Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let Them Eat Pie

Once a month, I partake in an event that I fondly refer to as Cupcake-a-palooza. During this event, I usually bake around 100 cupcakes ... give or take. This month's extravaganza took place last night. The theme for the November edition of Cupcake-a-palooza was PIE.

It all started a couple of months ago when I found a picture of cupcakes that were decorated to look like pies. They were really cute, but then my mind started to wonder, "What other kind of pie cupcakes can I make?" I combed the Internet for recipes, came across some good ones, and even made up one of my own. And that's when the fun began.

Let me start with the "pie" looking cupcakes.

I started off by just baking a basic white cupcake. Okay ... a whole bunch of basic white cupcakes.

I baked them in silver foil liners so that they would look like pie tins. I then added a little brown coloring to some buttercream icing to make it look like pie crust. I spread a little over the top of the cupcakes, and then, using a basket weave tip, piped a crust around the top.

Next, I used red and blue M&M's to make cherry and blueberry pie filling. My dear, sweet husband sat at the table and sorted out all the red and blue ones from a regular bag of M&M's. He also informed me that there were about 8 blue ones for every red one. So I made more blueberry than cherry.

Finally, I took the buttercream and criss-crossed it over the top to make it look like lattice. I actually ran out of red and blue candies, so I make one "peach" pie.

But Cupcake-a-palooza didn't stop there. I made Banana Cream Pie cupcakes. These little babies are a yellow cupcake with a Vanilla Wafer baked on the bottom. I filled them with banana pudding (with an extra shot of banana extract) and topped with banana buttercream. To garnish, I sprinkled the top with crushed graham crackers and stuck a Vanilla Wafer in the icing.

I know that Boston Creme Pie isn't technically pie, but I still wanted to include it. I started with a yellow cupcake, filled it with a vanilla pudding (with an extra shot of vanilla), and topped it with a drizzle of ganache. These were my favorite.

The pumpkin pie cupcakes were definitely the most interesting to make. Betty Crocker makes a cupcake mix called Da-Middles. I got one of these mixes and added pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin pie spice to it. I filled the cups 1/3 full and put a dollop of the filling in the middle, as per the directions on the box. I then added a little bit of maple syrup on top of the filling and filled the rest of the cup with more batter. Finally, I sprinkled the top with pecan pieces. When they came out of the oven, they were delicious.

The last pie cupcake I made was a lemon meringue cupcake. I have never made meringue before ... I love new experiences. For these, I made a lemon cupcake, but only baked it for 7 minutes. I then pulled the cupcake pans out of the over and put a teaspoon of lemon pudding in the center of each cupcake. On most of them, the pudding started to sink into the extremely undercooked cupcakes. I then spread a tablespoon of meringue over each cake and then sprinkled them with graham cracker crumbs and put them back into the oven for an additional 14 minutes. These were really hard to get out of the pan. The meringue stuck to everything.

Cupcake-a-palooza was a huge success. They were all delicious. I can't wait to see what I come up with for next month's edition.

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