Wednesday, January 4, 2012

muppet. cupcakes.

I have been waiting to make these forever. I've been a Muppet fan for just as long. David & I used to watch Muppet Babies as kids on Saturday mornings. Our parents took us to see Muppet Babies Live at The Meadowlands. I remember watching Muppet Frog Prince on TV & some episodes of the Muppet Show. We also especially loved Muppet Family Christmas, the holiday movie when all the Muppets (ever--Fraggles & Sesame Street included) come to Fozzie's mom's (Emily Bear's) house (Thank you, Caitlin, for the link!). David & I have a special place in our hearts for Muppet Treasure Island, an often-overlooked Muppet Treasure (eh??? fun-nee!). I remember going crazy over Weezer's video with the Muppets (pretty much my 2 favorite things at the time) for Keep Fishin', and for the great connection my college roommate, Caitlin, and I had (have) over our mutual love for Muppets. We watched the Mahna Mahna and Mr. Bassman videos probably once daily our first month living together. I also had an intro song to my radio show that she and my other college friends helped me record for "Elyse's Muppet Radio Show."

...So it only makes sense that I'd want to make Muppet cupcakes!! I don't know what took me so long! But it probably had something to do with the Muppet Movie coming out, and then Bakerella doing Muppet Cake Pops. Anyway, it's time to get things started!!

First things first, here I am mixing the cake batter:

My parents got me these awesome mixing sticks for Christmas. They look like drumsticks on one end and one has a music note cut out of the spoon:

So there's a cookin' end and a rockin' end:

Haha. I love it!

Then I switched to the hand-held mixer. Once the cupcakes were done, I mixed up a dixie cup of vanilla frosting & green food coloring. I piped black icing onto white melting chocolates, and cut out collars from green sugar paper (my first time using it!).

Hi-ho, Kermit! Except he has a swirl on his face, and no mouth. So I cut out some red sugar paper:

He kind of looks like anime-Kermit here. I made mini versions of all of them, too. For mini-Kermit I used coconut M&Ms (for the white ones--I could have just bought white regular m&ms at Fuzziwigs, but I'd already been there twice in preparation for my magnum opus, so I got these from CVS which is closer to my house) and edible-ink markers for the pupils!

(I had left my camera at Mike's from taking pictures of the dinner we cooked the night before--spinach & turkey bacon macaroni & cheese, thanks for asking--and the sugar paper collar had wilted overnight! Now I know that about sugar paper!)

Then I tried Fozzie. I got so excited when I was at Target the other day browsing through the 50%-off Christmas selection & I saw Reese's Bells on sale! I didn't even remember that these were out, and the fact that they were half-off was like a post-Christmas present from Target to me. Thank you, Target. They made perfect Fozzie hats!!

His ears are orange melting chocolates with black icing piped on, and his nose, eyelids and mouth are sugar paper.

It makes me so happy when they come out just how I wanted!! Hey friends!

Oh, hey, little Fozzie! I had these Wilton candy eyes (they used to make smaller ones but I could find them NOWHERE) that looked like they'd been on the shelf for a while and the pupils were sort of green and dusty-looking. Fortunately my edible-ink marker did the trick! I also used one of those sugar dots from the receipt-tape-looking sheet of different colored dots... You know what I'm talking about? That old-fashioned penny candy stuff. That was a perfect nose. I used the bag of 2 sheets absolutely once. Actually twice, I made 2 mini Fozzies. I have so much candy left over. Anyone want to come over?

The hat, another perfect Reese's creation, is an Unwrapped Mini Reese's. I had to buy a whole zip-top bag. I know, I didn't want to buy SO MANY but... I actually really did... And I actually really love them. I mean, those mini Reeses with the wrapper just slowed me down! I have to thank Bakerella for the hat idea though, she used them on her Fozzie cake pops and they just look perfect and adorable! I'm so glad they worked here, too!

The next day (yes, it took me a few days... decorating is exhausting!) I made Rowlf. I realize his face should be a little lighter and his ears darker, but what are ya gonna do? I used what I had. I love how the chocolate chips in the frosting makes him look furry! I bought Jordan Almonds way back because I thought they'd make perfect Rowlf eyes (a little Rowlf history: his eyes are spoons, or at least they're exactly spoon-shaped, and he was the mascot for some dog food ads in the 60's, and was even a co-star on the Jimmy Dean show, a variety show from the same time). His nose is a dark chocolate malt ball, and his ears are flattened Tootsie Rolls.

Mini-Rowlf has jelly bean eyes (David's idea!!), a coconut M&M nose, and cut-out Tootsie Roll ears (I got fancy and used a tiny cookie cutter).

I also found out flattened Tootsie Rolls melt when enclosed overnight. Turns out they have a lot in common with sugar paper. And his eye is a little lazy, but we'll forgive him.

Then it was diva time. Miss Piggy actually required a LOT of work. And I'm sure she wouldn't have it any other way. I made a light pink/orange color for her piggie complexion, then halved a marshmallow for her nose (it was a last-minute inspiration when I remembered that I had a bag of marshmallows in my room. I asked my dad to buy them for me a while back when I wanted to get in the Christmas spirit, and big marshmallows in my hot chocolate is a fond Christmassy memory).

Then I took some white coconut M&Ms and drew black pupils with blue irises on them with edible-ink marker, then half-dipped them in purple melting chocolates for her eyelids.

Complicated stuff! This might be rocket science!

I tried to draw on little eyelashes with black marker but melting chocolate isn't a big fan of markers. Then, and this gets me the most excited (about Piggy, anyway), I put peach (I think) gummies on her head for ears. They look the most Muppet-like out of everything! The texture, I mean. I had to prop them up with marshmallows. Good thing I had them!

Piggy has so many hairstyles, I didn't know which one to use. Of course I just went with the easiest. I mean, classiest:

O and of course I added pearls! Sprinkles, actually, "pearlized" sprinkles.

Aw! I used an ear as little Piggy's nose, and the eyes are the Wilton candy eyes (given the same treatment). I used some pink fondant I wanted to try as her ears, and it smelled weird and plastic-y, but it was easy to mold and looked pretty cool.


Gonzo looks so funny in steps. I first put blue icing on, then rolled the edges in blue sanding sugar. I used white melting chocolates for his eyes, and (also a last-minute inspiration) banana Runts as eyelids!

Sugar paper mouth.. and the nose...

A blue Jolly Rancher! Mike gave me that idea. I thought maybe I could find a blue Tootsie Roll, but alas the wrapper is blue and the Tootsie is white. He still didn't look just right without those head feathers! So, another last-minute idea, I used 2 blue jellybeans!

O yay! He just looks so Gonzo-y!

I'm not as crazy about mini-Gonzo. He looks, well, we'll just say "dazed," and his jelly bean nose just isn't doing it for me. I stuck a fish candy in his head as the feathers, which makes me laugh.

Finally, on the third day, though I wanted to make the Mahna Mahna "Snowths" (the pink guys), chickens, Sweetums, and well I guess every Muppet ever, I settled on ONE non-always-in-the-spotlight Muppet. Lew Zealand. He wears a collar, like an old-fashioned white clown collar, and throws fish.

There's my pieces for him. Then I realized he kind of just looks like Ernie with a moustache. I used coconut M&Ms and a red gumball. Of course I put an extra cupcake holder around him to look like the collar (I was pretty excited about that part).

And, also of course, I put little candy fish around him, since he's just not Lew Zealand without his fish.

I put them on a mini cupcake just for fun:

Mike got me a new camera for Christmas, by the way, so all my pictures are nice and crisp & clear! This fish one (above) especially came out nice.

Then, as per Mike's suggestion so I wasn't driving myself crazy trying to make more Muppets or letting some bald cupcakes go to waste, I iced the leftovers and wrote "The Muppets" on them.

And here they all are! Together!

I brought them to work (so we wouldn't devour them here at home) and my coworkers just LOVED them. It made me feel so great. They all came to the break room to admire them, loudly and excitedly, and I ate it all up. (Actually, I didn't eat any. I made myself a mini Fozzie when I got home and ate that! It was pretty delicious with the Reese's cup and the M&Ms! I took the eyes off though!).

Also, I can't believe I frog-ot (haha) to mention how much I love Jim Henson. He is absolutely one of my favorite people--he seemed like such a loving, creative, youthful individual who made the world so fun and beautiful. Thank you, Jim Henson. :)

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