Happy Halloween 2012!
Well well well. The weather may have decided to give us a trick instead of a treat this Halloween, but I figure I can certainly make up for the treat part. Over the past few days, I have learned that the best way to deal with cabin fever is to make cupcakes, and that people in the supermarket get ultra-judgey before a storm if you are worried about buying enough candy corn while they are panicking because there is no more bottled water on the shelves. Priorities, people. Priorities. So while the wind blew, and the rain came down, and Sandy tried her best to completely ruin everything, I focused on treats, and lo and behold, I made it through.
Since the nickname for this terrible storm was “Frankenstorm” I thought it would be only appropriate to make Frankenstein’s monster cupcakes. And since I can never just do ONE thing, I also made a batch of Dracula cupcakes. What can I say? Not being able to go into work kicked my overachiever gene into overdrive. These cupcakes are less scary and more cute, because I am completely that person who thought the Sixth Sense was terrifying and who has never seen Friday the 13th…so deal.
These are actually very simple to make, and were made even easier because I used Betty Crocker’s pre-made “cookie decorator” frosting for the accent decorations on top of my from-scratch frosting. EASY. And so great, because it involves no endless mixing to make black icing, since that is always kind of a chore, even with the Americolor gel colors. So enjoy, and if you’re still stuck at home, bake up some little monsters of your own!!
Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 24)
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm coffee
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with 24 liners. (Use Halloween themed if you can – or use 12 black and 12 green!)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Slowly pour in the coffee, and continue mixing on low speed until very smooth and combined.
Divide the cupcakes into the liners, filling about 3/4 full, and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8 cups confectioner’s sugar
.5 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream butter in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy, approximately 3-4 minutes. On low speed, add in the 8 cups of sugar, mixing intermediately with the milk and vanilla. Continue beating until the frosting is smooth, light, and fluffy.
Green gel food coloring (I used a combination of forest green and kelly green)
Betty Crocker black cookie frosting tube
48 mini candy eyes (by Wilton)
24 mini marshmallow
12 red Mike & Ikes
Tube of red writing gel
For Draculas: Frost 12 of the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting, then use the black icing to pipe on hair with a widow’s beak. Place 2 eyes beneath the hair, and pipe on a black eyebrow above each eye. Dab on a dot of black icing for the nose, then draw a straight black line for the mouth. Cut a Mike & Ike in half, then cut off about a third of the top of each half. Stick these into the black line for fangs. Pipe on a dribble of the red writing gel at the bottom of each fang to look like dripping blood.
For Frankenstein’s monsters: Mix in the green gel food coloring to the rest of the vanilla icing, then frost the remaining 12 cupcakes. Using the black frosting, pipe on hair with an uneven bottom, and place 2 candy eyes beneath the hair. Stick one mini marshmallow on each side of the edge of the cupcake frosting for the neck bolts. Dab on a small dot for his nose, then thin black lines for the scar on the left side of his face, and complete it with a slightly sideways arch for the mouth.
And just because we had so much time, and because I like Halloween, and because like I said, I was being an overachiever, I made the Glorious Treats candy corn rice krispie treats for our office trick-or-treating children. Who may not even come because of the storm closures…so I will have to give them to randoms to prevent myself from eating them all. As my friend Jenny said, if the storm were to have hit hard, and I had to survive on my “storm supplies” I would have been eating cupcakes, candy corn, and rice krispie treats, and I would have become a diabetic. But don’t they all look pretty?!
So I hope everyone stayed safe in the storm, and that now you can concentrate on treats and fun, and have a great Halloween!