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Sunday
Oct092011

Cookie Monster Cupcakes With Some Bonus Friends

I'm not saying you should be my friend, but I am saying that it won't hurt your chances of conning me into helping you make some cupcakes for your kid to take to school on his birthday. I'm twisted enough to enjoy projects like that, so when someone asked, she and I collaborated to make this happen:

 

COOKIE MONSTER!

The thing is, fancy cupcakes aren't really all that hard. They're especially easy when your target audience is a bunch of 3-year olds because what do they know about cake decorating? As long as the cupcakes vaguely resembled Cookie Monster, we were all good.

Apparently they did resemble Cookie Monster. At least that's what I heard.

Before I tell you how we put them together, first I must share the most bestest recipe for buttercream frosting ever. EVER. More specifically, it's a Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting, and it tastes fantastic. Homemade frostings are much easier to use in decorating (they're a bit stiffer, which makes them a lot less messy), so it's absolutely worth the five minutes it takes to whip up a batch. Bonus: the ingredient list may send you into a sugar coma, but at least you can read it. It's always good when you can pronounce the ingredients in something, right?

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

1 - 8 oz package cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar

Place cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat on low speed until well-mixed, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until the frosting is fluffy, about one minute.

And now for how to turn that frosting into Cookie Monster.

First, you will need your secret weapon--frosting bags and tips. Specifically, you'll need two tips like these:

The top one is just a plain old simple round frosting tip. The bottom one, however, is magical. It's a tip specially made for creating fur and/or grass. I found it at Hobby Lobby for $1.50. In retrospect, they should have charged me a lot more for it because that thing comes in very handy. We'll get to that in a bit.

First, our Cookie Monster cupcakes.

Now that you're armed with your secret weapon, bake your cupcakes. Any old cupcakes will do, but I will say that chocolate chip cupcakes are a big hit with the short people. Next, make your frosting and tint a small amount of it black and all the rest of it blue. Place each color in its own frosting bag.

This blue gel food coloring works very well.

It was another Hobby Lobby acquisition. I think it was $2.00 or so. (Yinz, if you haven't heard of Hobby Lobby, it's like Michael's + JoAnn's + major steroids. It's worth the pain and suffering involved with driving out to Robinson.) Oh and, yes, you do have to use gel food coloring. Regular food coloring will make your frosting too runny.

Anyway, once you have your blue frosting in your pretty bag with the fur tip on it, it's time to get to work.

Start with your tip against the cupcake. Squeeze a tiny bit of frosting out as you pull the tip away and stop squeezing. You should end up with a patch of "fur" that's about 1/4" long.

Don't pull out a ruler or anything, though. Just let the frosting fall where it may as you work your way all the way around leaving little patches of "fur." It's Cookie Monster, so perfection is not necessary.

He's so furry that any mistakes end up just blending in.

As for his eyes, they are made from white chocolate melting drops. You can get them at Hobby Lobby (shocking! I know!) or JoAnn's or Michael's or even most grocery stores.

Flip them over and place a small dot of black frosting using the plain circle tip and your other frosting bag. Practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to make a few extra.

Then just plop Cookie Monster's eyes on his face.

That particular Cookie Monster should probably have his eyes a little closer together. Hindsight is 20/20, n'at.

And now, his mouth.

Actually, it's Cookie Monster. His mouth is always filled with cookies, so why bother with an actual mouth? Let's just shove a cookie in there. Break a chocolate chip cookie in half (again, perfection is not at all necessary).

And shove it in his face.

DONE!

Once you've learned how to make Cookie Monster, there are a bunch of other things you can do, too. Say hello to my friend Oscar.

The concept is the same. Cover a cupcake with patches of "fur."

Give him a mouth using the black frosting.

Add eyes with little black frosting dots for pupils.

Add a mini red M&M for his tongue and some brown "fur" for his unibrow.

Wait. See how his unibrow is sort of gloppy and not as furry as the rest of his head? That happens when the frosting gets too warm. Toss it in the fridge for a couple of minutes to get your definition back.

Much better.

If you happen to live with a 5-year old who has decided that Sesame Street is for babies, not all hope is lost. You can still make monster cupcakes. You can even go along with her request for "Rainbow Monster Cupcakes."

Leave the frosting white. Before you put it in the frosting bag, though, place some stripes of gel food coloring on the sides of the bag.

You can put as many stripes of gel food coloring as you want in the bag, but you'll want a minimum of four.

Then carefully put your Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting in the bag.

The colors will squish together and blend and you'll end up with a rainbow effect when you make your fur.

No two will turn out the same. I think it's a good thing because then you can let that 5-year old decorate them all any way that she wants.

They're cute in their own twisted sort of way.

Once you're done decorating your cupcakes, place them in the fridge so that the frosting sets a bit. It'll help make sure that your hard work doesn't melt into a pile of goop.

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Reader Comments (16)

OMG - that frosting sounds so yummy!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

The cupcakes were a huge hit at preschool! And Jack still talks about how awesome they were. That's a total win in my book. Thanks!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertehamy

Americolor dyes are awesome- and made in a totally nut free facility! Their customer service is freaking amazing too :-)

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

you can bake, i'll decorate. win - win!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

(very cool post if it makes it seem easy enough for even me)

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Those are SO Cute!!!!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

Another reason to splurge o the gel food colorings - they have next to no taste even when used in larger amounts to create vivid colors - the other kinds, even the Wilton ones, when used heavily add a metallic flavor that isnt very yummy.

Those are adorable. Remind me to show you the joys of a couple other decorator tips that make things like that easy peasy....and youll see some at Crazy Scary, too!!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermindymin

As you know my son is grown and in college so I shared this site with all the people I know that have little ones. I'm even tempted to make them just for the fun of it for the people at work. These are so adorable!!

Thank you so much for sharing them.

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Is that supposed to be 3 3/4 CUPS (1lb) of powdered sugar? I think you omitted a word.

And I totally LOVE the rainbow cupcakes. Now that Erie finally has a Hobby Lobby, I'll be scoping out the cake section!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

Before I run out and buy gel food coloring... is it vegetarian? "Gel" tends to mean there is gelatin in it. While I'm not vegan, I try to avoid products made from dead animals as much as possible. Thanks!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTwist

@Twist-No signs of any animal products, at least not in the Americolor dyes. They contain water, sugar, modified corn starch, vegetable bum, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and then have a heavy dose of artificial coloring.

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle (~~burghbaby~~)

If you flipped that pb cup the other way in the bottom photo, it would look like a bristly moustache! These are adorable.

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Loving these so hard!

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKellie

Just. Awesome. Makes me think I could actually do this myself! They're even cute before the faces go on.

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMrsWoy

those look too cute to eat! amazing :)

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

I've done the Cookie Monster ones before - always a lot of fun for not much work. I call that a win!

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA
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