When Your Sweet Tooth Takes You to Rock Bottom
Is Mainlining Icing Through a Straw Acceptable?
I have a sweet tooth. I'll admit it. And my sweet tooth is not satisfied by the serving size indicated on the package of a delicious baked good. No, to be sated, my sweet tooth requires the number of desserts a caterer would provide for a wedding with 200 guests.
Before I speak more about desserts, allow me to share my theory of desserts that contain fruit. I wholeheartedly believe that a dessert with fruit in it is not a proper dessert because one could still construe it as "healthy." While I sometimes eat desserts that contain fruit, fruity desserts are not my preference. Why would they be if I also have the choice of things made with caramel, butterscotch, or chocolate?
Exceptions to the "fruit-can't-be-in-real-desserts" rule include apple cobbler drizzled in caramel, and key lime pie. Key lime pie is delightfully sweet. Even though it contains fruit, it satisfies my cravings. In general, the most important thing to remember about me when it comes to desserts is the sweeter, the better.
You will not see me reaching for a piece of fruit tart, a slice of cake covered in chocolate ganache, or anything topped with a light, whipped frosting. These things are not sweet enough. No, give me the good stuff! And the good stuff is desserts covered in creamy, delicious, sugar-coma-inducing buttercream frosting.
I enjoy some ridiculously sweet candies, including candy corn, Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Snickers. Icing, however, is glorious! My two favorite icing-laden desserts are Gigi's Cupcakes and traditional sheet cakes from Publix, Kroger, Costco, and Sam's Club. They understand my icing needs!
Gigi's Cupcakes does not have locations nationwide, so only 21 states get to enjoy them. The most important thing is there are locations in my state. The rest of you are missing out on cupcakes with a ratio of 1/4 cake to 3/4 icing. Translation: the cupcakes are perfect!
When I visit my local Gigi's Cupcakes, there are two things I want to ask the person at the counter:
Could I lie down on one of the counters in the baking area and have someone squirt icing directly into my mouth from a frosting bag? Taking part in such a procedure would be a life-affirming experience, not to mention therapeutic. Maybe I could even get my insurance to cover it! Because, if my doctor said I HAD to go for thrice-weekly icing infusions—well, who am I to argue with the advice of a qualified medical professional?
Instead of giving me an entire cupcake, could they take one of the cupcake boxes, you know, the kind with a spot for each cupcake, and fill each spot full of buttercream frosting? Who needs the cake part anyway? Getting rid of the cake part even reduces the number of calories I am taking in. Then, I could eat the icing with a spoon or, better yet, put the box on a table and stick my face in it and eat it the way babies eat a piece of cake on their first birthdays. I might get a little up my nose, but I could enjoy it with all my senses! I am sure Pablo Escobar would be with me on this one.
Speaking of babies and their birthdays, children's birthday parties are an excellent source of buttercream frosting. There is nearly always a sheet cake from a grocery store at a children's birthday party. The cake is adorned with monstrous gobs of icing in the form of flowers. You know how it goes. Every kid wants a flower, even if they hate both flowers and icing.
No matter which kids get a flower, you look at those kids' plates later and see that they did not even eat the flowers! I always think about what a waste this is when there is someone like me who would happily gobble up all the flowers on the cake without even stopping to take a breath. I have considered getting an overly-long fork and silently stalking the children who get the flowers. I'd surreptitiously steal the flowers when the kids weren't looking. I would be helping myself and doing their parents a favor by limiting their children's sugar consumption.
Unfortunately, though, if you complain about kids getting the good pieces of cake at a children's party, everyone will think you are "odd." If you stalk the children with a fork the height of the Empire State Building, someone will ask you to leave. If you steal food off of children's' plates when they're not looking, well—someone might call the police, and then you also won't be allowed within a thousand feet of a school. (Not that any of these things has happened to me)
Since I can't do these things while maintaining a functioning adult's persona, I've developed a compensatory strategy for getting frosting at children's birthday parties: I try to get a corner piece of cake with all the icing edging around the sides. I like getting pieces near the flowers, and that maybe have a leaf or something on top. I have to be vigilant if I want to get a corner piece because most people do not care about which piece of cake they get the way I do. They will take anything. You could hand them a piece of meatloaf and say it was cake, and they wouldn't notice till they took a bite. They're not scanning the cake for icing. They are enjoying the party and talking to people like normal adults!
Instead of hanging out and socializing, if you want to get that corner piece, you have to stand right next to the person cutting the cake, and it helps if you offer to hand out cake to other partygoers. If someone else hands out the cake, they are liable to give that corner piece away as though it were some ordinary piece of cake or something.
It is crucial to have a friend or family member assist you in your quest for the corner piece. Once the cake cutter hands you that illustrious piece, give it to your mom, brother, spouse, or whomever and, this is vital, instruct them not to eat it. You see, after you have gotten your hands on the corner piece, you will have to keep up the ruse that you volunteered to hand out cake to be helpful, and not because you wanted to ensure yourself the best piece of cake. That is why you need someone to guard the cake for you until you finish the job.
It also helps if you know someone who hates icing. It can't be someone you think is gross and off whose plate you wouldn't want to eat, but I find I am okay with eating off most family members and friends plates and the occasional attractive male stranger's plate, once he has removed the restraining order. When you get over the shock of finding out there are people in this world who—gasp!—hate icing, you can get the icing haters to give you all the icing they scraped off the tops and sides of their pieces of cake.
I won't pretend to understand why anyone would want to eat only the cake part, but, hey, I don't have to understand. I only have to ensure that the frosting gets off their plates and in my belly. So, children's birthday parties, while not as ideal for the icing connoisseur as Gigi's Cupcakes, still provide a vital source of buttercream frosting.
I know I could mix up my own frosting at home, sit down in front of an episode of House Hunters with it, and eat it with a spoon. I live alone, so no one would ever have to know. And, then I could avoid the drama of looking for icing like an addict seeking her next fix. However, I prefer the illusion of control. If I get my fix through sheet cakes and cupcakes, I am not a weirdo. Because, without such constraints, you might find me mainlining icing through a straw. While this would be a new way of enjoying one of my favorite "desserts," something tells me it's not normal.