I am NOT the first person to blog about these cupcakes. But since I took pictures of the entire process, I'm doing it anyway. I first saw these in the book
I made these cupcakes as a last day/birthday treat for my second graders. I had a terrific bunch of kids this year. I say this because these cupcakes are a LOT of work, especially
when made in large quantities. These kids are worth the work.
Each year, in the spring, we study the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly. We start with tiny caterpillars and release pretty orange butterflies into the sunny Pennsylvania skies a month later, usually
just before the end of the school year. I thought these cupcakes would be the perfect way to end the school year.
Painted Lady Butterfly
During the last few weeks of school students with summer birthdays are assigned a day to celebrate their special day with the class. I always reserve the last day of school for my summer birthday and bake
a treat. I almost didn't have the chance to do it this year - between my husband's recent accident (he's still recovering) and my oldest son's baseball schedule, it didn't look promising. Thanks to our recent very ugly weather, my son's two weekend make-up
games were cancelled. I bit the bullet and started making butterflies.
I started with a template of the wings drawn on plain paper.
Over this, I laid waxed paper and piped the design in melted chocolate. I used a squeeze bottle which I kept in a cup of hot water. I kept microwaving the water to keep the chocolate melted.
Next, I piped melted colored wafers between the chocolate. I melted these in a freezer bag (open) and cut the corner for piping.
Working quickly, I used a toothpick to spread and swirl the chocolate and wafers, then sprinkled on some white nonpareils.
While the wings dried (32 pairs of them), I piped about 40 pairs of antennae onto waxed paper and set them aside.
Next, I folded pieces of cardstock paper and propped them up between upside down bowls. Then I folded pieces of waxed paper and set them in the cardstock. Into the "V" I piped a body of chocolate. I did eight
of these at a time.
I placed one wing into the chocolate and let it rest against the waxed paper, then repeated with the other wing.
These had to harden for a while. Fortunately, the weather was unseasonably cool and the breeze from the open windows helped out.
Here are shots of the wings drying flat, then again, propped between the bowls. You can see the antennae on the finished product. I found it worked best to wait a few minutes before putting the antennae into
the chocolate. AND, it was a good thing I made extras, as some broke when handled.
Next, we need cupcakes. I baked chocolate and yellow from (gasp) boxed mixes. I did make homemade frosting using
Decorator Frosting I from Allrecipes.
I tinted this green and used a large piping bag and 1A tip to pipe big swirls of frosting on each cupcake.
Each cupcake was topped with a butterfly. As you can see, some of my bodies turned a lighter color. This is because I remelted chocolate. This is a no-no. Now I know better. The kids didn't care. :)
Here they are all loaded up to go. I wish I could say they all made it in one piece, but few lost antennae along the way. They still tasted good, though.
Because some of them may be reading this blog, a special
HELLO to all my special kids! We had a great year together! Just as we set our butterflies free to begin a new life, I say goodbye to each of these precious kids and wish for them a wonderful new beginning as THIRD graders!
Thanks for dropping by!
P.S. - Dear Food Police: I've gotten the message in the comments below. I promise never to melt chocolate in plastic again. Okay? Good.