Last Monday my son asked if I could bake cupcakes for him to bring into school on Friday for his half birthday. Sure! We decided on Minion Cupcakes because those adorable, yellow fellows from ‘Despicable Me’ are so irresistable. I headed out to our local grocery store to pick up the Twinkies, shoestring licorice and Smarties that I needed. No go. Off to the other local grocery store. Nope. I guess the Hanover Co-Ops would only carry Twinkies if they came in an organic/artisanal version.
Tuesday it started to snow. I was planning on driving to West Lebanon, NH which is our area’s designated spot for the big box stores and chain groceries. Well, I’m on the road from my house down to town and there is a car in the ditch. Not a good sign. I’ve had my share of ditches and I am not a fan. I made it into town, but even the main roads were pretty slippery and covered in snow.
I made a decision to ditch (Ha!) the West Leb trip and see if I could find the ingredients at our town’s general store, Dan & Whits. Their motto is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it”. Damn. They did not have it and I REALLY needed it.
That night on his way home from work I asked my husband to stop in Hanover and see if the CVS had the items. Surely Dartmouth students needed a Twinkie fix now and again. No Smarties, no licorice and only 4 Twinkies.
Wednesday was a snow day. I remained optimistic and baked the cupcakes, but couldn’t leave the house to try and find those blasted Deco ingredients. I phoned my piano teacher that evening since she was coming to my house in the morning and would be driving through West Lebanon. The desperate fool that I am asked her if she could stop at the Price Chopper and try and get the goods for me.
Sweetie that my teacher is said yes and came up with a carton of Twinkies and a bag of Smarties. I have never been so happy to see those stupid things. No licorice, though. I headed out on a licorice mission late Thursday and 3 hours searching yielded a sweet shop that sold it. I bought every last bag they had.
The Minion making commenced Friday morning. They were delivered to delighted 6th graders and we all lived happily ever after.
(Based on a batch of 24 cupcakes. Tailor amounts if you will be making less. )
24 of your favorite cupcakes
Enough vanilla frosting to ice 24 cupcakes, tinted blue
White Jimmies (sprinkles)
Black shoe string licorice
96 Smarties (only the white ones)
A Black Food Writer
Small amount of white chocolate, melted (I used 1/2 ounce and had leftover)
Small amount of semisweet (Or whatever brown chocolate you have on hand. As above, I used 1/2 ounce with leftovers.)
Directions: (or as Gru would say, “Assemble The Minions!!”)
1. Pipe the icing in swirls on the cupcakes and sprinkle with white jimmies.
2. Sort out the Smarties. (Psst: A note about Smarties…there are not a whole lot of white ones. I had to unroll every single package in the bag to get even close to the amount needed and then had to use a bunch of the light grey ones in order to have enough. Also, they are more delicate than you think. Be careful unwrapping so that the sides don’t get chipped.)
3. Attach two Smarties together with melted white chocolate. Outline the Smarties with the marker for the goggles. Add an eye dot in the center. (I made a few uni-goggled guys and used a candy eye for the center)
Remember how much I adore candy eyes? I was completely in heaven having these homemade ones in the kitchen!!
4. Cut the Twinkies in half horizontally and attach the goggles with melted white chocolate.
5. Cut small lengths of licorice for the hair and insert into top of Twinkie.
6. Cut additional pieces of licorice for the mouths and the goggle straps. Affix them to the Twinkies with the melted semisweet chocolate.
7. Place the completed Minion onto the iced cupcakes and smile back at them.
Adapted from Confessions Of A Cookbook Queen
Now for the singing….and dancing!
The Bee Gees-You Should Be Dancing
The Old 97s-The Villain
U2-I Will Follow
You are constantly astounding me, Tricia. Seriously. These are AMAZING!!!!!
Thank you! I really wanted to keep them for a few days. They made me laugh every time I looked at them.
Spectacular, Tricia! I have never seen anything so hysterical. Not surprised to hear the Coop didn’t carry Twinkies! Your creativity is inspiring – can’t wait to see what is next!
Typical Coop! I was having a panic attack by Thursday night. It was a race to the finish Friday. The cupcakes had to be brought to the classroom by 11:30. The kids loved them.
Hard to feed the kids in a frontier town, huh?
I keep repeating myself here..but these really ARE the cutest things ever. I can’t believe what you had to do to get the ingredients. Never seen a food pen before, and it’s such a great thing.
I can’t remember the last time I had a Twinkie. Too long. I have had some Tastykakes while in PA, though, Butterscotch Krimpets. They are just too irresistible.
BEE GEES! Damn, that song takes me back to my platform shoe days.
Well, i think it goes without saying that we’d all love to see a picture of that, nat.
no photographic evidence! Who takes pics of da shooz?
WOW – worth every damn minute of searching for the deco pieces!! Nice job! Only makes me wonder – what could possibly be next….
Thanks Anna! Next project I will definitely be sure I have the deco before I commit to the recipe!!
You are the best mommy ever!!! As I was reading about your twinkie search I started thinking that you would have to resort to MAKING twinkies, glad you have some good friends!
Your Minions really were great! I have been in search of shoestring licorice for my son’s fire engine cake. Where O Where did you find it?
I live in Weare, NH. Please help. I am making the cake tomorrow.
Maureen, who knew it would be so hard to get shoestring licorice up here?!
I finally found the shoestring licorice at a sweet shop in The Powerhouse Mall in West Lebanon, NH. That’s a bit far from Weare…probably an hour at least.
Maybe try phoning Target? They might have some. I also know that there is an amazing sweet store in Concord that I went to once. Don’t remember the name, but you might want to try and look that one up. That seems a little closer to your neck of the woods.
Fire Engine Cake sounds so much fun! Good luck getting the licorice. If you find it, buy a bunch like I did when I found it!!
Ha Ha – We had actually started looking at Target. Great minds think alike!
Anyway, I re-directed my search from Manch/Nashua & finally discovered the Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord. My husband is heading there soon. I hope he finds something silver I can use to make the grill on the front end of the truck. I had given up on that but he may as well look while he’s there.
Thank you so much for your quick response!
Interesting story overall. Your Minions are amazingly cute! They inspired me to make something like that. I can’t wait to make it. Great idea and even better outcome!
I feel your pain with finding shoestring licorice! Last Christmas I made chocolate mice for my friend who has a blog named, The Hungry Mouse (totally freaked when I found the recipe for little mice online to put into her baked goodies package) and had a time trying to find red shoestring licorice. I ended up buying the Twizzler pull apart stuff and carefully tearing a few apart to get enough for my mice tails. Afterwards little bags of the old-fashioned shoestring stuff kept showing up in convenience stores…grrrr…heh
The Hungry Mouse…cool site, but that name!!
I don’t do well with mice. But, I bet your little ones came out cute. Isn’t it always the way that things one needs can be found everywhere after you no longer need them!!
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THANKS FOR THE IDEA, I MADE THESE FOR A HALLOWEEN PARTY LAST NITE AND IT WAS THE CUTEST THINGS ANYONE HAD SEEN.!! Kudos to you!!
Yay! I am so happy to hear that. Thanks so much for letting me know.
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