I love Christmas. Like, love, love, LOVE Christmas. So much so, that my friends and family affectionately refer to me as "The Christmas Nazi". I decorate our tree and I create our monstrous Christmas village in the living room - not that my mom and sister don't want to, I just don't let them. It's that bad. So it's no surprise that I also love all the fun Christmas-themed goodies I can make! However, my favorite one this year was a cheery Christmas wreath I came up with after my dad asked me to bake some cupcakes for the guys at Scottrade.
Since this was such a last-minute request, I could have just baked a batch of regular cupcakes, topped them off with some icing and sprinkles, and have been done with it. But I'm a natural born perfectionist and overachiever so that was definitely not an option. I decided to bake a batch of red velvet cupcakes. I personally love (or at least, used to love ..) red velvet cupcakes. Strange, coming from someone who does not like chocolate (which is the epitome of strange in itself). But my red velvet cupcakes, I have to admit, are delicious! I follow a basic red velvet recipe, but throw in some pudding to give them extra moistness and flavor. Maybe I'll share the details of that recipe, but not today! ;)
I dug out a circular, gold cardboard .. thing .. from one of our cabinets. I don't know what it was used for or why we kept it but, hey, sometimes being a pack-rat can come in handy! I arranged the cupcakes on the board in a circular pattern with an empty hole in the middle (think doughnut .. or, ya know, just wreath). When I had made my obligatory trip to Publix earlier, I already had the wreath vision in my mind. However, I was planning on dying the icing green and decorating it with randomly placed, different colored M&M's. Unfortunately, my brilliant self saw a bag of "Christmas M&M's!" and bought it. I don't know why I thought it would have different colors, as opposed to red & green (ya know, "Christmas M&M's!" colors), but when I opened it I was highly disappointed. Plus, I don't (and can't) even eat chocolate, so the candy fiend in me was disappointed as well. Then my creativity kicked in and I thought of a solution!
I pulled out my handy dandy cookie gun - who wants to spread icing when you can pipe?! Oh, everyone but me. Whatever! I filled the canister with white icing (nope, no green dying) and began to pipe each cupcake with individual peaks of white icing. Once the tops of all the cupcakes were covered and there were no discernible holes in the wreath, I sprinkled sparkly green "cupcake pixie dust" (I love Tinkerbell, just let me call it that!) all over them. I then used every single green M&M in my "Christmas M&M's!" bag to spread all over my cupcakes and create the impression of a green wreath. With a series of red M&M's, I created a bow at the bottom of the wreath and scattered a few more red ones throughout the wreath to represent Christmas ornament balls.
Voila! Christmas wreath spectacular! My dad said everyone at the office LOVED them! I personally would have loved to see these big-shot men in their suits and ties giddily fumbling over these cute cupcakes :).