Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cupcakes and Other Goodies for Halloween or Samhain




Here are some cute ideas I have found on several food sites, get your ideas rolling for your Cupcake Treats!!


Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Although it looks almost like a cake, this graveyard is made up of individual cupcakes, making it a self-serve party option. Just grab your cupcake and go — no knives necessary.
Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

From Food Network Kitchens

Total Time:
2 hr 35 min
Prep
1 hr 0 min
Inactive
1 hr 10 min
Cook
25 min
Yield:
24 cupcakes

Although it looks almost like a cake, this graveyard is made up of individual cupcakes, making it a self-serve party option. Just grab your cupcake and go--no knives necessary.

Ingredients
Cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup grape jelly
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
Frosting:
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, spooned and leveled
3 tablespoons milk
10 chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely crushed
Decorations:
15 large white marshmallows
1/4 cup finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 3 cookies)
1 tablespoon black or dark green decorating sugar
One 6.4-ounce tube black decorating icing, with tips
5 oval-shaped vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies
One 7-ounce tube marzipan
3 round lollipops, wrapped
1/4 cup orange decorating sugar
One 6.4-ounce tube green decorating icing, with tips
Seven 8-inch pieces black licorice
Directions
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Warm the grape jelly in the microwave until loosened, 20 to 30 seconds, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Beat together the sugar and eggs in another medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients and then all of the milk. Follow with the rest of the dry ingredients, taking care not to over mix the batter.

Remove 2 cups of the batter and stir in the grape jelly. Evenly fill the liners about two-thirds full, alternating with yellow and grape batter.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back lightly to the touch, 20 to 22 minutes. Place the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the frosting: Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl until fluffy and combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the milk one tablespoon at a time until the frosting has a nice spreadable consistency. Add the crushed cookies and continue to beat until any large chunks are crushed to smaller bits and the frosting has a speckled, greyish look.

For the decorations: Arrange the cupcakes in 4 rows on a large serving plate or cutting board. Fit a marshmallow between each cupcake, 5 marshmallows per row, to fill in the gaps between the cupcakes. Spread the frosting over the whole rectangle so it looks like one cake. Sprinkle with the cookie crumbs and black decorating sugar.

To make the tombstones: Use the black decorating icing and a small round tip to write "RIP" or other one-word epitaphs on the top half of the oval sandwich cookies and stick into the cupcakes randomly around the graveyard.

To make the ghosts: Remove two-thirds of the tube of marzipan and place between 2 sheets of wax paper or parchment. Roll about 1/8-inch thick and cut into 3 rounds using a 4-inch biscuit cutter. You may need to gather and reroll the scraps for all 3 rounds. Drape over the wrapped lollipops and stick into the cupcakes around the tombstone. Using the black decorating icing and the same round tip, dot eyes and a mouth on the ghosts.

To make the pumpkins and leaves: Divide the remaining marzipan into 4 small pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll in the orange sugar until coated and place around the graveyard. Use the black icing to pipe a small stem. Fit the tube of green decorating icing with a leaf or ribbon tip to dot bits of green grass poking through the dirt around the graveyard and pumpkins.

To make a border: Use 6 pieces of the licorice, trimming to fit, to make a border around the cake, leaving the middle of the front side open. Bend the seventh piece into an upside down "U" and stick into 2 cupcakes in the front to make an arched gateway.

Cook's Note: If your decorating icing does not come with tips, you can squeeze some icing into a small plastic bag or piping bag fitted with a small round metal tip or a small metal leaf or ribbon tip.

***



Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes


Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee


Photo: Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes Recipe
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Total Time:
30 min
Prep
30 min
Yield:
1 dozen cupcakes


Ingredients
1 dozen store-bought, un-iced cupcakes (pumpkin if they have seasonal flavors)
1 can dark chocolate frosting
1 box prepared orange fondant (recommended: Wilton)
Special equipment/ decor:
Spatula
Rolling pin
2-inch round cutter (or one that is same diameter as the tops of the cupcakes)
Small shaped cutters and/or large pastry tips
Directions
Frost all of the cupcakes with a smooth even layer of the chocolate frosting. Wipe off 


the spatula frequently, and dip it in warm water, if necessary, to get the frosting as 


smooth as possible.


Roll out the orange fondant to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut 


out 12 rounds from the fondant. Using small cutters, cut a jack-o-lantern face of your 


design in each round. Lay the rounds on top of the cupcakes. Arrange the cupcakes on a 


serving a platter and serve.
***


Monster Cupcakes




Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee







Total Time:

20 min

Prep

20 min

Yield:

1 dozen cupcakes




Ingredients

2 cans white frosting

Green food coloring

1 dozen favorite flavor store-bought un-iced cupcakes

Special equipment/decor:

Pastry bag or resealable plastic bag

No. 7 round pastry tip

12 green apple gummy rings or green fruit jells

24 brown chocolate coated candies (recommended: M and M's)

Cashew nuts

Directions

In a bowl mix together the icing with the green food coloring until desired "monster 




green" is reached. Put the frosting in a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag fitted 




with pastry tip. Pipe a haphazard squiggle pattern on top of the cupcake until 




completely covered and slightly mounded. Put a green gummy ring on top. Create eyes 




for the monster by putting 2 brown coated candies into the center of the green gummy 




candy. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.




Use cashew nuts to create horns by inserting them into the frosting behind the eyes 




with the smaller side facing up. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Arrange the cupcakes 




on a serving platter and serve.

***




Ghouly Cupcakes


From Food Network Kitchens


Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
Prep
20 min
Inactive
30 min
Cook
25 min
Yield:
12 cupcakes


Ingredients
Cupcakes:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup root beer, flat
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting:
8 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch fine salt
1 teaspoon banana extract, or more to taste
1 to 2 drops pastel food coloring, optional
Candied eyeballs
Equipment: 12 cup standard muffin tin
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with cupcake liners or 


spray footed cupcake holders with nonstick spray.


Put the butter, root beer, and cocoa in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic 


wrap, and microwave on HIGH until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine.


Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a 


large bowl. Whisk the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla together in a small bowl.


Whisk the hot cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the sour cream mixture 


just to combine; take care not to overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the 


prepared muffin cups, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full, about 1/4 cup per 


cupcake. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out 


clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely in the tin on a rack. Remove 


from liners and return cakes to a rack.


For Frosting: Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a 


mixer's bowl above the water. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt 


in the bowl by hand. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until 


the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. 


Transfer the mixture to a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at 


medium-high speed until eggs beat up into a cool stiff meringue, about 5 minutes. Add 


a few drops of desired extract and/or food coloring and lightly beat into the 


meringue.


To decorate: Using a spoon, offset spatula or piping bag, dollop, spread or pipe about 


1/2 cup meringue on top of each cupcake to make a ghost or monster of your choice. 


Decorate with candied eyeballs or other candies. These can be finished 2 to 3 hours in 


advance and held at room temperature.
***



Wicked Cupcakes


From Food Network Kitchens


Total Time:
2 hr 10 min
Prep
45 min
Inactive
1 hr 0 min
Cook
25 min
Yield:
12 cupcakes, 2 cups frosting




Ingredients
Cupcakes:
1 1/2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cups prune juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
4-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 drop food coloring (green), optional
Chocolate wafer cookies
Licorice strips
Toasted coconut
Small candies
Special equipment: 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners
Directions
For the cupcakes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees 


F. Set liners in muffin cups.


Put the chocolate and prune juice in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on 


low power, stirring occasionally, until completely melted.


Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large 


bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and yolk with an electric hand mixer at high speed 


until slightly thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Slowly add buttermilk, oil, 


vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until thoroughly combined. Add 


the flour mixture and beat until just combined.


Divide the batter among muffin tins, filling them 1/2 of the way. Bake until a 


toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring 


back when pressed gently, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 


10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.


For the frosting: Beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in a large bowl 


with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar 


and milk mixing until the frosting is smooth. Add food coloring as desired. 


Refrigerate the frosting until firm.


To decorate the cakes: For the witches hat, score a circle in the middle of a cupcake. 


Cut a deep cone-like shape with a knife held at an angle. Rotate the cupcake to 


complete the circle and remove the center. Repeat with all the cupcakes. Generously 


scoop or pipe enough frosting into the center of each cupcake to fill the hole and to 


come over the cake to make a face. Top with a chocolate wafer cookie. Put a dot of 


frosting in the middle of the wafer cookie and invert the cone shaped piece of cake on 


top to make a witches hat. Use skinny licorice, toasted coconut or cereal flakes for 


hair and candies for eyes and/or nose. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes before 


serving.
***

Wicked Witch

To make the evil witch's legs, roll orange fondant into two 3-inch-long ropes. Mold small pieces of black fondant into shoes and press onto the legs. Place the legs on a plate and use black decorating gel to draw striped tights. Put a green-frosted cupcake upside down on top of the legs.

\***



Spiky Candy Corn Cupcakes


Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee


Total Time:
30 min
Prep
30 min
Yield:
6 cupcakes


Ingredients
1 can white frosting
Yellow food coloring
1/2 dozen store-bought un-iced vanilla cupcakes
1 large bag yellow, orange, and white candy corn
Directions
In a bowl stir together the white frosting with enough yellow food coloring to match 


the color of the bottom of the candy corn. Ice the cupcakes with the yellow frosting.


Starting from the center and working your way outwards in a circular pattern, put the 


candy corn on the icing of each cupcake.


Arrange the cupcakes on a platter and serve
***

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Total Time:
1 hr 42 min
Prep
30 min
Inactive
1 hr 0 min
Cook
12 min
Yield:
12 cakes

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
All-purpose flour
1 (18 1/4-ounce) box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, plus more if needed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Icing:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Red and yellow food coloring, if desired
Special equipment: 12-count mini pumpkin cake mold pans
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, coat with flour, and knock out the excess.

Combine the cake mix with the pumpkin puree and oil. Beat with a hand mixer on medium until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Some pumpkin purees have more moisture than others, if the cake batter seems dry then add more pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup at a time.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill the molds 2/3 of the way to the top with batter. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine the icing ingredients and mix together until well blended; the icing should be thick but have a pourable consistency. If it's too thick add a little water to thin. If you want the color to be more orange add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Dip the top 1/2 of each cupcake into the icing and place onto a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack allowing the icing to drip down the sides. Let icing set for 1 hour before serving.
***

Bubbling Cauldron by Lina Nykorchuk from Toronto

Halve a plain medium-sized cake doughnut horizontally, then press one half, cut-side down, onto a chocolate-frosted cupcake. Cover the doughnut with chocolate frosting, then pipe green frosting into the doughnut hole. Roll the bottom edge of the frosting in red sugar crystals. Cut a small piece of black licorice string and insert the ends into the doughnut so it stands up like a handle. Add a pretzel rod stirrer and a piece of cotton candy for smoke
***

Pumpkin Patch by Gina Nalbone from Hamilton, NJ

Break apart shredded wheat into hay-like pieces and pile the strands onto a frosted cupcake (try a pumpkin spice cupcake with maple frosting), then add a cluster of mini candy pumpkins.
***



Haunted Forest by Tiffany Aguilar from Pasadena, TX

Melt chopped semisweet chocolate in the microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and draw a tree on wax paper; refrigerate until set. Melt white chocolate and transfer to a squeeze bottle; pipe onto the branches to make ghosts. Add chocolate sprinkles for eyes and return to the refrigerator to set. Crush chocolate wafer cookies and sprinkle onto a frosted cupcake. Cut a small slit in the top of the cupcake and insert the tree
***

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