I grew up in a kitchen of the ’50s and ’60s, when most mothers were busy cooking and baking daily. My siblings and I were usually shooed out of the kitchen, and as a result I have few memories of helping out there, except to set the table and do the dishes. I distinctly remember many nasty sibling fights over those chores.
The traditional, learning-at-the-elbow cooking moment never happened for me.
However, my mom would have been thrilled that I ended up in the food world.
I will be grateful forever for her adventurous, ready-to-try-something-new spunk.
Family trips south of the border sparked her enthusiasm to make enchiladas and huevos rancheros. She was ahead of her time for the late 1960s.
I like to think she’d be proud I’d inherited some of her ambitious, sometimes kooky, creative cooking genes.
So when my friend Melanie Morrison, a mother of three, emailed me a photo of cupcakes that looked like high heel shoes and asked, “Can you make these?” my response, of course, was, “Sure!”
Her middle child Roxy was turning 10 years old, and Melanie was hosting a fashion-themed celebration to honor her birthday. Those fancy footwear cupcakes would serve as the table centerpiece. Gone are the days of clowns and pony rides these days.
OK, all you high heel lovers. These cupcakes weren’t hard to prepare but transporting them was a different story.
Using a boxed cake mix saved time but didn’t sacrifice quality. Cupcake liners were used for the bottom of each shoe. You can bake with double liners, if you want the color to be more vibrant. I chose Pepperidge Farm’s Milano cookies for soles, but you could also use graham crackers.
Cookie sticks or pretzel rods work great for the heels, and you can accessorize the shoes however you want. I used royal icing flowers and pearl sprinkles for my bling.
Foreseeing I might loose a few heels when transporting the shoes across town (they’re only attached with butter cream frosting), I packed some extra frosting for “cement.”
I drove very carefully while delivering the edible footgear, especially while turning corners and cruising over railroad tracks. Despite such caution, when I got to my destination and opened the cake box the shoes were in a jumble like they are on the floor of my bedroom closet.
Next time, I’ll try using the hard-drying royal icing to “cement” my heels to the soles. Oh, here’s another traveling tip: anchor the bottom of each cupcake and heel to your cake board with a dab of frosting.
It was all so worth it. Judging from the looks on the girls’ faces, Roxy and her friends enjoyed eating their glamorous heels. The cakes would also be great to serve at a wedding, baby shower or for Mother’s Day.
Shoes and cupcakes are a girl’s best friend, aren’t they? Enjoy!
Lynn Kessel is a freelance food columnist. For more of her recipes, check her articles by clicking here.
High Heel Shoe Cupcakes
Ladyfinger or Milano cookies
Rolled cookie wafers, pirouettes or pretzel rods
Baked, cooled cupcakes
Frost cupcakes, using a spatula or piping bag. Cut the rolled cookie wafers or pretzel rods at a slight angle to the size you want. Insert “sole” into the cupcake. Put a little bit of frosting onto the angled end of the wafer or pretzel and attach to the bottom of the shoe “sole.”
Embellish frosted cupcake with purchased or homemade royal-icing flowers, dragees, sugar sprinkles, nonpareils, etc.