cupcake baking day.

Everyone enjoyed the cupcakes for different reasons, but the adults were smiling, the children were happy, Wes was happy, and I was only slightly embarrassed.

Job well done, I’d say.

(Send comments by email to editor John Toth at john.bulletin@gmail.com. Or send regular mail to The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX 77516)