A few of our friends just threw us the most wonderful owl-themed baby shower! I offered to make some cupcakes knowing that I could knock them out pretty quickly and it would take a burden off of their shoulders since they were already doing so much!
Here's how the cupcakes turned out:
and it may have been a little more than a few, about double this amount, but I think I overdid it a little. ;)
Anyway, the cupcakes were chocolate cake, white cake, and lemon cake with raspberry filling. And I was trying to figure out if there was a way to make it appear as though there was a little blue egg inside of each cupcake, so I decided to experiment. I mixed some blue food coloring into a portion of my white cake mix, and put it into a squeezy bottle. Here's a tip, cut the top of the squeezy bottle off so the hole is nice and large and it's easy to squeeze the batter out of.
Then using your bottle, submerge the tip into the cupcake batter. In retrospect, I should have stopped here and baked them, but since I wanted the "eggs" to look like they were floating in the center, I decided I'd put more chocolate batter on top:
but what actually happened when I did this is the chocolate batter was heavier than the blue batter, so it ended up just kind of sinking and ruining the round blue shape. When I did the same process with the white cupcakes, I didn't cover them and I think they worked better.
Fresh out of the oven...let's test the color and see:
Eh...doesn't look egg-like (again, because I smushed it with chocolate batter) but it does kinda look like a little bird shape. And it's also just kind of visually interesting because you're not expecting a little burst of color. So, I decide I'm okay with this, I adjust the white cupcakes so there's no batter on top, and Bob's your uncle! To make the lemon cupcakes with raspberry filling, I simply added lemon baking emulsion to the batter. I like the LorAnn variety, which can be found pretty readily. If you have a Hobby Lobby near you, they sell them there. Also, Amazon has them: http://www.amazon.com/LorAnn-Bakery-Emulsions-Emulsion-4-Ounce/dp/B001IZ6136
I baked them up, and then used the same squeezy bottle technique to get the raspberry filling into the center. Make sure you do this while the cupcakes are still warm and the centers are still soft. And don't overfill them, or your cupcake recipients will get a surprise of raspberry goo all over themselves.
Next, time to make the onesie cookies (in truth, my friend Renée and I made these first since they're far more time-consuming). I got a teeny tiny onesie cookie cutter that I found online, and we made a ton of little onesie cookie cutouts and put toothpicks in them. This is the same process I used to make the mini ducky cookies for the last baby shower I attended (see previous post). When the cookies cooled, I outlined them with white royal icing of a piping consistency, and then flooded them with white flood consistency frosting. Voila!
After these have had a chance to dry, we applied some little owl pics that I printed out with my handy-dandy food printer (LOVE IT). To attach them, I used the technique I learned when I did the Red Sox cookies a month or so ago, and mixed up a little meringue powder and water and use as a "glue". In this case, the pictures were SO small, I glued the back and then brushed the mixture over them too, so try to get them to lay flat.
Say hello to my little friend...(go ahead, use the Italian accent when you read it to yourself, you know you want to...)
And repeat, and repeat, and repeat:
And a few different varieties to distinguish between various flavors, maybe?
So, the cupcakes are frosted, dusted with some blue food coloring courtesy of my Kopycake airbrush machine, and then finally a little blue disco dust! Did you notice? So pretty...twinkly, even.
Disco dust is some pretty special stuff, and probably deserves it's own blog post. You can find it all over the internet (here's one: http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/TBK-Disco-Dust.aspx) or if you're lucky enough to have a quality cake supply store near you, they should have some too.
In the end, the dessert table was cute! And how adorable are those little owl jars full of candy? They were prizes for shower games! Luckily there was an extra one for me to take home, I would have been jealous of all of the winners!