The other day I was chatting with some friends and we bemoaned the fact that as adults with kids we no longer have “activities.” We don’t have soccer practice or skating lessons or dance classes, the stuff that used to define us when we were younger. For me, getting out and doing something fun and different (and possibly even educational) is a choice I want to make as much as I can manage. I want to shake things up, be something more than a working mom who spends all her time working and mom-ing.
My most recent foray into fun and learning: the Cupcakes and Cocktails class at Boston Center for Adult Education. The great thing about this class? Yes, you’ll learn plenty of baking tips and leave with some amazing recipes. But you’ll get to have plenty of adult fun, too. Seriously, if you and your girlfriend or spouse or whoever are looking for a fun and different night, I can’t really think of anything I’d rather do.
As someone who loves teaching, I’m usually pretty picky when someone teaches me. Lucky for you, the Cupcakes and Cocktails teacher, Dustin, is pretty fantastic. Full of knowledge and witty repartee, he keeps the evening fast and fun.
Be prepared to work on your baking skills. Even more: be prepared to work on your baking-while-intoxicated skills. Because before the cupcakes show up, the cocktails start coming. One for each type of cupcake you make. (Our class had 3.)
We began with the Birthday Cake Shot. With a cherry at the bottom of the glass, whipped cream and sprinkles on top, and a smooth taste that reminds you of almond buttercream frosting, it’s a memorable way to start the evening.
The group was divided up with each of us playing one part in making one of our three kinds of cupcakes. I was the official stirrer of the sangria compote for our Chocolate & Red Wine Cupcakes. And we all took turns helping out with the decorating. I’m no pro, so I stuck with the simple frosting on the Spring Break cupcakes (they had a coating of jello shots over the top).
Between each batch we’d make a new cocktail to go with it. A really tasty and quick sangria. A perfect winter hot toddy. It definitely helps you get a little relaxed while you get to know the people joining you in class.
In addition to a few great hours of fun, the baking tips were really good. (Maybe I should start doing it again one of these days…) I got some of the best on video. (You’ll have to click through…)
For example: don’t sift flour anymore, and when you’re measuring it, make sure you don’t add too much by packing it down. How to do it? A little shake shake… Looking for a simple way to fill the pastry bag before you frost? Use the top of your Cuisinart. Add some chocolate drizzle? Line up your cupcakes on foil and just use a glass.
And when your cupcakes come out of the oven, how do you keep them moist? Just cover the whole counter with plastic wrap. IT WORKS. These were some of the moist-est cupcakes I’ve ever eaten in my life.
The Cupcakes and Cocktails class runs regularly at BCAE. It’s $60 for non-members with a $25 materials fee. Which is actually a pretty great deal for an evening of fun AND three (or more) cocktails AND over a dozen cupcakes that I took home with me. I would happily do it again. And the more friends I could bring, the better. There’s no need to head out to overpriced after-dinner drinks, relax somewhere that you can actually hear each other talk AND get plenty of sweets. It’s a win-win.
Thanks to Blog and Tweet Boston and the Boston Center for Adult Education for hosting such a fun event.