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Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Fool's Cupcake Dinner

I know this post is a little belated, but it turned out well enough that I still decided to share it. I love April Fool's jokes -- as long as they are not being played on me, of course. And in the spirit of fun pranks, every year I make an April Fool's dinner for my family. I got some really cute ideas this year from, one of my favorite cooking blogs. We had a CUPCAKE dinner. On the menu:

  • Spaghetti and meatball cupcakes

  • Mashed potato and butter cupcakes

  • Peas and carrots cupcakes

  • Pink frosted cupcakes
I baked a couple dozen cupcakes and let them all cool. Since we all love chocolate around here, I made devil's food cupcakes, but looking back, I think white cupcakes would have been easier to cover. I set some aside for the spaghetti and meatball cupcakes and frosted them with a tub of white store-made frosting. I put half of the tub into a pastry bag with a small #3 tip and piped "spaghetti noodles" all over the top of the cupcakes. Next, I unwrapped several Ferrero Rocher candies. They are just the right shape and size for meatballs. I added some red and some brown food color to a bowl of strawberry jam, and then dipped the candy in the jam. I put a dollop of jam on top of each spaghetti cupcake and then plopped the jam-covered candy on top of the dollop.
A little grated almond bark on top looked just like Parmesan cheese.
Ta daa!
I frosted the next group with more white frosting. I put several yellow Starburst candies in the microwave for a few seconds until they were just a little soft, and then smashed them out to look like butter pats. I drizzled a little caramel syrup over the tops of the cupcakes and then put the "butter pats"on top. Easy peasy.
Speaking of peas, our next group of cupcakes had peas and carrots on them. I bought several bags of Starburst candies until I discovered that this "Fiesta" flavor variety is the only one containing yellow (for the butter pats), orange (for the carrots) AND green (for the peas). FYI.
I cut the orange and green candies into small pieces and them molded them to look like carrots and peas.
I tinted the white frosting with a little bit of green color to match the peas, and then covered the tops with the molded Starburst candies.
Finally, I made a meatloaf recipe using very lean beef and turkey -- to make as little grease at the end as possible. I filled cupcake liners with the meatball mixture and baked them. Meanwhile, I boiled and mashed some potatoes and then added bright pink food color. I put the mashed potatoes into a pastry bag with a large tip and piped them over the tops of the mini meatloaves. My original plan was to top it off with a cherry tomato, but when I got to that point, I could only find four tomatoes. (We have an resident tomato thief. I name no names.) So in desperation, I added actual maraschino cherries. I know. Gross with potatoes. But I needed "the look" to pull off the joke. When we were all seated around the table, I informed the family that because it was April Fool's day, they got to eat their dessert first. They'd been eyeing the pink frosted cupcakes all afternoon, and were very excited to get to eat them first. You can imagine the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that ensued when they discovered the mashed potatoes and meatloaves. Bwaaa haaaa haaa haaaa! But all tears turned to smiles after I "made" them eat the second course of peas and carrots, spaghetti and meatballs, and mashed potatoes. Now to start thinking of next year's prank... Any ideas?