Monday, April 2, 2012
Remember how in my last post I said I might not attempt the Jayhawk cupcakes again because they were so time-consuming? Well, that lasted about two whole days. Since I made that statement, which in my defense probably wasn’t a true declaration, KU won Saturday night and will now play in the championship game. I figured that was as good a sign as any that I should try to improve the cupcakes.
I’m not going to repeat the basics here since I’ve already described those in the first cupcake post. In order to keep this somewhat short, I’ll just explain the changes.
First off, I need to point out that my husband had a big part in improving these cupcakes. Although he doesn't bake, he contributed a lot. (He also reads this blog and told me he's expecting an acknowledgment of his brilliant ideas.) He’s far more creative than I am and was responsible for designing the new beaks and eyes. He also came up with the idea to use pretzels to secure the head to the base and helped by cutting out the wings. By the end of this process, his attitude was a lot like mine when I finished the first batch. They look neat, but probably aren’t worth the hassle to make them again.
This batch was also helped by the fact I had time to run to Michael’s and buy actual cake decorating supplies. I was finally able to get real royal blue frosting by using a small canister of the Wilton gel dye. This is definitely closer to Jayhawk blue. (If you do make these, it's probably a good idea to warn the people eating them that this will turn their mouths blue.)
Instead of messing with frosting cookies for wings, I found a metal cookie cutter that looked a lot like a wing. They also had sugar paper in royal blue, so we were able to stamp out nice looking wings.
The eyes were made by using a serrated knife to cut the ends off of mini marshmallows. He then applied a blue dot using blue decorating gel. Lining all the eyes up on parchment paper let them dry evenly. They were also easy to peel off when it was time to apply them.
The beaks were still made out of Starburst, but this time my husband turned it into a bit of an art form. He used powdered sugar to keep the Starbursts from sticking while shaping the beaks. The finished beaks were placed in the freezer to harden until we were ready to place them in the cupcake. Although he made a piece to anchor the beak in, the biggest issue is still getting the beaks to stay secure in the head and not fall out over time.
This time we also used two pretzels to anchor the cupcakes to each other. I also used a pretzel like a popsicle stick in order to frost the heads and secure the heads to the base.
So, there you have it. Jayhawk cupcakes 2.0:
Next time I'm feeling ambitious, someone remind me that this is probably good enough:
So what did the Helpers think of all this kitchen activity? I think they were a bit nervous about all the Jayhawks in their kitchen.