Saucy's kitchen has been overrun this week with scary Halloween cupcake monsters. These are the ones that were featured in Women's World magazine... originally from What's New, Cupcake? (Karen Tack & Alan Richardson). For those of you waiting for the tutorial, it's been added to this post and can also be found on their website link.
If you want to make these cute, sweet monsters, this is what you'll need:
two large containers of prepared frosting (it works best for this)
M&M candies (Halloween mix if they have it)
honey wheat sticks or pretzel sticks
food colouring (the neon stuff is great)
sprinkles that look like eyes (or mini M&M candies)
chow mein noodles
... and if you have any homemade buttercream left over in your fridge, get it out and dye it a crazy colour. Saucy made these from a magazine article that her mother-in-law clipped for her, changing a few things along the way.
Saucy used green and orange for the dipped cupcakes but she had some pink buttercream left over from the ribbon cake so she tinted it purple for the one-eyed monster.
The spaghetti monster looks the most intensive to make but it's actually the quickest and easiest. In fact, an entire tray of spaghetti monsters would be fabulous on their own. Pile a nice mound of buttercream on a prepared cupcake and stab it all over with chow mien noodles. Break a honey wheat stick in half and place the pieces strategically in the middle. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes while you prepare the frosting for dipping.
In a microwave safe bowl, tint one can of prepared frosting (homemade buttercream won't work, Saucy experimented) to the colour you want. Place in the nuker on "high" for 10 - 15 seconds, stir and cook again... watch it carefully. You want it warmed through and about the consistency of heavy whipping cream - but you don't want it hot.
Remove cupcake from freezer and invert into the melted frosting, swirling gently and tipping the bowl (hint: Saucy uses her four-cup measure because it's nice and deep and narrow with lots of dipping and swirling room and a handle). Allow excess frosting to drip off the cupcake before placing it upright. Set it on a cookie sheet (up and away from your weimaraner) and immediately place your decorative sprinkle "eyes" on the honey wheat sticks. If you didn't locate the eyes, you can cut a miniature marshmallow in half and add those. Later, use a little buttercream to make pupils on the marshmallows with mini M&Ms.
The one-eyed monster is the most time-consuming of the three, because of the piping. It's just fussy work but once you get the hang of it, if you have some music on or better yet, you're working with a friend, it can go faster.
Again, make a mound of buttercream in the middle of the cupcake to build up the monster's "body." Cut a regular sized marshmallow in half and place it, cut side down, at a rakish angle near the top of the icing mound.
Now, using a pastry with a round tip - or easier, a ziploc bag with the corner cut off, pipe buttercream using swift little dashes all over the cupcake, leaving only the flat part of the marshmallow "eye" exposed.
To finish, add a brown or black M&M to the marshmallow with some uncoloured icing.
This guy follows the same dipping principle as the spaghetti monster. Make a mound of buttercream on your cupcake and place it in the freezer.
Use kitchen scissors to cut mini marshmallows into halves for the teeth.
Cut large marshmallows in half and stab them with honey wheat sticks cut to varied sizes.
Tint your store-bought frosting and heat it as described above. Gently dip the end of the marshmallows with the frosting and lay them to dry on a waxed paper. You can add the black or brown M&M candy at this point.
You will have to wait for the eyelids to set before proceeding with the rest of the dipping. If you leave the frosting you can warm it up again later.
When you're ready, just dip the cupcake bodies as you did for the spaghetti monsters... but don't drain them as carefully before you set them out to dry... a little drippy drip is good. You can even add the remaining frosting if there is any with a spoon to your upright cupcakes
before you decorate them with the marshmallow teeth. Stab them with the wheat stick eyes and let them set.