Cake made by Anna from Diary of a Ladybird
As I'm sure you have all read about already, the awesome Billy from A Table for Two and Karen from Citrus and Candy organised a picnic for the Sydney Food Blogger community a few weeks ago. There was a great turn-out, with lots of new faces as well as familiar ones, and of course there were mountains of tasty food which spanned across at least 3 picnic rugs!
We were all encouraged to bring a plate to share, and to put some effort into it as well since there were some great prizes up for grabs, including restaurant vouchers and a brand spanking new KitchenAid which was won by Anita from No Red Meat. Congrats Anita!
It was the weekend before my thesis was due so I decided to whip up something easy like cupcakes. Since Nuffnang was sponsoring the picnic one of the categories included a prize for the best blue dish. Whilst trawling the internet for some cupcake decorating ideas I came across this Cookie Monster cupcake which I thought was an awesome idea and I set out to replicate it.
It seems great minds think alike, since there were two other offerings of Cookie Monster cupcakes at the picnic (one of which was made by Sook from Nommy Nom Nom). Even though we all had the same basic idea, all the cupcakes were slightly different. I decorated mine with dessicated coconut which had been dyed blue to give it a 'furry' effect and piped dark chocolate for the eyes instead of using choc chips.
My favourite part of the cupcake though is the cookie that is shoved in Cookie Monster's mouth! If you're going to make these it's probably best to insert the cookie on the day you're going to serve them to avoid the cookies going stale as mine did. I was getting worried at the amount of blue food colouring that was going into the whole product so I skimped a bit on colouring the coconut (you can see some white flecks where the coconut didn't manage to be dyed blue), but feel free to go crazy on the blue food colouring if you want a really vivid, intense blue colour.
Cookie Monster Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
90g butter, softened
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
3 tablespoons milk
For the icing (recipe from here)
45g (2 1/2 tablespoons) flour
120ml (1/2 cup) milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
115g butter, softened
115g caster sugar
blue food colouring
White chocolate melts
Melted dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
Blue food colouring
Chocolate chip cookies
1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift flour into the mixture and mix until just incorporated. Lastly, add the milk and mix well. Divide the batter amongst the cases and smooth surface, bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes clean. Turn cakes onto a wire rack to cool.
2. For the icing, whisk the flour and milk in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens to a gluey consistency. Stir in the vanilla and set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar until it is as light as possible since you want the icing to be almost completely white so the blue colouring turns it blue instead of green. When the flour and milk mixture is completely cool, add it to the creamed butter and sugar and beat for several minutes until it looks like whipped cream. Add blue food colouring until the desired colour is obtained.
3. Pipe small circles of melted dark chocolate onto your white chocolate melts or alternatively heat the back of some dark choc chips so that they adhere to the white chocolate to make your eyes. Place some dessicated coconut into a zip-lock bag and add a few drops of blue food colouring. Seal the bag and using your fingers mix the coconut around with the food colouring until the coconut is coated in the colour. Add more food colouring if desired.
4. To decorate your cupcakes to look like Cookie Monster, ice your cupcakes with a good amount of icing so you have enough depth to stick the eyes and cookies into the icing layer. Place the blue coconut into a small bowl or plate and roll the iced cupcakes into the coconut until the outside is completely covered in coconut 'fur'. Insert the eyes into the icing layer and cut small choc chip cookies in half and put them where Cookie Monster's mouth should be. These can be stored in the fridge but try to put the cookie in just before you serve it so it doesn't go stale. Enjoy!