Thursday, November 17, 2011

Groovy Cupcakes

As promised ... here's how I decorated my awesome rainbow cupcakes. Let me start at the beginning.

I have this very good friend. She's a fellow math teacher and we worked together for a long time. To make it even better, we live in the same neighborhood so we often see each other out walking (when we're not playing taxi service for our kids). Last Spring, however, she got a new job. I can't blame her ... change can be good for the soul. The only problem is that I don't get to see her every day like I did for so many years. When the job starts getting stressful and I start flipping out, I don't know who to turn to anymore. She was my rock.

Anyway, my friend's daughter, Kelsi, turned 12 today. Early last week, Kelsi asked if I could make her some cupcakes to take to school for her birthday treat. Of course I said yes. She then told me that she wanted chocolate and vanilla with tie-dyed frosting and decorated with peace signs, hearts, and smiley faces. I told Kelsi that I could make the vanilla cupcakes themselves tie-dyed as well if she was interested. Her response was, "That would be lovely."

So, If you remember from my last post, I made 25 rainbow cupcakes, but had to cut one open and take pictures of it (and eventually eat it myself) because it was just too small. I also made 8 gluten free chocolate cupcakes ... because Kelsi can't have gluten ... and a whole bunch of regular chocolate cupcakes. To the freezer they went. That was Sunday.

On Monday, I got to work on the toppers. These I made out of fondant so that everything would be edible. I just used a small heart shaped cookie cutter for the hearts and cut out 38 of them. For the smiley faces, I used a round cookie cutter to cut 38 circles out of yellow fondant. I then cut 16 blue circles and 16 green circles. I used a black food writer to put the faces on the yellow circles. Each one kind of has a personality of its own. The peace signs took the longest. I used stencil paper to trace a peace sign and then cut it out. I then put the stencil on top of the fondant circles and used the food writer to color in the open spaces. These were kind of a pain. When everything was dry, I took 2 of each and "glued" them around a toothpick. I ended up with 19 hearts pops, 19 smiley pops, and 16 peace pops (8 blue and 8 green)

On Tuesday, I made and colored my icing. I made one batch and split it up among 6 bowls so I could color them red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. After I split them and before I colored them, I got a little nervous about how much there wasn't. If I ran out and needed to make more, I would never be able to match the color. So I made another batch. It turns out, judging from what I have left, that one batch of icing would have been enough. Now I'm trying to decide what to do with all the extra.

Wednesday was decorating day. After getting home late from work and then eating dinner, I finally got to work on the cupcakes at 6 pm. I started off by filling my piping bags.
They remind me of the NBC peacock. I didn't have enough small tips, so I just cut a hole in the end of the blue and purple bags. A tip would have worked so much better.

Working with 5 cupcakes at a time, I smeared a layer of red frosting on the top of each cupcake. I then put a red blob on the middle of each and then continued with the other colors, making concentric circle.
So that all of the colors wouldn't look separated, I used a flat brush to smush the colors together.
I then took a toothpick and "pulled" lines from the center out. Viola! Tie-dyed!
On the above cupcake, I cleaned the toothpick after each line. That was a lot of work though, so all of the cupcakes don't look this good.

I finished each cupcake off with one of the toppers I made and they were ready to go. Since I made 8 gluten free cupcakes, I put the blue peace signs on those. By doing this, Kelsi would know which ones she could safely eat.

I think they turned out great ... and both Kelsi and mom were happy with them.

Now on to Thanksgiving where I think I'll be making more pumpkin pie cupcakes. :)

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