Ladybug and Flower Cupcakes
- For ladybugs, place candy coating discs in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave according to package directions until melted; stir until smooth. Spoon melted candy coating into a small resealable plastic bag: snip a small opening in one corner of the bag (or use a disposable decorating bag and snip off the tip). Pipe dots of candy coating onto a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet (pipe dots in several sizes). For head, place a semisweet chocolate piece, point side down, at one edge of each dot. (If desired, use two or three sizes of chocolate pieces to coordinate size of head with size of candy coating dot.) Place cookie sheet of candy coating dots in freezer about 5 minutes or just until firm. Using the food writing pen, add dots and a short line for wings to each ladybug.
- Set aside about 1/2 cup of the Creamy White Frosting. Using gel food coloring, tint the remaining Creamy White Frosting green for grass. Spoon two-thirds of the green frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a multi-opening decorating tip (such as Wilton brand #233 or #234). Spoon the remaining green frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round decorating tip. Pipe green frosting into blades of grass or swirls onto cupcakes, covering top of each cupcake as desired.
- For daisies, spoon the reserved white frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a #4 decorating tip. For each daisy, pipe five petals in a circle on cupcake, positioning daisies as desired. Place a yellow candy or sprinkle in center of each daisy. Arrange ladybugs as desired on cupcakes, pushing gently to secure.
From the Test Kitchen
Decorating bags Multi-opening decorating tip (such as Wilton brand #233 or #234) 1/4-inch round decorating tip #4 decorating tip
Creamy White Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add about half of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the milk. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the remaining milk to reach spreading consistency.