I’m one of four girls/ladies in charge of the children’s program (called Primary) at my church. Since the congregation I attend is all married college students like us, the kids in our Primary group are younger. In our Primary group, we have about 15 very rambunctious, hilarious children between the ages of 3 and 6.
Talk about a hoot.
Every Sunday, it’s been SO funny to watch and listen to these children during the Sunday school lesson. We have very simple lessons filled with mini-activities followed by a singing time. On November 8th, we have a program coming up which the kids have been practicing for for the last many months. For the main portion of our church meeting, the Primary children will be in charge of the teaching portion. We’ll have little talks by the children, some will read verses, and all of it will be interspersed with songs.
Needless to say, it’s been a LOT of work, a LOT of time, and a LOT of laughs.
To celebrate all our hard work and also just for fun, we decided to host a Fall activity for the kids this past Saturday. I was in charge of the planning and I had such a fun time. We read the story “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein (please read it if you haven’t), and then made a large thankful tree of our own by tracing each child’s hand and writing their name and something they were thankful for on it. The hand tracings made up the leaves of the tree and the kids just LOVED it.
To finish off, I insisted we have a treat and that I bake said treat. I wanted something really fun that was kid-friendly. Cupcakes seemed to fit the bill just right. I pieced together a few recipes because I wanted to make the cupcakes and frosting from scratch (call me a glutton for punishment, if you must. I loved it.) I used the Pioneer Woman’s yellow cupcake recipe, then made my own icing and decorated piecing together several ideas I’ve seen in magazines, across the internet, and in books to come up with these little babies.
For some reason, I find them almost painfully adorable when they’re all clustered together like this. I can’t help myself.
The cupcakes were a HUGE hit. They were really easy to make (once I abandoned the hope of using both halves of each Oreo). As someone who HATES to waste food, I saved all the icing-free halves to crush up and use with pudding or for an Oreo pie crust. I promise to look the other way if you toss yours.
A hint for decorating: these are easiest to decorate in pairs, but if you’re working alone, I find it’s best to work only a few cupcakes at a time–that way the frosting on the Oreo stays moist enough for the M&M to bind to it.
- Baked cupcakes (cool completely before decorating)
- Chocolate frosting or ganache***
- Oreo cookies
- M&M's, Reese's Pieces, or another brown candy
- Candy corn
- Twist the Oreos in half, trying to get as much frosting as you can on one half. Set aside the frosting-free halves for another use.
- Quickly place one M&M on each Oreo half for the pupils.
- Dip the cupcake in ganache.*** Place the Oreo halves on the top of the cupcake.
- Place a candy corn in between and under the eyes for the little beak.
- Repeat with each cupcake.
- ***(I dipped mine in my cheater's ganache. This was really easy, and worked better for me than frosting usually does. I recommend ganache over icing, but it's up to you. My ganache recipe made enough for 24 cupcakes.)