I love squirrels!! The icon that is, I don’t want to pet a real squirrel or anything like that, though I do find them fascinating to watch…anyways, here’s a super cute place card idea for your next fall event or Thanksgiving. We assembled and used them for Canadian Thanksgiving this year. Beside our little brown friend is a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing and a little fondant pumpkin topper. First a word about the pumpkin toppers, then about the friendly picketing squirrels….The cupcake toppers turned out so cute! They were really fast and easy to make. I found the idea and tutorial by Nikki here on Catch My Party. I just mixed up some marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows, icing sugar, water and vanilla) and rolled out little balls, scored them with a knife and popped a clove in the top…..that’s all!After I baked a pumpkin pie, I had a cup of pumpkin puree left, so I made up my traditional pumpkin and cream cheese recipes. They were easy cupcakes and baked while the pumpkin pie baked, then just added the icing and fondant pumpkins at the last minute before serving.So I found the pumpkin topper idea on Pinterest, but this next idea was my own idea (I have to make a distinction because my kids are always asking if it’s a Pinterest idea or my own idea! heh heh). Ikea has a cute set of woodland cookie cutters that includes this little squirrel. A batch of The End-All for Chocolate Cookies Recipe from Lilaloa was perfect for little brown fall squirrels. I was in a rush when I was making them, so I don’t have step by step photos. But it’s easy, just cut out squirrels, and for every squirrel cut out a circle (plain or scalloped) for a base. Before baking, add a toothpick to each squirrel, sliding it under the head and poking it through the little hand, so it looks like the squirrel is holding the toothpick on his shoulder. Bake them up, and when they are totally cool, use some melted chocolate candy melts to ice the squirrel to the base. It’s probably a good idea to add the signs to the toothpicks before “gluing” the squirrel to the base. You can just tape the place card to the top of the toothpick. Then it only took a line of melted chocolate on the bottom edge of the squirrel, then a few moments of slight pressure holding it onto the base to assemble. Here they are, being assembled by my sister….The squirrels were my idea, but I did see another fun idea on Pinterest that I really wanted to try….chocolate acorns! I found a great tutorial here on Once Upon a Pedestal for these candy acorns. They looked so cute! But I couldn’t find the same kind of peanut M&Ms that she used….and I didn’t have Tootsie Rolls, so I used chocolate covered almonds and brown fondant (another idea to add to my Chocolate Almond Ideas!!). And I asked my daughters to make them while I was working on Thanksgiving dinner! (remember, everything’s done last minute around here….)The table settings looked really cute with a cookie squirrel, a chocolate acorn and a fall leaf doily at each place….I used the same set of cookie cutters and same idea to make a stand up chocolate moose, too….kinda hard to see, but he’s in the middle by the cornucopia.Mr. Squirrel and his friends were a hit!! But he didn’t stick around very long…..Any squirrels that did linger around too long, and Mac the Moose, were sadly (or more like, deliciously) turned into another dessert with the leftover real whipped cream from the pie….leave overnight in the fridge, and voila!Who knew squirrels and moose could taste so wonderful?? 😉
I’m sure that you have asked yourself this question at some point…how many cool things can I make with chocolate-covered almonds? Or more specifically, how can I make cupcake decorations and toppers for cupcakes with delicious chocolate coated almonds? I know that I recently pondered that profound question. And yes, please feel free to ask…why did I ask myself that question? Maybe you have already guessed the answer, particularly if you have a child in school who at some point has suddenly brought a rather large cardboard box (with a nice handle) full of smaller boxes of chocolate-covered almonds and has announced that they must all be sold as an important school fundraiser.
Yes, we have chocolate covered almonds for sale! I’m afraid that last time we went through this, we bought the whole box and ate them all. For sure I don’t want to do that again, so I started looking around for ideas to use these candies….as decorations on cupcakes. Surely there are many other ways to use them, but I’m only interested in bakedy bake baking stuff right now….so I checked around. And I made a list. Yes, I am weird that way. And one day baked the cupcakes, and finally finally got around to testing out all the fun ideas. All 13 of them!
I wanted you to have some cute ideas, so that you’ll buy chocolate almonds from us and we’ll get rid of the whole boxful. Or better yet, order some cupcakes from me, and I’ll make sure that they have some chocolate almond toppers!!
And there you have some ideas for having fun with chocolate covered almonds. I had fun yesterday, can you tell??
Some of my favorites…If you would like the how-to for any topper, just let me know. They were all made with chocolate covered almonds, some had chocolate chips on them and some had nonpareils (for eye pupils). They were all put together with candy melts, or melted chocolate. Pretty easy!! About half of them, like the mouse and the choco cat, were my own brainwaves…oh, and the ugly moose…he needs some work! Below I listed the ideas I saw as photos pinned on Pinterest. You can find the pin or blog link that I found each idea at by clicking on the highlighted words (none of them have instructions FYI):
bees, there are some really cute ideas on this blog
penguins, there are a lot of pins for these penguins, but I found the blog source! there are a lot of other great ideas here too.
How many of you have been thinking about penguins this week? January just seems like a good time to think about them and their habitats! Penguins make very cute themes for birthday parties!! Especially during a cold, snowy January…. Have you ever seen that cute little claymation penguin named Pingu on TV? Maybe his catchy little tune is playing inside your brain right now (I know it is in mine!) and how fitting that would be as you glance over this next party!
A snowy day is the perfect time for little penguins to get together and celebrate a special birthday!And two year olds especially seem to love little Pingu! His black and white self is a fun graphic image for a penguin party! I found some pics of him online and changed them a bit for our party. The rest of the graphics I used were from a digital scrapbooking kit from scrapbookgraphics.com and I changed some of the colors just a little so they would fit with the party colors of turquoise, red, black and white (with a splash of yellow!). We printed out some small posters, one of the smaller monogramed ones was just right for taping onto a frame that was already on the wall over the Birthday Boy’s high chair.The small white double-sided plastic frames from Ikea are handy for many party decorations and make great keepsakes afterwards!The tags for the treat bags and the placecards for the table were easily printed on regular paper and cut out, matching the posters.In case you didn’t know, I love polka dots!! So I already had the polka-dotted tablecloths from Ikea (the kind that are easy to wipe clean, I forget what they are called) and they just happened to be the right colors. The party palette of colors was very easy to continue in tissue paper, balloons and crepe paper streamers. We made our own tissue paper balls for hanging on the light fixture.The centerpiece was a toy that we’ve had a for a few years, a penguin habitat that is like a wooden puzzle, you fit the pieces together to form a three-story habitat. I saw them on sale at Toys R Us a long time ago…it looked like no one was buying them, there were so many boxes of them on for half price, and my party-mind said “cupcake holder!” It’s been totally worth it.Online I have see a cute goldfish bowl filled with light blue jello, with a few gummy fish swimming around in it…but that seemed like way too much messy work, and I wasn’t even sure if it would work out nicely (I think Martha made it work perfectly of course), so we went for turquoise jelly beans in the fish bowl with some large gummy fish in the sides. The fish were also used as cupcake toppers along with punched paper penguins. These cute little penguins are easy to make using an owl shaped paper punch and I’ve posted about how to make them here. (they are cute on tags, too). Two of them made a quick cake topper…along with a paper banner which I printed and cut out from the Carnival Time digital kit (link above). Those old-fashioned cherry stick candies on the cake gave it a “north pole” flavor (what are those candies called again?). A fuzzy penguin puppet found a spot on the dessert table in the corner (and more fabric from Ikea in the window).A toddler food that I knew we should serve was…you guessed it….fishy crackers! Surprise to me, there are also penguin-shaped cheesy crackers. We served them in these cute ice cube trays (Ikea)…There was one little game at this party….penguin bob! Color some ping pong balls with a sharpie to make them look like penguins and place in a small tub with a little water…and let the kids play! There isn’t really a game involved, but it still was fun for a new-two-year old!(in the video, the ping pong balls hadn’t been colored yet. I knew someone with sharp eyes would point that out to me!)A fun time was had by all the little penguins!!Here is a fun video of our Birthday Boy and his Pingu Penguin birthday party!!! (I just love it!)