Happy times with kids call for cheerful cupcakes. Easier to serve than cake, cupcakes require no slicing, no plates, and no forks -- and every child gets her fair share of icing.
The cupcakes can be baked a week ahead and frozen, but decorate them no more than a day before serving. Set up an assembly line, and put kids in charge of affixing candy eyes, gumdrop cheeks, and other trimmings. Pack the cupcakes in a shallow plastic container, and stuff crumpled waxed paper in between. Then dole them out and watch kids marvel for a second before opening wide!
Holly Cupcake How-To
Chewy candies come in lots of shapes, and they're just the right size for decorating cupcakes. Here, a trio of sour-cherry candies and a pair of sugar-frosted spearmint leaves (sliced to make them thinner) look like a sprig of holly in a drift of snow.