After I posted the April Fool’s fakeout dinner ideas in my last DIY Links of the Week, I just had to try them out with my son. [Full disclosure: I had class in the evening on April 1, so I had to make my April Fool’s Day Dinner on April 2. But no worries! It tasted just the same.;-)]
Normally I don’t make meatloaf – I think I’ve made it maybe twice in my life, ever. My son prefers the Japanese-style hamburgs (think: meatloaf-style thick hamburger patties with a demi glace sauce) to regular ol’ American meatloaf. So I used this recipe I found for my meatloaf, and altered the cooking method a bit to make little cupcakes:
DIY April Fool’s Day Meatloaf “Cupcakes”
*your favorite meatloaf recipe
*instant mashed potatoes (or your favorite mashed potatoes recipe)
*2-3 T milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray nonstick cooking spray in the cavities of a muffin tin.
2. Mix up the meatloaf ingredients, and separate into 12 smaller balls. Pat each ball of meatloaf into each muffin cavity, pressing down to squish out any air bubbles. Fill up about 3/4 of the way to the top, so they don’t overflow.
3. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and squeeze a spiral of ketchup over the top of each meatloaf muffin, and replace in oven.
4. Bake another 10 minutes.
5. While they are baking, whip up a batch of instant mashed potatoes following the recipe, and cut your cherry tomatoes in half. (Add about 2 -3 T of milk and continue whipping the potatoes after they’re done to make them extra white and fluffy.)
6. Once meatloaf muffins are done, lift out of the muffin tin and spread a layer of mashed potatoes on top to look like icing. Press a halved cherry tomato in the center to look like a cherry.
The meatloaf cupcakes cooked up juicy and sweet because of all the ketchup (which also served as a nice layer in-between the meatloaf and the mashed potato “icing” on top). Lil Tot thought they were cute and tasty…though he admitted he would prefer the meatloaf (meatloaves??) with demi-glace sauce on them next time. Ahwell.
The Hamburger Cookies were a bigger hit. I again altered the recipe I found online a bit to suit my needs – I found simpler made these tastier.
DIY April Fool’s Day “Hamburger” Cookies
*Keebler “Grasshopper” chocolate-covered mint cookies
*Nabisco “Nilla” vanilla wafer cookies
*small amount of honey
*white sesame seeds
*yellow Starburst chews
1. Find a pair of Nilla cookies that are whole and unbroken.(easier said than done!) Pour about a teaspoon of honey onto a spoon, and dip your fingertip in it. Smear a tiny bit of honey on the underside of one cookie.
2. Place a Grasshopper chocolate cookie on top (bottom-to-bottom).
3. Unwrap a Starburst chew and place it on the wrapper in the microwave. Microwave for 10 seconds – the chew will become malleable.
4. Stretch the chew flat with your fingers, and cut in half with a sharp knife. Allow to cool before trying to pull apart the halves.
5. Press one half down onto the chocolate cookie and let the corners hang off – like a slice of cheese on a hamburger.
6. Dip your fingertip in honey, and spread a tiny bit on the top of the remaining Nilla cookie. Sprinkle a couple sesame seeds on top, and press this cookie on to the Starburst chew.
Voila! Tiny hamburgers!
My son liked them so much he has now asked me to make them for dessert every day since. The vanilla cookies were quite nice with the chocolate mint and honey (though yes, the Starburst in the middle is a little weird).
WWHHHAAAAT, these are the cutest things EVAR.
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the hamburgers are adorable!!
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Demi glace sauce? I’m more used to the homemade tradition being a sunnyside-up egg being served on top of burgers in Japan. Very delicious, although I’ve been vegetarian for the past two and a half years, so I’ve been expermenting with how to make nikujaga without the niku, and an alternate way to do a tonkatsu fry with tofu.
Those meatloaf cupcakes do look adorable. Maybe I should try your idea with soy meat sometime soon.
Yeah, Hub found a bottle of demi glace sauce at the Japanese market a couple weeks ago (we had no idea you could even buy it in a bottle; I’d always buy it in the can or make it from scratch at home). At home I make hamburgs (ハンバーグ) instead of meatloaf for dinner anyways, and hamburgers (on the bun) American-style for when my son wanted a hamburger.
Tonkatsu fry with tofu? Aha! I just made it last week! (Use koyadoufu for the tofu; it holds together better for frying…or even freeze a block of semi-firm tofu – it adds a sponginess and “meatlike” quality to the tofu. After freezing overnight, allow the the frozen block to thaw – and the tofu will be spongy and perfect. Kind of the “poor man’s” er, “woman’s” way of making koya doufu without having to buy it.:-)
Nikujaga might be tougher because of the thin-sliced beef in it…I haven’t found any good vegetarian substitute for that meat that gets the flavor and the texture…that can be paired with shirataki and not be weird…let me know if you find anything because I’d love to try making some veggie nikujaga sometime!!;-)