Hoo’s arriving in April?

I’m excited to announce that our “special guest” arriving in April is my first niece! My sister is expecting, and I recently went home to visit and to host and attend her baby shower. I was really excited to bake something for her shower. At her request, we went with lemon cupcakes with a raspberry cream cheese filling, topped with lemon buttercream frosting and an owl fondant decoration. Her theme for the baby shower and my niece’s new bedroom will be- you guessed it- owls.

These are the lemon cupcakes. I love the pink and green wrappers. I procured a cool little tool for myself as well- a cupcake corer! It’s a simple little gadget, really. It’s no more than a  long circular cookie cutter with a fun flower design at the top for the “gripper,” but it works surprisingly well. I got this size and a larger one (1 inch diameter) as a set at Wal-mart for 1.84.

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See? In less than 5 minutes, I had cored 24 cupcakes. I ate the bowl of cupcake holes, but I guess you can replace them after you fill the cupcakes… if you are feeling generous and not hungry like me!
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The cupcakes are filled with the raspberry cream cheese filling. I just piped it in with a good ol’ ziplock baggie:

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I covered cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting:

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Here’s where it got a little tricky AND labor intensive. I made homemade fondant with lemon meringue flavored marshmallows that I found at Wal-mart. (They are freakin’ delicious)…. and then colored the fondant with gel food coloring. The bonus was lemon flavored fondant!! Yum. The owls are a product of “creative” cookie cutter manipulation, led by my two faithful baking helpers, my parents. (Shout out and props to them for staying up until 2 AM making cupcakes with me, now THAT’s love). 😉

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Ah! The final product: a hoard of owls. Is it a hoard? … I just looked it up. I think it’s a “stare” of owls. I don’t know, that’s what the Audubon and BirdNote partnership say.

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I’m not sure if you can see the filling, but it’s in there:

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Here are a couple of “bonus” pictures from the shower.

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The favors were baking related! It’s cookie mix. (I tried out the mix from an extra jar they had made. The cookies were delicious!)

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And… just because I thought it was cute… Make a bib for the baby! haha.

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Congrats Mel (& Pezz)! Thanks for making me an Aunt-to-be!

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