Christmas Cupcakes

We’re having Christmas a little early this year because my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law came in from England for a few weeks.  I like having fun things to eat so, instead of doing a cake this year I wanted to make some cupcakes.  I’ll put these on my cupcake stand with all the other goodies around to look nice.  I have cupcakes boxes so everyone can take home extras to eat later.

I’m going to make 3 different cupcakes…Santa legs in snow, snowmen and holly leaves. I’m going to use red velvet for the Santa legs and holly leaves and white cake for the snowmen.  I baked my cupcakes and let them cool.

I started with the snowmen so I would have time for these to set in between each application of chocolate.  I took some white melting chocolate and put them in a ziplock bag and microwaved for 1 minute.  I took the bag out of the microwave and kneaded it, returned to the microwave and heated for another 15-30 seconds.  Some chocolates melt faster than others so watch…and knead well.  The bag should never be too hot to handle. You may need to knead more and microwave less.  I cut a small tip from the end of one corner of my bag then squeezed onto my wax paper to make sure I cut enough. Chocolate is very running when melted unlike frosting or icing.  Always start with cutting just the very tip of the corner and squeeze on wax paper to test the flow.  You can always cut a tiny bit more.  If you do cut too much and can’t control the flow, cut a larger hole and squeeze the melted chocolate into another bag and try again!  I piped a dot of white chocolate onto some wax paper stretching out the bottom a little.  This will give me a little “stick” to help keep my finished snowman straight.  I let that set a little.

Then I piped another smaller dot onto my first one overlapping a little.

I let that set a little then added another smaller dot to give me a snowman.  I’ve used this same method for Halloween to make ghosts…just put on the eyes and mouth.  I let those set.  I saved the rest of my chocolate in my ziplock bag to use for later.

Then, taking some other different colored melting chocolates and melting them the same way in ziplock bags I started to add the fun touches.  Black for the eyes, mouth, buttons and top hat and orange for the carrot nose.  I used red to make a scarf and added some red sugar before the chocolate set because I like bling on my things.  I jazzed the hat up a little with a candy snowflake sprinkle.  These are sprinkles you get in the store.  I found mine at Michael’s.

I used white cupcakes and white frosting.  I inserted my snowman and sprinkled with some blue sugar crystals and a few tiny white pearls.  I had some larger blue and white candy snowflakes so I added them around the edge of the frosting to finish them off!

Now the cupcakes with the Santa legs.  I saw these online to buy so I wanted to make something like them.  Their legs were made out of fondant which doesn’t taste very good so I’m going to make mine take yummy.

I started with some pretzel rods and cut them in half.  I wanted them to be a little longer so I would have the length to stick into the cupcake to keep them from falling over.  To make the boot a little cuter I took some mini Tootsie Rolls and shaped a boot on one end of each rod.  I put each Tootsie Roll in the microwave for about 7-10 seconds to make them softer to work with.

Now to dip the boot.  I melted black chocolate in a bowl for 1 minute, stirred and microwaved for another 30 seconds.  I stirred until there were no solid pieces.  I dipped the Tootsie Roll part and a bit more to make the boot, scraped off the excess chocolate from the bottom and place on wax paper to set.  I took a parring knife and trimmed off some of the chocolate to clean it up a little.

Next I microwaved some red chocolate melts the same way.  I dipped the end without the boot into the red chocolate, shook off the access chocolate and placed on some wax paper.  The nice thing about having the boot was that they stood up on their own.  I didn’t have to worry about having a flat side when it came time to put the dipped chocolate onto the wax paper.

Once those were set I took my white chocolate I saved from making the snowmen and microwaved for about 30 seconds, kneaded the bag, then microwaved for another 15-30 seconds to remelt.  I took my pretzel rod and piped a white chocolate band between the red and black and sprinkled with some tiny pearls.  You can use sugar crystals or chopped coconut or leave as is.  I’m putting some sugar crystals in the “snow” so I wanted the little pearls to add a different texture.  And to add a little extra color and bling I melted some yellow chocolate in a ziplock bag, added a little square and sprinkle with yellow sugar crystals to make a buckle.  Of course, these look so cute I’m probably going to have to make a Santa Claus body out of Rice Krispies and stick it onto a pair of these legs…or go with green and do an elf.  That’ll be another time…back to this.

While those set I started frosting my red velvet cupcakes.  I put a good amount of white frosting onto my cupcake then, taking a angled spatula, patted the frosting to give it a fluffy-spiky look.  I took 2 Santa legs and and inserted them into my cupcake making sure to push into the cupcake to keep the legs from falling over.  I then sprinkled with some white sugar crystals and was done with those.

I wanted one more cupcake and some extra color so I decided to make a holly wreath.  I took some green chocolate and put it in a ziplock bag.  I microwaved for 1 minute, kneaded the bag and microwaved for another 30 seconds.  I kneaded the bag some more to make sure there were no solid pieces.  I cut a small slit at an angle on one corner.  Doing this will give the leaves a ruffled effect when you squeeze.  You can just cut the tip out and squeeze a long blob of chocolate without making it ruffled. Either way is fine.  Squeeze your shape (about an inch long) then take a toothpick and pull from the middle outwards to make the spikes.  You’ll need to do that fast since chocolate sets.  I would squeeze out 3 at a time then make the spikes.  Also, at that time I added a red candy pearl.  I found those at Michael’s, too.  If you don’t have those or can’t find them you use Red Hot candies or you can squeeze on a red dot of chocolate and maybe add a sprinkle of red sugar crystals.  If you are going to do that then wait till your leaves are set so the red sugar doesn’t get stuck to your green chocolate.  I made enough to have 7 leaves per cupcake,

I took a red velvet cupcake and covered it with white frosting and added my holly leaves in a circle.  I thought about adding some sugar crystals but thought they looked nice the way they were.

Now my cupcakes are ready.  I got my cupcake stand and  inserted the clear connector tubes with some printouts of Christmas lights.  Just for fun I stuck some LED lights I found at the Dollar Tree.  There are about 10-15 lights with 2 AA batteries.  It doesn’t show in the pictures but was really cute.

I made some sugar cookies, red and green puppy chow and some snacks.  I took black olives and cream and made some penguins.  They should have had a carrot beak and feet but I forgot to get some carrots.  I used some cheese for the feet and yellow bell pepper for the beak.  Roasted red peppers were the scarves.  Broccoli, cauliflower and yellow bell pepper were shaped into a tree with cherry tomato “ornaments”.  My fruit were grapes, kiwi (I cut some of them into Christmas trees) and strawberries dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with sugar crystals to look like Santa hats.  Just some fun things to do!  We had a fantastic time!  Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  : )

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