Look My Food's On TV!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chinese Takeout Cupcakes

Part of my job duties as a librarian is to create programs for the community to come and enjoy. Most of my programs revolve around food. You're shocked I'm sure. I'm not a children's librarian anymore and I miss doing kids programs so I do a lot of family programs. Family programs are nice because it involves the whole family and I think that the the parents enjoy it as much as the kids. In February I started a four week Hello Cupcake series. If you are familiar with Hello Cupcake then you know how darn cute the cupcakes are that Karen Tack has created for her books. I picked out four creations that gradually get more difficult. The first week were the Sweet Talk cupcakes. I didn't get any pictures. The second week were these Chinese Takeout cupcakes. Unfortunately for me no one came to make these. I ended up making them myself since I had everything ready. On the left side of the picture above is Fried Rice and to the right is Pork Lo Mein. Once you get everything cut up and ready to go these are really easy and fun to put together. I really think the kids would have enjoyed this.

Pork Lo Mein Cupcakes
from Karen Tack's Hello Cupcake books

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12 vanilla cupcakes
12-14 green fruit chews (Jolly Rancher or Tootsie Roll)
3 pink fruit chews (Jolly Rancher, Laffy Taffy, or Starburst)
1 can vanilla frosting
green and yellow food coloring
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (Hershey's)
1/2 cup dark green sprinkles
1 strand green licorice twist (Twizzler's Rainbow Twists), thinly sliced diagonally

1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. For the broccoli stems, make a lengthwise slit halfway down the center of each green fruit chew and open slightly. I used Laffy Taffy because I couldn't find Tootsie Rolls or Jolly Rancher but I think it would be cuter with Tootsie Rolls. Cut the pink Laffy Taffy into strips for the pork.

2. Tint 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting bright green with the green food coloring, spoon the frosting into a ziplock bag, press out the excess air, and seal. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting light brown with 1 drop yellow food coloring and the cocoa powder. Put the frosting in a ziplock bag, press out the excess air and seal.

3. Place the green sprinkles in a small bowl. Snip a mall corner from the bag with the green frosting. For the broccoli florets, pipe mounds of frosting on the tips of the split ends of the green fruit chews on the cookie sheet. Holding the broccoli by the stem, press the frosted end lightly into the sprinkles to cover completely; return to the cookie sheet.

4. Snip a small corner from the bag with the brown frosting. To make the lo mein noodles, pipe the frosting in an irregular pattern all over the cupcakes, piling it high and letting it hang over edges. Arrange the pink fruit chew pork slivers randomly on top of the cupcakes. Add one or two pieces of broccoli on top. For scallions, scatter a few green licorice slices on top of the cupcakes.

Fried Rice Cupcakes

12 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
2 tablespoons small light green jelly beans (Jelly Belly)
4 orange fruit chews (Starburst)
3 yellow fruit chews (Starburst or Laffy Taffy)
1 1/4 cups puffed rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
1 can vanilla frosting
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 strands green licorice twists (Twizzlers Rainbow Twists), thinly sliced diagonally

1. For the peas, cut the green jelly beans half crosswise with a small knife or clean scissors. For the carrots, cut the orange fruit chews into 1/4 inch cubes. For the scrambled egg, cut the yellow fruit chews into small strips and pinch to soften the sharp edges. For the rice, place the rice cereal in a medium bowl.

2. Tint the vanilla frosting pale beige with the cocoa powder. Spread the tops of the cupcakes with a thin layer of frosting; use about 1/2 cup of the frosting. Heat the remaining 3/4 cup frosting in a small microwavable bowl in the microwave until it has the texture of lightly whipped cream, about 15 seconds. Pour the heated frosting over the cereal, tossing to coat evenly. Reserve a few of the cut jelly beans and fruit chews for finishing and toss the rest with the cereal mixture. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture on top of each frosted cupcake, pressing down to secure. Arrange the reserved candy pieces on top of the cupcakes. For the scallions, scatter a few licorice pieces on top.

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