Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turkey Day!

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! I know I did (one day in the year to TOTALLY pig out- what's not to love??)! To celebrate this great day, I made some little turkeys!! I had hoped to also make some delicious pumpkin cheesecakes...but that didn't work out (but I am DETERMINED to find an occasion to make one!). To make these, I used my usual cookie recipe, my usual icing recipe, and the marbling technique that I enjoy doing. You may notice the red on my turkey has sunken was like that on all my cookies, and I have NO idea why! If anyone has any ideas, please let me know! It was only with the red. Besides that, I think these little dudes turned out pretty darn cute!! Now move over turkeys, it's Christmas time!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creepy Spiderweb Cookies

Hey guys, long time no see. Sorry this post is super delayed, I taught myself how to knit and have since been a little preoccupied. But I DO have new cookies pictures from Halloween!! My family had our second annual Halloween party and it was a blast! As party favors, I made spiderweb cookies that I learned how to do on a blog called Sweetopia. Here they are, I think they turned out pretty cool!

My mom and her staging again =)

This is the finished product, they're all wrapped and ready to be handed out to our guests!! They were a hit!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mummy's the Word

Halloween is just around the corner, so I decided to post some photos of my mummy cupcakes I made..last year. That's right folks, since I've been a slacker for over a year, I'm posting stuff that never made it to my blog since I've been gone. So, these are them!! Kinda cute, huh? They were really simple to make! I got the idea from...I think it was from a Family Fun magazine.

I baked butter yellow cupcakes and iced them in chocolate tub frosting. I made a little mound in the middle for the nose, and used red and blue gel icing for the eyes. I then went over the face with white tub frosting and a # 47 tip, leaving space for the eyes and mouth.

This year I'm going to have a hard time topping these. I'm sure I'll be making cookies, but will they be as simple or as cute?? Who knows!! I'm very VERY excited for upcoming holiday baking in store!!!

Oh, and I have to mention- As always, my mom staged the cupcakes. Didn't she do a fabulous job?? She always thinks of clever ways to stage my goodies, and the pictures always turn out great. Thanks, Mom!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Under the Sea 20th Anniversary Cake

This past July (really delayed post, I know) was my parents' 20th wedding anniversary. My mom had wanted to plan this nice vow renewal ceremony on the beach and invite friends and family...but with my dad having been out of a job it was out of the question. I felt really bad, this was something she's been wanting to plan for years. So I had an idea one day. What if we (my sister and I) made them a cake similar to what she had talked about me making them for their ceremony? So we planned it out...the hard part was decorating it on the sly.

We baked a double layer marble hexagon cake at home (about time I got some use out of those hexagon baking pans I got FOREVER ago), bought a bucket of light blue buttercream from Sam's, bought some graham cracker crumbs and several other decorating components, and we did this ALL ON THE SLY. This cake HAD to be a surprise. Luckily, my aunt was willing to assist us in our mission, and let us use her kitchen to decorate our cake. =) My 6-year-old cousin Alyssa liked helping us put the pearl dust on our white chocolate shells, and watched us the whole time as we decorated.

The decorations were pretty easy. We pressed some graham cracker crumbs onto the sides and top of the cake, and piped the seaweed with green Wilton icing and the bubbles with white, adhered the shells with icing, and added little pearl sprinkles (I thought they were so cute!). It turned out great, and we had a lot of fun making it. And we did get the surprise factor we were looking for-we even got tears! What a great way to celebrate 20 years- and here's to many more!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Marbled Birthday Cookies

Last week, my mom asked me to do some spur of the moment cookies for a friend's birthday, and I happily agreed, especially when she suggested I make these cookies. We saw these on a new blog I discovered called Sweetopia, and they were so pretty, I had to try them! They actually were easier than I expected, AND they turned out a lot better than I expected, too!
I learned a few things from making these cookies:
1. Cutting the recipe I usually use doesn't turn out so great. You have to make adjustments otherwise the dough is too dry..Like crumbs-that-won't-stick-together too dry.
2. Adding a bit more corn syrup than called for in my icing recipe made the icing REALLY shiny. Well...more shiny than it's been with my other cookies. I loved the look of these ones.
And Finally,
3. Make extra cookies. You don't know what little fingers are going to find their way into your wet icing...or how many people you know are going to say "where's mine?" when they see your pictures (I only make SO MANY extras, guys, sorry).

All packaged and ready to be delivered!! What do you think?? Not bad for spur of the moment, huh?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Birthday Butterflies

These are my first butterfly cookies. I made them for my best friend Shannon's birthday, since pink and green is one of her favorite color combinations. THESE are what I made the cake to match! What do you think? This was my first time with marbling effect, and I think it turned out OK...not bad for my first time at least.
I also did the same cookies in purple and green for a friend at work (I am TOTALLY down for killing two birds with one stone). For some reason I think the purple ones turned out better...probably because I did the pink ones first, so had enough practice by the time I got to the purple ones? Who knows. I just read somewhere that when decorating, if you wait for the border to dry you'll see it in the finished product, but if you fill the cookie right away, it blends with the border and looks A LOT nicer! Who knew!
Have I mentioned that I can't wait to do some holiday baking?? Because I can't. Be ready, because in the next couple weeks I'll start having Halloween goodies!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shannon's the big 2-0!

Last Thursday was my best friend Shannon's birthday, so I wanted to do something special for her. I know her favorite kind of cake is yellow cake with chocolate frosting, so while at work I decided to whip something up for her (so YES, technically this is a Sam's Club cake). Her favorite color is lime green...well we don't have lime green frosting, but our light green is just as pretty... and "pink goes good with green".
So, I made light pink roses and decided to do something we don't do at Sam's- a rope border. We weren't even trained to do it...I knew those Wilton cake decorating classes I took a couple years ago would come in handy. =) Look at that rose on the left...that's probably my best one to date actually. I'm quite proud of this cake if I do say so myself...a little extra effort goes a long way. I actually picked the colors of the cake to match other goodies I made for her...those will be revealed soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monkeying Around

So, my boyfriend's sister Amber is expecting a baby this December...and it's a boy! The nursery is going to be so cute-light blue and chocolate brown with cute little monkeys! I'm so excited! Like, SO excited! (I love kids...can you tell?) SO, I hear that she's having a baby shower and what do you think the theme/color scheme is? That's right, blue and brown and MONKEYS! I offered to do cookies for favors....even though I haven't done anything this detailed before. And I had NO idea what to do for the cookies....that is, until I saw THIS cookie cutter. The monkey face came in a 3-pack with a lion and an elephant. And look at how well it matches the invitation!
I used the same vanilla-almond cookie recipe as I did for the Stormtrooper cookies. I think it's safe to assume that's the recipe I'm using unless I state otherwise. It's my favorite! Unlike last time, I tried a recipe from Bake at 350 for the icing also. This is the other recipe and I found that it worked better for me, the consistency was easier to work with.

I must admit, I was intimidated by these cookies. I was terrified to ice and decorate these cookies, since they would require some drawing of sorts....and I am not very artistically gifted. Drawing is definitely not my thing. So as I was outlining these, I found myself thinking "What was I thinking, offering to do these?? I've never done ANYTHING like this before"! But I have to say...I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out. And Amber LOVED them. I think she was mostly impressed that I packaged them individually. =) What a great way to welcome the upcoming arrival of Baby Mason!
Since these cookies, my mind has been racing...What should I do next? Are there any upcoming events for which I can make some cookies?? I'm so excited!

Friday, September 24, 2010

May the force be with you

That's right, folks, cue the Star Wars theme, because we've got Stormtrooper cookies and Darth Vader cookies in the house!! Every year I like to make my dad special goodies for his birthday, and this year I decided to make these super cool cookies. I got the idea from Bridget over at Bake at 350, and they turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I got the cookie cutters at William Sonoma. They came in a 4-pack, but the Yoda and Boba Fett cookies seemed a bit too complicated for my amateur status, so I decided to stick with the simpler characters.
I was super excited for 2 reasons:
1. These cookies looked like a good beginner cookie, all you do is bake them and fill in the imprints with icing.
2. I inherited my nerdiness from my dad, so I was just SUPER stoked for STAR WARS COOKIES!!
I was right, these cookies WERE pretty easy. I used 2 different recipes, a chocolate recipe for the Darth cookies and a vanilla almond recipe for the Stormtroopers. Both recipes are from Bridget's blog and I have to say...the chocolate cookies were good, but the almond cookies were THE BOMB.

I used an icing recipe from Amanda's blog, which seemed really simple, seeing how it only had 4 ingredients. It worked out pretty well, and tasted was a good beginner's icing. Next time I would like to try something a little different though.

What do you think? Not too bad, huh? They were a hit (especially the Stormtroopers) at my dad's birthday get together. These were a lot of fun to do...I can't wait to do more!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm Ba-aaack!!

After almost a year hiatus, I've gotten back into baking and decorating, and I apologize for being gone so long. When you bake and then decorate cakes for a living, it's a bit hard to get motivated to do the same at home... "C'mon, I'm getting paid to do the same thing at Sam's club, all I want to do is sleep"...

Well I'm back, and with a bigger variety of interests. I've recently taken up cookie decorating. I love the idea of baking sugar cookies and decorating them, especially for gifts or party favors. I've been inspired by some very talented ladies who blog their cookie masterpieces. I really recommend you check them out: i am baker has some really cute cookie ideas and my personal favorite, Bake at 350 is absolutely AMAZING! Needless to say, I'm hooked. You'll probably be seeing quite a few cookie posts in the coming weeks. =)

So let's get this party started!!
(sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?)