It's not dinner, it's dessert!
When I saw these on Bakerella's site, I knew I HAD to make them. They are so irresistibly cute! Our guests for our cook-out loved them, but probably nobody loved them as much as Grant. He's totally a burger and fries type of guy.....so you give it to him in dessert form, he's a happy man.
As far as the recipe goes, you can take the long route and make everything from scratch, including the cupcakes, brownies, frosting, and cookies, or you can use mixes to speed up the process a little.
Here's what I did.
Brownies - 1 family size (13 x 9" pan) mix, made as directed on box with 2 eggs. Line pan with foil and grease the foil. Bake as directed - do not overbake! Cool completely. Lift brownies out with foil and turn onto a cutting board. Use a 2" round cutter to cut out as many circles as you can.
Vanilla cupcakes - from a mix, bake as directed substituting milk for the water and making 22-24 cupcakes. Cool completely. Cut in half for buns. (Note: I made 21 cupcakes with my batter, and they turned out a little thicker than I needed. I ended up trimming a little out of the center of each one so the buns wouldn't look so thick)
Frosting - from scratch....blend the following together well: (You can also use 1 16 oz can of frosting if you don't want to make it)
2 sticks softened butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
Divide into 3 bowls, with 1 section slightly more than the others. Tint that one green. Tint the other two yellow and red. I used Wilton colors....and added a touch of violet to the red to make it a deeper color.
Sugar cookies (fries) from this recipe (You could also use a mix to make these)
It's pretty easy.....after letting the dough chill an hour or so, roll it out and just cut strips with a knife or pizza cutter. Don't worry about making them all the same size....fries aren't all identical or symmetrical anyways.
Note 1: my longer fries tended to break in half when I removed them from the baking sheet or rolled them in sugar, so I learned to not make them more than finger-length to begin with.
Note 2: Don't be cheap like I was and not use parchment paper underneath the cookies. It would have made my life SO much easier.
After baking, if some of them seem too wide (like huge steak fries), just cut them in half lengthwise while still warm.
Roll each strip in a bowl of granulated sugar while still warm and it will stay on there really well.
Now for the packaging. Bakerella did a fantastic job in creating templates for all that you need, although it was originally for Father's Day. You can download the 4-page pdf (636 KB) here if you want it. I printed out the trays on cardstock and the blank outlines of the fries packages (page 4 of the pdf) just on regular paper, although she recommended vellum. Well, Wal-Mart doesn't carry vellum. I found that regular paper works just fine. Obviously, I didn't want the Father's Day tissue paper she used, so I just bought some blue tissue paper and called it a day.
Here are a couple of pictures showing how to cut out the tray outline. I was a bit confused by it at first so Grant figured it out for me. You will have to use tape to hold it together.
From start to finish.
Here is the set table, with a dessert tray at each seat.
A better look at dessert!