This is another recipe from the folks at Jelly Belly, who have figured out how to make some fun crafty treats with their jelly beans for the holidays. If you wanted to give the older kids a great project to help the younger kids with, set up a table before Thanksgiving dinner and show the older ones how to make these cupcakes. Then, let them sit with the littler kids and teach them what to do. And keep in mind that even the messiest harvest corn cupcakes will make their creators very proud Make sure to have extra jelly beans for snacking -- not all of them will make it onto the cupcakes.
You can definitely use a boxed mix to make these cupcakes-- the fun is in the decorating, so give yourself a break in the baking department. And feel free to try other flavors besides vanilla - a spice cupcake or a carrot cupcake would also be great here.
From the makers of Jelly Belly: "A-maize your crowd with this crafty centerpiece inspired by the dried harvest corn decorations that grace doorways each fall. The kernels are gourmet jelly beans in beautiful autumn shades. Sheets of toasted phyllo dough form the tawny corn husks."
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with crumpled foil. Cut the phyllo sheets crosswise into 3-inch-wide strips, tapering both ends. Drape the stacked husks on the prepared pan, shaping them over the crumpled foil to make curves. Spray lightly with vegetable cooking spray. Bake until the phyllo is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. The husks can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container.
Tint the vanilla frosting pale beige with the cocoa powder.
Lining up 3 cupcakes at a time, spread some of the pale beige frosting on top. Arrange about 5 straight rows of jelly beans, side by side and close together, on each cupcake (see the photo). Try to select flavors that go well together, such as toasted marshmallow, banana, cappuccino, and chocolate pudding. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, frosting, and jelly beans.
For each ear of corn, place 3 cupcakes end to end on a serving platter, aligning the rows of jelly beans. Arrange the phyllo husks on either side of the corn.