Way back in preschool we all made milk-carton Easter baskets. Like a motley crew lineup, the homemade baskets were oddly decorated with all kinds of arts & crap including old metal soda bottle caps that served as wheels. We stuffed them with shiny plastic grass, brought them home and eagerly awaited the arrival of the legendary Easter Bunny.
That we were attending a Jewish-ish preschool apparently was of no concern to the teacher who seemed to love secular holiday celebrating. No doubt my mother was questioning the wisdom of sending me to preschool that was run by a Jewish woman who seemed to take no notice of Jewish holidays.
I’m sure my mother was also counting the amount of money she’d need for my therapy later on when I blamed my parents for failed expectations that centered on preschool holiday issues; like the homemade Christmas stocking that remained empty or the poor Easter Basket with coke-bottle cap wheels that remained just as barren.
But hey. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Or as I interpret it, use that therapy fund to buy stuff to fill that empty homemade Christmas stocking and make sure that Foo Foo Bunny stops by every year with really good chocolate for the treats-on-wheels Easter basket.
But let’s get back to Little Foo Bunny. That poor little guy never had a chance. I’d like to think that had Foo Bunny been supplied with a good Foo-mentor who taught him say, dynamic marketing instead of bopping field mice on his way to deliver jelly beans and chocolate, all would be well with Foo, Inc. today. He’d never have been turned into a goon by that silly fairy. Or been stuck with this sad little rabbit-ism – hare today, goon tomorrow.
But with or without Foo Bunny, this white cupcake with almond paste topped with a little chocolate bunny and all gluten-free can be yours. All you need is a little time, a bunch of egg whites and a can of this almond paste along with any little chocolate bunny you want.
This cupcake? Think of it as a long overdue nod to all things Foo Bunny including my masterpiece Easter Basket on wheels.
|Little Bunny Foo Foo Cupcakes, Gluten Free||
- 6 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature (1.5 sticks)
- 10 oz. sugar (about 1.5 cups)
- 8 oz. almond paste, broken into small pieces
- 10 oz. GF flour (144 grams superfine brown rice, 100 grams superfine white rice, 44 grams tapioca starch/flour)
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 large eggs whites plus 1 whole large egg
- 6.8 oz. full fat yogurt or sour cream (about ¾ cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 oz. unsalted butter, cool room temperature (1 stick)
- 16 oz. powdered sugar, sifted (about 4 cups) plus another ½ cup for emergency surgery
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons almond milk (any milk is fine)
- green food gel/color
- Your favorite tiny chocolate bunny (think bunny foo foo)
- Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan (about 12). Set aside.
- In a food processor mix the sugar and the almond paste (broken into small pieces first) until it is fully combined and no chunks remain. Pulse until it is smooth. Place mixture in a stand-mixer bowl. Add butter and beat using the paddle attachment until fluffy-ish, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, weigh flours, add baking powder, soda, salt and whisk. In another small bowl whisk the egg whites and whole egg with the sour cream/yogurt and flavorings until fully incorporated. Alternate adding liquid and flour to mixer ending with the liquid. Mix on low until all the flour is incorporated – turn to medium for just a minute to finish. Remove the bowl and give it one more fold using a silicone spatula just to make sure everything is mixed in well. Scoop into cupcake liners about ⅔ full. Bake at 350 about 18-20 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out without crumbs. Cool cupcakes on a rack. They actually taste better with a little rest – the flavors mellow. These are great to make one day and frost the next. Store loosely covered with foil overnight.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer whip the butter until fluffy (which in my mixer means smashed). Sift in the powdered sugar (yes, again) and mix on low just until it looks like soft looking corn meal. Add in the flavorings and 2 tablespoons of almond milk. Whip until it starts to look like frosting. Give it a moment. If it is still too dry, add one more tablespoon of almond milk. But be aware that you want this buttercream to be pretty stiff because you will be piping tiny strands of grass and if it is too goopy (a technical term) it will flop over. Better less liquid, than more. But just in case, keep some extra sifted powdered sugar on hand. Whip on medium high until light and fluffy (this time it should look like fluffy).
- Pipe or using a spatula frost each cupcake with a bit of white buttercream. You want it to be generous, but flat, like a little cotton ball nest. You should have plenty left. Place the bunny in the center and push into the buttercream so little Bunny Foo Foo is secure.
- Add the green color to the remaining buttercream, adding a couple of drops until it is a nice pale shade of green, like new spring grass. Mix well. This should be pretty stiff. If it seems too goopy, add more sifted powdered sugar and mix well. Fix the color if needed. Pipe, using a tiny straight tip all around the bunny base, little strands of grass. Make the little strands random for best results. It takes a few pipes to get the idea, but after that it goes rather quickly. Let them sit so the buttercream sets. And there you go.
- Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest…..