By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
With the COVID-19 coronavirus and now a stay-at-home order from the Virginia governor until June 10, 2020, it’s becoming more difficult to find fun things for families to do. But we’re not giving up! Even being homebound, we all should continue to celebrate life’s everyday moments and special events. One easy way to do that is on April 1, with fun, safe, and innocent pranks you can pull on family members.
Our Pinterest board for April Fool’s Day has more than 100 ideas for gags, pranks, and tricky treats. While there are a handful of “healthy” or non-sweet options (for example, meats disguised as desserts), most recipes are the other way around: sweets disguised as main meals. Most of the pins are made with loads of sugar and “junk,” so you’ve been warned!
Of course, with most households now full of family members, it may be tough to pull off a prank. Still, if you can recruit another adult, steal away some solo time, or work at night while others sleep, you might get away with it! Thankfully, some of the ideas are super-easy. I decided to go with the donut box of “miniature donuts” that are just dressed-up Cheerios.
This is a super-easy thing to make, and chances are that you already have everything you need at home. All it takes is any kind of Cheerios or similar cereal (I used Honey Nut Cheerios), some cake frosting or the like (I used white decorating icing), and whatever toppings you want to use.
To make your “donuts” just spread the frosting or icing on the Cheerios and decorate away! It helps to use a toothpick to spread the icing, since the surface area you will work with is so small. Also, since the opening of the Cheerios are larger than a donut hole would be, using a little extra icing will get them closer to a true size. Once I had my donuts iced, I added sprinkles, powdered sugar, regular sugar, or cinnamon sugar. For the powdered sugar donuts, I covered the whole top of the Cheerios so they would resemble jelly-filled donuts. And on a few cereal pieces instead of using icing I used some melted semi-sweet chips to make them more like chocolate glazed donuts.
While the easiest way to present these would be in a little bowl, if you have time, you can also make a miniature donut box for them. The Lindsay Ann Bakes site has not only great ideas for decorating the donuts and a step-by-step video, but also a free template so you can print and assemble your own mini boxes! The template has three designs: a basic horizontal box, one with an area you can cut out (then adding plastic wrap) to make it like a window box, and one with the Lindsay Ann logo (you can tell your family it’s a new bakery in town!). The template was easy to use but I found it fit only eight of my donuts (not a full dozen as I’d planned) so I just placed those inside.
For the look of the box, I went with the plain design, adding a Dunkin’ Donuts logo on top and the company’s colors (strips cut from office supplies!) since we have a store not far from us. Tomorrow I will tell my son I got him a box of donuts he can eat all by himself! I probably will just hand him the box at that point, but if you want to get more creative about it, you can use toys, small stuffed animals, an Elf on the Shelf, action figures, or Barbie dolls (these dolls are mine… I bought them for ME at a thrift store because, well, aren’t they just fabulous?).