Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vultures  

MAKES 6 SCAVENGER CUPCAKES AND 6 ROCKS; 12 SERVINGS  Let’s pick up dinner at that new place out on the highway! These squirm- worthy Halloween treats are crafted from a cupcake and a mini doughnut covered in frosting, with a doughnut hole dipped in melted pink frosting for the creepy bald head. VULTURES 

can (16 ounces) dark chocolate frosting 
chocolate cupcakes baked in black paper liners (see Sources) 
chocolate-frosted mini doughnuts 
plain doughnut holes (Munchkins) 
12 thin chocolate cookies (Famous Chocolate Wafers) 
12 yellow banana-shaped hard candies (Runts) 
Black and neon pink food coloring (McCormick) 
cup canned vanilla frosting 
12 mini chocolate chips (Nestlé) 
tablespoon chocolate sprinkles 

 1.Spread some of the dark chocolate frosting on top of one of the cupcakes and place a mini doughnut on top, close to one edge. At- tach a doughnut hole on top of the mini doughnut with more of the frosting. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. 2.For the vulture tails, using a serrated knife and angling it slightly inward from top to bottom, cut ½ inch from opposite sides of 6 of the cookies. For the wings, cut the remaining 6 cookies in half and round one corner. For the feet, cut 6 of the banana-shaped candies in half. 3.Tint the remaining chocolate frosting black with the food coloring. Spoon ½ cup of the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting pink with the pink food coloring. Microwave the pink frosting in a small microwavable bowl, stirring frequently, until it has the texture of lightly whipped cream, 10 to 20 seconds. Holding a chilled cup- cake by the liner, dip just the doughnut hole into the pink frosting to cover completely, allowing the excess frosting to drip back into the bowl. Turn right side up and set aside. Repeat with the remain- ing cupcakes. 4.Spread some of the black frosting over each cupcake and mini doughnut, up to the pink doughnut hole. Starting at an outside edge of the cupcake, make spikes by using a fork to gently pull the frost- ing away from the cupcake. Continue with overlapping rows, ending at the base of the pink doughnut hole. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes. 5.Attach a cookie wing on each side of the cupcake, rounded corner up and cut edges facing forward. Press the narrow end of the tail cookie into the frosting on the back of the cupcake, allowing it to hang over about 1 inch. Snip a small (⅛-inch) corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. For the chest feathers, pipe overlapping rows of vanilla frosting on the front of the cupcake under the pink doughnut hole, using the squeeze-release-pull technique (see [>]). For the eyes, pipe 2 dots of vanilla frosting on the pink doughnut hole. Attach a mini chocolate chip, flat side out, to the frosting for each pupil. Use tweezers to add a chocolate sprinkle above each mini chip for the eyebrows. Press a pointed end of a whole banana candy into the doughnut hole head for the beak. For the feet, attach 2 cut banana candy pieces to the paper liner at the base of the cupcake with some chocolate frosting, cut sides in.  ROCKS 

anisette toasts (Stella D’oro) 
pretzel twists (Bachman) 
¾ cup canned vanilla frosting 
Black food coloring (McCormick) 
1½ cups canned chocolate frosting 
chocolate cupcakes baked in black paper liners (see Sources)
cup chocolate cookie crumbs (Oreos, Famous Chocolate Wafers) 
 1.Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and place a wire rack on top. 
Break the anisette toasts into random 2-inch pieces. Break the pret- zels into random large pieces. Tint the vanilla frosting gray with a drop of black food coloring. 2.Microwave ½ cup of the chocolate frosting in a small microwav- 
able bowl, stirring frequently, until it has the texture of lightly whipped cream, 5 to 10 seconds. Dip the broken pretzels into the frosting to cover completely. Remove from the frosting with a fork, allowing the excess frosting to drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining pieces of pretzel. Refrig- erate until set, about 20 minutes. 
3.Spread the remaining chocolate frosting on top of the cupcakes 
and smooth. Microwave the gray frosting in a small microwavable bowl, stirring frequently, until it has the texture of lightly whipped cream, 10 to 15 seconds. Dip the broken cookies into the gray frost- ing to cover completely. Remove from the frosting with a fork, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Transfer several pieces to the tops of the cupcakes, pressing into the frosting to se- cure (place any extra around the cupcakes). Let stand 15 minutes to set. 4.Sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes, around the cookie rocks, with 
the chocolate cookie crumbs to look like dirt. Insert several pieces of pretzel on top of the cupcakes to look like branches. Serve with the vultures.
Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My!
By Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

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