Treat a class full of budding paleontologists to a bunch of cupcakes topped with colossal brachiosaurus cookies and dinosaur eggs. The gingerbread cookie that adorns each cupcake is cut out with a large dinosaur-shaped cutter, then pressed onto a lollipop stick before it’s baked. You could also use any other animal or insect cookie cutters (they come in all shapes and sizes), and omit the candy eggs.
- Yield: 24
- 24 One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts
- 24 rolled-paper lollipop sticks (4-inch)
- Orange and brown gel-paste food colors
- Green gummy candy, such as Swedish fish
- 72 candy-coated chocolate eggs
- Make gingerbread cookie cutouts, using a 5- to 7-inch dinosaur-shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes, and placing a lollipop stick under each shape, in the center (press lightly to adhere), before chilling and baking as directed.
- Using gel-paste food colors, tint 1 cup buttercream pale orange, ½ cup deep orange, and the remaining pale brown. Transfer pale orange buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip, and dark orange to a pastry bag fitted with another small plain tip. Using an offset spatula, spread pale brown buttercream over each cupcake. Insert the stick of a cookie into each cupcake. Pipe small pale orange spikes along the top ridge of each dinosaur cookie (squeeze out a dot of frosting, then release while pulling up to end with a pointed peak), and pipe tiny deep orange spikes alongside, at the point where the larger ones meet. With a paring knife, cut “grass” from green gummy candy, with some spears longer than others. Arrange 3 candy eggs beside each dinosaur cookie, and stick a few pieces of candy grass in among the eggs. Refrigerate 30 minutes to allow frosting to set. Cupcakes are best served the same day they are decorated; keep at room temperature.