What do you get when you cross a Cocker Spaniel, a Poodle and a ghost? A COCKER POODLE BOO!
God... my husband is going to be so embarrassed for me when he reads this.
Anyways, Halloween is almost here! I love Halloween. Mostly because I get free bite sized Twix out of my kid's candy stash (only God can judge me). But also because it's the ultimate Fall holiday, and Fall is by far the best of all of the seasons. Cool weather, fireplaces, pumpkin patches, goats, down jackets, colorful trees, rum cider, llamas...
One of our local pumpkin patches has a whole bunch of farm animals, all of which I want to take as pets. My husband is like "NO. We can't have goats and llamas at our house in the city, because reasons." He acts like that would be soooo inconvenient, but just look at him! I know that, deep down, he wants them all.
"For it is plain, as anyone can see, we're simply meant to be."
I don't know this llama's actual name, so I've dubbed him 'Kuzco' and he's completely adorable and we bonded. He kept coming up to me and giving me kisses, then he warmed up to the hubs and gave him some kisses. Which is all fun and games until he breathes on you.
Noxious. But worth it. Because just look at him!!!
They also have a free-roaming goat named 'Rowdy,' with whom I also bonded. It took some work on my part - mostly following him around with corn asking him "why won't you let me love you?!" But, in the end, he came around and we're friends now.
Also majestic AF
Lucky for me, the pumpkin patch also has a bounce house. So my kid and his friend spent about an hour beating the crap out of each other in it, which made for an amazing bedtime.
He gets his poise and grace from me, poor little stinker.
Here's me being graceful.
I suppose I should get to the actual purpose of this blog - Halloween cupcake pull-aparts. But I get SO DISTRACTED by goats and llamas! And pumpkin patches! All the Fall things!
OK, so Halloween cupcake pull-aparts. I've been seeing these pull-apart things all over Pinterest, and have been wanting to give them a try. I did one for a friend's son's first communion recently, but it wasn't super pull-aparty. For the most part, each cupcake was individually frosted. I guess it technically fits the definition, though.
But you get the idea - its basically cupcakes displayed in a shape. And for Halloween, there are really infinite possibilities.
You could do pumpkins, ghosts, broomsticks, spiders, a haunted mansion - pretty much anything. I really wanted to do a Jack Skellington face. Not only does he look cool, but the design seems pretty easy: white face, black eyes, nose slits and a mouth. This was my first attempt - the face design needs a little work, but I still like how he turned out.
How fun is that for a party?! I'll be giving this another go this week, and I think I'll tweak his mouth and eyes a bit. I'm also going to make the frosting a bit less stiff. This picture is very forgiving - the frosting was nowhere near smooth. I think some fluffier frosting will be easier to work with for this type of thing. I still want it to have some stiffness to it, though. I feel like super silky frosting will be more prone to sink between the cracks. It'll just take some trial and error coming up with the best consistency.
So to do a pull-apart, all you need are some unfrosted cupcakes, some sort of plate or cake board, and frosting. Then figure out your design - in this case, a circle.
I also did a second pull apart in the shape of a tombstone. That shape took a bit longer to figure out, but it ended up being pretty cute. This was what it looked like unfrosted. I know it doesn't look like much now, but just trust me.
Once I had my shapes figured out, I "glued" them down with a little dollop of frosting. I really didn't want them sliding around everywhere.
I let them dry for a couple of minutes, then got to work. I started with Jack Skellington, putting on a hefty layer of white frosting. I tried to make it as circular as I could, but I knew it wouldn't be perfectly round. And that's ok. Then I used a toothpick to pre-draw my design. ALWAYS do that, unless you're a badass froster and have a lot of faith in yourself. I fit neither of those criteria, so I pre-draw my stuff. The nice thing is, its easy to "erase" any mistakes that way. Erasing mistakes you make with black frosting would not be so easy.
Once I had that done, I got my black frosting and put it in a disposable pastry bag, cutting a small hole at the bottom. No tip involved here.
He's not perfect, but he's fun as h*ck.
Then it was time for the tombstone. I used a little bit of black food coloring to make a nice gray and frosted all but the bottom row. I did the toothpick thing to map out my lettering (which is good because my lettering was initially way off center), and did the same thing as the black - cutting a slightly bigger hole in the pastry bag this time. I also added little swirly designs around the edge to make it a little more interesting.
I rarely write with frosting, so its pretty terrible. But I like it anyway.
I tinted some frosting green and used a grass tip to make some grass at the bottom. Then made a spider with the leftover black frosting in honor of my stepson, who inexplicably likes spiders. I even saw him pet one once in Tahoe.
Again - not a perfect frosting job by any stretch of the imagination. But the nice thing is, it doesn't have to be perfect to be fun. And they taste good and will get completely destroyed anyway, so who even cares?
I love the versatility of the pull-aparts. You can make a bunch of smaller ones so your party has different designs, where with a cake you're pretty much stuck with one. And you can make shapes without having to deal with carving.
There are so many I want to try now! I really want to do a Stormtrooper. And maybe one shaped like a whiskey bottle, made with boozy bourbon cupcakes. And a Death Star! Or a turkey for Thanksgiving.
This is definitely going to be one of my new favorite things, even though its still not as cool as Fall. Or goats and llamas.
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If you want to see attempt number 2 on these designs, and if you're in the Reno area, you can tune in to Mornings on Fox 11 this Wednesday 10/25/17 at about 7:45am. I'll be attempting to not vomit on camera, because going on TV is still terrifying.