*Bunneh Test Kitchen; not for sale*
First off, let me come clean: I didn’t come up with this idea myself. Someone posted a picture on Facebook of someone else’s cupcakes, which led me to this site detailing a few other folks’ efforts. Well. Just because they did it first doesn’t mean I can’t do it, too. And with my own twist.
I knew immediately I would use gingerbread cookies instead of dyed-brown shortbread. When I looked up photos of baby Groot, I also noticed two things right away: his pot is white, and there’s no grass. I’m a sucker for the details.
Making a stencil isn’t my style. I printed out a picture of li’l Grootie-pootie for reference, rolled out my gingerbread (the one thing in this whole process I made from a box – Betty Crocker Gingerbread Mix), and got to work with a knife.
It was such. slow. work. But Groots were taking form! After I made about 15 or 16 of them, I was well over an hour into this project so I decided that was enough. I grabbed a couple of random cookie cutters to use up the rest of the gingerbread dough.
I used the edge of a soup spoon to make Groot’s little smile, the connector end of an electric mixer beater to make his eyes, and the tines of a fork to do a bit of fringe on top of his head. Soon enough, I had trays of little dancing Groot cookies.
Step one: complete! Next project: the cupcakes. He’s in a pot, so clearly I needed chocolate cupcakes to look like soil. I’ve tried a few chocolate cupcake recipes, but the one most of my tasters have raved about is the Guinness dark chocolate recipe I used at St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to go that route again.
These cupcakes aren’t simple, which I’d forgotten since the last time. There’s simmering and whisking and folding, and the whole thing takes some time. Finally I got those in the oven, and while they baked, I grabbed some leftover frosting from the cookies ‘n’ cream cupcakes. I needed just a little frosting to decorate the Groot cookies, so I divvied it up in mugs and added coloring.
Note to self: buy more miniature whisks. They are useful.
While looking at 450976 movie still pictures of Groot, I noticed he had a few tiny leaves already sprouting, so those had to be included in my version as well.
Cupcakes baked, cookies baked and decorated. Next up: frosting. Again, I wanted these to look like pots of soil just like in the movie. I made chocolate buttercream frosting (my usual recipe with 3 oz. melted/cooled unsweetened chocolate mixed in) but that just wasn’t quite good enough. I threw a bunch of Oreo cookies in a big Ziploc bag and bashed them to smithereens using our heavy metal (not as in music) ice cream scoop. Boyfriend was a little alarmed by my gusto a few times, but I wanted those cookies to be DIRT. No big chunks were allowed to remain.
Then, I dumped my Oreo dirt into the buttercream and mixed, to get it really soil-y. That’s a word. Sure.
The upside: it looked and felt like dirt. Awesome!
The downside: I couldn’t use a decorating bag because the cookie crumbs would clog the works, and the crumbs made the frosting so thick it was difficult to spread. Oops. I laboriously smooshed “dirt” frosting onto the cupcakes with a butter knife, making a huge mess. In the end, though, I think the hassle was worth it because they did end up looking quite like little pots of soil.
And I got my army of little dancing Groot cupcakes!