Halloween Cupcakes
Halloween is upon us and, appropriately, this month’s bonus challenge for the Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes club was Halloween-themed cupcakes! I used ideas from both Martha’s book as well as Hello, Cupcake! to create my cupcakes. I missed last week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays, which was a devil’s food cake recipe that got good reviews from the other bakers, so I decided to go with that recipe for the cupcakes. (You can find the recipe for the devil’s food cake on Holly of Phe/Mom/enon’s blog.) The devil’s food cupcakes were topped with a peanut butter frosting, but instead of using the recipe from The Sweet Melissa Baking book, I went with my favorite tried and true peanut butter icing recipe from Ina Garten (recipe here). I left most of the frosting as is but tinted some green to vary the cupcakes a tad.
{Edited to add: The posting day for the MSC bonus round is tomorrow apparently – I misread the post. Oooops! I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more festive treats though not cupcakes. Also, I neglected to mention that Shane was a huge help in getting these cupcakes decorated so lots of thanks to him!}
Halloween Cupcakes
So, first up are the creepy crawlers from Hello, Cupcake! These were actually quite simple and turned out really cute I thought. I made the critters using an assortment of M&M’s (mini, regular & peanut) and candy melts. I didn’t get a chance to pick up brown candy melts so all the critters wound up with red legs and antennae but since it’s Halloween anything goes! The book includes templates for beetles, centipedes, scorpions, ants, ticks and spiders but I only made the beetle, centipede and spider this time. The process is as follows:
1. Place a sheet of wax paper over the bug templates.
2. Place the candy melts in a resealable bag (do not seal it) and microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Massage the chocolate, return the bag to the microwave and repeat until the chocolate is smooth. Press out the air and seal the bag.
3. Snip a very small corner from the resealable bag and pipe the chocolate over the templates. Start with the legs and antennae and then pipe the body, making sure to connect all of the chocolate parts.
4. While the chocolate is still wet, add the M&M’s. Refrigerate the bugs until set – it won’t take long, probably about 5-10 minutes.
5. Peel the hardened insects from the wax paper and transfer to the cupcakes, pressing down into the frosting to secure them.
See? Simple :) Even if you don’t have the book (and therefore don’t have the templates) you could draw your own bugs on a sheet of paper and use the process to make the creepy crawlers. The one thing I’d stress is that you want to make sure you don’t have any really thin sections of piped chocolate, especially when it comes to the legs. If the chocolate is too thin it’ll be fragile and when you peel it off the wax paper, it may break.
Halloween Cupcakes
Halloween Cupcakes
I also used a couple of the ideas from Martha’s Cupcakes book to make creepy toppers. The toppers I made used just a few simple items: mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, gum drops and licorice. There were a lot of other great ideas in the book, but I didn’t have the candy I needed to make all of them work. The only thing I found tricky was trying to insert mini chocolate chips into the mini marshmallows for the eyes. The chocolate chips kept popping out, which was really frustrating, so I think next time I’d paint little chocolate eyeballs onto the marshmallows using melted chocolate.
Halloween Cupcakes
Halloween Cupcakes
By the way, the devil’s food cake recipe was delicious! I’m glad I got a chance to make this one, even if it was a bit late. I’ve posted about the peanut butter icing before so I won’t go into much detail here except to say it’s easy to make and so worth it!