I had it all planned out.
See, I love going into Hello Cupcake and talking to the owners about cupcakes and then picking out a cupcake and then sitting by the window and eating the cupcake and writing Christmas cards or chatting with friends or reading about Mr. Darcy (who is almost as good as a cupcake).
And, because I love Hello Cupcake, I want to share it with as many people as possible, especially because it's a local business and it uses local ingredients and no HFCS and all of that.
And, although I convinced myself not to buy everyone soap for Christmas just because I like soap, I figured there wouldn't be anything at all wrong with buying everyone cupcakes.
And, since Hello Cupcake sells environmentally-friendly "cup-a-cake" covered cupcake holders (imagine tiny, cupcake-shaped bento boxes, suitable for carrying cupcakes home without having to get a disposable bag) I wanted to buy cupcakes, put them in their holders, and put one cupcake in each stocking for discovery on Christmas morning.
Imagine the deliciousness of finding out that instead of being a giant cookie hog like he is every other year, this time Santa left you a cupcake. And because I have never, ever seen a person look grumpy or cranky or anything but happy while eating a Hello Cupcake, this would also ensure a very Merry Christmas morning.
I had the fun of poring over the flavors and trying to pick out the best cupcakes for the various members of my family:
For my mom, the Heart of Darkness, which despite its unfortunate literary allusion is actually just chocolate-on-chocolate, a "deep dark devil's-food cake topped with chocolate ganache frosting." (All images from Hello Cupcake.)
For my sister, who makes fun of my willingness to repeatedly spend time at a cupcake shop, the Princess.
For my aunt, the Black-and-White, because who should have to choose between dark chocolate and white chocolate? This way she gets the best of all possibilities.
For my dad, the Rum Raisin, because the only way to make a cupcake "manly" is to soak it in alcohol for a while. There are actually two alcohol-soaked cupcakes, but the other is the Dulce de Leche, which is still pretty girly. But rum is a nice masculine alcohol, right? Pirates drink rum! (No picture of the rum cupcake, unfortch -- it's seasonal and not on the website.)
And for me, the... ooh, I can't decide... um... the Vanilla Gorilla. It's a banana cupcake (with real banana) and vanilla frosting.
Add a few cupcakes on reserve in the refrigerator in case someone asks "why is the rum [cupcake] gone?" or wants to try another one, and we've got ourselves the happiest of Christmas mornings.
And then I went to Hello Cupcake to ask them about their holiday hours. Turns out they will be on vacation Christmas week. So instead of buying cupcakes Christmas Eve afternoon, I would have to buy them days in advance, which would be disastrous for the cupcakes.
So no one is getting Hello Cupcake for Christmas this year.