Halloween’s round the corner and though it’s not celebrated in India, there’s no way you can escape the season if you’re a part of the food blogging community. Look at food and lifestyle blogs written in the US and pages are awash with the colours and flavour of fall, and of course all thing Halloween.
As I have mentioned before, the bloody, bizarre, ghastly, ghoulish, gory, grisly, gruesome, scary side of the festivities does nothing for me. In fact, I’m at a loss to understand how a lot of the scary parts of the festivities are supposed to be fun for children!
However there is some kind of cuteness in some of it and that part of it gets to me every year – owls, not-so-wicked witches, gingerbread skeletons, spider cookies and cupcakes (even though I don’t like real spiders!), the most non-scary white chocolate or meringue spooks and ghosts, delightful mummy cakes, cookies and cupcakes, pretty pumpkins, the cutest tombstones, and the list goes on.
So you will find that Halloween has in the past had me making Spider Web Cookies, Hoot Owl Cookies Spider Cupcakes, and a Spook-tacularly Boo-tiful Cake! One of the nice things about not celebrating a particular festivity is that you can cook/ bake for it whenever you please – before or even after it’s all over.
My daughter wanted me to bake something to share with her friends at school before their week-long vacation started. After seeing all the Halloween themed food (the cute kind), I thought I would use this excuse to try out something different this time. I just didn’t have the energy to spend a lot of time on baking and decorating so this year I decided to make a large batch of cupcakes and decorate them differently. What could be better than baking something that doesn’t take too much time or effort but taste good and looks like you slaved over it for a night and a day?
Over the years, I’ve discovered that most kids seem to like anything chocolate or vanilla, so chocolate cupcakes it was. I made a large batch of Vanilla Frosting and used that to frost all the three different kinds of cupcakes. Decorating anything using store bought candy has to be simple in India because what we get is pretty limited. So I went simple with Vanilla Cream Oreos, Cadbury 5 Star bars (caramel centred chocolate bars), Gems (coloured chocolate buttons similar to Smarties/ MMs), and Cadbury Dairymilk Shots (sugar candy coated milk chocolate balls)
The Oreos made the cutest looking Owl Cupcakes, the 5 Star bars made the head stones and crumbled Oreos were the “dirt “for the Tombstone/ Graveyard Cupcakes, and Vanilla Frosting made great “bandages for the Mummy Cupcakes.
If you don’t want to do the baking and the decorating the same day, you can make the cupcakes the previous day and decorate them the following day.
(Cupcakes adapted from Joy of Baking)