Although I may not be able to cure cancer…yet…that doesn’t mean I can’t honor the people who have battled cancer. There are two cancer benefits on the same day in two different cities that are 150 miles apart, and I’m donating several dozen to both places. Crazy? Yes, that just may be the case here.
These strawberry cupcakes are going to a breast cancer benefit in Columbia. A family friend is close with a woman who has battled breast cancer, fought through and now helps organize a huge benefit they have every year. When she contacted me about donating some cupcakes for a good cause, I said, “Absolutely!!” I contacted the lady and asked her how many people attend the benefit, and she said about 400. Ho. Lee. Cow. May have caught her off guard when the amount I told her was going to be six dozen that would be donated…but for a good cause? Sign me up! Strawberry cupcakes popped into my head first. Maybe it was because they’re pink, or maybe because they’re just so delicious. Either way, that was the flavor that was chosen. They’re topped with cream cheese icing, and a chocolate ribbon. Doing something special as a topper seemed like the best option, so I ordered the chocolate mold from amazon.com and used hot pink chocolate to make these little guys.
These cupcakes were very close to my heart. A very good friend that I’ve known for almost 20 years lost her mother to cancer just a few weeks ago. Several months ago, Rhonda Brown (who has put together the Relay for Life in Myrtle Beach) jokingly told me that she stalks my baking on Facebook…and she thought I should enter the cupcake contest they’re having at the benefit. I chuckled and said, “Maybe.” Rhonda had battled cancer on and off for 18 years, so when I found out that it had come back again, I wasn’t too worried because she had fought it off two times before that. Just a month ago, things took a turn for the worst. The cancer had spread to her liver, and it was too late. That was a very long and emotional day, waiting to hear exactly what was going on. I kept hoping to hear that things had turned around and she pushed through again…but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. At her funeral, I told her daughter and husband that I wanted to enter some cupcakes in the contest for her, because she was the one who wanted me to do it. So, I asked them what her favorite flavor was. They responded, “Anything with pecans.” The first thing that popped in my head was German Chocolate cupcakes, so here they are. German chocolate cake with coconut and chunks of German chocolate, a coconut pecan filling, topped with German chocolate coconut pecan icing…and topped off with a purple chocolate ribbon.
I’ve known Rhonda since I was 13 years old… She knew me as a talkative, bratty and lovable kid who always called her “Mom” and raided their refrigerator and pantry, looking for food when I spent the night at their house. I’ll always remember her laugh. She was always laughing and smiling. Even when I was being a smarty pants, she would cut me the “look” but still have a little grin…and I would say, “Okay” and sheepishly smile back at her. She will continue to live on through her daughters, because both of them have so many of her wonderful qualities. She will always be missed.
In loving memory of Rhonda Sue Brown.