Before my son ever saw an episode of Sesame Street, he fell in love with some of the characters from toys and books. Baby Bear loves two of these characters so much that he does impressions of Cookie Monster and sings the la-la-la parts of Elmo's song (original, not Elmo's World). So, for his first birthday party, I knew exactly what theme we should use!
Finding decorations was fairly easy as this is such a popular kids' show. Finding a cake to go with the theme was easy, too, but I did not want my Baby Bear filling himself so full of sugar all at once and for the first time. This meant searching through hundreds of "healthy" cake recipes as well as cupcake decorating ideas to go with the theme. Whereas an applesauce cake recipe I tried was pretty tasty, I succumbed to the convenience of Pillsbury's new line of sugar-free cake products. I also found a couple of creative, yet simple ideas for making Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes. This was the result of my first attempt at said cupcakes:
I used cans of Betty Crocker decorating cake icing for the fur (on sale for $1/can at Kroger!), marshmallows and chocolate chips for the eyes, orange peanut M&Ms for Elmo's nose, and halved Oreo cookies for the mouth. For the fur I used the star tip, started in the center, and worked my way in a circular pattern out until the top of the cupcake was covered. I cut the marshmallows into thirds and used the outer portions for the eyes. I also used a touch of frosting to make the chocolate chips stick to the marshmallows. Not too shabby for a beginner!