Lunchbreak: Thanksgiving sweet treats, prepared by Elise Strachan and details about the America’s Baking and Sweets Show

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Elise Strachan

To purchase a copy of the book:

Sweet! Celebrations: A My Cupcake Addiction Cookbook

America's Baking and Sweets Show
November 11 & 12 10am-6pm; November 13 10am-5pm
Schaumburg Convention Center
1551 N. Thoreau Drive

For tickets and more information:

Classic Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes
Makes two 8 x 2-inch-high cakes or 28 cupcakes

2 sticks (8 ounces) salted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups (315g) superfine sugar
1 cup water, at room temperature
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (340g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (55g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8 x 3-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. In a mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until combine. Add the water, eggs, oil, and vanilla and beat on low speed until all ingredients are just combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Divide the mixture between the two pans and use an offset spatula to smooth the tops. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Check first at 24 minutes, then each minute thereafter.

For cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line 28 cups of muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the batter as directed. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter. Bake until the center of a cupcake springs back when touched, 20 to 22 minutes. Check first at 18 minutes, then each minute thereafter. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Flowerpot Cupcakes

24 Classic Chocolate cupcakes (see attached recipe)
24 small terra-cotta pots
7 ounces dark chocolate candy melts
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup crushed chocolate filled sandwich cookies (about 10, cream filling left in)
24 green straws
24 thin-stemmed fresh flowers

Bake and cool the cupcakes as directed. Place each cupcake in a small terra-cotta pot. Combine the candy melts and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until the candy melts have completely melted. Spoon about 1 Tablespoon of the chocolate mixture on top of each cupcake, ensuring the chocolate doesn’t spill over the outsides of the pots. Sprinkle with crushed chocolate cookie “dirt.” Cut the straws to 4 inches each and insert one into the center of each cupcake. Place a single flower in each straw vase.

Turkey Cake Pop Place Cards

Ingredients & Equipment:
cake pop dough
melted dark chocolate (mix 300g dark chocolate with 20g/Crisco/vegetable shortening)
candy corn (7 pieces per turkey)
orange candy coasted chocolate chips (or nerds, or candy coated sunflower seeds)
red love heart sprinkles (2 per turkey)
Oreo cookies (1 per turkey)
caramel fudge (half a piece per turkey)
cake pop sticks
sharp Knife

For the Place cards:
250gsm-300gsm card to print on (& a printer)
hole punch
marker or pen

To make the cake pops:
Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave for 30-second intervals until smooth. Roll the cake pop dough into 1” balls and chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Dip the cake pop stick in the melted chocolate and stick it through the cake pop ball. Let it set.

To make the turkey feather:
Split the Oreo cookie in half and scrape off the cream using a knife. Take a spoonful of the melted chocolate and spread it on top of the cookie. Stick the candy corn starting in the middle and work your way to the outside. Let it set.

To assemble the turkey cake pop:
Dip the entire cake pop ball into the melted chocolate and lay it on top of the turkey feathers. Mold your caramel fudge into a small ball; this will be the turkey’s head. Place it on your cake pop and let it set for about 15 minutes.
Using a toothpick, stick the orange candy chocolate chips with the melted chocolate as “glue”. Take two heart sprinkles and stick it underneath the beak. Then use the melted chocolate to dot on the eyes. Spread a little more melted chocolate on the other cookie half and stick the cake pop on, this serves as its’ stand. Let it set. Cut your place card pintables and punch two holes, one on top and one on the bottom. Pop the bottom hole on the cake pop stick following with the top one.