Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Tulips

Happy Easter everyone!!

I've gotta be honest, Easter is just an ok holiday for me. I mean, I'm all down for the egg hunts, the big dinner, and don't even get me started on the chocolate bunnies (like the whopping two-pounder my sis and I were eyeballing at Target the other day). But let's be honest- Easter is no Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. At least to me. I think my favorite part of Easter is the spring-y goodies I have the excuse to make. Like my chick cake pops last year. Or these tulip cookies.

Yep, nothin' too fancy. ALTHOUGH, can we agree that 20-second icing is like the best icing ever?? I'm in freakin' LOVE. Yes, I know, I'm lazy. But seriously, if you decorate cookies and you HAVEN'T tried using 20-second icing, go over to Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle. You'll be glad you did. For something simple like these, it made decorating so much easier and faster. Nothing against the outline-flood method, but I imagine I'll be using this a lot more often now.

So these beauties are what will be gracing my table for Easter tonight. What beautiful dessert will be on YOUR table tonight?

Happy chocolate bunny day Easter! 
I DID tell you...I'm in it for the chocolate bunnies. ;)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

I'll keep this short and sweet, because while all you normal people are getting up to greet the morning, I just got off work and am totally ready to hit the sack. Every year, I ask my family members what treats they want for their birthday. Usually it's the run of the mill cupcakes, cake, or cookies. But this year when I asked my mom, she requested a Boston Cream Pie, something totally new. She's been wanting one FOREVER, so without further ado, I present to you: Mom's Birthday Boston Cream Pie!!!

Boston Cream Pie

3 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 C. cake flour

1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C. milk
6 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1/2 C. granulated sugar
3 Tbl light corn syrup
2 Tbl water
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Beat together egg yolks and vanilla at medium speed until blended. Beat in half of sugar until very thick and pale. Using clean, dry beaters, beat together egg whites and salt at medium speed until very soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Fold yolk mixture into egg whites. Sift flour over mixture; fold in gently. Pour batter into greased 9-inch cake pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. 

While cake cools, prepare filling. In a saucepan, mix together sugar and flour. Gradually whisk in milk, then egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap on surface and chill for 30 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half. Spread evenly with filling. Top with remaining cake layer. 

To prepare glaze, in a saucepan, bring sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Gradually pour glaze over cake, allowing it to drip down sides and let stand until the glaze sets. 

I found this simple recipe in our Great American Home Baking cookbook. As you might be able to tell from the picture, my chocolate "glaze" wasn't quite "glaze"-y. It still tasted good though. All that matters right? I can't wait to dig into this tonight, because today  is my mom's birthday! Woo! Let us eat pie!!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Brush Embroidery Butterflies

*Sigh*...Ok...I'm back. I've been having SERIOUS issues adjusting from vacation mode to reality mode. I know, it's been a month, but I have had SERIOUS vacation brain, where I don't want to do ANYTHING. But I'm back. And it's about time, because I've got a pile of goodies that I have to share with you guys. 

So I've been DYING to use this brush embroidery technique that I've been seeing everywhere. I mean, talk about fancy, those brush embroidery flowers are just straight up elegant. So I wanted to test the technique on some butterflies. I mean, I've only seen it on flowers, but why not? It's just brushing the icing with a paint brush. Sounds easy enough. And one of our awesome daycare moms, Krista, had a birthday coming up. Two birds, one stone. 

This was the end result. They didn't turn out bad, but they didn't turn out how I expected them to. And I'm not sure what I was doing wrong...Hmm... I'll have to give this technique another try sometime to get it down. Along with these cookies, Krista got this awesome card my mom made to match it. Check it out- see the resemblance? Coordinated card-goodie gifts are the coolest!

Stay tuned- I have lots more to share with you! In the less-than-a-month near future. =)