Firecracker Cupcakes for the Fourth of July

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The Fourth of July is a celebration of many things: political independence. Personal freedoms. The ability to blow up small portions of our country with fireworks. And, of course, eating! I’ve combined two of these July 4th favorites into one fun dessert, so you can now enjoy your holiday sweets with a side of sparkle. (Sorry, but you’ll have to find a different dish to appropriately commemorate our independence from King George III.) These cute Fireworks Cupcakes are a fun change from the usual Fourth of July desserts, and they’re perfect for any party or barbecue!

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Not only are these Fireworks Cupcakes cute, but they are easy! Holidays can be hectic, but with this recipe, your dessert assembly doesn’t have to be. The candy “fireworks” sticking out of the cupcakes are made from just 3 ingredients: marshmallows, red chocolate coating, and black licorice. They’re simple to assemble, but they look surprisingly realistic, and I had more than one friend who was surprised when I told them these cupcakes are completely edible!

 Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

One great thing about these candy fireworks is that you can make them in advance, so if you know you’ll be busy grilling at the last minute on the 4th, make them a few days ahead of time and pop them on your cupcakes whenever you’re ready! I love putting these on top of cupcakes decorated with a few sprinkles, but I think they would also work on small cakes, or even as a border around a larger cake. Here’s what you need to get started!

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Firecracker Cupcakes for the Fourth of July
yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Start by making the wicks for the fireworks. Carefully unwind the black licorice wheel and separate the two strands. If the wheel is difficult to unwind because the licorice seems stiff, microwave it for 5-6 seconds, to warm and soften it–this should make it easier to pull apart. Cut the licorice into pieces about an inch long.

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Place the red melting chocolate wafers in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave them in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir and heat until the wafers are melted and smooth.

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Now it’s time to dip our fireworks! Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment. Skewer a marshmallow with a toothpick, inserting it about halfway down into the marshmallow, and dip it into the melted coating.

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

If you’re having trouble coating the marshmallow completely, use a spoon to pour coating over the marshmallow to make sure that it’s fully covered. Pull it out of the coating and let the excess drip back into the bowl.

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Place the marshmallow on the baking sheet and gently twist the toothpick out of the top. If it’s difficult to remove, or seems to be “stuck,” use a second toothpick to hold the marshmallow down and gently pry the first one out of the top.  Now you have a beautiful red marshmallow with an ugly hole in the top. But wait…

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

While the coating is still wet, immediately stick a piece of licorice into the hole in top of the marshmallow and press down firmly. The licorice should go part-way into the marshmallow, so it’s firmly stuck inside. Repeat until all of the marshmallows have been dipped and licorice-d. Refrigerate the tray to set the coating completely, for about 10 minutes.

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Once the coating on the marshmallows is set, stick a marshmallow firecracker into the top of each frosted cupcake. And BAM! POP! POW! Your Fireworks Cupcakes are ready! Serve them to guests, then sit back and wait for the “oohs” and “aahs” to commence.

As always, there’s an easily print-able recipe down below, and a pin-able image showing all the steps. Enjoy!

Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

Firecracker Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • One black licorice wheel (or other black string licorice)
  • 24 large marshmallows
  • 12 oz red melting chocolate wafers
  • 24 frosted cupcakes
Instructions
  1. Unwind the licorice wheel and separate the two strands. Cut the licorice into pieces about an inch long.
  2. Place the red melting chocolate wafers in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir and heat until the wafers are melted and smooth.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment. Skewer a marshmallow with a toothpick, and dip it into the melted coating. If necessary, use a spoon to pour coating over the marshmallow to make sure that it's fully covered. Pull it out of the coating and let the excess drip back into the bowl.
  4. Place the marshmallow on the baking sheet and gently twist the toothpick out of the top. While the coating is still wet, stick a piece of licorice into the hole in top of the marshmallow.
  5. Repeat until all of the marshmallows have been dipped. Refrigerate the tray to set the coating completely, for about 10 minutes. Once set, stick a marshmallow firecracker into the top of a frosted cupcake, and serve!

 

How to Make Firecracker Cupcakes | OhNuts.com

 

All text and images (c) 2014 Elizabeth LaBau

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