My family came up to visit this past weekend, and somehow on her way from the Park Plaza in Boston to our condo in Somerville, my mom came across these adorable cupcakes at a temporary stand at the Cambridgeside Galleria. The cupcakes are from a bakery called Shabby Chic, which is actually based out of Windham, New Hampshire. Knowing my love of desserts, especially mini ones, my mom brought me an assorted box of mini cupcakes.
I was in the middle of baking a cake when she walked in, so I was ready to be annoyed about the presence of non-homemade cupcakes in the house, but that all faded once I took a look at them. They were all so perfectly decorated. My mom explained that they were boxed from richest to lightest, and we were supposed to start with the richest and end with the lightest. So she and I sat at the table with a plate and a knife and went down the line sampling half of each cupcake.
We started on the left, trying all of the chocolate cupcakes first. They were all very moist, and the buttercream was light and not overly sweet. The first one was topped with a chocolate-covered caramel and some chocolate crunchies. The next one, which ended up being our favorite after we finished tasting all of them, was topped with strawberry buttercream and chocolate curls. The strawberry flavor was subtle at first but then became more prominent.
The last chocolate cupcake had salted caramel buttercream and a chocolate-caramel heart on top. It was wonderful. Then we crossed over into vanilla cupcake territory. We found all the vanilla cupcakes equally moist. The first had vanilla buttercream, white chocolate crunchies, and little glittery edible hearts on top. It was a good vanilla cupcake, but it ended up being my least favorite compared with all the others, only because the other flavors were more interesting to me. (You can bet Jeff liked that one best.)
The second-to-last cupcake had guava buttercream and a guava jelly bean. We soon learned it's best to eat the jelly bean and then the cupcake or you'll just taste jelly bean. The last cupcake had a very mellow buttercream (we couldn't figure out what it was) and was topped with rock candy, which I thought was a fun idea.
I liked every single one of these cupcakes, and believe me that I am tough to please when it comes to cupcakes. It seems like everyone does cupcakes these days and they're a bit overplayed. Shabby Chic's cupcakes are different. The flavors are interesting, the buttercreams melt in your mouth and are subtly sweet, and the cupcakes themselves are actually moist and light. Not to mention that two days later they were still good (just starting to get a little dry). And this comes from the baked goods snob, who will rarely touch a day-old baked good.
I don't know if Shabby Chic will be in this area again, but if you happen to be in Windham, New Hampshire, I suggest stopping in for some mini cupcakes. I know I will.