Ingredients 6 vanilla cupcakes , baked in white paper liners6 to 8 green fruit chews (Jolly Rancher, Laffy Taffy)3 pink fruit chews (Jolly Rancher, Starburst, Laffy Taffy)1 1/2 cups canned vanilla frostingGreen and yellow food coloring1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey's)1/2 cup dark green sprinkles1 strand green licorice twist (Twizzlers Rainbow Twists), thinly sliced diagonallyLarge Chinese food take-out containers (optional)
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. For the broccoli stems, make a lengthwise slit halfway down the center of each green fruit chew and open slightly. Place the stems on the prepared cookie sheet. Microwave the pink fruit chews for 2 to 3 seconds to soften. Press the pink fruit chews together and roll out into a 2-by-3-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. For the pork slivers, cut the flattened fruit chew rectangle crosswise into 1/8-inch-wide strips.
Tint 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting bright green with the green food coloring, spoon the frosting into a ziplock bag, press out the excess air, and seal. Tint 2 teaspoons of the remaining vanilla frosting with 1/2 teaspoon of the cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon water and mix to make a smooth brown paste. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting light brown with 1 drop of yellow food coloring and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder. Spread the darker brown paste down the side of a ziplock bag and then fill in with the light brown frosting. Press out the excess air and seal.
Place the green sprinkles in a small bowl. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the green frosting. For the broccoli florets, pipe mounds of frosting on the tips of the split ends of the green fruit chews on the cookie sheet. Holding the broccoli by the stem, press the frosted end lightly into the sprinkles to cover completely; return to the cookie sheet.
Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the brown frosting. To make the lo mein noodles, pipe the frosting in an irregular pattern all over the cupcakes, piling it high and letting it hang over the edges (the darker brown frosting will look like soy sauce). Arrange the pink fruit chew pork slivers randomly on top of the cupcakes. Add one or two pieces of broccoli on top. For scallions, scatter a few green licorice slices on top of the cupcakes.
To get the full effect, carefully place the cupcakes in the Chinese take-out containers, if using.
©2010 What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Excerpted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.