Simon is three! Can you believe it? What an old geezer. Because he is supremely loved/spoiled, he had to have a whole bunch of birthday parties, including one with his grandparents, aunts and aunts/uncles/cousins once removed. It was a sublime excuse for his grandma to buy lots of farm animal-themed crap, as this was a farm animal-themed birthday party. And it was an equally sublime excuse for his aunt Sarah to make him the adorable animal cupcakes from Martha Stewart!
After much agonizing, Simon went with the pig
These cupcakes are really pretty straightforward; just make sure you set aside a lot of time to make them, as they are time-consuming to decorate. Since I was only making a couple of each kind of cupcake, I used pink jelly beans instead of Bubble Tape for the pigs' ears, and I used buttercream instead of fondant for the monkey. Amazingly, I had never made Swiss buttercream before! If, like me, you are a novice, I would advise that you not worry too much about the buttercream coming together. I thought mine was really lumpy but I let the mixer work on it for a while longer and soon it was nice and smooth. Timesucking aside, these were a lot of fun to make; I think the mouse was my favorite!
For some reason, the pig recipe is not on the Web site, but luckily it's the simplest one to duplicate. Just make some dark pink frosting and some light pink frosting; spread on the dark pink frosting, pipe a large circle of light pink for the snout, then add two dollops of dark pink on top of that for the nostrils. Add brown mini M and Ms for the eyes and either pink jelly beans or triangular pieces of bubble gum for the ears. Voila! An adorable pig. (Funny side story: my dad asked if it was okay for me to make a pig cupcake, as pigs are not kosher. I pointed out to him that they are no less kosher than lions, mice and monkeys, and in any case it doesn't matter because they're all cupcakes. Silly.)