Dec 16, 2008

National Cupcake Day & Melting Snowmen!

I may be a day late because life can get a little hectic with 3 little boys, but I'm certainly not a dollar short. :)

Happy National Cupcake day!!!
To celebrate, i tried something new. I know, what is the point of baking if you aren't going to step out of your comfort zone. Well I definately did that...and learned a few secrets I'm going to share with anyone wanting to make Melting Snowmen Cupcakes like the ones Nicisme made at Cherrapeno. They are not only cuter than all get out, but so simple to make. They do require a little time, but preparation can make all the difference.
I baked Magnolia Bakery's Awesome Chocolate Cupcakes as my foundation. Then used a thick royal icing and fondant as suggested.
Things I learned:
1. Marshmellow fondant is awesome!! It works well, tastes great and looks phenominal!
2. Royal icing must be thicker than you think "Spreadable" means. Too thin and it runs too freely.
3. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 to 2/3 full instead of 3/4 full as suggested. Some of my cupcake tops were lower than others in relation to the liners. And while I got great domes on my cupcakes, the ones will less dome and a little edge around the liners actually worked better. The others allowed the snowmen heads to slide off.
4. Pre-assemble the snowmen heads for ease of construction. This along with smaller heads will be a change I make before I bake them again on Thursday.
Good luck, Happy baking and Happy Cupcake Day!!

For those wanting the Marshmellow fondant receipe: (Peggy's Baking Corner)
16 ounces white mini-marshmallows
2 to 5 tablespoons water2 pounds icing sugar
½ cup Crisco shortening
Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler: Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 ½ minutes total. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.
Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY - palms, backs and in between fingers, then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)
Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands.
Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant is sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about ½ tablespoon at a time then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.
Its best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic- type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
MM Fondant will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make 2 batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant can be prepared well in advance.
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