Saturday, January 17, 2009
I made my first batch of these cute Groundhog's Day cupcakes when Spencer was in first grade and haven't missed a year since then. I got the original idea from Family Fun magazine, but over the years I've made a few adaptations that make them cheaper and easier (a necessity when you have lots of little helpers and you're making an army of several dozen at a time). Kids and teachers alike love these cute little treats to brighten up a dreary Groundhog's Day!
baked cupcakes with liners
*1 package Nutter Butter cookies (or Pepperidge Farms Mint Milanos)
1 package Oreo cookies (crushed)
1 jar white frosting
1 tube pink or red decorator icing (with small tip)
mini M & M's
**1 package white Betty Crocker Drizzlers (or other melted chocolate)
*if peanut allergies are a problem then Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies will work just as well, however since they're a little more expensive I use the Nutter Butters when possible. This year I ended up with an egg allergy to accommodate as well and we used Cocoa Krispie marshmallow groundhogs and the kids LOVED them probably more than any other groundhog cookie we've ever used.
**this is a hard chocolate made for melting, that comes with a prepackaged applicator tip. You should be able to find this with the decorator icing at the grocery store. You just remove the cap, throw it in the microwave for a couple minutes [checking and squeezing frequently during the process to prevent burning]. If you can't find this particular product then use another melted chocolate with a toothpick for applying [we couldn't find it this year, so we bought some Wilton's candy decorating pens, which worked great]. I don't recommend using plain icing instead, since they will smear too easily and the eyes tend to fall off.
1. Frost each cupcake with white frosting.
2. Sprinkle a small spoonful of crushed Oreos onto each frosted cupcake.
3. Set cupcakes aside.
4. Apply small dots of melted chocolate onto the cookies for the eyes and nose.
5. Add mini M&M's for the eyes while the chocolate is still melted.
6. Allow chocolate to set.
7. With pink or red decorator icing draw a smile below each nose.
8. Wait until shortly before serving before placing the cookies into the cupcakes. I've learned from experience that if you insert the cookies the night before they tend to get soggy and fall over, but if I wait until right before school to do this last step they'll be standing up straight when I serve them.
9. Enjoy the smiles of delight when they see this cute little fellow popping up to say, "hello"!