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Hello, cupcakers and fellow candy lovers. We have a special treat today! Alan Richardson and Karen Tack, the folks who write the Hello, Cupcake! books are guest blogging about their latest DIY Halloween cupcakes.

Candy.com met Alan and Karen at the 2012 Sweets & Snacks show in Chicago, and saw first-hand how they cleverly use candy and snacks to create cupcakes with serious “Wow!” power. The duo recently created a “cupcaking” app that makes cupcaking with candy even more fun and easy …

Hello Cupcake Appp

Fresh from the Hello Cupcake! app are Jack-O-Lantern cupcakes. Here’s the how-to  from Alan and Karen …

We used Tootsie Rolls and Laffy Taffy for the glowing yellow eyes, and a Honey Twist Pretzel for the stem. But the beauty of being a Candy Detective is that you could just as easily use any chocolate or yellow taffy for the eyes, and a bread stick, a Kit Kat, or another brown candy or snack for the stem.

To get started, here’s what you’ll need to make one pumpkin patch with six jumbo cupcakes …

- 6 jumbo cupcakes baked in orange liners
- 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
- ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
- Yellow and red food coloring
- 16 chocolate chews (Tootsie Rolls)
- 16 yellow fruit chews (Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Starburst, Laffy Taffy)
- 3 wheat twist pretzels (Rold Gold)

Tint the vanilla frosting deep orange with the cocoa powder, and yellow and red food coloring.

Pumpkin Cupcakes Icing

Pumpkin Cupcakes icing completely blended

Divide the frosting and spoon it into two resealable freezer-grade storage bags. Press out the excess air, and seal.

Dividing and sealing icing

Squeegee the frosting to the corner.

Squeegee the frosting to bottom of bag

Snip a ¼-inch corner from the bags.

Snip off 1/4-inch corner from plastic bag

Soften several chocolate chews at a time (you can put them in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds if needed). Flatten the chews slightly. Press several chews together and roll out on a piece of wax paper to a ⅛-inch thickness.

Tootsie Rolls

Tootsie Rolls ready for the rolling pin

Tootsie Rolls getting rolled out
Next, you’ll need to download a printable version of the Jack O’Lantern template.

Using the outer line of the templates, cut out chocolate shapes using a small paring knife or scissors. Reheat and re-roll the scraps as necessary to make all of the shapes.

Pumpkin template

Pumpkin Stencils

Pumpkin template - cutting

Trim templates down to the inner line and repeat with the yellow fruit chews.

Yellow Laffy Taffy

Rolling out Laffy Taffy

Pumpkin Stencils

Pumpkin stencil on Laffy Taffy

Laffy Taffy cut-outs

Place the yellow pieces on top of the chocolate pieces to make the eyes, mouths, and noses; set aside on wax paper.

Yellow Laffy Taffy with cut-outs placed

Make enough face parts for all of your cupcakes, you can even create your own.

Pumpkin faces

Starting at the top of a cupcake, pipe a thick line of frosting down the center.

Insert thick line of frosting

To make the pumpkin’s ribs, pipe vertical lines on either side of the center line, tapering them slightly at the top and bottom. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

Creating lines of frosting for a ribbing effect

Pumpkin cupcake frosting finished

For the stems, break the wheat twist pretzels in half crosswise. Insert the broken ends into the top of the cupcakes.

Insert pumpkin stem

Arrange the face parts on top of the cupcakes.

Comleted pumpkin cupcake

Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and faces.

Pumpkin cupcakes with bright yellow Laffy Taffy faces

Have a Bootiful Halloween!

Alan and KarenCupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, oh my! book

p.s. - For more candy decorating ideas, please check out our books and newsletter at www.hellocupcakebook.com.

Recipe and images copyright 2012 Hello, Cupcake! App.

 

 

 

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October 31 is looming large. Most trick-or-treaters have picked out their costumes. Pillow cases and plastic pumpkin buckets are out of the closet. And, candy is top of mind!

Here is a roundup of 5 of our most unique Halloween candies for this frightfully fang-tastic event:

1. World’s Largest Gummy Skull
Weighing in at 5 pounds, the World’s Largest Gummy Skull is grossly entertaining. The packaging includes a slot underneath where you can place your own small flashlight to make it glow. You can gift this cranium to friends and family, light it up … and eat it! Also noteworthy: it’s gluten-free.

 

World's Largest Gummy Skull

2. Cauldron of Chocolate Gift Basket

Another great gift idea … especially for those who won’t be trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Filled with mini Snickers, Milky Way, Hershey’s, Reese’s Cups, and more, this reusable 9 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ x 5″ black cauldron is great for handing out treats next year.

Cauldron of Candy

3. Snickers Pumpkins
If you’re a trick-or-treater and you get a Snickers shaped like a pumpkin, it’s highly doubtful you’ll trade it out at the end of the night  … unless you have peanut allergies.

Snickers Pumpkins

4. Halloween Peeps
Halloween Peeps made our list of Halloween-must have because you can do so much with then. Pop them on top of cakes and cupcakes, insert them into treat bags, place them on a straw to create Peeps pops, string them to make Halloween garland, and, of course, eat them.

Peeps chicks, pumpkins, cats, and ghosts for Halloween

5. Fall Pumpkin Gummies
These bulk pumpkin-shaped gummy candies are ideal for Halloween parties because they add lots of seasonal color:  bright orange (orange flavor), yellow (lemon flavor), light orange (black cherry flavor). They’re also perfect for classroom parties and treat bags. 

Fall pumpkin gummies

Hurry! Halloween 2012 shipping deadlines are approaching at Candy.com.

 Ship Type                    Order By
Ground                           Wed., Oct. 24, 11:59 p.m. PT
2nd Day Air                    Sun., Oct. 28, 11:59 p.m. PT
Next-Day Air                  Mon., Oct. 29, 11:59 p.m. PT
Halloween                      Wed., Oct. 31

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Oct. 2 – We have a contest winner! On our Facebook page, Laura Davis Walden guessed correctly with 139 pieces. Congrats Laura and thanks to everyone who participated!

——————–

It’s October 1, which means it’s the perfect time to hold a Halloween candy-counting contest. The intent is to get you ready for the real trick-or-treating and candy bartering on Oct. 31.

So, take a guess at how many Mini Reese’s Cups, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Nuggets, M&M’s Peanut Butter pieces, and fun-sized Snickers are stuffed inside this 6-inch high x 8.5-inch diameter glass bowl. The first person to answer correctly wins a $25 Candy.com Gift Certificate. (One guess per person, please.) Winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon, Tues., Oct. 2.

Guess how many pieces of candy are in this bowl!

Good luck candy counting and enter your guess after this post or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Labor Day is over, which means fall weddings, tailgate parties, homecoming dances, and Halloween parties are officially in season.

With insights from our discerning candy buyer, Rita Cummings, we’ve rounded up our top 10 fall candy picks to make all of your upcoming celebrations unique, fun, and majorly memorable.

#10. Football Pops

Football LollipopsTailgate parties aren’t all burgers, brats, and beer. Bring on the football sweets! Our Football Pops are perfect for poking into cakes and cupcakes … and for topping glass vases filled with candy (try Green Candy Sunbursts for a “turf” effect).

 

#9. Gummi Candy Corn

Gummi Candy CornClassic candy corn is always welcome for fall parties, but for chewy candy lovers, this year brings a special treat: Gummi Candy Corn. Each kernel is big, too, at approximately 1-inch tall, so this candy provides a huge splash of color on a dessert table.

 

#8. Apple Cider Candy Corn??

Apple Cider Candy CornAlso new in the candy corn category this fall is a crop of corn in fun colors and flavors like Apple Cider with a layer of red, brown, and cream. Other flavors include Raspberry, Raspberry Lemonade, Tangerine, Cinnamon, Candy Cane, Egg Nog, and Gingerbread. Think of the possibilities for baking and candy crafting!

 

#7. Candy Apple Taffy

With its deep red and green color, Candy Apple Taffy is a great choice for fall parties. This vibrant salt water taffy can be dressed up in a glass apothecary jar or served casually in favor bags or in a big bowl for trick-or-treaters.

 

#6. Pumpkin Gumballs

Dubble Bubble Pumpkin GumballsIndividually wrapped Dubble Bubble Pumpkin Gumballs are adorable … and perfect for crafting and topping cupcakes. (Check out the recent blog post about these orange cuties on our sister site, MyCandyCrafts.com.)

 

#5. Twinkle Candy Corn Pops

Twinkle Candy Corn Lollipops

Vanilla-flavored Candy Corn Pops scream “Halloween!” Each individually wrapped lollipop sits on a long 12-inch stick, making it a great choice for adding height to a candy buffet or centerpiece.  Tie on an orange bow to create a quick party favor, or bunch a dozen together for a Halloween bouquet.

 

#4. Autumn Mix Mellocremes

Autumn Mellocreme Candies for Halloween

Based on a Candy.com Facebook Poll, we found that the majority of our followers eat Pumpkin Mellocremes first when tempted with a bowl of Autumn Mix. Indian Candy Corn and Classic Candy Corn tied for second. From our poll, we also found out that there are lots of great memories attached to this classic mix, which is why we think it’s a must-have for every fall party.

 

#3. Fall Candy Sticks

Old-Fashioned Candy Sticks in beautiful autumn colorsOne of the best pops of color you can get in Candy Land is from old-fashioned candy sticks. Stack them on top of vibrant Sixlets in a tall glass jar, bundle them with a bow to make a pretty party favor, or display them on a flat white tray to create instant eye candy on a dessert table.

 

#2. Zombie Pops

Zombie LollipopsJust in time for the return of the AMC series “The Walking Dead,”  Zombie Pops  have arrived at Candy.com! The individually wrapped, cherry-flavored lollipops have incredible detail. (Lots of warts!) They’re so gross, yet soooo cool.

 

#1. Missing Body Parts Gummies

Missing Gummy PartsAt #1, we have bloody bones, severed fingers, brains, skulls, feet, and fangs all in one bulk bag! Imagine what you can do with these gross gummy body parts. Our candy buyer, Rita, is planning on floating them in a punchbowl along with yellow gummy chicken feet this Halloween. FaBOOlicious!

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