November 23, 2012 by another1bitesthecrust
Owls are everywhere lately and in honor of Mr. Hoo Dat who was living in the redwood tree in our backyard serenading us every night with his eerie hoots, I decided to recreate these owl cupcakes that I found on Pinterest.
These cupcakes are actually easier than they seem – the most tedious part is the almond slivers.
While the cupcakes are baking, make some buttercream icing and prepare the decorations.
Cut some orange Reese Pieces in half. I used a serrated kitchen knife and just pressed straight down to make a clean cut and take out some of the brown pieces for the pupils.
The original post says something about warming up the mini Oreos for just a few seconds that help keep the cream filling free of black crumbs. The second time I made these, I tried it and they looked much better than these ones. “Glue” the brown Reeses onto the Oreos with a dab of icing and play around with the placement of the pupils – looking up and away, looking down, cross eyed…
Place the nose, cut side down, onto the icing underneath the eyes.
Now the tedious part…try to find and separate out similar sized and shaped almond slivers. Big, long ones for the bottom feathers and smaller ones for the eye tufts. I like when you can see the dark brown almond skin, it defines the feathers and gives them some dimension.
I played around with exactly how to lay out the slivers…overlapping? Side by side? I slid the edge of them into the icing a bit to ensure that they’d stay in place better than just being placed flat on top. You can see the one on the right got pushed a little too far into the icing. Whoops! Getting the angle and placement can be tough, too, but overall it all looks good. I guess it’s a question of personal taste. When I made these a second time, I checked how they did the bottom ones on the original cupcakes, they are more straight up an down and further out to the side. They look better when you do it that way than the way I did in these photos. I wish I had taken photos to compare them…guess that means more owl cupcakes are in the the near future!
I opted not to draw the little black “v” tummy feathers that are on the original ones…I felt like there wasn’t quite enough space left for them and I had recently had some disappointing results with store-bought black piping gel bleeding some weird grayish color (the one I used for the Ladybug Cupcakes was fine, though. I can’t remember which one I used…). Now I’m better friends with Wilton’s Piping Gel than I was when I made these, so I will definitely attempt them next time I make these. The piping gel helps make the icing glide better and makes it much easier to pipe when you’re doing detailed things like writing, even with a super fine, #1 tip.
These are always a huge hit – they look really impressive and are just plain adorable. Some people the think the bottom almond feathers are teeth or feet. Maybe adding the black tummy feathers will make them look even better and people won’t be guessing what body part the almonds are meant to be!
*I recommend that you eat these within a day or so. I have noticed that the coating of the Reeses Pieces can react a bit to the icing – the brown pupils get a little white-ish and dry looking and the orange noses puff out and bleed a bit. Very weird…