*Bunneh Test Kitchen*
Last year, I made some baby Groot cupcakes just for kicks, because I saw some online and was inspired. This Halloween, I had some friends who were dressing up as Starlord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, and dressing their baby as Rocket Raccoon. They asked if I would be willing to do the Groot cupcakes again for their Halloween party.
The last time I’d made them, I ran into some structural problems… the cookies were large and soft, and most of them broke by the time they reached their destinations. I had a few ideas for making them stronger this time.
Of course the first step is cutting the Groot cookies. Once again, I used gingerbread for what I felt was the authentic wood look. This time, though, I cut them smaller than before, and rolled the dough to only 1/4″ thick so they’d be crispier cookies. I personally love a thick chewy gingerbread cookie, but they just don’t stand up well. I used my fondant knife to cut, since it proved sharper and the tiny blade was better for the small parts than a regular knife.
I had to use a small metal spatula to get these off the pastry mat and onto the cookie sheet in one piece. It was a delicate and slow process, but mostly a success. I learned right away that I shouldn’t cut the twisty branch look into the Groot bodies, because the dough was too thin and it just made them break when I tried to lift them off the mat.
I baked them to a crispy point – but of course not overbaked. Once they’d cooled, I went into phase 2 of my new plan for Extra-Structured Groots: cookie sandwiches. I laid each cookie on another layer of dough and cut around it to get the same shape, and then baked those.
After I set each of those on the pan, I had to then put the baked cookies back on top and arrange the arms and heads properly before baking them. Once they were out and cooled, I matched them all up and grabbed my pastry bag of frosting. I used the frosting like glue to put the two Groots together, giving them a little extra strength in numbers.
Last time I made these cupcakes, I mixed the crushed Oreo cookies into the frosting to make the “dirt,” but this time I just frosted and then sprinkled the crushed Oreos; I think this gave the dirt a better look, actually, plus it made them easier and faster for me to frost. With the cookies mixed in last time, I couldn’t use a pastry bag so it was a huge pain and they looked a bit messy at the end. This time, everything looked dirty in just the right way.
I put a couple of Groot cookies in just for a quick photo op, but otherwise I delivered the goodies separately to further ensure the cookies’ survival.
I told the recipients to cut small slits in the cupcakes and insert the Groots just before their party, so the moisture from the cupcakes and frosting wouldn’t soak into the bases of the cookies and soften them so much that they’d crack and fall over. Maybe with the cookies being crispier and having more thickness and support that wouldn’t have happened anyway, but I didn’t want to risk it and ruin their party with broken baby Groots!
As it turns out, I needn’t have worried so much.. here’s a photo one of the party-goers sent me that night:
There you have it! A slew of little baby dancing Groot cupcakes, all standing strong and happy!