Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is a hard holiday for cake.  I mean, what do you associate with NYE?  Fireworks?  The dropping ball?  Sparkling grape juice?  (My sister would probably love a sparkling grape juice bottle cake.  Maybe next year)  It simply isn't conducive to cool cakes.  I made this one a few years ago using modeling chocolate:

Yes, I am aware it is not accurate.  Sorry.
Last year I got around the NYE theme problem by making a cake for a "Beat the Post Holiday Blues" party instead of a NYE party.  Hence the wintery theme.
Credit goes to my brother-in-law Aaron for finding this recipe.
That igloo cake is pretty sweet.  I was racking my brain, trying to figure out how to top that when I realized that my Hello Cupcake book was not packed away on the patio with the rest of my stuff.  It was sitting on my one bookshelf in my room (the other four currently being stored away).
Hello Cupcake
What I like about Ms. Tack and Mr. Richardson is that they are not afraid to use other edible goodies besides buttercream, fondant and other types of icing.  Candy is one of their favorite tools - especially since it can be manipulated to look like so many different things.  They are all about making awesome cupcakes without having all the decorating tools that Wilton wants you to have to purchase.

But since I have a lot of those tools anyway, I used them.  So I picked a cute, simple design (my mother says I never do anything simple) and went with it - even though it had nothing to do with winter or NYE.  Hello sunflowers!

I made devil's food cupcakes and covered them with green frosting.  Next I got out some chocolate cremes (Jewel brand oreos) and some mini oreos.  Using my favorite tip (oh yeah, the leaf tip!), I added some petals on the top and bottom parts of the cookie.  The petals were supposed to be orange and yellow together.  But the frosting kept coming out only orange and then only yellow.  But I think the mixture turned out okay.

Some had three mini oreos!

The recipe said to use candy for the leaves.  But you know me and leaves.  So I decided to just pipe them using buttercream and my ever faithful leaf tip.  The ladybugs were the final touch.

Big, fat leaves.  Well, maybe not so fat.
I also made a few cupcakes with just grass and ladybugs.

The grass tip is another one of my favorites.  It just looks so cool.  Like grass!  I was worried about the ladybugs because it is really really really hard to get red frosting.  It always just ends up looking pink.  So how does one ever achieve red frosting, you might ask?  One buys it at the store.

As I kept adding more and more food coloring into the frosting, I was mentally kicking myself for not just buying some.  The color you see is supposed to be Christmas Red.  Right.  More like hot pink.  

As I was working on them, my friend's son, Noah, entered the room.  Noah loves to look at my cakes.  He also loves taste-testing by sticking his finger in the cake (he's three).  But he saw me working on the cupcakes and exclaimed, "It's a ladybug!"  I was so happy I wanted to hug him!  If a three-year-old (albeit a smart one) could tell it was a ladybug, then I guess I did alright.

Now my mother was concerned that I wasn't going to finish the cupcakes in time for the party.  I don't know why she was so worried.  I mean - I was just making these simple cupcakes.  Piece of cake!  But, since my mother is usually very wise, I decided to finish up the cupcakes quickly with some quirky designs of my own.

 See what fun you can have with a little frosting and some decorating tips?

Well I think everyone enjoyed the cupcakes and thought they looked cool.  My nephew immediately claimed one of the grass cupcakes with two ladybugs.  No one seemed to notice the lack of a NYE theme.  Whew.

And so I leave you with this last picture, which I think is kind of cool:

Happy New Year!!!

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