Though less devastating than banana-cream pies, cupcakes still provide effective suppressive fire during fancy dinner-party food fights attended by Larry, Curly, and/or Moe. Lock and load with this smile-inducing ammunition with today's Groupon: for $12, you get one dozen cupcakes at Auntie Em's Fine Foods & Pastries in South San Francisco (a $24 value).
The pastry chefs at Auntie Em's Fine Foods & Pastries bake trays of fluffy cupped creations in flavors both familiar and inspired by Filipino traditions. Cupcake-cravers pick one flavor for their dozen from the menu, with such selections as carrot cake, chocolate ganache, and red velvet, the latter named for its improvisational use as a fabric swatch. Favored tastes from the Philippines include ube cupcakes—lent a vibrant purple color by a type of yam—and buko pandan, which are infused with coconut and pandan essence. Customers must phone in or skywrite their orders at least 24 hours in advance.