Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eye Spy...

So, how was everyone's Hallowe'en?? Like last year, we didn't get many kids at our door last night - our area is pretty new still and being that we're surrounded by a forest it's not like we're exactly a suburban hotspot. It's nice to have it quiet sometimes, but for Halloween, well, it sucks.

That's what school's for, I guess! To continue on from yesterday's roundup of bake sale stuff, today I'm showing you some eye candy! Oh yes, let the cheesiness begin... you see, these really are eye-shaped candies that I made for some delicious chocolate cupcakes!

When I was making my choices for my bakesale contributions, I knew that fun decorations would be playing a major role in their selling factor. And what's easier to make festive than good old fashioned cupcakes? I settled on a variation of these rich chocolate-buttermilk cupcakes made by Baking Bites for the cake before going hog-wild with the frostings... out came the icing sugar, corn syrup and food colouring for a thick, super-easy (and vegan!) royal icing. I piped out "buttons" of the sugary goo onto wax paper and topped each one with a jumbo chocolate chip for a pupil. Twelve hours later, they were rock hard and shiny, perfect for perching on top of their buttercream mountains!

Speaking of buttercream, these guys had a secret inside too - a mixture of my grandma's homemade raspberry jam and my buttercream frosting! I used my handy-dandy Bismark filler tip and stuffed the cupcakes to the brim before hiding the holes with the vanilla frosting. I put the "eye candy" on top of that and then used a store-bought gel decorator frosting to do the "bloodshot" effect. It took me a good 3 hours start to finish for the 20-odd cakes, but I think it was worth it... what do you think??

"Eye Candy"
Makes 30
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp soy milk
2 tsp corn syrup
food colouring of choice (I did green and yellow to get the "icky" colour)
30 jumbo, non-dairy chocolate chips
  1. Combine sugar, milk and corn syrup in a bowl, whisking smooth.
  2. Add food colouring and milk as needed for a thick but "pipable" consistency.
  3. Place into a piping bag or ziploc with a tiny hole in the corner snipped off.
  4. Pipe 30 "buttons" on a sheet of waxed paper.
  5. Immediately place a chocolate chip on the centre of each button and allow to harden 12-24 hours.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 19.2
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.9 mg
Total Carbs: 4.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.0 g

I really only lightly used BB's recipe for these cupcakes... I swapped canola oil and applesauce in for the melted butter, and added spelt flour, honey, and instant coffee powder too. With caffeine from both cocoa and the coffee, not to mention the sugar high, what better name to give this recipe?

Rich Red-Eye Cupcakes
Makes 18
3/4 cup flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp honey
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners, or grease well.
  2. Whisk together flours, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. Pour in the rest of the ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes in tins before turning out and cooling completely on a wire rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 130.8
Total Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.5 mg
Sodium: 15.4 mg
Total Carbs: 24.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 2.4 g

... and after all this sugary blood business, I even went to donate blood today! I tried to, at any rate, but the vampires didn't want my blood - seems my pulse is too low for their liking (okay, at 40bpm instead of the normal 80, it's a little low for my liking too - and my temperature is a full 2 degrees C below normal! Off to another appointment, I guess...). I did learn today that regular blood donations prevent stroke though, so if you have other risk factors, go stick a needle in your arm! Erm, safely, of course...

And you still can't keep me out of the kitchen, since I have not only more bakesale stuff to share (one more batch of cookies, caramel apples and mini pies!), but a friend's cheesecake, a batch of buttermilk - herb biscuits and a pesto - swirled loaf of bread to show you all!