Friday, December 31, 2010
I first got to help out with some of the Halloween cookies (sorry, I didn't have time to post pictures of those and it just seems silly to post them now).
More recently, I went to the cafe to help with Christmas cookies. I only had time to get the snowflake cookies done that day. Since Colorado finally got some snow, it seemed fitting to share the pictures with you today.
By the way, these are some of the best sugar cookies I've ever had! If you want to know where to find them, send me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you the address for the cafe.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
That means that today is my blog’s 1st birthday!
Thank you so much to all of you that have stopped by my blog to read my posts. A special thank you to those that have left comments and encouraged me in this fun little journey.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I decided to use up some peppermint chips that I had in the freezer, but I didn’t really like the recipe suggested on the back. I decided the best pairing for peppermint chips would be chocolate. So I adapted the recipe from the back of the Reese’s peanut butter chips bag (a recipe that I have used before).
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Adapted from Reese’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
¾ cup (I used generous measurements, not leveled off) cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips
Heat oven to 350 F.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peppermint chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Take a look at all these details.
Monday, December 27, 2010
For example, one of these friends is expecting her first baby and another friend hosted an adorable baby shower for her! (There will be a Party Post tomorrow with all of the amazing and thoughtful details that went into the shower.) The hostess thought cupcakes would be perfect for a baby shower since they are essentially ‘baby’ cakes. So, she asked me to make them, I was so excited!
We met over coffee so I could find out all the pertinent details: shower theme, style, flavors, quantity, etc.
She had found the most adorable invitations that were the primary inspiration for the cupcakes and the shower.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
(This post is about a month late which you probably noticed based on the date of the crumbled cake post - sorry!)
You can either use it as an excuse to eat it as is, or make cake balls! Since I had to have something to take to a party anyway and I already had the broken cake and leftover frosting from a few cakes I had done recently; I opted to give cake balls another try.
This time I was going to try and make a few cake pops from Bakerella's new book to go with some cupcakes I was making for a baby shower that weekend (post to come soon) and use the rest as plain cake balls for the party we were going to; but I was having some issues and running low on time, so I turned them all into cake balls.
You can find detailed instructions, and much prettier versions of cake balls and cake pops, on Bakerella's web site or you can view my first attempt here.
Basically, you crumble up a baked cake and mix in frosting. This time I used leftover 'Extra Special Buttercream' instead of the canned frosting. Then form the cake/icing mixture into balls and refrigerate or freeze for the required amount of time. Melt your chocolate and/or candy coating according to package directions. This time I used milk chocolate, white chocolate and peanut butter candy coating. Dip the balls into the melted chocolate/coating and let set. Then refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you don't care what they look like, which obviously I didn't this time, it's a pretty easy and fast solution to a crumbled cake. If you do want to make them look better or try any of Bakerella's cake pops, you'll need a lot more time and attention to detail.
These were pretty popular at the party, which was great because I didn't want to have to bring any home!
Friday, December 24, 2010
I know I've gotten behind on posting again; with work, wedding planning and the holidays, the last month has definitely escaped me. I promise I haven't forgotten you or my little blog; I hope to have some great posts for you right after Christmas. In the meantime, take some time to enjoy family and friends during the holidays.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Wilton daisy shape pan and the personal cake for the birthday girl was just a single layer 6-inch round cake.
This was my first time baking a shaped cake and I was so excited. Perhaps a little too excited because I became impatient and did not let the cake cool as long as I should have…I’m pretty sure that’s why the first cake ended up like this:
The second cake turned out much better.
Wilton Bake Easy Spray. I loved it, it worked perfectly (even on the first cake), and it’s so much easier than using shortening and flour!
For decorating the shaped cake I just used butter cream icing (you can see the recipe I use here).
here and here). However, I haven’t tried any detail shapes in chocolate until this; down below I show how I made the butterflies. I didn't use all the exact same colors because, well, the chocolates get a little pricey, but the patterns match pretty closely. I think they turned out very well.
Despite the first cake setback, overall this project was a success. I hope the sweet birthday girl enjoyed it!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
My very creative and talented friend and her sister-in-law put together an adorable Mickey Mouse birthday party for their little boys. Without the party there would have been no need for the cake or the cupcakes.
Everything matched so perfectly.
Take a look at all the cute details they put together for this party; most of which were handmade!
Not only did my friend make a pinata cuter than anything I've ever seen in the store, she also made matching treat bags for each of the kids to put their pinata candy in. Great idea and very cute.
Each child got their own treat bag to stuff with pinata candy!
A pinata is a great activity for a children's birthday party, but so are party games. My friend did a twist on the classic "pin the tail on the donkey" with a "put Mickey together" game. It was darling.
Each child was handed a different piece of Mickey and then blindfolded and had to put their piece up on the wall.
I love the idea of a special shirt/outfit for the birthday child.
This was too cute not to share.
Although I will note that the Mint Patty ear was not as popular as the frosting and cupcake. And apparently there was plenty of frosting on the cake!
These ladies did such a great job on this party theme. I hope you enjoy the pictures and ideas as much as I did!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I went out to the grocery store to find just the right size ears. I decided Oreos were a tad too big, chocolate wafers were also too big. Even the York Peppermint Patties didn’t seem quite right, but then I found something similar – Pearson’s Mint Patties. Next, I had to find buttons for his shorts. I knew the jumbo sprinkles I used for the cake would be too large. I originally thought I would use yellow M&M’s, so I stopped by Party City to pick up a bag of yellow M&M’s; yes, they sell bags of individual colors. I was a little worried that the M&M’s might still be too big and/or too heavy to stay attached to the liners. So I checked out the rest of the wonderful candy section at Party City and found the perfect solution – yellow chocolate covered sunflower seeds. They were also MUCH cheaper than the bag of yellow M&M’s, yay!
I baked the cupcakes in plain bright red liners. I used chocolate buttercream icing for the tops; although I didn’t get as good as a color as I got on the cake and I couldn’t get the color quite dark enough to match the dark chocolate of the Pearson Mint Patties. I was a little bummed about that, but eventually I figured it was close enough and when it all came together it was so cute that it didn’t bother me that much.
Mickey took over my fridge.
These weren’t very complicated cupcakes, but they were SUPER cute!