Hello friends! I’ve been waiting so long to get back to blogging, and looking forward to spending some more time in my kitchen at home. Between last spring and now I’ve been a little busy with the daily routine and well…getting married! There’s so much to share about all of the amazing foods and coffee we enjoyed out on the west coast during our honeymoon, but this week is all about Halloween and Fall. Sadly, as a post-college, pre-child adult the opportunities to really celebrate Halloween are a little limited, especially when it falls on a Wednesday, so I’ve decided to have my own little celebration here.
Of course, you don’t need to be throwing a Halloween party or expecting Trick-or-treaters to make a batch of Zombie cupcakes. You can make them in any flavor you like, preferably with a light colored frosting. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Pumpkin Cake and whipped up a batch of Browned Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The recipe posted on Martha’s website makes 18 cupcakes, cooked for 10 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. My recipe for the frosting is:
Browned Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream (a long title for not that complicated of a frosting)
12 Tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter + 4 Tablespoons (2 oz)
2 egg whites (large or extra large)
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red food coloring ONE DROP
In a small pot on medium heat melt the first 12 Tablespoons of butter, and let cook until it reaches a dark golden brown/light caramel color. Don’t be alarmed, it will bubble up. There’s a fine line between browned and burnt, so give it your full attention. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely. I like to do this step before mixing and baking the cupcakes, just to make sure it’s cool enough.
Fill a small or medium pot with a couple of inches of water and bring up to a simmer. In the metal bowl of your stand mixer whisk together the egg whites and granulated sugar. Put the bowl over the simmering water bath and whisk constantly until the whites are warm and the sugar is completely dissolved. At this point you can put the bowl back on the mixer and whip the egg whites until they’ve at least doubled in volume, hold a peak, and the bowl has cooled off.
Next stream in the cool browned butter, while the eggs continue to whip. Once all of the melted butter is incorporated add the final 4 Tablespoons of room temperature butter. Next add the Confectioner’s sugar in two parts, followed by the vanilla extract. Scrape down the inside of the bowl regularly. Finally add one drop, and one drop only, of red food coloring for the fleshy brain coloring.
To frost the cupcakes, use a small spatula to spread a flat layer of frosting. Fit a piping bag with a small round tip (I used an Ateco #6) and fill it with some of the frosting. Pipe a line down the center of the cupcake, then back down towards the beginning with squiggly zig-zagging lines. Repeat on the other half of the cupcake for the other half of the brain.
For the cupcake wrappers you’ll need some regular white card stock, scissors and scotch tape. Just print out the attached zombie wrappers, cut them out, and tape one end over the other. Brains for everyone!!!! (Everyone wearing a costume that is.)