MONSTER CUPCAKES

A fun and messy cooking activity for you and your kids.  They will love decorating the finished product!

Let’s make some cupcakes, shall we? Not only are they going to be monster in size, we’re going to decorate them with monsters. Since it’s late and I’ve been working all day, I’m going to take a shortcut and make them from a box mix. There are times when shortcuts are very good things. This is one of them:)

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Don’t worry, not all of this is going into the cupcakes – some of it will be going on top of them:) We’re going to make three different types of monsters, but first – the batter!

The box calls for three eggs, 1 1/4 cups of water, and 1/3 cup of oil. Since the only oil we have is extra virgin olive oil, we’re going to class up these cupcakes and use butter instead. Besides, it’s always better with butter! (Butter industry, please send my check to ….) Just stick the butter (in a bowl, please) into the microwave for about 1 minute – instant melted butter.

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Dump the mix into a bowl,

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add the water,

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then the melted butter,

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and the eggs,

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and mix them all together.

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Now, pour the batter into the cups.

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If I had thought this through ahead of time, I would have mixed everything in a measuring cup – easy pourage. Did I mention it was late? I should also tell you that my brain shuts down at a certain point during the evening. We are so past that point right now!

Instead, I used a ladle. Scoop up the batter, dump it into the cups, and we’re ready to go. The box says to fill the cups 2/3 of the way full – 2/3? HA! Did you not know we’re making monster cupcakes? Fill them TO THE TOP! Now, into a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. I started checking after 20 minutes but since they were so big, my cupcakes needed the full 30 minutes.

Also, I put the cupcake tin on a cookie sheet, just in case my over-full tin exploded.

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But no, they came out beautifully! They are way too pretty for Monster cupcakes. We need to change that!

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First, ice them with chocolate icing. Another shortcut – icing from a cannister (Pillsbury, to be exact!) My poor mother is cringing right now and she doesn’t even know why. Late … blah, blah, blah … shortcuts. And the icing is really good. I had to work really hard not to eat it directly from the can with a spoon!

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That didn’t stop me from getting it all over my hands, obviously. Anyway, on to the decorating portion of the show. Monsters take different forms for different people. In my household, spiders and bats rate pretty high on the “scream-meter” (that which elicits involuntary gasps/cries) so we’re going to start with bats.

Take a round, fudge covered cookie and break it in half. These will be the wings. Stick them near the back of the cupcake.

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Now take a Hershey Kiss and put it, point side forward, near the front of the cupcake. This is the head – add eyes (blood red, in my case) with decorating gel.

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Right, one down! Moving on to spiders.

Start with chocolate twizzlers. Take two and cut them in half. Then cut the pieces in half again, but vertically this time. You should wind up with eight pieces that will be the legs.

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Stick four on either side of the cupcake.

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They’re a little wobbly but that’s okay. If the spider can’t run very quickly, he can’t catch you, can he?

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The white blobs are his eyes. Typically, spiders have 6 or 8 eyes. I didn’t want to make mine look too professional because I didn’t want you to compare your final outcome to mine and be disappointed that it wasn’t as perfect. I’m thinking of your self-esteem here. You’re welcome!

Anywho, I also added a big old smile because spiders smile all the time. It’s all about the accuracy here at the Fragile Earth kitchens! Okay, I think it’s time to move on from this extremely scary spider! For our 3rd monster, I thought I’d go with a traditional Frankenstein type.

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Start by pouring a little light corn syrup into a bowl and

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coating the marshmallow completely. This way, the decorations will stick properly. (Wish I knew that back when I was making the chocolate bats – they might have come out a little better) But, let’s stay with the here and now, shall we? This is going to be messy – best to have towels handy.

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Sprinkle green sugar on one half of the marshmallow and black sugar on the other half. Colored sugar can be found in the baking aisle by the canned frosting!

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Don’t forget to add facial features to your monster. For me, it’s a couple of milky eyes and a big old smile!

This is a fun way to spend some (messy) time with your kids. And we all know how the 6 & under set love the messiness!

Inspiration (I’m not even going to try to say I copied the recipes because my finished product looks NOTHING like their’s) for the bat & spider cupcakes from allrecipes.com and for the Frankenstein cupcake from Taste of Home. As a matter of fact, they may not even want to be mentioned in this post. But I like to give credit where it’s due!

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