Another Spooky Halloween Treat
I love Halloween but I often don’t have time to bake something special. Rather than ignoring the holiday, this year, I cheated with a baking mix and canned frosting, just so I could have fun making some ghoulish treats. If you have time to bake from scratch, so much the better, of course.
I baked up a batch of chocolate cupcakes from the mix, spread the cupcakes with canned frosting, then sprinkled them with chocolate cooking crumbs for “dirt.” Then I had two ideas for decorating: one uses Milano cookies for headstones to make mini graveyards. The other, featured here, turns cupcakes into pumpkin patches planted with marzipan pumpkins.
The actual decorating of these cupcakes shouldn’t take more than a half hour.
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Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
15 to 20 chocolate cookies
12 chocolate cupcakes made from scratch, a mix, or purchased from the bakery
1 can chocolate frosting
1 package (7 ounces) marzipan almond candy dough
Orange concentrated gel color (such as Wilton Icing Colors)
About 36 whole cloves
To make the dirt: Break up cookies; put them in a food processor and process to make crumbs.
To make the graveyard: Frost cupcakes. Working over a dinner plate or cookie sheet, spoon chocolate cookie crumbs over the frosting. Alternatively, hold cupcake upside down and dip into a bowl of crumbs.
To make the pumpkins: Cut off a slice of marzipan about 1-inch thick. Knead it between clean fingers. Dip a skewer or toothpick into the gel color to bring up a few drops of orange color and transfer the color to the marzipan. Knead in the color and continue to add more color until you reach the desired orange shade.
Pinch off some of the marzipan and roll it into a ball about ¾ inch in diameter. Gently press a skewer or toothpick into the ball to form pumpkin ridges. Insert a clove at the top for the stem. Repeat to make more pumpkins. As in nature, be sure to make different shapes – some smaller, some larger; some misshapen. Continue to break off sections of marzipan and make pumpkins until you have at least two pumpkins per cupcake.
Arrange two to three pumpkins on each cupcake. If they seem wobbly, use a bamboo skewer to gently dig a hole in the cupcake and gently press pumpkins in place.
Repeat for remaining cupcakes.
Makes 12 pumpkin patch cupcakes.
Optional: Buy or print out Halloween stickers and attach to bamboo skewers. The graphic I used comes from the Martha Stewart CraftStudio app that I printed from my iPad.
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