Aren't these CAH-YOOT? I made them for my son's end of the year preschool program. The horses were the hardest. I originally made 5, but two died of broken necks. The eyes of most of the animals are mini chocolate chips. The ears, combs, tails are mostly made of starbursts or fruit flavored tootsie rolls. The horses necks are made of vanilla creme wafers, the heads are made of circus peanuts, the manes are made of melted chocolate that I drizzled over the head and neck. The horsetails are licorice shoelaces.
The chicks and chickens are my absolute favorites in the bunch. I dipped the chicks in melted frosting and then yellow candy sprinkles to achieve a fuzzy look. The chicks' beaks and the nostrils of the pigs and horses are candy coated chocolate covered sunflower seeds I bought from Trader Joe's the weekend I was in Boston. The sheep and lamb heads are made from caramels. What a six hour (not counting mixing up batter and baking) decorating blast! When they were all set up at the Preschool all the parents went crazy over them. A lot of them took pictures of my cupcakes. I couldn't be more proud of them if I had actually given birth. What a high!
The horses were really difficult because I had to glue the heads to the necks using melted and dyed almond bark which was not smooth and really hard to use. I probably won't be making those again, but the licorice tails were supercute. I originally made manes and tail from caramels pushed through a garlic press and they looked great for about an hour. Then they kind of slumped together in a gooey mess. I probably won't use caramels again.
Everything else was constructed using mini cupcakes and mini mini cupcakes and regular size cupcakes glued together with frosting and frozen. The only trouble with this method is that once you take them out, the condensation starts and the colors on the the candy start running into your frosting so by the time I got to preschool today, my white chickens all looked like they had slight head wounds. I wish I had a bigger kitchen and possibly a clean up crew because the mess is the only downside of creating such cupcakey bliss.
I tried putting legs on my pigs with pretzels coated with white chocolate dyed pink, but they didn't look smooth. Then I tried pink licorice vines and they turned out with the same flying effect as the pretzel legged sheep, so I left the pigs legless. My tails on the pigs were too cute though, thanks to Amy Jo and Mindy for their pig tail advice last night.
I think I will show off my cupcake making prowess at my mother-daughter book club meetings next. Stay tuned . . .