My friend Jessica made smashing-good cupcakes. One morning she thought, “Man, if I could get paid to do this.” Then, someone’s mother tasted one and said, “Hey, I’ll pay you to do this.”
Maddy Lu was born.
The name is a combination of our grandmothers’ names: Madeline and Lu. Madeline makes very fine pound, chocolate, and carrot cakes. It seemed suitable. Lu inspired Jessica to bake. This too is a good reason for picking the name.
We like to bake and be with our babies. Maddy Lu’s is supposed to help us do both.
I would love to tell you a cozy little rosy story about our humble beginnings. But, I don’t have that for you. We have had some good times, but I thought I’d begin with a horror story. This one comes from my kitchen.
A mess of a mess. Please learn from this, reader. I wanted to make these fancy cupcakes. I don’t want to name names, but Martha just about destroyed my day. 1/2 teaspoon of cookie dough? You’ve got to be kidding me. And Netflix was not helping. Sophie’s movie kept buffering. Then Asher decided to wake up just as I put two sticks of butter in the mixer. The first batch over-baked (Thanks Martha) and the second and third stuck to the pans. (Don’t cook sausages on your good baking sheets.) My little miss climbed on top of the piano where I had the cookies cooling and took care of some of the salvaged cookies. I wasn’t watching her because I was nursing my five month old while scooping out the sticky dough with a 1/2 teaspoon. There’s no excuse, right?
It was hot that day–86 in the shade of the kitchen cupboards–but I was not going to let that stop me. Or the two-year-old or the 5 month-old or the fact that I hadn’t showered or brushed my teeth and it was nearing noon. I thought that it could only go up from there. Little did I know.
The naptime routine came and went. A few dirty diapers later, I was right back at it. This time I was on the batter. No problem. Done. Now, we just have to wait for my darling husband with the baking cups. Oh good! He’s home! Oh. No ShopRite bag. Hm. He forgot. That’s understandable. He promised to go out despite being absolutely exhausted.
I moved on to the buttercream icing. Not enough butter! You’ve got to be kidding me! But there was no joking around on this day. Every shocker was just that. No joke. “I’ll call him. Maybe he’s still in the store.” I heard his phone ring…in the house. He forgot his phone. More hysterics. Crying and screaming came from deep within. I am very ashamed.
I pulled myself together and went online. Yes, I Googled it. Some “expert” said that I could use a buttery spread. I had doubts, but no other leads and this buttercream was necessary (at the time). I had one and a half sticks of the real deal and then I began scooping and scraping. I scooped and scraped 36 tablespoons of the spread into my bowl. I should have just stopped there. But no, I put in a bag of confectioners sugar and went to work. It was terrible. The consistency was much like my infant’s spit-up. No, it was exactly like that. Exactly. For a split-second I thought I could use it and then I asked myself if I would like spit-up frosting. No.
Josh returned to find me in an even more pitiful state. Yes, it got worse. He bought jumbo cups. More sobbing. He begged me to quit. I couldn’t. I pulled out Old Faithful–the bundt pan. I put down a layer of the cupcake batter, scooped tablespoons of the cookie dough on top and then poured the rest of the batter over the dough. I baked that for 55 minutes at 350. It was a specimen. I let it cool for about 15 and then I thought I’d work it out of the pan to allow it to cool on its own. Josh was outside pulling weeds out of his dahlias at this point. Someone was telling me to wait for a hand from Josh, but someone else told me to keep pushing. I pushed and the cake cracked. In four spots. I cracked. Josh entered to find his bride at her worst. He started doing the dishes.