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Do you ever have one of those days when you’re reading the Internet and all of a sudden there’s an article on Qream and you’re like, “holy shit I totally saw that in my liquor store on Sunday!”? And then you’re strangely compelled to buy this stuff even though a) you hate cream liqueurs, b) you hate the idea of alcohol specifically marketed to women, and c) you have absolutely no idea what you’ll do with it once you buy it? Let’s say you had one of those days, and now you have this 750 ml THING of lactose-free peach whatever, and Pharell tells you that aside from pouring the whole thing in a martini glass and watching Lady Television you could make “pastries and cupcakes” with it. Challenge accepted.
Pharell, I get it. Ladies love baking and drinking, and I’m saying that completely un-ironically. I bake a lot. I drink a lot. But I think something got messed up when they went from “baking and drinking are good” to “ladies will bake with and drink THIS PARTICULAR NON-LACTOSE CREAMY STUFF, RIGHT?” So, experiment time, since recipes are still “coming soon” on their website. I’m not enough of a baker to whip up my own recipe, but I do it enough to realize that just dumping this into a normal batch of cupcakes would mess up whatever liquid/dry stuff ratio there is and make for unsatisfying cupcakes. After some repeated Google searches for “liquor cupcakes” I got this recipe for Bailey’s Irish Creme cupcakes, and since there were no other flavors that would totally offend if I just substituted Qream for Bailey’s, it’s time.
However, it’s also time to consider the batch size, since obviously you can’t just buy a half-cup of Qream to use for the recipe. First there’s the risk of whether you will find Qream enjoyable on its own. If you do, Mazel! Make however many cupcakes you want and drink the rest, or just fuck the cupcakes and bathe yourself in it like the Queen Pharell knows you are. However, in the extreme likelihood that it tastes like peach-air-freshener-flavored Nesquik, you’re going to have a bunch of leftover stuff that you stupidly bought for $25 or whatever and you don’t want that to go to waste. And here we are at the second risk: how the cupcakes actually taste. Again, if they taste great, wonderful! You’ve made 24 and you can bring them into work and everyone will give you a raise, and then continue making them until you’re all out of Qream. If not, shit, you’ve made 24 and you bring them into the office just to get the physical manifestation of your failure out of your apartment and everyone tastes them and fires you. Or you throw them out, and doesn’t that make you feel guilty? I don’t know, there are a lot of risks with this whole experiment. I’m halving the recipe and making 12.
1. Preheat the oven to 350, and in a electric mixing bowl (or with a hand mixer, or by hand) cream 6 Tbsp butter and 3/4 cup sugar. Put on some N.E.R.D., so you can try to understand the mindset of the monster who would create such a beverage.
2. In a separate bowl mix 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 cinnamon.
3. Add one whole egg and one egg white to the butter/sugar mixture, and then add 1 tsp vanilla extract.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in batches, alternating with a little over 1/4 cup of Qream. Do not let anyone take a picture of the face you make while you do this. It’ll just be bad.
5. Line a 12-cupcake tin with paper cups, or butter that shit, and fill each 2/3 the way up with the batter. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool on a rack.
6. If you want to make some butterQream (sorry) beat 1/2 cup of butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 1/2 Tbps Qream and spread on top.
To my absolute shock the cupcakes actually tasted great, probably because they tasted not like artificial peach flavoring but more like light, vanilla-y cupcakes with a hint of peach. The butterQream (I can’t stop) tasted more like straight artificial peach but I think that’s because I ran out of powdered sugar and began using the granulated stuff so it was all weird anyway. Unfortunately, this positive result gave me the chutzpah to drink some straight Qream and it was the worst oh my god. It just…does Pharell think ladies don’t have taste buds? Is this the logical product of that “bitches and hos” part of hip-hop culture, where they think women don’t deserve to taste good things? I don’t even know, but if you’re suddenly overcome with the urge to buy what is surely a bottle of jizz after the guy ate a peach cobbler, know that your cupcakes will turn out pretty good!
P.S. I am open to suggestions as to what to do with the rest of this Qream. Hos Qreaming Hos, anyone? Or will I just have no friends if I do that?
Jaya Saxena was born in Manhattan and now lives in Queens, next to a liquor store that stocks Qream. She works for the New-York Historical Society, and her writing has appeared in Gothamist, The Faster Times, and Entertainment Weekly. She can’t stop giggling at the word “Qream.”