Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Congrats Class of 2012!

I put myself in the most ridiculous situations sometimes, I swear. I think it's my tendency to want to please everyone. For example, when my next door neighbor asks me to make her graduation cookies for her graduating kindergartener, instead of just saying yes right off the bat, I may want to take a few things into consideration first: Do I have the right supplies? Or: Do I have anything else planned for that week? Because the thing is...I don't own any graduation cutters. AND I had my Mike Wazowkski pops and a different batch of SEVENTY cake pops (post to come soon!) due the same week. BUT, I said yes. Because that's why I do this stuff. I love making stuff for other people. So, I consider this a learning experience that: 1. With enough preparation, I can TOTALLY handle 3 baking orders/projects in a week and 2. I can freaking MacGyver any cookie shape I want if I don't have the proper cutter. Here's one of my finished subjects:

See that? Can't even tell I didn't have a cookie cutter for it. What I did was print out an image of a grad cap cookie cutter, trace it on an old plastic lid, and cut THAT out...and when I made my cookie dough, I just traced my template with a paring knife. That's right, these babies are HAND. CUT. I used my usual cookie recipe and icing recipe. And I don't know what I did differently with my icing, but my thin icing was the smoothest I've ever been able to get it. No weird color swirling, no weird sinking in, very few bubbles. I'm not complaining but, what the heck??

Here they are, packaged and ready to go. I did them in the elementary school's colors, and tied them with a matching ribbon. My neighbor was thrilled! See? I agreed to do them and I didn't even need a game plan. Learning experience totally paid off. =)

Congrats on graduating kindergarten, Ciara! And congrats Class of 2012!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monsters, Inc. Pops!

Well, I guess if we're getting technical, they're not really Monsters Inc. pops per se...seeing as I don't have the skills to make Boo pops or Sulley pops, BUT I did make pops of not only my favorite Monsters, Inc. character, but one of my favorite Disney characters. I bring you....Mike Wazowski!!

Awww...Cute little Googlie-Bear. =)

These were SUPER easy to make. Actually the most time-consuming part of this process was the making of the eyes. I originally wanted to use a white meltable chocolate for the eyes, but in proportion to the cake pop, the eyes would've been HUGE. So instead, I melted the white chocolate, piped smaller circles on a piece of wax paper, and after they dried, went over the white with some melted green chocolate, making the irises. At this point they looked like green eggs sans the ham. Perfect little treats for Dr. Seuss's birthday next year! Anyway, I used an edible ink marker on the dried green eggs to turn them into eyeballs. Then it was just your usual dipping of the cake balls in green meltables and holding the eyes in place until the pops dried. White chocolate chips were perfect for Mike's horns, which I attached with some leftover melted green chocolate. Just add a smile with a black candy writer, and you've got yourself some cute little Mike Wazowksi pops!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cupcake Pen

Alright guys...I have another confession to make (Have I ever mentioned that sometimes I am honest to a fault? Seriously, It gets me in trouble sometimes). least favorite treat to make is cupcakes.  I know. Freakin' blasphemy. My friend Hayley (The Domestic Rebel) is probably shaking her head right now in shame/disgust (sorry).  Look, it's not that cupcakes don't TASTE delicious. And it's not that they aren't often freakin' ADORABLE. Seriously, can I get an amen on that one? Cupcakes. Are. Adorable. BUUUTTT...I hate MAKING them. I find it to be messier than making a cake or cookies or even cake pops. One of my pet peeves of baking is when you're baking muffins or cupcakes and while you're spooning the batter into the baking cups, it gets all over the side of the cups and the muffin pan. It happens every time and I find it SO. ANNOYING.

But there's good news!! I may have found a solution to my problem! While shopping with my dad a while ago, we stumbled on THIS bad boy at our local JC Penny:

THIS, my friends, is the Tovolo Cupcake Pen. I knew I HAD to have it when I saw it, in the hopes that it would make cupcake-making more enjoyable. Now...I haven't actually made any cupcakes since purchasing this, but I HAVE made cake pops. This tool is life changing, I tell you!

My cupcake pen with my Babycakes. It's like they were made for each other. =) So if you find cupcake making (or even cake pop making, for that matter) to be annoyingly messy like I do, I suggest you give this a try!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Butterfinger Cake

Alright guys, are you ready for one of the yummiest posts ever? I bet you are. This is hands down the easiest cake I've ever made, and one of the tastiest by far!! My mom found this recipe for Butterfinger Cake on Pinterest (love that site!) and requested that my sister and I make it for her for Mother's Day. My sister and I made a sheet cake with a box of yellow cake mix,, followed the instructions for the rest of the cake on this site, and there you have the most DELICIOUS cake. EVER. I'm not a huge fan of eating cake (I'm more of an ice cream or cookie girl, myself), but I could have eaten this ALL. DAY. LONG. And my mom LOVED it. Like, we could have just given her the cake for Mother's Day and she would've been stoked. My favorite part about this cake was the caramel cake itself. It makes it so easy to make other kinds of candy bar cakes with it. For example, I really want to make the caramel cake with a MILKY WAY topping. Yum, YUM!

Hop on over to the site, and give this cake a try. You will NOT regret it!!

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!! =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Buzzy Beeees!!!

Time for another fabulous cake pop post! Like my chick cake pops, I got the idea for these pops from Bakerella. She's a genius, I swear. Here they are...

Buzzy Bees!!
These little guys were a lot more difficult and time consuming than the Easter chicks. Especially with how warm it is with our Sacramento summers, working with the chocolate...not fun. But with some patience (and I MEAN only some- I was getting a bit frustrated), the finished product was rewarding.

I made these for our neighbor across the street for her birthday and for one of the daycare mom's for HER birthday (bake a bunch of pops, mom makes a bunch of chocolate flowers to go with, boom- two birthday birds, one stone). I KNEW I had to make these for the daycare mom for her birthday...every time I send her daughter home with cake pops (for the DAUGHTER, mind you), her mom always eats them! (Sorry Kae). Needless to say she was stoked to receive these. In fact, what did she say when I gave them to her in the morning? "I'll probably eat at least 3 of these ON MY WAY to work."  LOL.

My mom ALSO made a cute birthday card to match the yummy goodness. My mom makes all kinds of cute paper goods, cards, scrapbook pages, and other cute projects. If you haven't checked out her blog A Scrapping Mom's Scraps, check it out!

And finally, HERE are the instructions for the buzzy bee pops!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Easter Pops

As you may or may not know, one of my FAVORITE blogs is Bakerella's. She is SO cute, and SO clever! Not only am I frequently looking at her site looking for ideas, but I have her cake pop book, which gives you tips and step-by-step instructions for making different decorated pops. That's where I got the inspiration for these little guys:

Easter chicks!! This was my first attempt at making decorated know, outside of dipping and putting on sprinkles. I just love making goodies to bring to family events, such as holidays! And of course, most times I make decorated goodies, I have to make one slightly different for my sister, hence the rebel cake pop you see to in the picture below to the right.

These were so fun to make, and you can find the instructions to make the chicks here, so you can have fun making them too!

I have been really busy in the kitchen and have lots more planned for the summer, so check back soon!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes

Ok, so I have a bit of a confession to make. I have an obsession....a hardcore slight obsession with rainbow-colored food. I don't know what it is that makes rainbow-colored food taste better than non-rainbow-colored food!  I LOVE making rainbow cupcakes- I'm always looking for an excuse to make them. So, it's no surprise that when St. Patrick's Day rolled around this year I jumped on the opportunity to make rainbow know, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and all that good stuff. Perfect excuse, right? I made them with a box of white cake mix (I know, I cheat), and separated the batter into six bowls, using food coloring to color each bowl a different color of the rainbow. Then you layer the colors in the baking cups as desired and bake as directed. And to top the cupcakes, I iced them in plain white frosting with sour belts as rainbows!

Sorry for the FABULOUS picture quality... We served these to the kids at my mom's daycare (hence the awesome Disney plates), and they were getting anxious for cupcakes!! Gosh, I need another excuse to make these again!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Okay everybody, be prepared for some motivation. If these next cupcakes don't make you want to run to your kitchen to do some baking, I don't know what will. Back in March, our family friend Krista celebrated a birthday, and I had to think of something really yummy for her. I found these Shirley Temple Cupcakes on Pinterest, and new that these were the ones!!

These were originally posted here on Armen Atoyan's blog. They're a little time consuming with all the steps included, but they're so good, they're totally worth it. I love Shirley Temples, and I love pretty much everything cherry-flavored, so these were right up my alley. And, the original recipe calls for a gluten-free flour blend...I'm not gonna lie, I totally just used regular AP flour and they turned out fine.

Not only did they taste phenomenal with the cherry flavoring on the bottom and the cherry flavored icing, but they look pretty cool, right? Awesome cupcakes for an awesome gal!