Groundhog Day Cupcakes

by admin on February 13, 2010

Groundhog Day is my favorite holiday.

It is the only holiday that is not political, religious, or involves candy. I know there was a bit of inconsequential political agitation this year to replace my beloved Punxsutawny Phil with a robotic groundhog but that seems to have met with an appropriately chilly reception. If groundhogs could give the finger, Phil surely would have.  But instead, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators simply saw his shadow and muttered under his breath … F— You … six more weeks of winter.

There aren’t a lot of Groundhog Day festivities outside of western Pennsylvania but I’ve always tried to bring a little bit of Punxsutawny to my corner of southern California and quite often I mark the greatest holiday ever with a sweet treat … Groundhog cupcakes. Don’t worry … there is no actual groundhog in the cupcake.
Here’s what they look like.

Groundhog Cupcakes

The cupcake part is simple — I use a mix and canned frosting.  The “dirt” on top of the “snow” is powdered cocoa.  Making the groundhogs is a little time-consuming but well worth the effort. This year my friend Katy helped Sophie and me and we laughed the whole time as each groundhog seems to have its own personality.

"Groundhogs" before they get their faces

The body of the groundhog is a “Fun Size” Almond Joy candy bar.  You can also buy full size Almond joy and use a half for each little Phil.  Almond Joy is important because the little almond gives dimension to the face.  The ears and the cheeks are brown M&M minis … the brown ones seem to be the least plentiful color in the Minis tube so you’ll need at least 4 tubes to make 16 groundhogs (2 packages of fun size bars).  The rest of the face is made out of bits of jelly bean you cut to appropriate sizes and shapes.

Eyeballs awaiting their groundhogs

Here are the eyeballs, for example. The whites are the ends of the jelly beans and the pupils are slices of black jellybean.  Everything gets “glued” down with a stiff mixture of powdered sugar and a dash of water — I have heard this glue referred to as royal icing.  That’s the “glue” on the end of the toothpick.

Assembling the faces is simply a matter of sticking stuff in the appropriate places

I know, it's blurry but this is so damn cute!

Pink jelly bean nose, M&M cheeks and white jelly bean teeth

Once you’ve got all your faces made, it’s just a matter of sticking them in the cupcakes …

Groundhog cupcakes 2010

OK … are these not the cutest damn cupcakes ever on the planet?  We made these for Sophie’s 8th Grade bake sale way back when and easily got $5 a pop for them — most popular bake sale goodies EVER — and we made over $200 in less than 20 minutes just on cupcakes!  I suppose you could adapt the idea to other animals and other occasions but there’s something about celebrating Groundhog Day that just makes me HAPPY.

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