Food Trends I Could Never Get Behind:
Raw Top Ramen. In middle school, eating Top Ramen raw was like THEEEE thing to do. Kids would bring packets of chicken ramen to school and crush the living bejeezus out of that poor brick of squiggly noodles and then add the seasoning packet, sha-shake it like a polaroid picture, and then eat it. I desperately wanted to fit in with the cool kids so I attempted this same phenomenon, only to realize that being popular wasn’t worth it if I had to eat this junk to be cool. It was awful. Also, the one time I accidentally brought the shrimp flavor to school was like, the worst day of my lyyfeeee.
Beef jerky. Who in their right mind decided beef jerky was an acceptable, EDIBLE thing? It smells of dog treats and it lingers on your fingertips much longer than something that smells of misery should. Ew, seriously, when Jessie eats beef jerky, I want to vom. The smell.. the chewing.. and the fact that it’s strips of beef just chilling there. People are eating logs. of. dried. beef. This is not okay.
Sour candy. Duuuude, remember when Sour Skittles came out and it was ALL the rage? I remember middle + high school cafeterias consisted of adolescent kids drinking Mountain Dews and choking back packages of Sour Skittles like they were going out of style. I never could get behind the sour trend because why the hell would I want my tongue to burn with the sour power of a thousand citric acid suns for “fun”? And those people who legitimately enjoy the sour powder at the bottom of the packet? Masochists.
Popcorn kernels. One time, I spent the night at this girl’s house and we had some popcorn with our MKA movie marathon. Her older sisters joined in and together, we plowed through that bowl of popcorn like nobody’s business. It was clear we were finished when there were only unwanted kernel remains, but to my shock and dismay, the sisters began picking and eating the kernels. I sat there in the midst of a cacophony of bone-grinding, tooth-breaking noises as they crunched the raw kernels like this was appropriate to do. I tried it, nearly broke a molar in half and decided this was beyond moronic and the day I decided to eat raw popcorn kernels by choice would be a very depressing one.
At any rate, besides these foods I’m pretty cool with mostly everything else (except the evil that is porkchops). I even like some foods most people dislike, like Brussels sprouts (LOVE), salt + vinegar chips (one of my favorites) and black licorice (in smaller amounts, but I enjoy it.. and Jagermeister).
In fact, I like to imagine Santa being an open-minded food man himself. After all, he doesn’t really have requirements about what kinds of cookies are left out for his visits, so I’m sure he gets a multitude of weirdo cookies in addition to the welcoming classics, like sugar or chocolate chip.
Speaking of Santa, he visited my house early and dove headfirst into one of these confetti cupcakes. Guess he’s not picky.
These cupcakes were a Christmasy spin on the Wicked Witch Cupcakes I made for Halloween. I got the Santa legs idea from Sugar Siren, who used fondant for her Santa legs, but I went for the ingredients and method I had used for my witches to make these adorable Santa cupcakes.
Bottoms up, Santa!
Santa Claus Cupcakes *adapted from my Wicked Witch Cupcakes recipe
12 cupcakes, baked and cooled (I made holiday funfetti)
Vanilla buttercream (canned or homemade)
24 pieces strawberry licorice (I used Darrell Lea, found at Target)
3 squares white chocolate, melted
24 large black jelly beans
Snowflake sprinkles, optional
1. First, frost your cooled cupcakes with buttercream. I used an Atecco tip #807 (a large open circle) to frost these. Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with the snowflake sprinkles, if desired. Set the frosted cupcakes aside or in the fridge while you make the Santa legs.
2. On a large foil-lined baking sheet, line up all the licorice legs; set aside. Meanwhile, in a resealable plastic bag, pour in the melted white chocolate. Seal out the air and gently snip a very small corner off the edge of the bag. Pipe white chocolate squiggly “fluffs” along the ankles of Santa’s licorice pants.
3. Using a teensy bit of remaining white chocolate, place a small chocolate dot on the top of a black jelly bean and gently press the jelly bean onto the bottom of Santa’s legs; hold for 20 seconds or so to adhere.
4. Place the completed Santa legs in the freezer to set, about 30 minutes. Once set, gently invert the legs (shoes up) and place them into the frosted cupcakes. These cupcakes are best served the same day, at room temperature.
Quick Buttercream Recipe (my fave!)
2 sticks butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
Almost an entire 32 oz bag powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter + vanilla until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until light and fluffy. You’ll need to add in a little stream of milk every now and then to fluff up the frosting.
I love these festive little Santa leg cupcakes! They’re super fun to create with the kids and make for an awesome and creative presentation for a Christmas or holiday party at work or school. Plus, Santa’s legs taste pretty good! (Don’t tell Mrs. Claus I said that).
Have a happy Tuesday!