I thought that, after I made our “brick and mortar” announcement on Wednesday, there would be a huge, dramatic response. I mean, sure, Twitter went crazy. And yeah, we had very nice, full articles written up by Eater, Zagat, and The Braiser(which is quickly becoming one of my favorite websites, so bookmark them). And maybe I have received an overwhelming number of excited emails and Facebook messages from our neighbors here in Bay Ridge, and our phone has been ringing off the hook.
But were we trending on Twitter? No. Did we get a congratulatory phone call from President Obama, or at the very least, Marty Markowitz? No.
So I checked all the newspapers and blogs to find out why exactly they weren’t writing about us, and found my answer. STUPID F***ING BANSKY. Plus the government shutdown and the mayoral election, but mostly STUPID F***ING BANSKY.
Well, two can play at that game, buddy. You want to take it to the streets? I’ll take it to the freaking streets.
Not the spraypaint — not my style. I’m more about the line between permanence and impermanence. How beauty, and we, exist in moments. The transient, the ephemeral. One moment you’re looking at a cupcake. You consume. It’s gone.
In other words, I work with Post-Its.
I’m also quasi-famous for my work in MS Paint, but I didn’t have time to put anything together for today’s post was so consumed with the excitement of the new store, of the palpability of the hunger of my audience, of the millions of hits everything tagged #bansky was getting……I had to go immediately to the streets.
X, as always, marks the spot. And if you can figure out where, before it blew away, you’ll find the exact location of the new shop. All these photos were taken within 100 feet of the joint. Tweet me a pic of yourself out front, and one random correct person will get a free pastry sampler when we finally open.
When will I reveal the right answer? Next week. I need to milk this news as long as I can, because blogging about things like “filling out permit paperwork” and “interviewing electricians” is really, really boring.
Key Lime Cheesecake: Graham cracker cake, key lime curd, key lime cheesecake buttercream, graham crumbs (yes, I know this is usually a summertime only flavor, but I was in the mood for it)
Dom DeLuise: Pistachio cake, cannoli buttercream, roasted pistachios, candied citron, mini chocolate chips
Seriously, Matt and I love our two sons, but if we had to survive one more week of summer vacation I think the next step would have involved a manifesto.
Now that they’re back in school we can get back to the massive “to do” list that we’ve essentially ignored for the past two-and-a-half months in the name of being awesome parents. Like promoting the book, doing events, and figuring out how to get melted M&Ms out of our sofa.
In honor of the first day of school, our once a year “Apple Peanut Butter” is back - a homage to the first thing we all learned how to cook, a cored apple stuffed with peanut butter. We top ours with homemade peanut brittle because we like one-upping all the little kids out there.
***Limited Edition!*** Apple Peanut Butter: Apple cake, peanut butter buttercream, homemade peanut brittle
Quick post today, as we’re celebrating Matt’s parents 40th (wow!) wedding anniversary down at beautiful sunny Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida! There’s going to be lots of pictures, commentary, and recaps once we return, but in the event you want to live vicariously through us, follow us on Twitter where we’re tweeting out pics, restaurant reviews, tips we’re picking up, and random observations like this one:
Sadly, I was unable to snap a photo of said Juggalo, but I’ve got seven more days to track him down like a bleeding antelope.
I’m also posting plenty of photos and talking about food over at Instagram, so if you’re planning a vacation in the coming months and want to know where to eat, it’s worth following us (“Robicellis”, of course). We have completely unrealistic expectations as far as dining out goes, and will be judging everything we eat harshly and completely without mercy. Because truly, that’s the kind of spirit that’s truly what a big family vacation at Disney World is all about. (Tune in Monday night when Matt and I will be spending our anniversary at Paul Bocuse’s restaurant groups Disney outpost!).
Back in Brooklyn, the best staff in the business was baking cupcakes and whoopie pies and etc to usher you off into the weekend as sweetly as they can…..and here they are!
We’re going to be at The World’s Largest Bakesale at Grand Central Station with Sandra Lee! And YES I had to use the picture where she’s dressed up like Cher!
This event benefits Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, and all money made that day will go directly to helping eradicating childhood hunger in America. Not just profits — every single cent we make.And we’re bringing well over 1,000 pieces, so we’re hoping you’ll come down for the day and help us do some serious damage.
And it’s not just us! You’ll be able to buy stuff from over thirty awesome bakeries and restaurants, including places like Del Posto, Jean Georges, Gramercy Tavern and more. You are going to eat better than you ever have in your entire freaking life, you’ll be helping feed needy kids, AND if we all sell out, we’ll have officially set a world record for the largest bakesale in history. Don’t you want to be a part of that?
If all that do-gooding and dessert eating wasn’t enough for you, there’s some awesome people co-chairing this event: aside from Ms. Lee, there’s Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, Emerill Lagasse, and WENDY FREAKING WILLIAMS.
She doesn’t need to be dressing up like Cher - Wendy Freaking Williams really is just that damn faboosh. That wasn’t even a real word, but that’s the type of woman she is. You need to make up a whole separate book of brand spanking new adjectives for Wendy Freaking Williams. Things like “Batankah” and “Schmoovious”. Lowly, simple, common English words would never be able to do the enormity of this woman justice. I don’t know if she’ll personally be there, but if I encounter Wendy Freaking Williams, I may pass out because my body cannot handle the amount of awesome she radiates.
Now to the menu. We’ll be bringing:
-Limited Edition Mint Julep Pound cake (made with lots of real Kentucky bourbon — great to have on hand for some Derby watchin’ this weekend)
-Our Famous Carrot Cake
-Mini Brownies Sampler: featuring our Classic Sea Salt and Fany (cajeta cinnamon) varieties
-Ultimate Nutella Whoopie Pie: Valrhona chocolate shells filled with Nutella buttercream and crunchy hazelnut praline
You’ll have to head to Grand Central Station on Wednesday beginning at 10am to get your hands on that particular stuff, but you can head to some of our retail partners right now and pick up brownies, whoopie pies, cakes, and these cupcakes we made last night. They are also pretty damn faboosh if I do say so myself.
How are all the other parents out there holding up with Spring Break? Good? Ours were home all of last week with the flu, then this week with the vacation, so, um- yeah, Matt and I are holding up just great right now. Greeeeeaaaaaat.
With what few brain cells I still have that are functioning, we’ll get to some big news:
We’re going to be at this years Great Googa Mooga in Prospect Park! And this year will be bigger and better than ever, with plans for more food, shorter lines, faster service, and ten times the GoogaDeliciousness (obvious since we’re invited). You can check out the entire food lineup here, and click our name to add us to your GoogaLine-up.
There’s music too, but I’m ignoring all that out of outrage that the GoogaOrganizers did not take my suggestions of getting Billy Ocean to headline. And he’s NOT busy……I checked.
I bet after watching that, you’re pretty pissed Billy Ocean isn’t playing either. I’m going to promise that if you swing by our booth and request it, Matt and I will gladly serenade you with some Carribean Queen, or maybe some Get Out of My Dreams (Get Into My Car). Robicelli’s: proprietors or delicious desserts and smooth adult contemporary hits.
Now for this years Easter cupcakes! Direct ordering for the holiday is already full, but you can certainly check our retail partners for these- and the Pizza Grana is a once a year creation, so if you don’t get to try it this weekend, you’ll have to wait for next year.
We are one day away from the first puck drop of the 2013 Rangers season! And though as a lifelong Ranger fan I’m always hoping for the best but bracing myself for the inevitable soul-crushing disappointment, this year is different! We’re always amazing the first half of the season, then somewhere midway everything goes to hell and the amount of screaming that goes on in this household exponentially increases.
However- THIS year thanks to the contractual lockout- we’re only getting a first half of the season! By the time the Rangers reach the point they’re supposed to start sucking horribly, the season is already over! There’s no way we’re not winning the cup this year!
In other news- Matt was on Sweet Genius this past week (with a cameo from me and the boys). However it’s not online, so there’s nothing fun I can post here. Nor should I post any of my thoughts on the show here without completely torpedoing my career or whatever tenuous relationship I currently have with Food Network. Nor am I allowed to make any commentary about that photo above, or talk about the kinds of things we do at home while speaking in his accent. This is really killing me, guys.
I’ll just say if you see the episode “Sci-Fi Genius”, you should Tivo it. Matt looks super sexy (as always), and I’m very proud of him for not passing out since they filmed this in a pastry kitchen under hot lights in the middle of July. I’ll also say that both Matt, myself, and the entire Robicelli’s team ADORE Ron Ben-Israel- he’s as sweet at the cakes he makes.
Now onto flavors- it’s been a while, but today is a BRAND SPANKING NEW FLAVOR day! Heading to stores today is Banoffee- a banana cake filled with toffee pudding, topped with mascarpone buttercream and homemade toffee candy. This is an incredibly popular kind of pie over in England, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why it isn’t on this side of the pond. Hopefully you’ll try this cupcake and agree, and perhaps some small to medium-sized riots will bread out that will force more pubs and restaurants to put this on the menu. I mean, if we can have “Cupcake Wars”, then CERTAINLY rioting over them is also appropriate.
This weekend, Matt and I will be heading up to Chappaqua to watch one of my best friends of over 25 years get married. (and to make the cupcakes for his wedding. You’re friends with us, you get a dessert buffet as a wedding gift. Which, we suspect, is why we’re so goshdarn popular).
More important than the wedding, though, is the fact that for the first time in over five years, Matt and I will have a night in a hotel room all to ourselves. Which means that we are planning only one thing: the best night of sleep ever.
We’re heading down to Sesame Place in about 2 weeks with the kids, one day after doing the cupcakes for THREE weddings in one day, and trust me, you’re going to be hearing a very different sentiment from my blog posts during that vacation. This weekend will be all about sleeping in and enjoying the wonders of complimentary soaps.
Speaking of weddings, we’re now starting to book for the fall, so if you’re getting married and want us to be a part of it, let us know! We do weddings, Sweet 16s, corporate events, birthday parties, office shindigs, and all general hootenanies. Just place your order in advance, because there are days where we’re 100% booked, and the more notice we get, the better odds of us making the magic happen for you.
I talk about baking, it’s “making the magic happen”. I talk about spending a night in a hotel with my husband, its “naps and mini soaps”. There’s something seriously wrong with us.
Clockwise from front: Bellini, Dom DeLuise, Mango Coconut, Banana Cashew
I know this isn’t the most interesting kind of conversation, but seriously, I am a delicate flower over here and I can’t stand this crap at all.
What I can’t stand more than the heat? Those people on Facebook who post things back in February like “I can’t wait for summer, bikinis and the beach! Bring it on LOLZ!”. And then once the mercury hits 80, they’re posting “Oh my God I hate this heat! I can’t go outside because I’ll melt! LOLZ!”.
You’re old enough to type on the internet, and you still don’t understand how summer works? Really? And are you really LOLZing after everything you say? Because if you aren’t, you’re turning Facebook into a house of lies, and I’ll never be able to trust anything you say again.
I think it’s about time I revisit last weeks idea of migrating to Canada. Any investors up north interested in underwriting a Toronto shop? It’s cool up there, right? I don’t mind cold winters. Way I see it, it gets cold, I can always put on more layers. It gets hot, I can’t legally get more naked, now can I?
Fortunately, we’ve got a lovely air conditioning unit at our DeKalb Market shop. You should come by today, because we’ve got a free movie tonight, a market wide special I’ll talk about more later today, and these puppies you see right here. Plus, we made Chicken n’Waffles cupcakes for all the midweek customers who don’t get down to Downtown Brooklyn on the weekends. We can’t let you guys feel left out all the time!
Clockwise from front: The Duckie, Banana Cashew, Dom DeLuise, The Hinsch
The Duckie:Peanut cake, peanut butter buttercream, marshmallow buttercream, roasted peanuts
As magical as the past five years of motherhood have been, one thing I really, really do miss is having a nice apartment. This place was never exactly the Ritz, but BC (before children) we had a nice dining table with a runner and candleholders, fewer murals made from a mixed medium of Crayola markers and toothpaste, a DVD player that wasn’t destroyed by someone putting pancakes in it, and portions of the wall that had been “fixed” by repeatedly stabbing at it with a toy screwdriver.
Now that the children are older and more mature, and since we have one final weekend of rest before our shop at DeKalb Market opens, we’re doing the only logical thing - moving all of our furniture and painting the apartment. Cavern Moss- the most soothing of the greens! Soon, this place will be as lovely as our Pinterest page.
We also took away their toy screwdrivers. They had like six of those freaking things. I don’t know where they hell they’re getting them from.
Clockwise from front: Dom DeLuise, Horchata, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, Banana Nutella
Dom DeLuise: Pistachio cake, ricotta buttercream, roasted pistachios, mini chocolate chips, citron
Horchata: Horchata cake, pudding and buttercream, cinnamon sugar rice krispies
I hate to freak you guys out, but Valentine’s Day is a little more than three weeks away. AND we’ve already started booking up. The way I see it, you have two options:
#1: Place your Valentine’s Day order now. For $50, you get a dozen cupcakes or brownies, some pretty ribbon wrapping, delivery to your loved ones home or office, and a card with your personalized message handwritten by moi
#2: You wait three weeks, realize you have nothing, panic, end up buying a crappy last minute gift at Duane Reade, disappoint your significant other, and have to hear about the time you bought them a box of Entenmann’s Pop-ums and hair gel for Valentine’s Day for the rest of your freaking life.
So pretty much, if you just order now and get it over with, you can relax for the next few weeks, then sit back and watch all your friends and coworkers freak out! SUCKAS!
(PS: That pic above is from a wedding we did last Valentine’s Day. Want our cupcakes at your wedding/Sweet 16/Bat Mitzvah/Corporate Event/46th Birthday Party/Oscar-night shindig/President’s Day kegger? Click here to make it happen!)
One of the flavors from our Valentine’s rotation, the Ebinger, is on today’s rotation for you to try. It’s our “Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake”- the perfect gift for, well, anyone who’s not allergic to chocolate. Or better yet, the perfect gift for yourself. Right? Right. Go reward yourself for surviving the week!
Clockwise from front: The Ebinger, Tiramisu, The Duckwalk, Dom DeLuise
We can’t go TOTALLY dark today, but I’m not writing anything (this doesn’t count). Click on the pic above to be taken to the online petition to stop SOPA. If you don’t know anything about it, scroll through this infographic I pilfered from their site:
Back on Friday!
Clockwise from front: Pecan French Toast, S’Mores, Ebinger, Dom DeLuise
Pecan French Toast: Maple custard soaked cinnamon cake, maple cinnamon buttercream, maple glazed pecans
One of the best parts of having the new shop at DeKalb Market is being able not only to see all our old regulars again, but to meet all the new fans of Robicelli’s- seeing their reactions as they take their first bite, telling them more about our company, and answering their questions. Some questions are about baking, some are about running a small business, but one comes up so often I just can’t keep count at this point:
If you’ll recall, we were asked to make an audition video for the show last year, which we gladly did. However, we decided NOT to do the program, as they refused to let us compete as a team- they wanted one of us to be the “chef” and one to be the “assistant”, and that’s not how things work over here. Matt and I are equal partners in marriage, parenting and business, so even though it meant turning down a trip to LA and the opportunity to FINALLY experience In-N-Out, we knew it was the right decision.
I want to try one of these so effing bad.
They called us again for the next season. Again, we said no. When we tell people this story, they look at us like we have sixteen heads. But we both got into this business before “Celebrichefs”, “Cheftestants”, “Chefthaletes” or “Chefarazzi”- we just got into it to cook. We always said that if we had a good tv opportunity we’d consider it, but the ultimate goal was never to be on television- it was to do what we love every day, and do it with each other.
Earlier this year, we were approached about doing a reality show. Totally honest- it was tempting. We asked lot of friends what to do, and everyone said we would be stupid to turn it down. Then we thought about the heart of Robicelli’s- our family. We didn’t want our kids to go to school and have other kids (and other parents) say things to them about our “personal life” they saw on TV, because we all know these shows are 95% fiction and fabrication. Regardless, children don’t know that, and we didn’t want our kids growing up in a false reality. And then after surveying the reality television landscape, we thought we should just cut to the chase and name the show “Robicelli’s: The Fast Track To Divorce”.
We said no. Our family comes first.
And then three week later, we signed the kids up for preschool and saw the bill.
Then we realized that they have slight overbites, and probably need braces like I did.
Then the kids asked why we don’t have yard and requested a puppy.
Then we went down to Princeton to put pressure on our kids, and realized that it’s going to cost us over a million dollars to put them both through college one day.
And that’s when we started to think that the mature, responsible decision we made might have been really really really really stupid.
Seeing that our moment had passed, we went back to our original plan for success: working ridiculously hard. Then a few weeks ago, our apartment flooded and we had to move in with my parents for a while, meaning that I had access to cable television again. And OH MY FREAKING GOD I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO TELEVISION. What was passable guilty pleasure crap has now degraded into such ridiculousness as “Famous Food”, “Mob Wives” and “Hillbilly Handfishing” (thanks to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck for turning me onto that one!).
Yes, this actually exists. And you thought I was kidding, didn’t you.
What have I learned from this? Well, despite us thinking that no one would want to watch something as boring as two bakers at work, well….really America?!?!? Storage Wars? Cupcake Wars? Parking Wars? I mean, these aren’t really wars, it’s just people working. I’m pretty sure you can walk into any business and just stand there for a while and watch people work. That would be a stupid idea though- it would be far better if you could sit on the couch in your living room and watch people work. This way you could eat popcorn & unbuckle your pants without everyone saying you’re creeping them out like the people at Starbucks are always telling me.
I’ve also learned that since television has apparently completely run out of ideas, maybe our chance hasn’t passed! We decided to give it another shot and put together a little reality tv pilot for you! Now, I have spent HOURS watching Food Network and learning exactly what the people want to see today, and I think I’ve come across the magic formula. A guy, a girl, a bakery? Anything could happen- and DOES!
Call us, Food Network! And go buy some cupcakes, too!
Clockwise from front: Ebinger, Lemon Blueberry Ricotta, Dom DeLuise, Coconut Custard
These last few days have been nothing short of incredible. It’s amazing to think that this all started two days ago with a simple blog post, and in no time we’ve seen Mikey’s story go near viral on the internet, receive attention from television & newspapers, and solicited an outpouring of support from total strangers across the globe. Seriously, I’m just blown away.
This has made me think a lot about this Tumblr, about the people who read it, the power of social networking and the ability of people to come together when the world needs them the most. And I thought, there are so many issues we can all tackle if we all come together and just make it happen! So I began to think of what we should all do next, and it came to me immediately.
Each December, ABC Family puts on a little something called “25 Days of Christmas”, and every year it turns more and more into a gigantic Suckfest. What originally began as a festival of beloved Christmas movies and specials began to innocently be invaded first by Harry Potter, then by Pixar movies, and then slowly turned into “25 Days of Non-Christmas Movies and Extended Marathons of that Goddamn Crap-Ass ‘Cars’ Flick”.
Listen, I LOVE Harry Potter. I love The Incredibles, Ratatouille and ALL of that jazz (except Cars). But they have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, and there’s only a few weeks a year we get to watch timeless classics like Rudolph, Frosty, and Holiday In Handcuffs starring Mario Lopez & Melissa Joan Hart.
Something I’ve learned about the media business is that all their programming decisions happen months in advance, meaning that the schedule for 25 Days of Christmas could happen at any minute. That is why it’s IMPERATIVE that each and every one of you sign this petition and do your part to ensure that Nestor the Long Eared Donkey doesn’t get scrapped again this year for a buck toothed tow truck.
The future is in our hands, America. Let’s make this happen.
Well it’s official………all you jerks on Twitter who have been complaining about getting sick during the summer have given me your sinus mumbo jumbo, and I want to die. GYYYAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!
Fortunately, I didn’t have to bake tonight- Matt and the apprentices covered it perfectly. So I did the only logical thing one can do when it feels like your eyeballs are about to explode out of your face and rattle around the room like a couple of ping pong balls filled with killer bees on methamphetamines- I scheduled as many meetings as I possibly could and ran around the city all day.
I finally got to pop my head into our new location downtown- Battery Place Market- and holy crap is it nice in there! (how’s that for an endorsement, huh?) Delicious Stumptown iced coffee, free wi-fi…..AND I learned that not only do they deliver breakfast lunch and dinner downtown, but they will also deliver cupcakes! Take note of THAT next time you’re ordering lunch, Financial District!
Then in the early evening I was invited to Google headquarters to hear more about their new service Google Places. I was really stoked about this, because we never get invited to ANYTHING fun where we don’t have to work a teensy bit, nor are we ever given appetizers or complimentary pens, which are pretty much our two favorite things ever. However, right when I got there was when my sinuses blew up, and then during the important part of the presentation I got a phone call I really had to take, so I’m still not entirely sure what went on. Important part, however, is I got to chill with Danny Macaroons, who’s one of our favorite people in the whole world and destined to become our BFF whether he likes it or not.
Now that I’m home I’m popping some Mucinex and going to spend an hour or two poking around Google Places to find out what’s up. So if for some reason when you get to work all of Google has mysteriously crashed, it’s probably because of me. Apologies in advance, Google. But thank you for the lovely tote bag!
Time for cupcakes! TWO flavors returning from the vault from last year- working on ways to make them year round flavors if they take off. If you like them, let us know what you think!
Clockwise from front: Dom DeLuise, Chocolate Cheerwine, Apricot Chardonnay, The North Fork
The North Fork: Chocolate cabernet cake, blackberry cabernet buttercream and compote, cabernet reduction