It’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel!
(Insert Jaws music here.)
Shark Week is my favorite week in television all summer!
I have this weird fascination with sharks. I love watching shows that talk about them, especially the shark attact survivor shows.
I am also deathly afraid of sharks.
I think about sharks a lot when I’m in the water. Usually I try to stay somewhat close to shore (although you can be attacked in three feet of water) and keep my eyes on the lookout for dorsal fins.
It’s really quite remarkable I get in the ocean at all, especially when I’m in the Carribean or when I was in Hawaii.
But, I’ve heard you’re more likely to die from being hit on the head by a falling coconut than attacked by a shark. And worrying about something won’t prevent it from happening, so I’m trying to think about it less.
In honor of shark week, I made shark cupcakes. Michael helped (a little). He put the mouth on the shark. Michael likes sharks too. He’s been shark diving in South Africa and in Hawaii.
I will leave you with this piece of advice. If I’ve learned anything from watching shark week over the years, it’s don’t swim where the seals are because sharks like to eat seals.
(from Hello, Cupcake!)
12 cupcakes, baked
2 cans vanilla frosting
Black and blue food coloring
3 mini doughnuts (ideally plain, but I couldn’t find those, so I used the powder sugar kind)
Red fruit leather (I used Fruit-By-The-Foot)
3 Twinkies (ideally, you’ll end up with three breaching sharks)
3 thin chocolate cookies (I used a Mr. Christie kind)
6 mini chocolate chips
Red gummy fish (ie Swedish Fish, or Wal-Mart equivalent as I used)
Get your frosting ready:
Put 1/2 cup of vanilla frosting in a Ziplock bag and press out as much extra air as you can and seal.
Put 1/2 cup vanilla frosting in a 1 cup glass measuring cup.
Tint 1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting shark gray, using the black food coloring and put that into a 2 cup glass measuring cup.
Tint 2 tbsp frosting black with food coloring and put in a small Ziplock bag, pressing out excess air and sealing.
Tint the remaining frosting sea blue.
For Life Preservers:
Put the mini doughnut on a wire rack over cookie sheet that’s been lined with wax paper.
Microwave the white frosting in the 1 cup measuring cup, no more than 10 seconds at a time, stirring, until the frosting is slightly melted and is the texture of lightly whipped cream. When drizzled from a spoon, the frosting should incorporate back into the other frosting. This should take about 10-20 seconds. Coat the doughnuts by pouring the melted frosting over them, using a spoon to help get areas that might have been missed. You can reuse the collected excess frosting and re-heat the frosting, if needed. Put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set.
Using kitchen scissors, cut the fruit leather into nine skinny strips and wrap three around each doughnut to make the life preserver ropes.
Use a fork to take a “bite” out of one of the life preservers.
Frost three cupcakes with the blue frosting, swirling it to make it look like waves. Put one life preserver on each cupcake.
For the Schools of Fish:
Spread blue frosting on three cupcakes, mounding it slightly.
Put three fish candy on each cupcake. Place in fridge to set.
For the Shark Fins:
(my idea, after two of sharks took a nose dive)
Frost three cupcakes with blue frosting.
Cut two chocolate cookies in half. Insert one half into each cupcake. You may want to cut a slit in the cupcake with a knife first to make it easier to go it. Put in freezer to set of 15 minutes.
Melt gray frosting as you did the white frosting for the life preservers above. It will probably take 20-30 seconds.
Turn the cupcake upside down and dip just the fin into the melted gray frosting to coat. Hold above frosting and let the excess drip off.
Turn upright and put in fridge to set.
For the Sharks:
Put a Twinkie on its side, with the flat side facing you and cut about an inch off the bottom corner at an angle facing away from you. Turn it onto its flat side and shave off a small wedge from each of the rounded uncut end to make a slight V shape for the shark’s nose. Repeat with the other two Twinkies. If it’s a hot day, you might want to chill in the fridge for a bit first. I had issues with my shark’s noses breaking off after they were on the cupcake (why I ended up with one shark instead of three), so I suggest cutting a slit in the back of the shark for where the cookie will be inserted for the fin, and try putting the Twinkies in the freezer for 15 minutes first to see if that helps.
Spread some blue frosting on top of three cupcakes and put the trimmed Twinkie on top, snout end up. Insert the chocolate cookie half into the slit to make the fin. Put in the freezer to set for 15 minutes.
Using kitchen scissors, cut the fruit leather into three ovals for the sharks’ mouths.
Melt the gray frosting as you did previously. Turn the chilled cupcake upside down by its liner and dip into the gray frosting to coat both shark body and fin. Hold above the frosting and let the excess drip off. *Note* Important to give enough time for this step or you will end up with a drippy frosting disaster! Turn cupcake right side up. Repeat with the other two cupcakes, reheating frosting if necessary.
Press a mouth on each shark snout. Cut a tiny corner from the bag of white frosting and pipe teeth around the mouth (squeeze and pull frosting to a point for each tooth). Press a chocolate chip on each side for eyes. Snip a tiny corner from the bag of black frosting and pipe three lines for gills on each side of the shark.
Spread blue frosting around the shark for water.
Arrange sharks, fish, and life preserver cupcakes on a platter.