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National Lampoons Collage

My husband and I host a themed Christmas party every year.  After receiving a stuffed squirrel from a friend’s parents (long story) we decided that this year’s theme should be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  It’s a classic holiday comedy and an easy party theme.  We held a costume contest, a Frank Shirley rant competition and provided cocktails and dessert.  It was a great time, with lots of laughter, tons of food, and maybe a few too many hot buttered rum drinks.

I scoured the internet looking for Christmas Vacation inspired desserts and found nothing.  I spent a few hours brainstorming and came up with what you see below.  The Tangled Lights cupcakes are from i am baker, but the other three desserts are Rolling Sin – Sweets After Dark originals.  How exciting!  Make a batch of Cousin Eddie Cookies for your next get together to show off your baking skills and sense of humor at the same time!


Cousin Eddie Cookies

Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Eddie: Naw, I’m doing just fine, Clark.

Amazingly soft, bakery style sugar cookies with chocolate dickies and a powdered sugar sweater glaze.  The buttery sweet dough emulsion is the secret to fabulous sugar cookies.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Cookie Ingredients
1 and 1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon buttery sweet dough emulsion
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar for dipping bottom of glass

Glaze Ingredients
1 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3-5 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Black candy melts for dickies
White candy melts for v-neck sweater opening

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs, buttery sweet dough emulsion and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until dough comes together. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass coated in sugar, press down on each cookie to flatten to appox. 1/2″ thickness.

3.  Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottom is light brown. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

4.  Once cookies are cooled, melt black candy melts and put into pastry bag with #4 tip.  Pipe and fill in rectangles on the top of each cookie.  Then pipe circles at the top of cookie for turtle neck hole.

5.  Use melted white chocolate/candy melts in pastry bag to pipe v-shaped neck hole openings on top of dickies.

6.  Mix glaze ingredients together, SLOWLY adding milk until desired coating consistency is reached.  Spoon glaze onto cookies, careful to keep the glaze on one side of the piped v-neck opening.  Let glaze drip a few seconds and then place on cookie rack over parchment paper to catch additional drips.

7.  Let dry uncovered overnight.  Glaze will harden.

jello mold cupcakes

Aunt Bethany’s Jell-o Mold Cupcakes

Clark: Aunt Bethany, does your cat eat jello?
Cousin Eddie: I don’t know about the cat, but *I* sure am enjoying it.

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes (I use box mixed Devil’s Food plus 2 tablespoons Red Velvet bakery emulsion)
Cream cheese frosting (canned or from scratch)
Green candy melts (about 1 pound)
Brown cocoa nibs (or brown jimmies)
Orange jimmies
Mini bundt pan

1. Make cupcakes according to box directions, adding two tablespoons of Red Velvet bakery emulsion.

2. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost flat with cream cheese frosting.

3. Sprinkle brown cocoa nibs or jimmies into the bottom of each mini bundt cavity.

4. Melt green candy melts and pipe or spoon into each cavity, filling about 1/3 of the way up. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. I had to drop my pan onto the counter to get the molds to release, so make sure the chocolate is set, and don’t be shy about pounding on the pan to get them loose!

5. Place Jell-o molds on top of cupcakes and sprinkle edges with orange jimmies.


Tangled Christmas Lights Cupcakes

Clark: Unravel these. We need to check every bulb. [Pulls out a huge tangle of lights] Oop. Little knot here, you can work on that.

Inspiration from i am baker
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes


Red velvet cupcakes (I use box mixed Devil’s Food plus 2 tables spoons Red Velvet bakery emulsion)
Cream cheese frosting (canned or from scratch)
Forest green gel coloring
Circle sprinkles
#4 icing tip

1. Make cupcakes according to box directions, adding two tablespoons of Red Velvet bakery emulsion.

2. Add forest green gel color to cream cheese frosting until desired shade is reached.  Attach #4 tip to pastry bag and fill with frosting.

3. Holding bag 6 inches or so above cupcake, squeeze frosting out of bag and let it drop randomly onto the cupcake, forming a tangled mound.

4. Place or drop a few circle sprinkles in random spots to make it look like light bulbs.  Easy peasy!

national lampoons christmas vacation cat cake

Electrocuted Kitty Cake

Cousin Eddie: That thing had nine lives, you just spent ’em all.

Dark chocolate cake with salted caramel filling and salted caramel frosting.  This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had, and I’m not a big fan of chocolate cake.  I had two people at the party ask repeatedly to share the recipe because they said it was the best chocolate cake they’ve ever had…ever.
Makes 2 8″ or 9″ round cakes
Cake and caramel recipes adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Cake Ingredients
1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cup (350 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (95 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil (or canola oil, or melted coconut oil)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) freshly brewed strong hot coffee
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (for filling)

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt

Salted Caramel Buttercream
3 large egg whites at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1/2 cup caramel sauce (or to taste)
Teal gel color
Black gel color
Tip #233

Black candy melts and parchment paper for cat outline

Cake Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter & flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans, or use non-stick spray.

2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

3. Using a handheld or stand mixer, combine the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee. The batter will be VERY thin. This is ok.

4. Pour the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

Salted Caramel Sauce Directions
1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.

2. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.

3. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.

4. Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.

5. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.

6. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using. Reserve 1/2 cup for buttercream and 1/2 cup for cake filling

Salted Caramel Buttercream Directions
1. Combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, set over a pan of simmering water. Heat the mixture while whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved (to 160F), about 2 minutes.

2. Remove bowl from heat and mix on high until it’s fluffy and holds stiff peaks. With mixer on medium speed, add salt and butter a few pieces at a time. If frosting looks curdled just keep beating, it will come together! After all the butter is added, crank the sucker up to high and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes until everything is smooth, creamy and fluffy.

3. Add 1/2 cup (or to taste) salted caramel sauce and mix. **Reserve 1/4 cup frosting to pipe on as cat hair**

4. Add teal and a few drops of black gel color to replicate carpet color from Christmas Vacation movie and mix until fluffy.

Cat Outline Directions
1. Trace diameter of cake pan onto parchment paper and draw outline of cat.

2. Using melted black candy melts and a small round tip, pipe outline and fill in cat figure. Allow 10 minutes to harden.

Cake Assembly Directions
1. Level both cakes and place one cake centered on cake board

2. Frost bottom cake and using a round tip, pipe a dam around the outer edge to keep caramel from squishing out the sides. (See photo)
2013-12-14 11.46.00
3. Pour 1/2 cup caramel on top of cake

4. Place second cake on top of first and frost

5. Place chocolate cat cutout on top

6. Using a #233 tip and the reserved white frosting, pipe fur around edges of cat figure and if you have leftover, use as accents around the bottom of the cake.

Happy holidays to you and yours!  May your family get together this season be filled with lots of love and sweets!

national lampoons christmas vacation desserts