Here's a turkey that even a vegetarian would love. Have a little fun on Thanksgiving and serve these right alongside the main course. —Karen Tack, Riverside, Connecticut
- 2-inch slice pound cake (Sara Lee)
- 2 cups corn flakes
- Green and yellow food coloring (McCormick)
- 2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
- 24 vanilla cupcakes baked in orange foil liners
- 24 honey wheat sticks (Pringles)
- 144 soft caramels (Kraft)
- Orange round candies (Sixlets)
- Yellow and purple candy-coated sunflower seeds (Sunny Seed Drops)
- Ground cinnamon
- 1. Tint 3 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting light green with the green and yellow food coloring. Spoon the frosting into a resealable bag; set aside. Spoon 3 tablespoons vanilla frosting into a resealable bag; set aside.
- 2. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place the corn flakes in a large bowl. Tint 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting green with the green food coloring. Heat the green frosting in a microwave-safe bowl until liquid, about 10 to 15 seconds, stirring well. Pour the frosting over the corn flakes and toss until completely coated. Pour the coated corn flakes onto the prepared cookie sheet and spread out into a single layer. Allow the corn flakes to dry, about 30 minutes.
- 3. Meanwhile, cut the pound cake into 1/8-in. cubes; cover until ready to use.
- 4. Cut the wheat sticks in half. Soften several caramels in the microwave for no more than 3 seconds. Flatten a caramel slightly and place one end of a wheat stick in the center of the flattened caramel.
- Bring the caramel up and over the end of the wheat stick and shape into a drumstick. Trim the overhanging end of the wheat stick to 1/2 in. with a serrated knife. Continue to make 48 drumsticks.
- 5. Microwave four caramels at a time to soften, about 3 seconds. Press the caramels together and roll them out to a 3-1/2-in. diameter. Cut caramels into a 3-1/2-in. circle with a round cookie cutter or the opening of a glass. Cut out an opening for the stuffing about 1-1/2 in. wide and deep. Repeat with the remaining caramels to make 24 skins. Place the caramel skins between sheets of waxed paper. (The drumsticks and skins can be made up to 4 days in advance and kept in an airtight container.)
- 6. Place a mound of vanilla frosting on top of a cupcake; top with a caramel turkey skin. Tuck the edge of the caramel in 1/4 in. from the edge of the cupcake. Use a small knife to push the caramel into the frosting: it will make the turkey look plumper and give room for the lettuce corn flakes. Pinch the ends of the caramel opening; some of the frosting will pop out. Press some of the cake cubes into the frosting as the stuffing.
- 7. Lightly brush one side of each drumstick with a bit of water. Press each drumstick to each side of the stuffing opening. Hold several seconds to secure. Repeat with the remaining drumsticks.
- 8. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Add the green corn flakes around the edge of the cupcake to look like lettuce. Use some vanilla frosting if necessary to help secure. Pipe dots of vanilla frosting on the ends of the wheat sticks to look like the ends of the turkey bones. Add more cake cubes as stuffing if desired.
- 9. Snip a small corner from the bag with the light green frosting.
- Pipe a few dots around the turkey and add the candies and seeds as fruit. Cluster the purple seeds as a bunch of grapes and pipe a dot of frosting on top as the stems. Sprinkle the top of the caramel turkey with some cinnamon. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Turkey Dinner Cupcakes in Taste of Home October/November 2010, p97
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