1. It's probably best to not start making cupcakes after 10 p.m. Really. We didn't even have enough milk to make pudding, or shortening to make buttercream frosting. Phil got a good idea:
Use instant breakfast powder to create "milk" by adding water to it. But... the only pudding I had left to use for cupcake filling was pistachio pudding mix. Not my first choice for cupcake filling. I thought it was kind of unusual. And green. I made a chocolate frosting using a non-meringue recipe. A good tasty frosting, but not super for piping on fancy cupcakes.
2. If you are going to use pistachio pudding mix as a cupcake filling, strain it first. I didn't. I thought that maybe the pistachios in the pudding mix (are they REALLY pistachios in pistachio pudding? or do they call it "pistachio" because it's green?) would be small enough to go through my Bismarck pastry tip. They weren't.
The first couple of cupcakes filled okay - but then, as I feared, a nut clogged the end of the pastry tip. Try as I might, squeezing the pastry bag only succeeded in the pudding escaping from the top of the pastry bag, not through the tip. Simple pressure wasn't going to dislodge the nut from the tip. So, I got a bamboo skewer and poked the nut back into the pastry bag. Squeezed again. Same thing. No amount of bamboo skewer pushing was going to be enough, but I kept trying. Until finally - one really good squeeze succeeded in forcing the ENTIRE PASTRY TIP - OUT of the pastry bag, and spraying (does pudding spray? not really)... no, SPLOPPING green pudding all over the counter top and everything else in its way.
3. STRAIN THE NUTS OUT OF THE PUDDING! Then, scrape up what you can off the cupcakes before you decorate them.
My pudding was a little bit runny, so it left the cupcakes pretty messy even without the splopping of pudding from when the pastry tip burst out of the pastry bag. But, after scraping off the exposed pudding, I covered the cupcakes topped with swirled chocolate frosting, deep chocolate sprinkles and a handmade chocolate candy placed in the middle.
4. Take at least one final cupcake photo. Sorry. I didn't take any photos because the kitchen was too messy, I had sticky green pudding all over me, and I was tired and needed to clean everything up before going to bed. But, the cupcakes turned out very nice and were devoured in short order at the ladies' salad supper at church. No one even suspected they were sealed beneath the icing with smeared pudding. (Of course, now they will!)
5. Learn from your mistakes. And then go on to more cupcakes another day.