Sunday, June 6, 2010

More cupcakes!

Last week was my test run on a recipe and how-to directions from the books Hello, Cupcake and What's New, Cupcake. I still recommend these books, but I must be getting old and less patient as things didn't turn out as well as the photos in the books. I don't say that looking for sympathy or reassurance, I am just stating a fact. The ideas are still cute even with simpler adaptations.

Yesterday's cupcakes were for the birthday party of my 8 year old great-niece Allison. Originally I was going to make 4 cupcakes each of 6 different breeds. Somewhere along the line I said 'forget this' and went for easy. I worked on these for 4 hours Friday, and that didn't include baking time and searching for the right embellishments. It did include a trip to CVS for more Jelly Belly candies and mini M&Ms.

First up is a Dachshund. The snout and ears are cut from a Famous Chocolate Wafers. There are 30-some of these in a box for $4.69. If you need many of them, you don't want to keep breaking them. Cutting shapes, especially curved ones led to a lot of breakage.

The ears were left unfrosted, the snout had black frosting added. The beige sides of the doxie's face were supposed to be piped on with just a clip in the corner of a sandwich bag full of icing. I did use a decorator bag and tip because I had them, but wasn't happy with the lines of piping being so evident. Smoothing them over didn't work well. In general, I think they are cute but were time consuming. The eyes are white icing, brown mini M&Ms and a dot of black icing. The nose is a black Jelly Belly.
Next pupcake (cute name, eh?) was supposed to be a Beagle. I should have taken a photo of the one where I followed directions. It was a mess. The snout was supposed to be a regular size marshmallow on top of a frosted cupcake. You then frosted the marshmallow. Ever try to frost a marshmallow? 'T'ain't easy. His tongue was supposed to be half of a pink Circus Peanut. No one around here regularly sells regular Circus Peanuts, much less pink ones! To be fair, the books have resources listed for supplies used, but c'mon....who is going to order and pay for shipment when you only need a few of them and you want them in the next 24 hours?

The Beagle's ears are made from softened Tootsie Rolls. They were supposed to be on cut Chocolate Wafers (used as support) but this made them heavy and they fell off the cupcake. Humidity was not friendly to the softened Tootsie Rolls later in the day on Friday (when they were made) and the ears began to sag and slide off the pup's faces.
After I ditched the idea of following directions completely, this was the finished Beagle. His tongue is a fruit flavored Tootsie Roll and his nose is Junior Mint.

The Dalmatian presented the same snout and tongue problem as the Beagle. His ears are unfrosted and stayed in place better because they weren't so heavy. The Beagle's blue eyes and Dalmatians green ones are the result of a tube of mini M&Ms not having many brown ones per tube. I did buy more before decorating the next breed.
The ears would have looked better with more shaping, but I was amassing more cookies in the waste pile (later to be crumbled and served on ice cream?) so I left them as is.

Last of the doggies is a real chocolate, Chocolate Lab.
Those are Tootsie Rolls again for the ears and tongue. Eyes and nose courtesy of the mad dash to CVS.

I stopped breeding pupcakes at 14 and went on to simpler designs. I made 4 sunflowers with purchased sugar molded lady bugs.
Two spider cupcakes for the little boys who are bug lovers. The legs were supposed to be made of melted chocolate piped onto wax paper (following a template under the paper), hardened and placed onto of the cupcake. I knew they wouldn't travel well so I just piped frosting legs.
And lastly, four swirls of black on the frosted cupcakes with a tooth pick dragged through in opposing directions. I would definitely make these again for any occasion in pretty color combos.
I put all the cupcakes on the new stand I bought using a discount coupon at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It comes apart for easy, flatter storage than the wire stands. I had to put like cupcakes next to each other rather than stagger placement because sides, with ears etc, were touching.
The humidity got so bad on Friday, we turned the air conditioner on to preserve the pupcakes whose ears were getting droopy. God love my understanding husband!

We had to transport this stand (I was afraid to take them off) approximately 5 miles. I got into the car with them but couldn't close the door or fasten my seat belt. Bill came to the rescue. I held the bottom tier and braced the second tier with my thumbs all the way there. Bill promised to avoid sudden stops or crashes. He didn't think I would take well to the air bag deploying and getting frosting all over me. Have I ever mentioned that he can be a smart so-and-so? Photobucket

Oh, and just to make this trip more interesting, we had Colton, his diaper bag, a stroller, and our birthday gift plus those of both sons to Allison with us. Billy is taking a class on weekends and Chuck and Kim were at an all day long class at church. I think there was a square inch of space left in the car, but I wouldn't count on it. All that matters is that we, and the cupcakes, got there safely. Photobucket


Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

Those are incredible. You are too hard on your own artistry!!!

PINK circus peanuts? HA! Never heard of 'em! Circus peanuts, BY LAW, are a deadly orange.

I like the tongue you created a lot more than the mystical pink peanut!

That corgi :) said...

definitely a labor of love!! these all looked so very nice although I can imagine the hours of work that went into them!! and what a trooper you and your husband were to then transport them those 5 miles! I bet it was the longest 5 miles your husband ever drove!