November 19th is the release date of the first half of the final Harry Potter movie, which is sure to be a very dramatic ending to a wonderful series. In honor of this great movie series I have decided to collect a series of recipes with inspiration drawn from a few of the movies. The first stop is of course where it all started, The Sorcerer's Stone, and the owl's that helped to bring young Harry Potter back into the world of magic.
It's been some time ago that I had received the book hello, cupcake! and upon looking through it I had found directions for decorating cupcakes to look like owl's. The book does a wonderful job of explaining how to decorate these little pieces of art. Now there is a bit of a funny story to why I only have a photo of three cupcakes. You see while I was separating the Oreo's to make the eye's I was finding that there was plenty of rejects, well instead of setting them aside to eat later I went ahead and gobbled them down. This turned out to be a big mistake and after making only three cupcakes I had managed to consume a dozen or more cookies and quickly became sick to my stomach. On that note, be sure to have plenty of extra Oreo's on hand as you will be surprised at how many will not separate cleanly.
12 standard chocolate cupcakes bake in brown paper liners (I used banana bread muffins for something different)
24 mini chocolate cupcakes baked in brown paper liners
24 chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies (Oreo's)
48 mini chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies (Mini Oreo's)
2 Tbsp. vanilla frosting
2 cans (16 ounces each) chocolate frosting
12 banana-shaped hard candies (Runts)
24 yellow chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
24 mini chocolate-covered mints (Junior Mints)
48 brown mini candy-coated chocolates (M&M's Minis)
1. Microwave a few regular and mini cream-filled sandwich cookies at a time for several seconds (this will help keep the cream filling on one half when you separate the cookies). Be careful no to microwave the cookies for too long, or the filling will melt. Immediately twist each sandwich cookie apart so that you have a cream-covered side and a plain cookie side. Use a paring knife to remove any excess crumbs from the cream filling. Continue until all the cookies have been separated.
2. Using a serrated knife, make 2 parallel cuts 1/2 inch in from the edge on each regular plain cookie half. The 2 outside pieces with the rounded edges will be used for the ears on the mama owls. Cut the mini plain cookie in half.
3. Spoon the vanilla frosting and 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate frosting into separate zip-lock bags, press out the excess air, seal, and set aside. Spread the remaining chocolate frosting on top of the cupcakes and smooth.
4 Using a little chocolate frosting, attach 2 of the larch ear pieces, rounded sides in and about 1 1/2 inches apart, on top of each of the 12 standard cupcakes. Angle the ears slightly away from each other and allow them to extend about 3/4 inch beyond the edge of the cupcake. Repeat the process with the mini cookies and the mini cupcakes, placing the ears about 1/2 inch apart and allowing a 1/2-inch overhang.
5. Place 2 regular cream-sided cookie halves, cream side up, on the upper half of each standard cupcake to make the eyes. Do the same with the mini cream sided cookie halves and the mini cupcakes.
6. Snip a 1/8 inch corner from the bags with the chocolate and vanilla frosting. Pipe lines of chocolate frosting along the length of the cookie ears to cover. Starting with the edge at the top of the cupcake, pipe the feathers with the chocolate frosting using the squeeze-and-pull fur technique(Page 15 of the book). Work inward from the edge in slightly overlapping rows until the section above the eyes is covered. On the standard cupcakes, pipe a few feathers on the edge just below each eye. On the mini cupcakes, pipe several small feathers along the edge beside each eye.
7. Press a yellow candy in the middle of each cupcake to make the beak: the banana-shaped candies on the standard cupcakes, the sunflower seeds on the mini cupcakes.(I used some yellow writing frosting and used it to fill in a nose shape) Use a dot of vanilla frosting on the cream of each cookie to attach a chocolate-covered mint to the eyes on the standard cupcakes and a brown chocolate candy to the eyes on the mini cupcakes,. Place the eyes in different positions to give the owls character. Using the vanilla frosting, pip a whit highlight on each eye.