The New "The New Cupcake"

those aren't cupcakes
I'll be honest, I don't understand the cupcake craze. I make cupcakes. I eat cupcakes. I like cupcakes. I do not love cupcakes. My friend says he likes cupcakes, because you can eat an entire cake without actually eating an entire cake. That's the most compelling pro-cupcake argument I've heard. I don't hate them or anything. If you would like to offer me one, I would like to eat it. But the cake is usually too dry and the frosting is usually too sweet. Cupcakes can be adorable, but it's so hard to get a bite with a good cake-to-frosting ratio.

So I was excited when I started hearing rumblings about The New Cupcake. Sadly, the macaron was being touted as The New Cupcake and I don't really get macarons. Are they supposed to have that texture? Are they supposed to be good? I just don't know.

But lately, a candidate for The New The New Cupcake is emerging from the shadows. Popsicles hit the blogs, they hit the magazines and then they hit the streets. I was selecting peaches at the Hollywood Farmers Market a few weeks ago when a popsicle-bearing hand entered my peripheral vision. "I thought you'd like to see what we do with your peaches," said the owner of the hand as she passed a popsicle to the vendor.

Suitably inspired, I bought a watermelon and a popsicle mold. I cut the melon into cubes and blended two cups of them (truth: I don't have an actual blender--no room. I do have an immersion blender and it did the trick.). I strained out the solids and admired the lush, lyrical red of my watermelon juice. I added two tablespoons of lime juice, one and a half tablespoons of Meyer lemon juice and two tablespoons of sugar. Stir, stir stir and taste. Freezing mutes flavor, so I left the liquid a bit more tart and sweet (not a contradiction) than I wanted it to be ultimately. Then I filled my molds and stuck them in an especially cold corner of the freezer. I made two batches, one had a variegated color when frozen (see the photo) and the second batch was pure red. I'm not sure why they turned out differently. I'm not a scientist.

"They're such a sophisticated popsicle. I love the lime," said Willing Taste Tester #1.

"Parents should give their kids these instead of filling them with chemicals. Can you image what's in a Big Stick?" said Willing Taste Tester #2.

I can imagine that magic and fairy dust are in Big Sticks, because I love Big Sticks, but point taken. There was no food coloring in my popsicles and only a half a tablespoon of sugar in each. But they were pretty and flavorful and as easy to make as they were to eat.

I feel empowered by my popsicle mold. The wheels are turning on possible pops... Thai Iced Tea pops, plum pops, nectarine and honey pops, vodka tonic pops (why not?!). Today: watermelon-lemon-lime popsicles. Tomorrow: who knows? Well, you'll know, because I plan to blog about it.

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