My daughter and I were alone on Saturday. For the whole day. And there wasn’t any nagging about homework to be done or about her room being cleaned up.

So she suggested that we bake.

Now, I’m not a baker.

(Well, lately I’ve been baking bread. That’s not the kind of baking I’m talking about.)

But I’m always getting down on my knees and praying happy for any non-stress, fun activity that we can do together. She’s 13 so there’s not that much these days.

I quickly said yes before she could change her mind.

She went on-line to find a recipe and came up with a Halloween themed cupcake.

Black Cats.

The hardest part about this recipe was trying to figure out what to use for the cat’s features that would be the most authentic. We spent some time in the grocery store, in different aisles, until we came up with what we thought would work.

We made our selections and came home to bake.

I helped her with the cupcake-making part. But after they were out and cooled, she was on her own. I was sitting in the kitchen offering suggestions when asked and praise when needed but honestly, my nose was way deep in Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl”. (What a mysterious novel.)

At one point, I went upstairs to take a shower and when I came down not only were the cupcakes completed but also the kitchen was completely cleaned up. Spotless.

I was blown away. First, by the fact that my kid, my messy-never-put-anything-away kid, had cleaned up the kitchen.

And more importantly, that the cupcakes were absolutely, positively incredible looking.

I just wish they would stop staring at me.

I just wish they would stop staring at me.

What do you think?

Black Cat Cupcakes
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1 box of cake mix (we used vanilla)
1 container of chocolate frosting
Chocolate sprinkles (fur)
Mini marshmallows (eyes)
Small tube of black icing gel (pupils)
Chocolate or black licorice (whiskers)
Butterscotch chips (nose)
Squares of chocolate (ears)

1. Prepare the mix according to the box. Bake in cupcake tin. When done, let cupcakes cool completely.
2. Frost each cupcake.
3. Pour the chocolate sprinkles in to a bowl and dip each cupcake to completely cover the icing.
4. Put two marshmallows on each cupcake for the eyes and draw a vertical black line on each with the gel.
5. Put one chip on each cupcake for the nose.
6. Cut the licorice in to 1 1/2 to 2 inch sections. Then cut each section in half. Arrange on each cupcake for the whiskers.
7. Cut chocolate squares in half on the diagonal. Then cut on the diagonal again to make little triangles. Press in to the frosting for ears.