The Writers' Room

The Writers' Room
Geek Eats: Sweets Edition

Elizabeth Grunewald | 29 Dec 2010 19:52
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As Walter Kovacs warned us, the end is nigh: I heard my first diet advice this morning, on the radio. (It said to eat right and exercise. Shocker.) Yesterday, I addressed the savory side of science fiction and geek media, and now it's time for the sweet.

Three days until the new year. Make them count.

BUTTON EYES
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"She's as cute as a button in the eyes of everyone who ever laid their eyes on Coraline!" Coraline

I'll be honest with you, life with Other Mother and Other Father does look pretty appealing. A gorgeous garden, catchy tunes, a rodent circus, and a talking cat, topped off with some sweet parental attention. The buttons thing is pretty creepy, though, so I think I'll pass. On those buttons, I mean. These edible ones? Keep 'em coming.

This recipe makes about two dozen miniature cupcakes. If you don't have a mini muffin tin, don't fret; just make full size cupcakes, and bake them for about 13-14 minutes. One additional note: These cupcakes are actually gluten-free, but you'll never miss the flour. Cross my heart and hope to be kidnapped by my Other Mother.

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375°F, and fill two miniature muffin tins with miniature cupcake cups.

Microwave chocolate and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl. The simplest way to do this is break the chocolate into little pieces, and cut the butter into chunks. Microwave for 40-45 seconds and give it a stir, then microwave for 25-30 seconds more.

Add sugar and cocoa powder to chocolate-butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, and stir some more. The batter should be pretty dark.

Fill cupcake liners half-full and bake for about 7 minutes. Keep an eye on them, as they should come out when they're bubbling and just shy of set. This sounds weird, but if they start to steam, they need to be taken out of the oven immediately. Let cool for a minute or two.

While cupcakes are still warm, take a toothpick and poke four holes into each cupcake to make your buttons. These are considerably better eaten than sewn onto faces.

FOOD FIGHT FROSTING
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"Eat what? There's nothing here. Gandhi ate more than this." Hook

This is one of the only scenes in Hook in which I don't break into bizarre fits of weeping, so it's one of my favorites. I'll admit I've never been much of an icing girl, but I've never had a raucous food fight with it in a fantastical treehouse, so maybe I'm missing out.

Everyone I know, it seems, loves frosting, and could eat it on its own with no cake-based means of conveyance. They also think I'm nuts for not doing so. Just this once, I'll take their advice and offer up this indulgent buttercream frosting. It'll stay visible whether you pretend or not, but will show up better on everyone else's clothes if you add a little food coloring.

  • 8 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • liquid food coloring

Whip the butter and shortening in a medium bowl with a hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add sugar, and continue beating until sugar and butter are creamed together.

Add vanilla and half the cream, and beat on low until the liquids are fully incorporated. Keep adding cream until the frosting has reached your desired consistency and thickness.

Stir in a couple drops of desired food coloring, or separate frosting into a few smaller bowls and add a drop of a different color to each one. Enjoy with graham crackers or your fingers, but don't play too much with your food.

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