Each year we remember our twin sons, Alex and Ian, with a lunch and cake. Lockdown has made it quite challenging to keep up these traditions. Last year my parents were unable to come to the Melbourne in early November but this year they visited me for the birthday lunch just days after restrictions were lifted between metropolitan and regional Victoria. It was many months since I had seen them so it was a special day in many ways.
The previous day, I had made Oreo spider cupcakes with Sylvia. We wanted something simple, given our energies had been drained by lockdown. Chocolate is always my choice of flabour so we returned to a chocolate muffin recipe we had made last year. Last time we made them a bit more wholemeal but this time we followed the receipt more closely. They were really lovely and lasted well.
We made the cupcakes together and then Sylvia did a lot of the decoration.
Pulling apart oreos was very satisfying and piping chocolate legs was
forgiving because the oreos could cover up a multitude of mistakes.
The lunch was pretty simple. I baked sausage rolls and served them with some baked brie my mum made and a dip platter. The platter was mostly from the farmers market: jalapeno, coriander and parsley hummus; roasted purple cauliflower; lightly steamed asparagus, cherry tomatoes on the vine and sadly I didn't think to look for crackers at the market so I had to get mine from a box of Savoys from the supermarket. The cupcakes were our dessert and my mum also brought some chocolate caramel tarts.
The oreo spiders were pretty cute. The blog where I found the instructions said the oreos soften after a while so it suggested decorating just a few hours before serving. They were nice with crunchy oreos but also good when the biscuits softened. Personally if making for a nice lunch, I would prefer more time to prepare than a crunchy oreo. We also made some mini muffins and just put candy eyes on them because it would not have worked with trying to stick the eyes on mini oreos. The oreo spider cupcakes were a fun and easy addition to my Halloween recipes.
More spider themed food on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate and pretzel spiderwebs
Orange punch with spiders (gf, v)
Smartie and licorice spider cupcakes
Spider cheeseball (gf)
Spiderweb cupcakes (v)
Spiderweb pizza (v)
How to make Oreo spider cupcakes
You will need:
- Chocolate cupcakes (vegan) or chocolate muffins (or use your favourite recipe)
- White cream cheese frosting
- Dark chocolate for melting
- Candy eyes
How to assemble:
- First prepare the oreos by twisting to separate biscuits and scraping icing off the underside, then pipe chocolate dots where the 2 eyes will go and placing candy eyes on the dots.
- NOTE: if you don't have a piping bag and nozzle, you can use a plastic bag and snip off a tiny corner to pipe the chocolate.
- Spread cupcakes with frosting.
- Melt the chocolate and pipe 4 spider legs on each side of the frosting.
- Place the oreos with eyes on the cupcakes so the eyes are between the two sets of four legs.
- NOTE: If you are preparing the day before, you can set aside oreos and place on a few hours before serving if you want them crunchy rather than soft.
To make the cupcakes vegan:
- Your cupcakes should be vegan such as these - Chocolate cupcakes (vegan)
- The frosting can either be a thick mixture of icing sugar, vegan margarine and a little water or a cream cheese frosting using a vegan cream cheese (such as tofutti) and a vegan margarine.
- Oreos can be used because they are vegan.
- Choose a vegan dark chocolate.
- Make sure your candy eyes are vegan - it seems some are and some have egg or gelatine in them. If you can't find vegan candy eyes either make some or you could try piping some frosting eyes and piping a chocolate dot on them (I haven't tried this but the frosting might need to be much thicker than then one spread on the cupcakes).
On the stereo:
Wonderland: original soundtrack by Michael Nyman