Archive | October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

30 Oct

I hope you like this cake. It took a long time to make, because I had to make the main decoration twice. The first time I didn’t let it dry long enough, so it completely fell apart when I tried to put it on top of the cake. So being as stubborn as my dad’s side of the family, I refused to let something as simple as a “royal icing transfer” get the best of me. I threw all the broken pieces away. And started….All. Over. Again. I re-mixed a brand new batch of royal icing, tinted all of the colors, and piped out every detail for a second time. And this time, I let it dry overnight. No taking chances with this one.

I started by printing out some pictures of clipart that I wanted to put on my cake. I reversed the picture with words so that after I flipped the design over, it would look correct.

 

 

The first step is to outline the decorations. Then you can fill it in with all of the different colors you want to use. You have to work in layers, adding one color at a time.

Finally done! This little jack o’ lantern/ trick or treat bag took 45 minutes to make (including making the actual icing and tinting the colors). And that’s 45 minutes for EACH of them.  I was VERY happy that the second one turned out well. 🙂

Of course the “BOO” and bats were MUCH easier. They just needed to be filled in with black. None of that layering colors business. 😉 After this dried over night all I had to do was flip it out onto the iced cake!

I like how stiff this royal icing dries. It makes it  possible to attach decorations with parts of them hanging off the top edge of the cake. Almost like the bat is flying. 🙂

Up Next: Not sure yet….I’m thinking of trying Pecan Pie cupcakes. Anyone ever had one?

Random Thought of the D ay: Next Iron Chef starts tonight! Chef Robert is going down!!!! 🙂

Fading Color Scheme

16 Oct

This summer I had the chance to visit my sister up in Greenville, SC. We went to lots of different shops downtown, and one of my favorite stops was a local bakery. Huge surprise, I know. I saw this cake there and I loved the icing. It seemed that the green color faded ever so gradually up the sides of the tiers.

To me, the only reasonable response to seeing a cake like this was to try to replicate it myself! Wow. I didn’t realize just how hard it would be to make such straight and even lines all the way around (and up) the cake. Much easier said than done. But, I am glad I attempted to re-create this beauty. It was fun, and my husband’s office got a free cake out of the deal. 🙂 Here’s how mine turned out:

I started by “dirty icing” each tier. Crumbs were showing through, but I just needed a thin layer of icing to add the stripes onto.

After mixing up 4 shades of purple icing, I went up, up, up, and away!

Random Thought of the Day: Lie to Me Season 3 is on Netflix. This makes me very happy. 🙂

Up Next: Something Halloween-ish.

Pillow Cookies!

8 Oct

Magnificent.

Mouth watering.

Monstrous.

And quite honestly, Mildly overwhelming.

These are my thought on the pillow cookies….that I’ve been promising for 3 weeks now. 🙂 I’m so glad I finally tried them. But be warned my friend, these cookies are not for the faint of heart.

This recipe is yet another reason I have a love affair with Bakerella’s blog. It seems like everything I make from her website is just amazing. When I saw her post about “pillow cookies” it made me think of very soft, kind of melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Although these are soft, the pillow name does not come from the texture. It comes from the fact that there is a pillow of a brownie baked inside a pillowcase of a chocolate chip cookie. Yes my friend, you read that correctly. A brownie baked inside of a chocolate chip cookie. Sounds magical, right? They are.

To make these, you first need to start with brownies. I made mine straight out of a box. After they cool, cut them into 1″ squares. They look like little baby brownies. But there is nothing miniature about the final product at all.

Bakerella’s recipe for the chocolate chip cookie dough can be found here. It is very good. It starts with butter and brown sugar…then add in a few eggs. Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt need to be whisked together and then added to the mix. And last, but of course not least, the chocolate chips are stirred in.

Once it’s all mixed together, it needs to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Then comes the pillow part. Get ready for this. You use a full half cup of cookie dough for each cookie. And that’s NOT including the brownie piece, ladies and gentlemen.  Place the brownie on top of the half cup of dough, then use your hands to bury the brownie into the cookie dough and cover it completely.

The result of this was a cookie that was approximately the size of my fist. This is serious folks.

This is what they look like after baking. You can see that I was able to fit a grand total of 5 onto my baking sheet. My larger baking sheet.

These larger than life cookies look even better when you pull them apart. And they tasted oh so good. I’m not sure who thought of wrapping up a little brownie in a pillow case of a cookie. But man, whoever it was must be quite a genius.

Up Next: Some type of decorated cake. Lately I’ve been making all kinds of cookies, cake pops, and other goodies besides actual cakes. I’m in the decorating kind of mood. 🙂

Random Thought of the Day: I’m so glad to have a long weekend! If you have Monday off from work, enjoy it. 🙂

Goldfish Cupcakes

1 Oct

So I still haven’t made it around to trying the Pillow Cookies yet. I keep putting it off because I know they are going to be soooo bad for me, yet so delicious 🙂 Terrible Catch 22 there. But I do have all of the ingredients now….so maybe I’ll make them tomorrow. I did make some cupcakes with Goldfish crackers on top, though. I swear 1st grade teachers could  use goldfish for anything. Haha

I actually got this idea from one of the Hello, Cupake! books. I  have the first and second editions (thanks Mom and Mom-in-law!). The ones in the book look a little better, because they use the best ingredients for the decorations. I just used whatever I had on hand because I was too lazy to go out and buy things like Fruit by the Foot just to make a couple of cupcakes. But here’s what I did with what was already in the pantry. And they are pretty easy. I think they’d be a big hit with kiddos.

I rolled out some blue fondant and cut out a circle to cover the cupcake. I just sliced a small amount off of the top of the circle to be the top of the “water” in the “fishbowl.” Using blue icing would have worked just as well here.

Then I added two goldfish using a small dot of icing for glue. I piped on a little eyeball with some black gel icing. Lucky for me, the goldfish already have a smile. 🙂

Green Fruit by the Foot (or something similar) was suggested to make some seaweed looking fish tank decorations. I used green fondant because I happened to have some already tinted green.

I used some honey roasted peanuts to look like the pebbles at the bottom of the fish tank.  Pretty simple to make. 🙂

Then I started thinking….what if the fish wasn’t in a fish tank? What if he was out in the open ocean? This gave me a chance to use one of my silly looking eyeball sprinkles that someone gave to me. I thought it might make the fish look scared of a nearby fishing hook.

If it looked anything, it looked silly. Much too big of an eyeball for a goldfish. But at least I got a chance to use my edible Food Writer markers for the hook. They’re one of my favorite toys. 🙂

So that’s what happens when you play in the kitchen and mix cupcakes and goldfish. Pretty easy way to entertain yourself, if you ask me. 🙂

Up Next: Pillow Cookies. I know this is the third week I’ve mentioned them, and they really are coming. I promise this time. And they’re going to be a big deal. You don’t want to miss it. 😉

Random Thought of the Day: This weather is amazing! I love it.