Favors With Flavor

I couldn’t be more excited. I am going to be a first-time Aunty!

My sister-inlaw is expecting the family’s first baby this June. We spent this past weekend showering the mommy to be!

When my mother-inlaw asked me to help her with the shower favors, I jumped at the opportunity. The theme for the shower was ladybugs, since we are expecting a little lady in the next few weeks. Afraid of ladybug overkill, I recommended we follow the red color theme for the favor.

Personally, I love an edible favor, at any shower. There is nothing better than leaving a party, with something yummy! We decided to give everyone’s favorite, Red Velvet cupcakes in Mason jars. Not only would they look so pretty, but they were easy for guests to transport home!

I started by baking the cupcakes. Someone once told me “Cheat whenever possible.”, and Duncan Hines Red Velvet Mix is one of those cheats. I quickly whipped up four boxes of cupcake mix, and filled disposable tin foil muffin tins with the batter. I used the tin foil muffin tins for two reasons, one they make a smaller cupcake, which was important so we could fit them into the jars. And second, they are the easiest clean up ever, just throw them away!

Next, I used Ina Garten’s recipe for the cream cheese frosting. I tripled the recipe for all the cupcakes I had made. Her frosting is delicious, but very sweet! I omitted a little of the sugar she calls for. Here is my rendition of her recipe:

1 pound of cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract
1 pound of sifted, confectioner’s sugar
Cream together cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer. Add the vanilla and almond extract, and continue to mix. Slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time until completely combined. Frosts 24 cupcakes or 1 cake.

Once the cupcakes had cooled, and the frosting was made it was time to assemble. We sliced each cupcake in half, and placed the bottom of the cupcakes in each jar. Next using large Ziplock bags, I piped in the frosting. (Ziplock bags make a perfect and inexpensive piping bag, just fill the bag with your frosting, and cut one of the corners off the bag. Pipe away and toss the baggie when you are through!) We repeated the steps with the top of the cupcakes and more frosting! We sprinkles the top with red velvet crumbs, and capped the mason jars off! This was done in no time, with our assembly line of production. Every jar was then wrapped with a lace bow, a sticker on the lid, and a wooden spoon!

We displayed the pretty jars on a table at the shower, for every guest to take one home. The shower was wonderful, and the favors were a huge success. Now, if that little lady could just get here!