Star of David Cupcakes
If you've been following along even a little bit (or know me!), you'll know that I pretty much live for what I'm terming "no-recipe recipes"—those little tricks and shortcuts and garnishes that turn ordinary, plain dishes into something extraordinary. I don't mean to go all Semi-Homemade on you, but honestly, Kwanzaa cake fiasco aside, Sandra Lee was maybe sort of onto something, no?
...Don’t answer that.
No, the real reason I'm into the whole store-bought upgrade thing is because it makes it possible for anyone to be a stellar party host—regardless of his or her experience level. You don't have to own a ton of fancy equipment to make something beautiful for your family, nor do you have to spend hours of time slaving away in the kitchen.
It's also just a fact of life that simple and easy beats hard and complicated any day—particularly if you, like me, have demanding work hours and are veritably POOPED by the time you get home.
All in all, a no-recipe recipe is a win-win.
Which brings us, at long last, to the point of today's post (if I ever get to the point before 328523 words in, by the way, go ahead and call the police).
The point...of today's post...is...STAR OF DAVID CUPCAKES!
These little toppers can be made by piping melted chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper, waiting for it to dry and harden, and then peeling off the final designs. That's it. That's the whole thing. Easy! So, whether you're planning to bake a batch of cupcakes from scratch or you're partial to the convenience (or taste, or look) of the ones at your fave local bakery, this is an easy, last-minute way to dress them up. In fact, you could top just about any frosted dessert with these gravity-defying sprinkles.
The obvious question here is: Do you have to stick to the star design? Well, no, but my personal efforts to pull off just about any other design were...dismal, to say the least. Things were falling apart left and right, there was chocolate on the floor, there was chocolate in my shoe. I'll work on it and keep you all posted.
If you do decide to venture off and write or draw something else, you do you. Just remember to keep it short and to "connect" all your letters (now's the time to brush up on your cursive).
Chocolate Stars of David Tutorial
Prep your parchment and piping bag.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place a disposable piping bag or Ziploc bag into a drinking cup or mug; fold the edges of the plastic over the side of the cup to "open" the bag and make it easy to fill; set aside.
2. Melt your chocolate.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt about 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments. This means you should stop the microwave every 30 seconds or so, remove the bowl, and give the chips a stir before resuming the microwaving process. Be careful not to over-melt, though, or the chocolate will "burn" and harden up.
3. Pipe your cares away.
Spoon the melted chocolate into your pre-prepared piping bag, then squeeze to push the chocolate toward the end of the bag. Snip the end off, making sure to keep the piping hole pretty tiny (remember: You can always make the hole bigger, but you can't make it smaller). Pipe star-shaped designs of different sizes onto the prepared parchment-lined baking sheet. If you make a mistake, carry on! You can always eat the messy ones later.
4. Throw it in the fridge.
Leave in the fridge to dry for at least 30 minutes. When you're ready to garnish your favorite cupcake recipe, peel the stars off the parchment carefully, then gently press them into the outermost layer of the room temperature frosting, vertically.