When it comes to Halloween treats, the sky's the limit! When you've got your pick of candy, caramel apples, decorated cookies, candy corn, even pumpkin Krispie Treats, how can you even begin to choose what sugar fix to bake up to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year? Well, for me, cupcakes are always a clear winner.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 stick ( 1/4 lb.) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- assorted food coloring
- assorted tubes icing in various colors
- assorted candy, such as licorice string, mini and regular M&M's, mini marshmallows, jellybeans, and gummy candies
- Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin (or mini-cupcake tin) with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition.
- Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full. Bake until tops are springy to touch, 20 to 25 minutes (about 10 minutes for mini cupcakes). Cool in tin on wire rack. (Cupcakes can be made to this point and kept, in an airtight container, for 1 day.)
- Make frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and shortening for about 2 minutes. Slowly beat in confectioners' sugar a little bit at a time. Beat in vanilla and salt, and continue beating for another minute until well combined. (Frosting can be made up to 1 week ahead; refrigerate in an airtight container and beat again before using.)
- Divide frosting among separate containers for each color you wish to use, and add food coloring; leave some uncolored if desired. Frost cupcakes with an icing spatula.
- Use assorted icing tubes to make hair, and use assorted candies to make faces.
Image via kinwart/Flickr