After quite a bit of head-scratching, Saucy decided to break out the special ingredients and create something worthy of an amazing, beautiful, intelligent, sixteen-year-old vegetarian.
Because if you've been a reader of this blog for a while, you know that Saucy is a lot of things, but vegetarian isn't one of them. At any rate, she had been gathering the goodies to create this vintage TV dinner tray of cupcakes for some time, and this was just the right occasion.
Now that she's done it, Saucy would like to say it was quite a bit of work (totally worth it) and she learned a few tricks she'd like to share with you... if, say, you've seen cupcakes like this on Pinterest and think they're a little intimidating. They're not, really.
TIP ONE: Gather what you need, it will take a while.
Saucy found those peas and carrots candies at a candy store (Pine & Fancy, for locals) quite some time ago. She put them on the Wall of Sprinkles and waited patiently for an important baking event.
You will also need:
foil cupcake trays (dollar store)
graham cracker crumbs
Starburst fruit chew candies (the yellow ones)
white candy melts
fine black sanding sugar
yellow food colouring
green (or blue) food colouring
piping bags and a wide round tip
a batch of cupcakes
a batch of vanilla frosting
some cocoa powder
regular sprinkles, any kind
parchment paper or silicone pad
TIP TWO: Make the chicken drumstick "bones" ahead of time.
It's simple. Depending on how many chicken "drumsticks" you want to make, melt the white candy flats in the microwave. Saucy melted about thirty flats and got about ten bones, so you can do the math from that.
Using a disposable piping bag or a kitchen bag with the tip cut off, pipe the melted white candy onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet or a silicone pad. Just "wing it" (pardon the chicken pun) - and freehand the bone. Paint a line about three inches long and make it into a little "Y". Gradually build up the melted candy until the bone fattens up. Set them into the fridge to harden.
TIP TWO: Make a batch of plain vanilla buttercream, and decorate in the right order.
Say you're making four TV dinners (that would be one batch of cupcakes). Use the plain white frosting to make the mashed potatoes and the turkey drumsticks first.
Pile a giant blob of buttercream as high as you can onto the cupcake, then roll it gently in the graham cracker crumbs. The original recipe for this calls for corn flakes crumbs, but graham crackers are sweeter.
Pull the white candy "bones" out of the fridge that you piped earlier and top one into each "chicken piece".
Then, tint most of the remaining frosting yellow. Decorate the corn.
Tint the remaining yellow frosting green (you can add green or blue to the yellow to achieve this). Cover the tops of the "peas and carrots" cupcakes with the green frosting.
Lastly, tint the remaining white frosting with the cocoa powder and pipe it onto the last cupcake for the "dessert". If you're short on frosting, you can mix the green into the brown, nobody will notice.
TIP THREE: You can make the corn using expensive and hard-to-find jelly beans, or you can pipe the kernels.
As you can see, Saucy piped them with buttercream. It may not have been as cute, but she couldn't find the right shade of jelly beans and if you want to double up and use two cupcakes in each tray as the "corn", then that's a helluva lot of gourmet jelly beans. Nobody really wants to bite into that many jelly beans, anyway.
It's just as easy to simply build the cupcakes up with frosting and pipe on the kernels. Try to keep them neatly stacked in rows, like on the cob.
When finished, sprinkle the corn cob with some granulated sugar and some of the fine black sanding sugar (to simulate salt and pepper). Finish with a Starburst fruit chew - it's the pat of butter.
TIP FOUR: When making the mashed potatoes, create a "well" for the gravy.
It's just like Thanksgiving, but with frosting. Pile it high on the cupcake and then scoop a little bit out of the middle. Pour the caramel sauce liberally, allowing it to spill over. Top with the sugar "salt and pepper" and another Starburst "butter pat".
TIP FIVE: Decorate the veggies IN the tray.
The corn, obviously, is piped after the cupcakes are placed in the tray. For the peas and carrots, generously smear the green icing on the cupcake, pop it in the tray, and begin pressing the candy in. Make sure you cover the edges of the cupcake with the candies for the best effect.
And that, friends, is pretty much it. The tiny plastic fork is from Saucy's most favourite store in the world - Dollarama. She speared it into the mashed potatoes for the finishing touch.
These cupcakes originated here. Before you speed off to check it out, make sure you drop a comment below and wish Velcro a very happy Sweet Sixteen. May it be meat free!