Friday, April 23, 2010

Cupcake Hero::April

Coming up with a recipe for Cupcake Hero is always a challenge, not to mention a task I normally put off until a few days before the deadline.  So when Clara of I ♥ Cuppycakes announced that April's Cupcake Hero theme would be anything from the books Hello, Cupcake! or What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, AND pushed the deadline back to the 25th, I knew I had no excuses NOT to conjure up some awesome entries!  Winners for this month will be chosen randomly, based on the order in which the photos were submitted to the group's Flickr pool.

I'd previously made the Owl Cupcakes from Hello, Cupcake!, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from new book, What's New, Cupcake?  Expectations = Met.  Our local library had two copies on the way, so my (wonderful!) boyfriend Mike put himself on the waiting list for the book.  By the time I got around to thumbing through the book, he'd already bookmarked a dozen or so cupcakes he wanted to try his hand at!  After much deliberation, we finally narrowed it down to these five (based on cuteness, ease of preparation, and the let's-not-buy-tons-of-candy-we'll-only-use-once factor):

This was hands-down my favorite Cupcake Hero theme so far.  Not only were the cupcakes easy to make (thanks to the detailed instructions in the book), but I got to spend an afternoon in the kitchen with my boyfriend--who, on top of being incredibly thoughtful and sweet, is also a baker.  Yes, very jealous.  ;)

Here are our entries:

A Rose is a Rose
These were made by rolling fruit slice candies flat with a rolling pin (use granulated sugar to help with stickage).  Each rose was formed from three flattened candies rolled into spirals.

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Bake Sale Pies
I used cherry flavored dried cranberries for the "pie filling" instead of the red M&Ms® pictured in the book, piling them gently on top of a frosted cupcake before decorating with cocoa-tinted frosting.  Mike did a much better job piping the pie crust than I did; that's why mine is hiding in the background :)

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Mum's the Word
This design was the easiest to make, and produced the best results for the amount of time invested.  The flower petals were formed by cutting mini marshmallows in half diagonally with a pair of scissors, then dipping the sticky cut side into colored sugars.  Using the colored mini marshmallows instead of regular was all Mike's idea.  Good call on that one!

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Chinese Fortune Cookies
The cookies were made by heating up two caramels (very briefly!) in the microwave to soften them up before shaping them into discs.  The caramel discs were then folded into little fortune cookie shapes--but not before we each inserted fortunes that we wrote for each other! 

Note for next time:  use waxed or parchment paper instead of plain ole' white paper for the fortunes to avoid the sticky, paper-tearing mess we encountered when trying to retrieve our fortunes. 

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Chocolate Moose
We had the most fun making these!  I'm SO glad I took photos after we made them instead of waiting for some good sunlight the next day, because they didn't survive the night!  Probably due to user error on our part, the decorations proved too heavy to withstand the forces of gravity!  And an interesting note:  those caramel ears melted.  I expected them to get dried out and brittle.  Instead, I was greeted with caramel puddles dripping from the moose heads (*sob*) when I looked in my cake caddy the following day.

As you could probably guess, the moose heads were constructed from Twinkies®, cut on the diagonal and anchored to the cupcake with frosting.  Following a brief stay in the freezer, the snack cake-topped cupcakes were dipped into melted frosting (ooh, shiny!) and allowed to set.  Antlers and nostrils were piped from Candy Melts® onto waxed paper, then placed on the finished cupcake.  Miniature M&Ms® finish off the eyes.

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And there you have it, folks--the fruits of one very fun-filled Saturday afternoon in the kitchen with my sweetie.  There's still time for you to enter the contest, so run to your nearest book store or library to pick up copies of Hello, Cupcake! and What's New, Cupcake? today! 

Deadline to enter April's Cupcake Hero is Sunday the 25th, so get to it!


  1. Those are so amazing!!!! I am going to have to try the fortune cookie idea those are too cute!

  2. All of them look so good! You are very lucky to have your boyfriend to help you make them! Sounds like fun to me! I like the moose mousse cupcakes the best!!!

  3. Wow you 2 are amazing! And here I was feeling proud that I had one entry 8p. I have a wonderful, thoughtful boyfriend, but he's definitely not foodie or baker. So I am still jealous indeed!