Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

Wow was I excited about making turkey and pilgrim hat cupcakes! I think I may have mentioned before that I was born on Thanksgiving Day so I'm obsessed with all things turkey, pumpkin, pilgrim, etc. These are really easy and a good way to decorate with some of that left over Halloween candy.

I started by making chocolate cupcakes and found a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers. I think she meant to type 2/3 full because you would have some sad little cupcakes with 1/3 full wells. I froze half of the cupcakes for later...hmm still trying to decide what to use them for.

hollicakes - Chocolate Cupcakes-makes about 24

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used half regular cocoa, half dark chocolate cocoa)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2.Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
3.Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full (2/3 full). Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Now comes the fun part...decorating!!! Lots of ideas are out there for how to create these little guys. I liked this for turkeys and this idea for the pilgrim hats. I'm not a fan of bugles or else I would have made the cornucopias that I found on the Hoosier Homemade blog. Check out their blogs for directions but below are my modified directions.

1. Frost the cupcakes with the Wilton chocolate buttercream recipe.

2. Unwrap mini Reese's cups. With Wilton Orange Sparkle Gel pipe two eyes.

3. Add a small dollop of buttercream to the back of a candy corn and place it on the Reese's cup for the nose. You probably want to wait a bit for this to dry before going on to the next step.

4. Gently place the Reese's cup at one end of the cupcake.

5. Insert desired amount of candy corns around the perimter of the cupcake in a semi circle. As you can see I went with four candy corns and my perfectionist self had to alternate with regular candy corn and the chocolate candy corn. Special...I know!

Pilgrim Hats:
1. Frost the cupcakes with Wilton buttercream tinted orange. (My frosting is really orange because I used the icing I had in the freezer from Halloween.)

2. Place a fudge stripe cookie with the chocolate side up on top of each cupcake.

3. Add a dollop of buttercream in the center of the fudge stripe so the Reese's cup will adhere.

4. Unwrap Reese's cups. Pipe a buckle with Wilton Orange Sparkle Gel on the side of a each Reese's cup. You can also outline the Reese's cup with the same gel which I decided was optional. (I was not able to pipe a small buckle so it may be better to pipe with a small tip instead of gel.)

5. Place the inverted Reese's cup on top of the fudge stripe cookie.

Remember you are working with chocolate so be careful. You don't want half melted turkey heads and hats!

My small group had a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner and these cupcakes were festive!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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