Okay. Let's admit it. Halloween is totally just for kids. It's gives them a chance to dress up like their favourite superhero and/or princess and freak out after eating their body weight in sugar. Good for them. They need a holiday to cut up the long stretch to Christmas. Let's let them have it. I'm totally talking to you, Ms. Dress-up-as-a-slutty-nurse/police officer/ninja turtle. Just take your brewskies and walk away.
Halloween for us adults should be more refined. I know, it's hard to let go of your childhood. You can still dress up, if it makes you feel better. Just not as a sexy ninja turtle, please. Around here, we take our celebration inspiration from down south. Way down south.
Dias de los Muertos takes place shortly after Halloween. If you've never heard about it, you're totally missing a party, dude. It gives us a chance to honour those who have past on into the other realm - and to feast, drink, and make really wicked sugar skulls. What's not to love?
This year, we've decided to honor a ghostie who hasn't really gotten enough love lately. Yes, we all know he's around (some of you may think he's still walking around), but some high profile deaths (I'm looking straight at you, Zombie MJ) have put this guy out of the limelight. I'm talking about The King. The hunka hunka burning love. That guy in those blue shoes. You know, the one that went to the jail house with a hound dog? Or something like that?
Yes, these cupcakes were made just for Mr. Presley. Or, the memory of Mr. Presley. Sweet Honey-Banana cake, sprinkled with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, were topped with the best peanut butter frosting you will have ever tasted. Now, because Ghost Elvis will probably haunt me if I decide to deep-fry anything, I decided to take these little treats in a totally different direction. Yep, these beauties are vegan. I know, Old Elvis would not be so into that. But I think Dead Elvis is a little more health conscience.
These guys will be entered in Cupcake Hero: Honey on I Dream of Buttercream's blog. Keep a look out and throw Dead Elvis a vote if you can. I don't want Mr. Presley to roll in his grave for naught.
The Dead Elvis
Vegan Honey-Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 17 cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil spread (Earth Balance), melted
3/4 cup honey (I just found out that honey isn't actually vegan - If you're a stickler, I'm sure you can substitute it for agave nectar just fine)
1/3 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 4 medium)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate pieces
1) Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
2) In another bowl, combine melted oil spread, honey, soy milk, and vanilla. Add your mushed bananas and mix with an electric mixer until all the large banana pieces are broken down. With a spoon, slowly mix in the flour until just combined. Do not over mix! If you find that your batter is too thick, add a couple more tablespoons of soy milk.
3) Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool before frosting.
Peanut Butter Icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
5 tablespoons vegetable oil spread (Earth Balance), softened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup vegan whipping cream (Rich Whip or Gefen nondairy whipping cream)
1) Pour the sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and oil spread in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixture until combined. Set aside.
2) Beat the vegan cream with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Carefully fold it into the peanut butter mixture until combined. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Enjoy.
and the skulls? Totally homemade peanut butter cups. spooky, baby, spooky.