Introduction: A Is for Apple
My favorite time of the year is teacher appreciation week. Not because I am a teacher (which I am not), but because my mom is. Every year students bring things to her, that frankly are cute, but unusable. So I take them off her hands lol. Mom and I were talking about how no one ever brings apples for the teachers anymore, so I decided to bake these for her and her teacher friends. They are vanilla cupcakes with half a doughnut on it. The stem is tootsie rolls and the leaves are starbursts!
Thank you all teachers! Without you, there would be no world.
What you need:
1 1/2 cups of red granulated sugar (you can either make or buy-Cake Mate-)
12 chocolate tootsie rolls--for stem
24+ (depends on if you want one per cupcake or two) green starbursts/tootsie rolls etc. --for leaves
12 plain/chocolate covered doughnuts
a handful of black/brown candy-coated chocolate-covered sunflower seeds--found at Cracker Barrel
leaf cookie cutter
24 red cupcake liners
How to make the apple (your children will actually enjoy eating!! lol)
1. create your standard cupcakes as your recipe calls for ; do NOT overfill.
2. As you are cooking/cooling, make the icing (or pull out store bought, i don't judge! [; )
3. Choose the icing-I typically use a Swiss-Meringue Buttercream. (see bottom for recipe)
4. Dye icing color desired using a paste food coloring-I use wilton- ( start with 16 oz/2 cups of the icing, if you need more, then feel free to dye more)
5. Take 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar and in a food processor, combine the red food coloring paste and sugar. pulse until mixed.
6. Take out a box of doughnuts -smaller than standard, but larger than mini- and cut them in half.
7. Frost your cupcakes
8. Place the halved doughnuts on top and place in freezer to keep them solid together. (its like glue, to get it to stay put in freezer NOT fridge. The fridge will dry them out)
9. Take a few out at a time to frost the tops of the doughnuts
10. Once finished frosting, immediately roll in the dyed sugar. (see bottom if you need help rolling)
11. If your doughnut wants to roll off of the cupcake while rolling in sugar, place in freezer for 5-10 min.
1. Cut the tootsie roll in half lengthwise diagonally.
2. Shape the halves into stems
3. place into the hole of the cupcake- if you leave the out and it's a normal warm day they will melt even if they are not in direct sunlight. try to keep the room cooler or put them in the fridge. Because the cupcakes are covered with frosting and whatnot they can survive the fridge and still be delicious.
1. Place a few unwrapped starbursts in a microwaveable bowl and microwave until soft (7 sec. for 4/5)
2. Combine the candy with your hands (be careful, they may be VERY hot if done too long, to prevent burn coat your hands with Crisco, the Crisco will also reduce sticking.)
3. roll the candies together to 1/8-inch thickness (size of penny)
4. use your leaf cutter or small football cookie cutter and punch out as many as you can get.
6. Make a crease down the center of cach leave with the back of a paring knife and pinch one end.
7. Place in the hole of the apple.
1. Carefully remove a 1 1/2-inch-diameter divot in the side of 1 sugar-coated doughnut
2. Using the tines of a fork or paring knife, snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting and pipe a thin layer of frosting to cover the exposed area inside the divot.
3. Spread lightly with the back of a spoon to smooth
4. Arrange the sunflower seeds in the vanilla frosting as the apple seeds, pointed ends toward the center.
--recipe for Swiss-Meringue Buttercream--
What you need:
2 and 3/4 cups plus 3 Tbs (20 oz) of granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups (10 oz) of Egg whites, or pasteurized egg whites in liquid form
2 1/2 cups (5 sticks; 20 oz) of unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz) Pure vanilla extract
1. in the bowl of a standing mixer, thoroughly whisk together sugar and egg whites. Do not let the sugar and egg whites stand a while before you get to mixing, it could cause the sugar crystals not to break down in next step.
2. set the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture until all the sugar crystals have dissolved and the mixture is hot. Get it as hot as you can but be careful not to cook the eggs.
3. Put the bowl back in the mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Beat on high speed until the mixture forms a stiff meringue and the bottom of the bowl comes to room temperature, about 10 min.
4. Stop the mixer and replace the whip attachment with the paddle attachment.
5. Set the mixer to a low speed and add the butter, a few cubes at a time. When all the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed and beat until fluffy.
6. Set the mixer to low speed and add the vanilla. Once the vanilla is incorporated, scrape the bowl and continue to mix on medium speed until you have a smooth, creamy texture. If they buttercream is too much of a liquid, refrigerate until completely cool and stiff, then re-whip (2-4 hours/overnight).
7. You can use the buttercream immediately, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or refrigerate it in an airtight container for 10 days.
Rolling the cupcake in sugar
1. Put into a wide/shallow bowl
2. Lightly press the frosting into the sugar to coat and shape the entire surface