Fast forward several weeks, and the two of us were wondering what we could (notice the "could" and not the "should") make for my niece’s school birthday party. The owls were cute, but we didn’t like how the cupcakes tasted dry just after one day. My sister picked up a “Cake Pops” book, and while the pops looked adorable, the idea of sticks in a cake didn’t quite resonate with us. We decided to go for the cuteness and forego the “pops” of the equation. We happened to make strawberry-flavored cake and wanted the outside color to match, so after some time, the ladybug in the book looked cheery and harmless enough, and we started making cake balls. The dipping took some practice, and if you’ve ever worked with melted chocolate, it can be a nightmare. Candy melts are much more forgiving than chocolate, but getting the right consistency and covering the cake pockmark-free were not. But before long, my sister was dubbed the “Dip Master,” and I was the one giving life to the ladybugs (let’s just say I hand-painted, piped, and dabbed an awful lot). My favorite part was giving each ladybug eyes and a smile, at which point I found it too difficult to eat a creation that was staring back at me.
Our next task was coming up with something to accompany the ladybugs, and sunflowers didn’t quite work out, and neither did anything else we saw in the book. However, the sunflower idea led to bees (yellow as the common denominator), chocolate chips became the perfect stinger, and I became the Creative Director! By the time my niece’s birthday rolled around, we figured out how to pipe the wings beforehand (on wax paper) and to make green waffle leaves for the critters to rest on. Each lil’ fella went into individual treat boxes, and my sister delivered them to school on time!