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West Pittston Library hosts Cupcake Wars event

Last updated: July 26. 2014 11:13PM - 1751 Views
By James O’Malley jomalley@civitasmedia.com



West Pittston Library Circulation Coordinator Maria Jiunta Heck, right, and Library Director Anne Bramblett Barr serve as judges for 'Cupcake Wars' as they sample the spooky cupcakes of Robert Stufflebeam of West Pittston and his granddaughter Makayla Swingle, 8, of Exeter, at the library on Saturday afternoon.
West Pittston Library Circulation Coordinator Maria Jiunta Heck, right, and Library Director Anne Bramblett Barr serve as judges for 'Cupcake Wars' as they sample the spooky cupcakes of Robert Stufflebeam of West Pittston and his granddaughter Makayla Swingle, 8, of Exeter, at the library on Saturday afternoon.
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WEST PITTSTON — Bookworms manned their baking stations and brought their best stuff to the West Pittston Library.


Led by enthusiastic Adult Programming Coordinator Jen Moran, four teams and two solo contestants entered literary-themed cupcakes in the library’s Cupcake Wars.


The event, inspired by the Food Network show of the same name, was originally planned in 2011, Moran said, but postponed a while because of flooding.


The entrants shared cupcakes inspired by some of their favorite books with each other, and also to a pair of judges.


Lauren Fletcher’s butterbeer cupcakes — inspired by the popular drink in the Harry Potter series — took home the prize for Best Overall.


She made the cake batter from scratch, and said her recipe, now in its third iteration, incorporated a flavorful blend of cream soda, vanilla and buttermilk.


Straws stuck out through the icing, which Fletcher, 13, melted and caramelized with a blowtorch to give the impression of a butterbeer’s creamy, frothy head.


Her reason for making the cupcakes was simple, she said. “I love the books.”


Fletcher won a basket of baking supplies and a gift card for a supermarket.


Inspired by the 1911 novel “the Secret Garden,” Hannah Johnston and her mother Tammy Tintjer baked lemon poppy seed cupcakes.


They iced the cupcakes to look like flowers, and said they chose lemon poppy seed to reflect the book’s English setting, as such cakes are commonly eaten at tea parties.


“We also really like the flavor,” Johnston said.


The pair said they went through a number of ideas before finally settling on a theme, and the only thing more difficult than deciding on a book was finding poppy seeds sold in sufficient quantities.


Charise Thompson and Hunter Calles modeled their cupcakes after Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “the Cat in the Hat.”


“It’s Dr. Seuss,” Thompson said. “Everyone likes Dr. Seuss.”


They used red velvet cake as a base for white cream cheese icing, and stuck them with pieces of blue cotton candy to imitate the characters’ wild blue hair.


Thompson said she’s read the children’s classic more times than she can count. Their cupcakes won “Most Unique.”


Kristy Dadurka entered a set of racy, “red hot” velvet cupcakes. She decorated the “50 Shades of Grey” inspired treats with edible recreations of iconic tools and garments from the book series.


When her kids recognized one of the props, she said, her husband’s job in law enforcement spared her a premature conversation with the younglings.


“They’re handcuffs like daddy’s,” Dadurka told them.


She said the recipe for the homemade red velvet cake belonged to her grandmother, who claimed to have taken it from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City in the 1920s.


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