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Happy Halloween!!

30 Oct

I made cuppycakes for Halloween! I made the cakes and the frostings and fillings all from scratch. I also had chili on the stove cooking away while I was baking so that I would have some dinner ready for tonight without having to work so hard at it. The recipes for the cupcakes and all the additions are from The Baker’s Field Guide to Cupcakes. For the mummy eyes, I used the leftover pumpkin-cream cheese filling from the spice cupcakes. The original mummy cupcakes were supposed to be brownie cupcakes but Carter asked me for the pumpkin-filled spice ones so I decorated those like mummies instead. They took a long time to mix/bake/fill/ice but I think they came out awesome and tasty. I was working from 2pm until around 7pm or so.

For the Pumpkin-filled Spice Cupcakes you use the basic Yellow Cupcake recipe but you add some spices to the flour before adding it to the mixture (I added the spices after I had gotten the recipe all mixed but it came out just as good) The recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

Spice Cupcakes
12 paper liners
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners in all the wells of a 12 cup cupcake pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves to this mix as well. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy (about 2 minutes) Add the sugar gradually beating until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes) Scrape the bowl down once or twice during this time. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is incorporated completely before moving on.
Add the flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until the mixture is smooth on low-medium speed after each addition.
Divide the batter evenly between all the wells. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the pan on the rack for 5 minutes then remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, create the filling!
Pumpkin Filling
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 1/2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
Other Equipment:
Pastry bag and coupler
Wilton/Azteco tip #12 (or any tip with a plain round 1/4 inch opening)
Azteco tip #47
1 batch of cream cheese frosting

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in the pumpkin puree.
Place the filling in a pastry bag fitted with the tip. Insert the tip right down into the center of each cupcake. As soon as the top of the cupcake begins to expand and crack, ease up on the pressure– the cupcake has taken on as much filling as it can handle. (Aim for about 1 tablespoon of filling per cupcake – I found this was hard to determine so I just filled them til they cracked a bit and that was all… I still had a bunch of filling leftover tho.) If any filling is oozing out, simply wipe it away before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 pound cream cheese (a little more than 2 blocks) at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, whisked before measuring

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl once or twice to make sure it is all well mixed.

Assembly of the Mummies!
Fill the second pastry bag that has the #47 tip on it with cream cheese frosting. Using the smooth side,form the mummy’s wraps on top of the cupcakes leaving some cupcake showing through for eyes. Think about what it looks like to make a wrap around an injured person. There should be angled wraps on the top of the mummy’s head and some horizontal ones under the eyes. Each wrap should overlap the previous one to give a realistic look.
Tint the remaining frosting a nice yellow color for the eyes and use a #12 tip to create dots where the eyes go. Add the chocolate chips to each eye, upside down (flat side up) for pupils. (I used the leftover pumpkin filling for this.)

Also, I made the brownie version of these mummies last year. Here are some pics of those.

The second cupcakes were the Tombstone cupcakes.
1 batch Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 batches Fudge Frosting
1 3/4 cups ground chocolate cookie crumbs (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
18 chocolate covered graham crackers
Wilton icing writer in the color of your choice (I took some leftover cream cheese frosting and tinted it purple)

Chocolate Cupcakes
18 paper liners (I only got 16 but my cupcakes were rather large)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners in all wells of a 12 cup and 4-6 liners in a second cupcake tin.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in the eggs one at a time, allowing them to incorporate completely between additions. Add the flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture, and beat briefly until smooth on low-medium speed after each addition. Divide the batter evenly and bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool pans on rack for 5 minutes and then remove cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Fudge Frosting
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar plus an additional 1/2 cup if necessary, whisked before measuring
1/3 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips melted and slightly cooled

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 3 cups sugar and milk and beat on high speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically. Add vanilla and chocolate and beat until combined.
**If the chocolate is too warm, the frosting might be too soft to form peaks. Just keep beating until it is thick enough to spread. Assess the texture. If it is too soft add a portion or all of the remaining powdered sugar.

Assembly of the graveyard!
Frost each cupcake generously with the Fudge Frosting (I did this and I didn’t end up with any frosting leftover. I suggest making a single batch of the Fudge Frosting instead of the 1 1/2 batches it asks you for. The recipe I posted is for a single batch) Place chocolate cookie crumbs in a large bowl. Turn the cupcake over and dip into the cookie crumbs (the recipe says to sprinkle the cookie crumbs on top of the cupcakes but that is too messy and takes too much time for me :P) The surface of the cupcakes should look like dirt.
Place chocolate covered graham crackers on a flat work surface and pipe RIP on each one using a piping bag with colored frosting or a Wilton Icing writer thing. Press the graham cracker tombstone into each dirt mound at an angle and enjoy!

This one has the attempt at a skeleton and the haunted eggplant.

Both sets of cupcakes ended up being delicious. The frostings in particular were awesome, much better than when you open a can of frosting from the store… even the more high end ones. I used Ghirardelli chocolate for the frosting and it was actually pretty good. I don’t know that I would buy it all the time (it was a penny less than the Nestle ones today :P) but it was very good. Well, this took me like an hour and a half to write up so I am going to end it here and hope that I didn’t forget anything!

Happy Eating and a Ghoulish Halloween to everyone! 😀

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Posted by on October 30, 2008 in The Bakery!

 

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