Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wedding Cupcakes

My mom got married a few weeks back and although it was just a quick ceremony without a reception I couldn't resist making a dessert for the occasion. You mom and John have been together since I was 16, they have dated for almost 12 years now and they just got married! They got engaged last summer and right as they started to plan things he was diagnosed with lung cancer. They put things on hold for a while so he could concentrate on his treatment. A few weeks ago they finally did it, and although they are holding off on a reception until there is "more to celebrate" I felt everyone needs a little cake on their wedding day.

I knew there wasn't going to be a place to cut the cake so I decided on cupcakes. I picked just a basic vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream but decorated with these beautiful "B's" on top.

I melted white candy melts and piped the B's on wax paper. Once they dried I stood them up in the buttercream.

I found the thinner I made the letters the more fragile they were. I made several sheets like the one below and still had to make more cause many broke as I was sticking in the frosting.

The B's by the way stand for Burger which is my moms new last name!

Hopefully soon there will be some good news to report and we can actually plan a real reception for them!

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An Award & Cake Ball Pops Recently

Last week I received a fun award from Michelle of One Ordinary Day. Thanks Michelle! Not only is this my first blogger award but this one has a fun twist with it! is what you do.

1. Thank the person you gave you the award. (Thanks again Michelle!)
2. Copy the logo and paste it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell us up to six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Allow your readers to guess which one or more is true.
6. Nominate seven "Creative Writers" who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
7. Post links to the seven blogs you have nomiated.
8. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them!

And now for the creative part....UPDATE actually two of the below are true!

1. I secretly love watching CSI Miami.

2. Carrot cake is my favorite cake of all time.

3. I auditioned to be on Real World while in college.

4. I hate watching TV.

5. I was a superstar athlete as a kid.

6. As much as I love desserts, I love working out more!

7. I had a custom pink bowling bowl with my name on it as a kid.

Now can you guess which one is true?

Other Creative Writer Bloggers: I choose these 7 because I love reading their blogs and thought they might have some fun with this award!

1. Bake*tastic

2. Ice Cream Before Dinner

3. Me & My Pink Mixer

4. Sara's Sweets

5. What's for Dinner

6. Diana's Cocina

7. Symphonious Sweet

Now...on to the cake ball pops!

My boyfriend is in the process of buying a house and a few weeks ago we showed our realtors my blog. She asked if i could make her something for an open house that was coming up. After discussing we decided on cake ball pops since they are easy to display and have very little mess and clean up.
The pops before I packaged them.

All packaged up and tied with a pink ribbon.

I filled the glass vases with M&M's and mini M&Ms. We did one vase of red velvet pops and one with vanilla pops!

I heard they were a huge hit and I think I might have gotten another customer out of it! So thanks again Sharon & Buck I really appreciate it!!
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mississippi Mud Cake

This month the Cake Slice Bakers baked up a Mississippi Mud Cake. I had to sit out on the last couple of months cause I have been so busy, but I am glad I am back. I have heard mixed review from other bloggers on this cake, some really loved it and some thought the cake was more brownie-ish and the icing way too sweet! I actually probably wont be trying this cake as we have way too many sweets around here. Also I am not a huge fan on any type of nuts in my desserts so I actually only put the chopped pecans on half the cake. I am taking this cake to my family tomorrow to let them enjoy it. I will have to let you know the reviews later on. I think it smelled amazing while cooking though.

Mississippi Mud Cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

Makes one 13 x 9 inch sheet cake

February’s Cake: Mississi

ppi Mud Cake

(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

For the Cake

1 cup (2sticks) butter, cut into biug chunks

½ cup cocoa powder

4 eggs, beaten well

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups sugar

1½ cups all purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Mississippi Mud Frosting

One 16 ounce box (3¼ cups) confectioners sugar

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

½ cup milk or evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups mini marshmallows or 3 cups large marshmallows quartered

Method – Cake

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan. In a medium saucepan combine the butter and cocoa powder and cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until the butter is melted and the mixture is well blended, about 3 – 4 minutes. I did this in the microwave in 1 minutes intervals until the butter was melted about 3 mins. Stir in the beaten eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt and pecans and beat until the batter is well combined and the flour has disappeared.

I also choose not to add the pecans to the batter until I poured into the pan that way some of the cake

didn't have the pecans in it.

Quickly pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cake springs back when touched gently in the centre and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Mine took about 20 minutes.

While the cake bakes, prepare the frosting so it is ready to pour over the hot cake.

Method – Mud Frosting

In a medium bowl combine the confectioners sugar and the cocoa powder and stir to mix well. Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla and beat everything together well. Set aside until the cake is done.

To Serve

Remove the cake from the oven, scatter the marshmallows over the top and then ret

urn the cake to the hot oven for about 3 minutes to soften the marshmallows.

Place the cake, still in the pan, on a wire rack. Pour the frosting all over the marshmallow dotted cake and eat straight away or allow to cool to room temperature. Cut the cake into squares and serve.

If you like melted chocolately goodness this cake is probably just for you! Enjoy!
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Cookies Galore...Sugar Cookie Cut Outs, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies and White Chocolate Chip Heart Cookies

This past weekend my aunt hosted a bridal shower with a group of her friends. She asked if I could make several dozen heart shaped cookies for the shower. Rather than just making one type of cookies, I thought I would mix it up and do 3 different types. I decided on White Chocolate Chip cookies made in a heart shaped pan from Wilton that I got at Michael's, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies and lastly sugar cookie cut outs in the shapes of hearts.

I think they all turned out really cute and from what I was told they were a huge hit at the party. She said the white chocolate chip and red velvet whoopie pies were all gone! So I guess that means they were good. My boyfriend did try a whoopie pie before I packaged them all up and he loved them and is hoping I am making them again really soon!

White Chocolate Chips Heart Cookies

For the white chocolate chips heart cookies, I used my favorite chocolate chip recipe found here and replaced the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips. I grabbed about am 1 1/2 inch ball of dough and slowly pressed it into the greased heart shaped pan. Bake for about 9 minutes or until they start to puff out and are golden.

Let cool in pan for about 3 minutes then invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Once the cookies have cooled you are decorate as you wish. I just melted pink candy coating and chocolate bark coating and drizzled over the tops of the cookies.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from Annie's Eats adapted from Dinner and Desserts originally from Better Homes and Garden, December 2008. Frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride


2 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temp

1 oz. red food coloring

Frosting for the Filling:

8 oz cream cheese

5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a heart template or cookie cutter to trace evenly spaced hearts onto pieces of parchment paper. Place the parchment on the cookie sheets so that the side you have drawn on is facing down; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add about a 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by half the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated. Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of the dry ingredients. Do not overbeat. Blend in food coloring.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. I could not find mine so I used a smaller one, they didnt turn out as pretty as I had hoped but it worked. Next time I will make sure to find the bigger round tip.

Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper using the heart tracings as a guide. Bake 5-7 minutes or until the tops are set, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet at least 10 minutes, until they can be easily transferred to a cooling rack. Repeat with any remaining batter. Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the cream cheese frosting: Using the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.

Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a large tip. I used the star tip but you can use the large round tip as well. Pair the cookies up by shape and size. Flip the cookies over. Pipe the frosting onto every other cookie, leaving the edges clear. Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides of the cookies are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges. To store, refrigerate in an air tight container.

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

This was my second attempt at sugar cookies with royal icing. I am happy to report that this time was much easier and I think they turned out much better. So I guess practice does make perfect?...well not perfect but better :)
Anyways I used the same recipe I blogged about here from Bridget's Bake at 350. This time I did make the cookies a lot thicker and this seemed to help them be softer and more chewy...which I liked much better!

The dough was about 1/4 inch thick and I placed the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I used various heart shaped cookie cutters I had in a few different sizes.

I baked these for about 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees and let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

I used the same recipe for Royal Icing this time, except instead of Wilton's brand of Meringue Powder I got the one from Williams-Sonoma. I think it tasted much better, so try this one if you aren't happy with the one you currently use. For the recipe, see this post or go to Bake at 350. I doubled the recipe just so I made sure I had enough.

Once the royal icing is made, I split the icing into 4 bowls. And used my food coloring paste to get the colors I wanted, which were red, pink, black and white. I used a little water to thin out the royal icing until it was the consistency needed for piping. The remaining icing was left in the bowl until I transferred to the bottles for flooding. (When you make the icing for flooding, make sure you thin the icing out more) If it gets too thin just add more powdered sugar.
Here are my bottles used to flood the cookies.

Here are a few pictures I took as I was decorating.

I still have a lot to learn but the more I practice the more comfortable I get with it. If you want more instruction on using royal icing, I love the tips on Bake at 350 and Annie's Eats. Everyone has their own way of doing sugar cookies, you just have to figure out what works best for you!

This time I took a tip from Bridget and rather than using room temp unsalted butter I used salted cold and this made me not have to refrigerate the dough before rolling. It was so easy, try it next time. You might like it too!

Sorry this was such a lengthy post and maybe a little late for Valentine's but I was busy baking all weekend! Enjoy!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

For Valentine's Day I decided to make peanut butter cookies for my boyfriend. He had to work at the fire station so I made them during the day and surprised him the next morning. You see I hate peanut butter, like a lot. The smell makes me sick. But it was Valentine's so I lived through it.
I found this recipe on Annie's Eats and I knew he would love them. From what he tells me these cookies were really soft and chewy with a nice peanut butter taste but overly peanut buttery! If you like peanut butter I bet these would be a hit. He took them to the station yesterday to share and the platter came home empty so I guess that was a good sign they were good.
Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies from Annie's Eats
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
4 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
Sugar, or sanding sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together shortening, butter, peanut butter and honey.

Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingedients to the peanut butter mixture and beat just until incorporated.
Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll each ball into sugar. Place the dough balls on ungreased baking sheet, a couple inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

You will not be sorry if you try these! I heard they were really delicious!
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine's Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

So... I know I have been MIA lately, but I promise it's not intentional! In January one of my best friends got married and our bridesmaid dresses we very fitted! Therefore, I wasn't baking cause I was trying to not gain a single pound and sure didn't need the temptation.

After that was over we decided we are moving out of our apartment when our lease comes up here in a few months. So that started the process of figuring all of that out. Anyways...Valentine's Day was just the thing I needed to kick my baking back into gear. I had to run an errand for my mom at Michaels yesterday, and it was over. I walked out with just about everything Valentine's or heart related you can buy. I found these super cute heart cupcake liners, which meant I was headed home to make some cupcakes of course!

After flipping through some recipes I decided on these Vanilla Beans Cupcakes, primarily cause I wanted to use red and white swirled icing on top to match the cute liners but also cause I love vanilla beans and love any recipe where I get to use the Beanilla Vanilla Beans I won last year!

This recipe comes from Annie's Eats. I think her blog is delicious so if you haven't stopped over there please go check it out, you won't be sorry!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes from Annie'e Eats adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride which was adapted from The Well Decorated Cake

3 cups cake flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

16 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, at room temp

1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temp

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add butter to bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the mixer bowl with butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 mins, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

Add sugar to the mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in liquid measuring cups. Mixer the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

Divide the batter between the paper liners, filling each about 2/3 full. This makes roughly 30 cupcakes. Bake 18-22 minutes. Mine actually were ready in 15 mins so be sure to watch carefully. Allow to cool in pans for 5-10 mins then transfer to a cooling rack. Frost & decorate as desired.

I have been wanting to try using 2 different colors of frosting for decorating cupcakes and this time worked out perfect with my Valentine's themed cupcakes. I used my favorite Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting recipe posted about here from Cupcake Bakeshop. and colored half red and kept the other half white. I think they turned out pretty cool looking. There were a few I just added pink and red sprinkles too just for fun!

A top view of the frosting...

One more picture a little close up...

If you like vanilla bean cupcakes you will definitely love these. The frosting however just put these over the top for me! Delicious :) Print This