2006_10_food_sdcupcakes.jpgIf you don't have kids, go round some up so that you can try out some of the creations in Super-Duper Cupcakes, by Elaine Cohen, owner of the Cupcake Caboose catering company. Cohen provides ideas for whimsical cupcake designs, rated from easy (one spoon) to more difficult (three spoons). She offers very basic recipes for vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and frostings, but even if you don't really cook, you can still join in on the fun of decorating by picking up some cake mix, canned frosting, food coloring, and candy decorating supplies.

Kids will find the instructions fairly simple to follow, with some adult guidance, and will end up with cupcakes topped with fuzzy sheep (mini marshmallows + black licorice + black Chuckles-type candy), crabs (orange Chuckles-type candy + red licorice), or even snakes crawling out of the ground (chocolate cookies + gummy worms). So -- grab some kids and satisfy the sweet tooth, the budding artist, and your own inner child all at the same time!

Super-Duper Cupcakes retails for $9.95.