Monday, July 18, 2011

(Almost) FAIL: Give a Hoot Cupakes

I have been studying.  A LOT.  Taking a quarter's worth of work in a summer means long days of sitting in class and long nights of reading, writing, and working.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I am mini-nerd.  Yes, I like to learn and go to school.  But sometimes so much at one time kind of drains the brain.  So while I was sitting there one day last week, attempting to make it through 60 pages of the best practices of teaching children with dyslexia while also attempting to stay awake and not go crazy in the process, I decided it was time for a study break.

I found this fun book in my friend's kitchen.  We all know that baking and I do not have the best relationship, but I decided to try my hand at it once again.  Afterall, the last time turned out to be a success.  And (this being the real reason) the recipe called for "cupcakes of your choice". 

Cupcakes of my choice?  Easy.  The kind that come from a Betty Crocker box!

Then came the new part: making something fun out of these little pieces of cake.  The recipe made it look so easy: get the ingredients and make it happen.

Once again, baking reared its ugly head in my life.  Getting the right ingredients should have been so simple.  When you can't find exactly what you are looking for (Runts candies, replaced by pieces of apricot jelly rings), or the name brand is twice the price of the store brand (Oreo's vs. Safeway... I should have gone with the Oreo's, the eyes would have turned out cleaner), or you accidentally pull sugar free frosting off of the shelf instead of regular, well... you wind up with something slightly different.  And really, how was I supposed to know you needed paper cupcake liners???  Well, I did need them and I bought foil liners.  This last problem was solved by rummaging around in Erica's cupboards.  Thank goodness she had some left over from her last baking experience!  (And now she has a package of brand new foil liners waiting for her to use, for whatever you use them for.) 

Did I mention that I also hate with a passion dislike anything that requires repetitive movements requiring fine motor skills?  Let's just say that the last time I played pick-up sticks I was beat by a Kindergartner. 

I kid you not.

I probably should have thought about that before I began this task.

THEIR VERSION:  Cute, clean, perfect.

MY VERSION: Sloppy and awkward.  Looks like that kindergartner could have beat me at this, too.
But I persevered!  I decided that I did not get that far to just throw it all away.  I did only actually wind up making six before I decided that chocolate cupcakes were just fine, but I made six.  And you know what the reaction was when I brought them to share with my class the next day?  Oohs! and ahhs! filled the room and phones were pulled out to take pictures.  Nobody complained about the sugar free frosting.  In fact, some seem relieved to have a little less sugar in their lives.  Really, what did I expect from a bunch of school teachers?  We are trained to see the beauty in messiness; it is our special gift.

  • Cupcakes of your choice
  • 1 can of chocolate frosting
  • Oreo's
  • 2-3 boxes Junior Mints
  • Bananas out of the Runts box, or (as I used) cut of Apricot Gummies
  1. Make the cupcakes and frost.
  2. Split the Oreo's in half, keeping the cream side whole (microwaving a few cookies at a time for several seconds helps to keep the cream side solid).  Place the cookies, cream side up, on the cupcakes for eyes.  Cut the remaining cookie pieces into thirds; discard the center third and set the remaining aside.
  3. Place the Junior mints on the Oreo's for the pupils.
  4. Place reserved cookie pieces above the eyes for ears.  Pipe chocolate frosting on ears and around eyes.
  5. Press the yellow candies in between the eyes as the beak.
(Recipe from Taste of Home -- Fun Food)


  1. They look super cute!!! Cupcakes don't have to be perfect they are tasty just the same!

  2. Tiffany-these look so cute and tasty. I am sure that the kids loved them and it is good that you cut back on the sugar. Remember that too much perfection sometimes detracts from the homemade aspect of baked goods. Yum!

  3. Oh my goodness! These are the cutest things ever! They are so creative and look pretty simple to make. I love it!

  4. You guys are the best! Thanks for seeing beauty out of my messiness :) I am almost tempted to try something else now... we shall see ;)


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