Cookie Monster Cupcakes

I love cupcakes, and I love cookie monster so why not make cookie monster cupcakes? I made these because I wanted to try something new and it doubled as a birthday gift, so why not?!

What you’ll need:

1 box of cake mix (Betty Crocker never lets me down)

2 cans of ready made vanilla frosting

Blue Food Coloring

Vanilla Candy Melts

Oreos (cut in half to make the mouth)

Chocolate Chips

Mini Chips Ahoy (I used the ready to go cup! Worked out great because I used most of them.)

Wilton #233 tip

These were surprisingly painless! Don’t let the frosting fool you; the tip does all of the work for you. After baking the cupcakes and waiting until they are completely cooled, you’re ready to frost! Using a piping bag, your wilton tip, and a couplet never hurts, you will frost the cupcakes. Alls you’re creating is a grass like texture to represent cookie monsters hair.

Once the cupcakes are frosted you’re half way there! Take a couple chocolate chips, dab some frosting on the back of them, and then stick it onto the BACK SIDE (flat side) of the candy melt. On some of the cupcakes, I placed the eyes so they looked like googely eyes to add some fun effect. Next carefully place onto the cupcakes.

Now, take an oreo, cut it in half, and only use one side to stick onto the cupcake as the mouth. If you use both sides of the oreo it might not stay as well.

In the last step you will take the mini chips ahoy, agin dab some frosting on the back, and stick onto the oreo mouth.

Many cookie monster cupcakes are much more complicated than this, and while mine didn’t come out perfect, I thought they were pretty darn cute! Hope you enjoy!

Heres a picture of the cupcake that was my guideline:

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The end result:

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Homemade Tamales

Last weekend I blogged about my dad’s side of the families annual tradition of making peanut brittle and this weekend it was my moms side of the family’s tamale making tradition. I’m definitely a diverse individual if you couldn’t already tell. (Haha)

While, I don’t have a recipe for the tamales as there is too many steps involved, I figured I would share some pictures of our tradition.

This tradition was created by my grandma and it has been kept alive by my mom and aunt. My grandma watches from the couch now ( I think I want her job). Every Christmas Eve is spent at my grandparents house eating tamales, beans, and rice so a couple weekends before Christmas the tamale process begins, which is about 2 full days.

The first step is making the chile. Whole chiles are bought and all night is spent cleaning each chile individually, taking out the seeds, and then cleaning them. From there fresh chile is made adding spices like cumin and blending everything together to its perfect consistency. (Trust me when I say it’s a much longer process than these 2 sentences)

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We make 3 types of tamales: chicken, beef, and chile and cheese. After the chicken and beef are cooked and shredded the assembly can begin. The masa (Spanish dough) is spiced up with the homemade chile and so we begin.

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We take the oja (cornhusk) which is used to wrap the tamales. (The picture below is them soaking in warm water to make sure they are clean. They are drained and dried before we fill them) First, we feel for the soft side of the oja. This is the side that you want to spread the masa on.

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Leaving an inch or two at the top and bottom the masa is spread evenly. We then add the meat or cheese. For the meat we add 2 olives, and a spoonful of chile. For the cheese ones we add 2 slices of pepper jack, jalapeños, and a spoonful of chile.

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Then you can fold them up. By folding each side of the oja, folding the bottom tip of the oja, and pinching the top, you have created a tamale! (The extremely condensed version)

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I love this family tradition because it brings everyone together and each year I have a greater respect for the hard work and time that my mom and aunt put into this. After roughly 5 hours of nonstop spreading masa, and 24 dozen tamales later, I still have to wait another week and a half to eat them!