Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.
This year, why not make your Super Bowl party extra sweet with a fresh-baked batch of chicken wing, salsa and chip or pepperoni pizza-flavored cupcakes? With bleu cheese buttercream frosting, beer flavored batter or salsa-infused cakes, these specialty desserts aren't really dessert at all, but more like a mini-meal in the form of a tiny cake, complete with savory sauces and real dressings or dips.
They've made the news in recent days, an idea whipped up by Rachel Cocca-Dott (yes, it's her real name, a hyphenated combination of her maiden and married name), who opened her eponymous cupcake shop, Coccadotts Cake Shop, outside of Albany, New York in 2006 with her business partner Matt O'Connor. Her goal: to make custom cakes and desserts for weddings and special events.
Last winter, Cocca-Dott created another type of custom cake, her now-famous chicken wing cupcakes, a corn-bread cake topped with bleu cheese buttercream "dressing" drizzled in hot sauce and decorated with a whole chicken wing. The image, which was posted on Facebook, went viral.
"The next day we were getting calls from reporters and the news. We had no idea it would create so much press," said Cocca-Dott, whose chicken wing cupcakes appeared on Anderson Cooper's show Monday.
To make this year even more festive, Cocca-Dott has created five new flavors for a Sunday Super Bowl party to remember. Part of the expanded seasonal sweets line-up includes salsa and chips, a spicy cupcake with salsa and cheddar cheese baked into the center and topped with a salsa buttercream frosting and decorated with shredded cheese and a chocolate-dipped tortilla chip. There's also a pepperoni pizza cupcake, where batter is flavored with pizza sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni rounds. The beer and lime puts beer right into the batter, and the frosting offers up a hint of lime, while the cornbread and chili cupcakes have a surprise chili center. The chocolate-covered pretzel is the sweetest deal. Each sells for about $3.50 a piece, and shipping costs vary.
Cocca-Dott's baking was good enough to land her a spot on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars in 2011, where four of the country's top cupcake bakers face-off in three elimination challenges until only one decorator remains. Although she was eliminated in the first round, the publicity helped business grow quickly, and Coccadotts has since expanded to open two new locations, one as far south as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A Florida location is in the works, but no word on when, said Cocca-Dott.
The success prompted her to begin packaging and shipping her goods cross-country, something that sets her apart from many other independent bake shops. "With all that exposure [from Cupcake Wars], demand grew, so we decided to start shipping," said Cocca-Dott, who spent more than two years perfecting a specialty shipping method that ensures her desserts arrive chilled and -- most importantly -- in one piece.
Luckily, it's not too late to order a batch of chicken wing, pizza or salsa and chips cupcakes for your Super Bowl party -- and you don't have to travel all the way to Albany to pick them up. Cocca-Dott said she will be accepting orders as late as Friday evening for guaranteed delivery before Sunday, February 3. She will ship in any quantity, anywhere in the U.S.
If you can't place an order this year, there's always Super Bowl 2014 -- or your next party -- which you can prepare for using Coccadotts new online ordering system slated to launch in the coming weeks. Known as the "dessert builder" it allows customers to custom-design desserts and place orders from their computer or downloadable smartphone app.
For more information on ordering cupcakes, or to learn more about Coccadotts Cake Shop you can visit their website, or call them at 518-545-4655.
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