Sunday, July 21, 2013

unicorns and sailboats

I met my dear friend, Liz, when our oldest kids were just a month old. We were new moms, frazzled by every new phase or excessive bout of crying. We quickly gravitated toward one another, each grabbed a couple of friends with newborns, and formed a moms group that gave us so much comfort: new friends with whom we could exchange worries, ooh and aah over sweet babies, spend hours in the park, and go to mommy movies (followed by the challenge of where to eat lunch that would let us bring in six strollers, sit for hours, nurse, and change diapers). Now our oldest are 9 1/2, and Liz has 5-year-old twins as well. Amazing how fast that time has flown!

For the twins' 5th birthday, Liz asked me to make cupcakes. Her daughter likes unicorns, and her son likes sailboats. Although there's not really a common theme there, each twin was happy with his/her cupcakes and they came out really cute. She requested basic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, and I made cupcake toppers of fondant discs with tiny fondant unicorns (from a horse cookie cutter, to which I added hand-twisted horns and pink-and-purple fondant manes - I used an extruder to make the fine strands of hair) and tiny fondant sailboats. I tinted the frosting to match each set of cupcakes: purple for the unicorns and sea blue for the boats. 

I actually loved how the boats "sailed" on the cupcake frosting sea.

Cupcakes like these are fun to do because the project can be broken up into stages. A few days before, to give them time to dry and firm up, I cut out the fondant discs and laid them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. It took just a couple of hours to cut out and assemble the unicorns, twisting teensy horns, and the boats, using contrasting blue and red for the sails and the base of the boat and mast. The day before the party, I baked the cupcakes and quickly piped the frosting, then topped each cupcake with the fondant topper. Easy and so cute!

Happy sugary birthday to some super-sweet twins!