High Heel Cupcakes

March 11, 2012 10:59:31 AM PDT
This recipe provided courtesy of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

High Heel Cupcakes
Makes 12 pairs

Basic Shoe Method

12 graham crackers
12 vanilla or chocolate cookie sticks (Pirouettes, Oreo Fun Stix)
1 and one-half cups white or cocoa candy melting wafers (Wilton)
1 cup decorating sugar, color coordinated to match shoe style (see Sources)
2 cans (16 oz each) vanilla frosting, color-coordinated to match shoe style
Food coloring, color-coordinated to match shoe style
24 cupcakes baked in liner style of your choice, 2 cupcakes per style

Directions: For the soles, place a graham cracker on a work surface. Using a small serrated knife, cut the graham cracker in half crosswise. Remove a corner, angled to 3/4 inch, on both sides of each cracker half to make the tapered sole (see photo). Repeat with the remaining graham crackers. Cut the cookie sticks in half crosswise into two 2 three-quarters-inch lengths. Cut one end at an angle.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place the candy melting wafers in a glass bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds, stir, and repeat until the candies are melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Dip one side of the cut crackers into the melted candy, one at a time, to cover, allowing the excess candy to drip back into the bowl and smooth with an offset spatula. Transfer the coated cracker, candy side up, to the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining crackers and candy. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. Save the excess candy melts to attach the heels.

Place the decorating sugar (use the color to match the shoe style) in a shallow bowl. Spoon 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting with the food coloring (use the color to match the shoe style). Spoon 1/2 cup of the tinted frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bags. Spread the tinted frosting on top of the cupcakes, mounding it slightly. Roll the tops of the cupcakes in the decorating sugar to cover completely. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, mark a 1-inch-deep semicircle from the edge of a sugared cupcake (see photo). Remove the semicircle of cake and frosting with a small knife. For open-toed shoes, make a 1/2-inch semicircle cut on the opposite side of the cupcake from the first cut. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes. Snip a small (1 /8-inch) corner from the bags with the vanilla and tinted frostings. Pipe vanilla frosting over the exposed cake in the cut areas.

Carefully peel the candy-coated crackers from the waxed paper. Trim any uneven edges with a small knife. Pipe a line of tinted frosting around the 2 long and 1 short sides of cookie. Dip the frosted edges into the decorating sugar to coat.

Line two cookie sheets with waxed paper. Reheat the reserved candy melts in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds to soften. Stir the candy, return to the microwave, and repeat the process until the candy is smooth, about 30 seconds. Dip one angled end of a cookie stick into the melted candy. Working on one shoe at a time, press the large end of the cracker sole into the cut area of the cupcake. For the heel, place the cookie stick, dipped end up to secure, under the small end of the sole. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, crackers, and cookies. Allow the candy to set for at least 20 minutes before moving the cupcakes.

To accessorize the shoes To make the shoes even more fashionable, you will need frosting and a selection of candies and gums of your choice. Candy decors (Cake Mate, Wilton, Red Hots), candy-coated chocolates (M&M's Minis, Sixlets), gum balls, small hard candies, and pearlized candies (SweetWorks), and gum for bows can all be used for shoe accents. Use frosting to attach decorations and pipe outlines along the cut edges.

To make bows Cut 1 three-quarter-inch length from a stick of gum. Cut the smaller piece in half lengthwise. Pinch the center of the longer piece of gum. Wrap one of the smaller pieces around the pinched area to finish the bow.

To make swirl patterns Spoon vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Cut a small (1 /8-inch) corner from the bag and pipe swirled lines of vanilla frosting on top of the sugared cupcakes.

To make zebra print Spoon dark chocolate frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Snip a small (1 /8-inch) corner from the bag. Following the basic method above, pipe wavy lines of dark chocolate frosting on top of the vanilla-frosted cupcake before rolling it in white sugar.