I’m like, 12.
Or at least I act it sometimes.
I think that’s a big part of the reason I’m not a mom. I’d end up yelling at the kid that it’s MY turn to play the video game. I watch cartoons, I collect toys and I play video games. I know a lot of you are the same way … but I’m not talking awesome grown up video games. (Though I play some of those too.) I’m talking, in particular, about Animal Crossing. Do you know it?
If you do, I love you.
If you don’t, let’s talk. It’s this adorable little Japanese game for Nintendo. It’s essentially like the Sims, but much, much cuter. It came out for the GameCube, then one came out for the DS, then one for the Wii and now one for the 3DS. You live in a little village and all of your neighbors are these anthropomorphic animals that live in houses and ask you for shit all the time. You do chores, earn money (bells) and buy things. You can decorate your house in a million different ways, you can expand your house, there is an infinite amount of outfits for you to buy, there’s a museum, a club, a coffee shop … it’s crazy.
So I came in around the time of Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii. I live in Philadelphia and my best friend lives in Virginia Beach. City Folk came with a microphone that you could hook up to your Wii. You could visit your friends’ towns and talk to them. I thought it would be a cute way for us to “hang out” so I bought us each a copy. That’s it. That was the end of my real life as I knew it. Ever since then, I’ve lived with animals, bought things with bells and occasionally visited other towns.
I wanted to let you guys into my world a little bit. I’ve designed some fondant templates to make cupcakes that look like three of my favorite Animal Crossing characters. There’s Nook, the raccoon that owns some of the shops throughout the history of the games; there’s Brewster, the bird that owns the coffee shop and there’s KK Slider, the local musician who has been known to play at Brewster’s place or the disco, Club LOL. Yup. Welcome to my rabbit hole.
Download the fondant template here.
Animal Crossing Cupcakes
- 24 prepared cupcakes, any flavor
- 8 oz. mini marshmallows (4 cups, not packed)
- 4 cups powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
- 2 tbsp water
- Cooking spray,
Crisco or rubber gloves
- Food coloring; lots of food coloring
First, get prepared. Dust your work area with powdered sugar and get your tools out.
Place your marshmallows and water in a large microwave-safe bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Microwave on high for about a minute until the marshmallows puff up. Stir them with a rubber spatula so that they are smooth. If it isn’t smooth, go ahead and microwave it for another 30 seconds or so until you get it to be.
Add in your powdered sugar and stir with the spatula. Stir ’til ya can’t stir no more, then scrape the whole thing out onto your work surface. (A lot of the sugar will still not be incorporated.)
Dust your hands with powdered sugar and knead it like bread. Work it until it is smooth and not sticky. You may add a little more powdered sugar, but be careful to not add too much or it will become too stiff.
Once you got a smooth-ass ball of fondant, divide it into sections so you can dye it the colors you need.
Pick your first color to work on. Flatten the fondant into a round disc with your rolling pin. Put on gloves, or rub crisco on your hands so they don’t get as-dyed. Add in your food coloring in the middle of the fondant. Fold it in half so they dye is enclosed. Begin to knead the ball, like you did before, until the color is incorporated.
Repeat for each color. White is cool. I left some extra white in case I screwed up anything, I could color it and continue on.
For each color, roll out fondant with your rolling pin again. Using your template, cut out each piece from it’s appropriate color. Set aside on a baking sheet to use on your cupcakes. Cover and store in a cool place until ready to use.
Roll stuff out to start cutting. Pretty thin. Probably thinner than you think. Place your stencil on the fondant and start cutting around it with a clean knife. A little note, if you rub a little Crisco on your knife it cuts a lot easier. After you’ve cut it out, mushing the rough edges in a little with the flat side of the knife makes to smooth it out to a nice refined finish.
Assemble by putting a tiny bit of frosting between fondant layers.
Voila. Edible animals. But not the usual kind.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at email@example.com.