Improv Cupcakes and Dino Crayons

I finally got to bake my first cupcakes while at college yesterday and it was quite the adventure. Our student center has a kitchen, so when I was packing to come back, I squirreled away just enough flour, cocoa powder, ect., to make some peanut butter brownie cupcakes. If you remember a while back when I made brownies at like 2:30 am with peanut butter and cream cheese swirled in and also without eggs and I think without butter too because we didn’t have any at the time, I basically just translated those into cupcake form and improvised ingredients to make them resemble cupcakes. I jacked some soymilk, butter, and cream cheese from the dining hall and everything else I brought from home in a jar…. The whole set up looked a little something like this.

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Just for the record, the peanut butter was totally in  a ziploc baggie in the big jar there … yeah, it was a little odd but sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do. All I had to do was mix everything together and pop them in the oven! I tried to do peanut butter and cream cheese swirled on top like I did for the actual brownies, but it kinda just globbed. Which was still good, although I had some baking time and oven temperature issues with the first batch, so they were a teensy bit dry, but they still tasted surprisingly good, especially considering the fact that I just kind of threw in random amounts of stuff till it looked right. After doing a dozen mini cupcakes I still had some batter left over so I just went ahead and mixed the peanut butter and cream cheese right into that, doing things the lazy way. They still were delicious though, so yay for that. Just a revelation I had today though, that I’ve got to share; eggless batter is a dangerous thing. You can eat it without hearing your mother’s voice in your head warning you of getting salmonella and I probably ate kind of a lot of batter while making these, so be warned, when you’re baking without eggs, the batter sometimes doesn’t go as far as it should.

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Since I was already at the student center and I already had the oven on, I decided to go ahead and make a batch of dinosaur crayons too.  For those who don’t know, this is a simple yet awesome stress buster that I just totally love. Now my sister might kill me for this because I’m going to use a picture or two of her so I can give you guys a little dino crayon tutorial (because it’s not like it’s totally simple enough to figure out on your own or anything).

First you obtain a silicone mold and the great thing is they have these in so many different sizes and shapes that depending on your budget, you can really have fun with this. I’ve seen ones that are ice-cube sized in shapes like brains, octopi, hearts, robots, you name it. The ones I got are smaller than that, I think their actual purpose is for making chocolates.

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Then you obviously need crayons, a pair of scissors or a knife that you don’t mind getting messy (don’t worry, it should come off with some soap and water anyways), a cutting board if you’re using a knife, and of course an oven. Oh, I also like to have a bowl for my crayon bits because it just keeps them all in one place and such, makes things a bit neater.

Once you’ve got all of your stuff together, take off the crayon labels (and you can recycle these because they are paper so be green here kids) and chop up your crayons. They key here is to chop them pretty finely because they sort of melt down if that makes sense, so the smaller you chop them, the more you will be able to get in your molds.

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Andrea, doing a stellar job chopping crayons. Then just fill your molds up and pop them in the oven. I usually set the oven to about 350, just because that’s kind of the universal temperature for life and you can even put them in while it’s preheating, just keep an eye on them until all of your crayons are melted, then pull them out and set them on the counter or in the refrigerator to cool. This is super important because you want them to be completely cooled before you try taking your crayons out, especially if you have delicate parts, otherwise your crayons will be more likely to break. With things like the dinosaurs, I’ve had tails, legs, and even necks break, so patience is the key here. Don’t panic if they do break though, you can just stick them back in the mold, re-melt it in the oven, and voila, your previously decapitated brontosaurus now has a head again!

So that’s it, now you guys know how to make awesome crayons, so go forth and produce awesomeness! Okay, clearly I need a new word, awesome is getting a bit stale. The cool thing about this though is that you can do it with kids (you might want to use safety scissors though and supervise them with the oven obviously, or do that for them), you can do it with friends as a quick way to de-stress during finals or something, or just a a fun way to release your inner child. Or you can think I’m a weirdo and need to grow up and not be fascinated by things like dinosaur crayons, it’s your call really, I just thought I’d share that.

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The stegasauri are the only ones who can stand – the brontosauri almost can, but their heads are too big so they kind of tip over on them.

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Poor little brontosaurus is too top-heavy to stand up!

In other news, I’m excited to announce that I think my etsy could possibly be up and running sometime within the next few weeks to a month-ish. Or this is just my way of trying to set a deadline for myself, but really I’m getting work done on products and I even have a good name picked out, so now I just need to do things like keep making stuff obviously, set up my page, and get things like shipping supplies so that I’m all ready to set up shop. It’s a pretty exciting prospect to think that this is actually definitely happening, so I’m jazzed about it.

I also might be re-organizing my blog a little to have sections for things like artwork, crafts, and shop-related stuff, so look out for some changes coming up in the future. Because I totally don’t have things like classes, homework, and tests to worry about or anything. Ahh, whatever, I can juggle it all, having a lot on my plate isn’t actually a bad thing all the time.

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2 thoughts on “Improv Cupcakes and Dino Crayons

  1. Nice to see you back in action …. eggless cookie dough is a blessing and a curse (as all the best things are) as I write this cookie dough is firming up in the freezer to be made into truffles for your adventure to Ithaca. Can I borrow your dino mold , Nathaniel would love this craft, you get to brake something down and remake it into a dinosuar ….awesome awesome.

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