Yesterday we had a little party for my son. He turned two this week, and while he doesn't use a lot of words, he THOROUGHLY enjoys singing along to a variety of songs.
One song he particularly enjoys is "Old MacDonald". He loves mimicking the animal sounds and the simple "E-I-E-I-O" refrain. Consequently, we decided to go with a barnyard/farm theme for his party. While I have no problems eating meat, I prefer to think of farms as places where animals LIVE, and we harvest vegetables from... so Danny's cake and accompanying cupcakes focused on veggies.
Now, a while back, I had played with some gumpaste in attempt to practice making fruit/veggie cupcake toppers. as cute as they did turn out.. I was overall left a little disappointed. Gumpaste , while edible, isn't exactly TASTY. and it's HARD. like break a child's tooth HARD. Imagine, then, my delight when I read the book Hello, Cupcake. Not only did it feature a garden-party cupcake for me to replicate.. but the authors suggested taking ready made candies and ingredients to make into the vegetables.
The result? amazing. I used starbursts and m&m candies, licorice, cornflakes and graham crackers in conjunction with some home made cake and frosting, a little melted chocolate and color gels... and I managed to produce the following.
Now, I still wouldn't allow my 2 year old birthday boy (or his 4 year old sister) to eat the starbursts-turned-veggies.... but in a few years I could totally see them eating every little bit of the cupcake, and still having teeth left to brush when they were through.
Lessons Learned: heating the starbursts in the oven worked better than the microwave. Also? best tip EVER??? rolling the 'carrots' in cinnamon after I made the decorative growth lines made the carrots look OH-SO real. and LOVED the idea of coating the cornflakes in green frosting. the 'leaves' looked truly authentic.
I'm not saying I'll never use gumpaste again.. but for basic colors and for items for kids? the reshaping of chewy candies is really the way to go!