More Halloween treats!
After helping out with the Halloween cookies, the kids and me also made these Chocolate Cupcakes with Creepy Crawlers for our Halloween party on Saturday. It seems like this holiday goes on for a couple of weeks, week before with all the baking (and eating), and then the week after with consuming those candy stashes. I feel like I need to run extra long and far from October through January!
Speaking of candy, here’s a link listing gluten free and dairy (casein) free candy…
Soy Free GCF Candy
Halloween is the official beginning of THE holidays, don’t you think? You know, the ones that require a New year’s resolution involving weight loss among the top priorities. Well there is not getting around it, I mean, we are going to eat! We just need to eat healthier.
My frosting for these cupcakes is a favorite of mine. It’s Chef Thomas Keller’s recipe from his Ad Hoc cookbook. He is the ultimate culinary guy I look way up to. The man is full of passion for food. Speaking of Chef Keller, my oldest son, who is in college in NYC surprised me with a package on Friday. I’m wondering what the heck is in this Amazon box and thought this must be the neighbors. So my sweet son of mine sent me Thomas Keller’s just released cookbook, Bouchon Bakery, as a surprise gift! I was beyond elated, BEYOND! I had to bathe the twins, but couldn’t help flipping through the cookbook, thinking about all the allergen free baked treats on their way.
Okay, I know, I’m getting off topic here. Sorry, his books are like masterpieces to me.
Getting back to creepy crawler cupcakes. I love this meringue frosting because there is no fat from a butter substitute, which makes it so light and marshmallow fluffy. I used an egg for the cupcakes, but you can definitely substitute with a mashed banana or applesauce. I have in the past, and it’s just as good.
Though most of what I make is from scratch, it certainly helps to have a cake mix or two in the pantry for a quick bake. Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Cake Mix is always a sure hit. We had so much fun with these! I love when the boys participate in the kitchen. It gives them an opportunity to work on their math skills. They even helped pipe the frosting!
Hope you enjoy these cute little cupcakes…enjoy!
I also included a link that lists gluten free/dairy (casein) free candy as a reference should you need it… http://gfcfdiet.com/chocolatecandy.htm#Soy%20Free%20&%20GFCF%20Candy
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 package Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Cake Mix (follow baking instructions on back)
For the Meringue Frosting:
You will need a candy thermometer
1 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon water
3 large egg whites, room temperature
3 tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted (I use Pernigotti brand)
For little spiders:
All gluten free and dairy free
16 black gumdrops (whole foods brand) dye free
32 black Jelly Belly jellybeans (not dye free)
3 long gluten free red candy strings, cut into 1 inch pieces (not dye free)
Cut off half of the gumdrop. With a wooden skewer, drill 4 small holes on each side of the gumdrop, insert small cut pieces of red candy strings for legs. Press 2 black jelly belly’s into the gumdrop for eyes.
Bake the chocolate cake mix as directed.
These smell so amazing!
For the worm cupcakes:
64 sour worms (whole foods brand, dye free)
Stick halfway into the frosting in various spots.
For monster cupcakes:
1/4 package mini marshmallows (Elyon brand)
16 jawbreakers (not dye free)
6 cherry sourbelts, cut into 2 inch lengths (not dye free)
16 orange gumdrops (whole foods brand) dye free
2-3 tablespoons of chocolate chips, melted (Enjoy chips brand)
Preparation of frosting:
Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and the water in a small saucepan, heat over medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the inside of the saucepan, and stir to dissolve. When the mixture reaches 220 degrees F it is ready for the stand mixer.
Meanwhile, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium speed until it begins to look very foamy, then gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons PLUS 1 teaspoon sugar. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft white peaks are formed.
At this point check to see if your sugar has cooled. If the temperature cooled, turn heat back on to high until it comes back up to 220 degrees F.
When it is at a soft peak stage resembling marshmallow fluff, slowly add the hot sugar syrup along the edge of the mixer, avoiding the whisk. Make sure not to pour on whisk or the meringue will deflate.
Add the cocoa powder and continue to whisk on high until the bowl has cooled, about 5-8 minutes. Refrigerate for 5 minutes before transferring to a piping bag with a plain tip attached.
Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes along the edges then center by pumping frosting out as you keep the tip in the center gently lifting it up to get a multi-layer look.
Decorate as you like. I made a few of each kind. The spider ones were my favorite. The twins liked the worm cupcakes. Let me know which one is your favorite!
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