You got a problem with that? I suppose I frequently do, though mostly with her recipes. In general I don’t like the corner-cutting she does (especially in the icings department), and I think most of her cake and candy recipes are poorly tested. However, if you don’t think she employs the greatest team of food designers working today, you’d better go back and take another look at that web sites of hers. Check out these cupcakes, for instance. Who has time to do all that for one flippin’ cupcake? Why no one of course. But who cares? It’s great design. These pear skeleton heads would be easier I think, and pear and white chocolate really are a good combination. However since pears can pass through peak ripeness in a matter of hours, I wonder how practical that is. This pumpkin cake seems virtually impossible for all but the most experienced decorators, especially since simple “five finger” glazes crack and chip if you even look at them funny. Look carefully at the bottom of the cake and you can see where even they had trouble with it.
I know what you’re thinking: so if you hate the recipes and love the designs, what do you do? The answer: substitute more reliable recipes for Martha’s. In the case of this week’s petits fours recipe, you can use the yellow or white cake of your choice and some real buttercream. If you’re a leftover pack rat like me you might have a little of both stashed in the freezer. If not, well, welcome to Martha land, where several hours isn’t too much time to spend on even the tiniest detail. Then again, if you were bringing these to someone else’s Halloween pot luck all the time might not be too terribly much.
On suggestion if you feel like taking them on: after you apply the buttercream tops to your ghosts (or witch hats if you’re feeling a little more ambitious), put them in the fridge for half an hour to firm the buttercream. It’ll make the application of the glaze a lot easier.