IT WAS A MASSACRE. THERE WERE PENGUIN PARTS EVERYWHERE. I WAS SAWING THROUGH THEIR WINGS. Oh the humanity.
Okay maybe it wasn't EXACTLY like that, but that's what it felt like on Sunday morning as i tried to quickly (I was about 1.5 hrs late to my dinner party, lalala) assemble my Oreo penguins on top of my cookies and cream cupcakes. Penguin body (face?) parts all over the place.
I actually made a list a few months ago of cupcakes I wanted to try to bake and I have baked almost all of them! The only one missing is those darn tres leches cupcakes i never find time to make. What I was able to scratch off the list this weekend were Oreo Cookies and Cream Cupcakes. I'm not sure why i wanted to try and make them since i don't actually even like Oreos that much ... however i saw a link on Cupcakes Take the Cake last month for these ADORABLE cupcakes that called for Oreo penguins as decoration. Which meant i had to take it up a notch, of course. And lose the coconut. Cuz i don't like coconut flakes.
I spent about a week looking up recipes and studying how different bakers/bloggers constructed their cookies and cream cupcakes. In the end i decided to make mine a little like my smores cupcakes and to bust out my corer. God, how I love that little green thing.
Oreo Cookie Crust
12 oreo cookies
1/2 a stick of butter
zip lock bag
I don't think i need too many directions for this one. You can see below what to do to the cookies.
Then add melted butter to the bowl and mash together until it's workable.
Put a tablespoon into a lined muffin pan. Then smush it down with a spoon to make an even crust.
Pop them in the oven for 7 minutes and then set aside to cool.
(Makes 20 when you have a thick oreo crust at the bottom, if not probably around 16-18. Bake at 325*)
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
2 large eggs at room temp
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
2.5 vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
I adapted this recipe from here. I ended up changing it because i did not have real vanilla beans. And so that kind of changed the order of how i had to bake things... so it ended up being a bit watery. I mean it was still good, but i kind of wished i had chosen another recipe -- or at least been able to follow it step by step. So i won't post what i did here. Next time, ill have some changes for sure. They baked up a little like hills LOL. >.< oops? Still edible and yummy though.
Once your vanilla cupcakes are out of the oven and they have had time to cool it is time to core the suckers. I love doing it. Save the tops though! You need to be able to cover the holes.
And i am not going to tell you whether or not i ate the rest of the middles or i threw them away. Either answer is a bit deplorable.
Next you make that Oreo filling
1 stick butter
1/2 stick cream cheese
1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 crushed oreos
Cream butter, cream cheese and whipping cream together. Add the vanilla, and then the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Then comes the fun part. Throw in the crushed oreos. It looks like this. Haha. It's like dirt.
Just fold them in carefully and evenly and you are good to go. I threw them in a ziplock and snipped the edge so that i could pipe them in. No tip required.
These cupcakes were just busting out with oreo goodness, weren't they? And i might have spilled powdered sugar everywhere at one point. Oops. (Don't forget to cover them with the tops of the cored centers again!)
To frost the tops I used the recipe below.
1 8 oz jar of Marshamallow fluff
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Beat butter and marshmallow fluff. Add powdered sugar. Add whipping cream IF necessary. It's SUPER effing cold in my house right now, so i had to use whipping cream in both my frostings to get them to do anything. Even if i leave out the butter and eggs for hours, things are still not "room temp". They're cold as penguins. The whipping cream helped to make both fluffier.
Now there is an easy way to finish these cupcakes. And that is to garnish them with an oreo on top.Cute huh?
Two seconds, easy peasy and call it a day. Looks adorable with my black and white spotted liners.
And that's totally what i did with the last eight. But first i had to struggle with making 12 penguins. And by struggle i just mean it took me longer than i thought it would. And i was late. And hadn't showered, and i wasn't dressed and i hadn't worked out. AND worst of all, i had forgotten to buy heart sprinkles like i had wanted to. I had wanted to make some girls too :(
Any left over marshmallow fluff frosting
Wilton Brand Eyes
* Normal people will need one oreo cookie per penguin they make. People like me need a whole freaking package for this endeavor. Okay fine, two packages total. Actually i suggest you try and do this part first. Because the things you mess up you can use for your crumbs. I ended up throwing away a lot of Oreo parts instead because every time i touched an Oreo it would just CRUMBLE in my hands. I BROKE SO MANY WINGS. Stupid cookies.
One of the hardest part was twisting that cookie and having the cream stay on only one side. It took forever. Most because it takes more thank skill. It takes coordination. Finesse. Steady hands. I have none of those. But i got it done.
But guess what? The cookies aren't that clean. You still get left with some chocolate on the cream. So i tried to fix that a little by putting a dollop of the marshmallow fluff frosting over the cream and spreading it out in order to hide as many imperfections as possible.
Then i added the eyes. Not 100% white but it certainly helped i think. The eyes (by Wilton) you can find at Target, Wal-Mart, Michaels, etc. They're a little pricey but i am glad i did not have to worry about making eyes from scratch.
Next were the beaks. Funny story about the beaks. When i finally made it to my dinner party and someone asked me what the beaks were my response was a somewhat frazzled "mother effing Starbursts!". This was because I was mentally transported back to kitchen - frantically microwaving Starbursts and smashing them into pliable strips that were not too hot or too cold while trying to text message "IM SORRY IM GOING TO BE SO LATE, I HAVE A FLOCK OF FACELESS PENGUINS TO CONTEND WITH OKAY????"
As illustrated in the picture below, you take an orange starburst (left) and put it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Then when its warm with super clean hands and a rolling pin you flatten it out so you can cut it with a knife. The middle picture is what a cut strip looks like. You cut a triangle (right) and use that as a beak. And you do this SUPER fast before it gets too hard.
That ladies and gentleman, is why its a mother effing starburst of a nose.
Lastly, your penguin needs wings. This is where most of the massacre happened i admit. Okay maybe i broke a few faces. But mostly it was their wings. Have you ever TRIED to cut an oreo with a knife before?
They break in 45 ways. About 45 times. And then maybe you get ONE wing. As you can see i have a large pile of broken cookies on my (side note: isnt it so CUTE?) apple cutting board. Try to cut them in half, and then cut off about the top 1/3 of one half. That's a good size for wings.
It was an ordeal. And then, THEN i was ready to make my penguins have a photoshoot.
Yes. I made my cupcakes have a photoshoot. Yes, i was late and unbathed and squishy but i still made them have a photoshoot. (If there were some notabley female penguins in this photoshoot it would have made me uber happy though... I like to imagine that the white liners were the girls, the black ones the boys though.)
And yes, i found the only holiday tissue we had laying around and I made them have a background.
I mean come ON, they kinda deserved to be in the snow right? RIGHT? They appreciated the camera in their face i think. In fact, i seem to detect somewhat of a vain strut in their silent existence, don't you think?
Okay I am lying. I dissected my friend's cupcake with the intent to give it back to her for her to eat. What ended up happening however was that i dissected it. photographed it, put it back together, stared at it for a second and told her to get another one because i was eating it. And so i did. Everything except the Oreo face because what kind of monster would eat an oreo penguin face???
Bonus story: I have a good friend who upon entering my phone number into his cell phone quite some years ago, typed in "Anna Penguin Face" because he didn't know my last name and because I genuinely like penguins. And that's they way it reamined, said friend not entirely sure of my real last name for quite a few years.