December 8, 2012 by another1bitesthecrust
Mustaches are everywhere and I’m sort of loving it.
That and, well, Movember is sort of a big deal.
So…what to do? Mustache bake sale, of course!
We had really impressive participation from the guys at work and to help them raise more money, seeing as I obviously can’t participate (aw shucks, I’ve always had facial-hair-envy…not), I decided to make mustache goodies.
A colleague of mine picked up some killer mustache cookie cutters/stamps and generously lent them to me for this project. I had seen them online and wasn’t sure how I felt about the stamp part…turns out it was the best part! More on that later.
The first thing that popped into my mind, of course, was mustache cupcakes. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to make it work, but I just love how creative and cute you can get with cupcakes and best of all, they’re individually portioned!
I popped into Michael’s to see what they had in the way of mustache baking accessories and found some candy molds so I picked up some dark brown candy melts, lollipop sticks and two trays of the molds. I also picked up some black fondant – definitely something you want to avoid having to color yourself…if available, I highly recommend just purchasing pre-colored black and red fondant. Any other color is manageable yourself.
The last thing I opted for was some sugar cookies. You just can’t go wrong with those. I made some quick dough and let it chill in the fridge.
I really struggled with how to do the cupcakes. Since I couldn’t find any cookie cutters that were small enough to fit on the cupcakes, I knew the mustaches would absolutely overwhelm them. I could make it work…but how? I thought if I could make eyes that were in proportion to the mustaches, it just may be the thing I need. My “hoo dat” cupcakes popped into my head and while the mini Oreos were too small for what I needed now, I determined that I could use the same idea of using a brown Reeses Pieces or M&M as the pupil stuck to a large round and flat candy.
Scanning my counter tops trying to think of something my eyes landed on the candy melts and AHA! White candy melts, brown Reeses and voila..large eyes! I popped out to Michael’s (again) and picked up some white candy melts. Candy melts are flat on one side and slightly domed on the other, so I opted to place the rounded side down against the cupcake and have the flat side facing up. I had some buttercream to frost the cupcakes with so I “glued” the Reeses onto the white candy melt to make the pupil.
It’s fun to place them in various places, not just in the middle, so that you can have the eyes looking up, to one side, crossed eyed, googly-eyed…it just gives them more character!
I rolled the black fondant out and proceeded to cut out the mustache shapes with the cookie cutters. Fondant can get pretty malleable when you’re working with it, so I actually let it sit for a few minutes after I cut them out so that as I tried to lift the cut outs off the pastry mat they wouldn’t stretch or squish too much.
On the backside of the cookie cutters are some stamps to give the mustache some texture, so I pressed them into the fondant. The beauty of stamping fondant is that it keeps its shape so the imprints stay clean and sharp.
While fondant is malleable at first, it can harden if left out for a while. In this case, this is a good thing. Since the mustaches were so much wider than the cupcakes, I knew that fresh fondant would droop down and I just didn’t want that. So I made the fondant mustaches a good three days before I even put them onto the cupcakes so that they would harden enough to lay straight and rigid.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I took the cookie dough out of the fridge and rolled it out to a decent thickness. I didn’t realize, though, how much pressure I put on the dough when I stamped it with the back of the cookie cutter, therefore flattening the cookie. (time to lay off the gym…if only!) This made for slightly harder cookies than I wanted, so I suggest that you roll out the dough thicker than usual so that the stamped cookies end up being the perfect thickness. Unlike the fondant, though, the imprints expanded with the dough in the oven and came out much less defined. They were still cute and delicious, though!
For the lollipops, I melted the candy melts in a disposable piping bag. I’m not usually a fan of disposable things, I hate waste, but honestly…cleaning icing or melted chocolate out of a piping bag is about as fun and easy and cleaning sharpie off well…anything). Then I snipped the tip of the bag off and piped them into the molds. It says to pipe about halfway, and then tap the mold on the counter a few times to get the air bubbles out, then fill the molds and tap again. I added the lollipop stick in after I tapped out the first set of bubbles. About 15 minutes in the fridge and the mustache lollipops were solid, shiny and glorious!
The night before the bake sale, I finally got to the meat of the project and began to assemble the cupcakes, whose character and charm I was beginning to grow quite fond of. I frosted them with a white frosting then laid the mustaches flat across the top, with the top of the mustache (where the nose would be) pretty much dead center in the cupcake. Then I took my eyeballs and pressed them into the frosting, almost touching the mustaches.
These were super quick and easy to assemble, but it occurred to me after the very first cupcake that they were not going to be easy to transport assembled – the mustaches were sticking out way too much for them to comfortably and safely fit in a carrier so I packed up all the decorations and assembled them on-site at work.
All in all we raised over $250 for a great cause, and as always for me, knowing that the fun projects I attempt in the kitchen bring a smile to someone’s face (or a mustache lollipop to their face…?) makes it all worth it.