Tag Archives: dessert

Peeps Hatching Easter Cupcakes

9 Apr

I have a love-hate relationship with Peeps Marshmallow Chicks. On the one hand, I am a big fan of marshmallows. I love them chocolate-covered, in S’mores, plain, and in hot cocoa.

On the other hand, I am sort of appalled by the bright artificial colors and blank stares of the little birds. And to be honest, coating a marshmallow in sugar isn’t my favorite way to eat it.

But when it came time to make a dessert for Easter, something about the quintessential Easter treats stuck in my head. I had gone through a long list of possibilities, from mini Easter baskets, to bunny rabbit cupcakes, to an Easter egg-shaped ice cream cake. But it was when I was at See’s Candies and came across their Hollow Eggs with Novelties that I finally figured out what to do. The Peep would be the star of the show.

You can use any cupcake and frosting recipes you want. Those aren’t important. For this project I used a banana cake recipe from Moms Who Think, along with a whipped cream frosting from Tasty Kitchen. I only made half a batch of frosting, though, because this project uses very little of it. The topping, meant to look like a bird’s nest, is made from crushed banana chips. See the Lessons section below for alternatives.

The key is to freeze the hollow chocolate eggs for a couple of hours before using them so that they don’t melt in your hands. They will also shatter better. Because you’re only using shards from the egg, one chocolate egg will be enough for three cupcakes. One box of six, then, will be enough for 18 cupcakes. I haven’t figured out what to do with the novelty white chocolate chicks that come with the eggs yet.

Ingredients

Your best cupcake recipe
Your favorite frosting recipe
8-12 See’s Hollow Eggs with Novelties
1.5 cups dried banana chips (unsalted)
24 Peeps Marshmallow Chicks

Hardware

24 cupcake liners

Yields

24 cupcakes

Directions

  1. Freeze the hollow chocolate eggs for at least two hours.
  2. Bake the cupcakes, and prepare the frosting.
  3. Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a knife to cut a shallow hole in the top of the cakes.
  4. Using an icing spatula, ring the cupcakes with frosting. Also put a dab of frosting in each hole you made.
  5. Using a food processor, finely chop the banana chips. It’s OK to have a big piece here and there. They add more crunch. Spread the banana crumbs on a plate.
  6. Invert a cupcake, and roll the rim in the banana crumbs. Imagine that you’re salting the rim of a margarita glass. Repeat for the rest of the cupcakes.
  7. Take the chocolate eggs out of the freezer, and unwrap them. Twist them at the seams, and they will shatter at into several pieces. Discard (eat) the novelty white chocolate chick inside.
  8. Arrange three shards of chocolate egg around the edge of each cupcake hole, using the frosting as glue. Leave one side open.
  9. Place a marshmallow Peep in the cavity formed by the eggshell, sticking the tail out of the side you left open. Repeat for the rest of the cupcakes.
  10. Using a small amount of frosting as glue, stick small shards of chocolate eggshell on the heads or tails of the Peeps.

Lessons

This works equally as well for a generic “spring” dessert, but you’ll need to stock up on the hollow eggs, which are only sold during the weeks leading up to Easter. Buy a bunch of them during the post-Easter sale and save them in your freezer until next spring. Peeps may be difficult to find outside of Easter season, too. Graham crackers work just as well for the nest. I largely avoid artificial food dyes, though I made an exception in this case due to the theme of the project. To make grass for the topping, instead, put some shredded coconut in a zip top bag and add a few drops of liquid chlorophyll, shake it around to distribute the color, and use it to top your icing.

Reconstructed “Oreo” sandwich cookies

2 Apr

For April Fool’s Day yesterday we had our good friends over for dinner, and I knew I wanted to make something “disguised” for dessert. I had been contemplating making ice cream cupcakes for a while, so armed with a recipe for Brownie Bottom Ice Cream Cupcakes from Joy the Baker, I tried to see what I could do to make some fun filling with cake and ice cream.

While I normally don’t make box cake, the reality is that when you freeze ice cream cake, the texture and flavor of scratch cake gets lost. Unless you specifically need to avoid certain ingredients, save yourself the trouble and just use a box cake mix.

I was going to go with Oreo double stuffed cookies, but while I was at the grocery store, I spotted Who Nu? cookies, which are packed with extra nutrition. If I’m going to serve these to kids, I might as well try to make myself feel less guilty, right?

Ingredients

36 chocolate sandwich cookies
1 box white cake mix
1 gallon vanilla ice cream or any flavor that is white (not French vanilla)
Hot water

Hardware

36 foil cupcake liners
9″ icing spatula
wax paper
aluminum foil

Yields

36 ice cream cake sandwich cookies

Directions

  1. Drop the foil cupcake liners into cupcake pans.
  2. Unscrew the chocolate sandwich cookies, trying as hard as you can to keep all of the cream filling to one side. Drop the uncreamy sides, decorated face down, into the liners, one into each. Save the other cookie halves.
  3. Prepare the cake mix according to directions.
  4. Drop one generous tablespoon of batter on top of each cookie, taking care not to fill each well any more than 1/4 full.
  5. Pick the pans up and drop onto the counter from an inch or two to eliminate as much air as you can. Do this a couple times.
  6. Bake according to cake directions, but pull them out a few minutes early, as you’re only making half a cupcake. Test with a toothpick or cake tester to make sure it’s done.
  7. Let the cupcakes rest in the trays for 10 minutes.
  8. Place the trays with the cupcakes in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, let the ice cream thaw so that it is malleable but not liquid.
  9. Fill the cupcakes to the top of the liners with the ice cream, using the spatula to pack it in and smooth the top. Dip the spatula in hot water to help cut through the ice cream. Try to work out as much air as you can, but take care not to squish the cupcake.
  10. Place the reserved cookie halves in the center of the cupcakes, decorated face up.
  11. Place the cupcakes back in their trays. Cover with wax paper, and then wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil.
  12. Freeze for at least two hours, preferably four.
  13. Remove the cupcakes from their trays. Using a sharp thin knife, cut straight down, tracing the outline of the cookie to trim the excess ice cream and cake away.
  14. Remove the foil wrappers and excess material. Use a spatula to smooth the edges.

Lessons

Like any ice cream cake, this takes a long time and a lot of patience. Also, make sure the ice cream is pretty solid before you serve, as the concoction will be easily crushed. I’m second-guessing using a premium ice cream, as the higher fat content keeps it softer. I might (gulp) even think about using light ice cream to keep the fat content down.