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It’s gobble-gobble time. All lovers of cute treats, check it out!
After Halloween, there’s a ton of spilled candy corn everywhere. In pantries, cabinets, behind the fridge…yep. I wind up finding candy corn wedged into small spaces way after it’s out of season. How to deal with this?
Use it, fast! And the best way to transition from one holiday to the next is to use candy corn in these adorable chocolate ganache cupcakes. With an Oreo turkey on top, nobody can resist! Look at their little faces.
I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for pie-baking craziness and my mind is going a million miles an hour because I have endless ideas about what to bake this year. There are so many different options for pie out there, but our Thanksgiving table can only accommodate about five pies before things start to look really excessive.
In general, Thanksgiving is an easy holiday. It’s basically a menu with some preset factors (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie) and room for lots of additions and creativity. I love to cook while watching the Macy’s parade on TV. If you get up at a decent hour and cook through the morning, that’s pretty much all the time you need for the main dishes and sides.
If you think I’m in the wrong here, that’s okay. I’m just saying that effort-wise, I find Thanksgiving to be on the lower maintenance end, though not quite so much as July 4th. And you can make dessert ahead of time, which is even more of a bonus. I have two pies already in the freezer and November just started. We’re making good time here!
Plus, once the meal starts, it’s nice just to sit back and have a glass of wine and enjoy. Or if you’re me, to take that glass of wine to the kitchen and pick at the turkey carcass. Sorry. I’m a scavenger, and it’s one of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving.
In honor of what is definitely one of my favorite holidays, I also get crafty with the food. These cupcakes are a cute and easy addition to any Thanksgiving dessert spread. When my own kids saw these, their eyes lit up and they all wanted one right now. My daughter always tends to want things (insert demanding tone here) right now.
These are a fairly simple chocolate cupcake (but you can use a mix if you like to save time) with a quick ganache topping. The most time-consuming part of this is making the little turkeys. Those candy corn feathers really want to fall out of the top. I found myself working hard to make sure each one wound up with four feathers. If I were less anal-retentive, I would have let my kids make these with me. Mine are a little young, but older kids can definitely help out here.
Once these are atop your cupcakes, it’s open season on Thanksgiving celebrations. The best part of the holiday is coming together over food that people prepare with lots of love. Why not start the celebration a little early this year?
- Prepare the Oreo turkeys. Stick four pieces of candy corn into the top of the Oreo as "feathers." Using the chocolate frosting as glue and a toothpick for precise application, affix two candy eyes to the top and a candy corn "nose" right under the eyes. Place each turkey on waxed paper to dry and set. Make 18 total.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line 18 muffin cups with liners.
- In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. One at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
- Combine the vanilla and the milk. Gradually and alternately, add the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, stirring gradually until all ingredients are combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the cocoa, mixing again until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the muffin liners, filling 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly before icing.
- Make the ganache. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream for one minute. Stir until completely smooth, heating another 20 seconds if needed.
- Frost each cupcake by dipping it in the warm ganache, twisting your wrist to get the excess ganache off the cupcake. Place onto a waxed paper surface.
- Place each turkey in the center of each cupcake, pressing down lightly.
- Cool the cupcakes completely to allow the ganache to set.