One of the desserts I served at the party were these Graveyard Cupcakes. The cool thing about these is that this decoration method can basically be applied to any cupcake/frosting recipe of your choice. All you need are some chocolate cookie crumbs and the tombstone cookies. I ended up making two types of cupcakes: pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and chocolate peanut butter cup cupcakes with peanut butter frosting (recipe below).
I wanted the tombstone cookies to look gray like stone, so I thought to make a black sesame shortbread cookie decorated with a bit of melted chocolate. And to make them easier to prepare, I sliced them from a log rather than cut them all out individually. I was also inspired by those kiddy crafts that use cookie crumbs as dirt, like potted flower cakes or dirt & worms. It turned out quite well with these cupcakes.
Graveyard Cupcakesyour favorite cupcake recipe
your favorite frosting recipe
chocolate cookies (like from Oreos)
Tombstone cookies (recipe below)
Frost all the cupcakes. Finely crush the chocolate cookies to make the "dirt." Thoroughly cover the middle of the cupcake with the cookie crumbs. Use a knife to cut a slit in the center each cupcake's top to make it easier to insert the cookie. Insert the tombstone cookies. Cover the edges of the cupcake top with crumbs, turning the cupcake to thoroughly cover all the frosted areas.
Tombstone Cookiesadapted from Dodol & Mochi
3/4 cup flour
7 tbsp black sesame powder
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
Mix the black sesame powder together with the flour. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and butter together. Add the sesame/flour mixture. Mix until a dough forms. Gather the dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a long log. Flatten the bottom and two vertical sides of the log to form a rectangular prism with a rounded top. Wrap the dough up in the plastic wrap and refrigerate till firm, about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a knife to cut the "log" into 1/8-inch thick tombstone-shaped cookies and place them onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms and edges are slightly golden. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move them to a rack to finish cooling.
To decorate, first melt the chocolate. Then, use a toothpick to write out "R.I.P." on each cookie.
[Note: I decorated two types of cupcake. The first was a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcake recipe I posted about last year. The second was a PB & Chocolate Cupcake recipe; I've posted about both the cupcake and the frosting before, but I'm reposting them a few alterations.]
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakesadapted from kmdpaolo & yogi @ food.com
Chocolate PB Cup Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp vinegar
12 miniature peanut butter cups
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup peanut butter
5 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1-3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place sugar, salt, vegetable oil, applesauce, water, vanilla, and vinegar in one bowl. In another bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly mixed. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners, and fill each cup 1/2 the way full with batter. Put a peanut butter cup in the center or each cup, and then fill the rest of the liner with batter. Place in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
Mix the peanut butter and butter together till smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time, mixing until no lumps are present. Add the milk of the frosting is too dry or too thick.