November 27, 2010

Chaz Christian's Christening

The bird lover in me had so much fun creating this cake & cupcakes for Chaz Christian's Christening..once I put the fondant pieces together I couldn't wait to see the cakes done.  I ordered a paisley cutter set from Petal Crafts.  I wasn't sure if I would get the cutters in time to make my pieces but she was out of Glendale and I had them in 2 days.   The paisley shape worked perfect for the birds.  All the other pieces were cut out freehand with an x-acto.  The frosting on the side of the cake was done with Wilton tip 104.













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November 26, 2010

Bird's Nests out of Phyllo

Brenda sent me a link to Martha's birdnests. I've never had very good results with any of her recipes or instructions so I was hesitant to attempt another but I tried anyway.  I could not find kataifi, pre-shredded phyllo so I bought regular phyllo & cut it in small strips.

Phyllo cut in skinny strips


Spray the mini muffin pan with cooking spray

Stuff the phyllo in the muffin pan

Bake for about 7 minutes

Gently take it out of the pan

Add a couple Jelly Beans

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Thanksgiving Cookies

My sister & brother in law hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year. They did a fabulous job!  My sister wanted to make party favors for each place setting so I offered to do something.  I tried brownie bites dipped in sprinkles but they failed so I made up a dozen pumpkin shaped cookies using Sweetopia's cut out cookie recipe.   I topped each cookie with royal icing and then dipped them in clear sanding sugar before they were completely dry.  





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November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Jason

This carrot cake recipe has to be one of the most popular recipes I've ever made. Everyone seems to like it..so glad Kim shared it with me. The spices in the cake combined with the pineapple, carrots & coconut make it so tasty.Jason had a birthday the same day as Gene..so I made them each a jumbo cupcake. 




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November 21, 2010

Welcome Baby Hug

Another fun cake for Tara & Andy. Tara had me make a Nascar themed cake for Andy's 30th birthday back in June.  This time it was a surf theme cake to welcome their Baby Boy!  I worked off the colors in the baby bedding that she had picked out..reds & blues with a couple palm trees.  All decorations are made out of fondant and the sand is turbanio sugar.  The cake was carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream frosting (recipe below)

Best wishes to Tara & Andy..
Can't wait to see the little guy!


Carrot Cake from the kitchen of Kim B.

Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

Wet ingredients:
1 ½ cups oil
4 eggs
2 cups fresh shredded carrots
1 small can “drained” crushed pineapple
1 hand full coconut


Frosting:
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs powder sugar
8 oz cream cheese





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November 20, 2010

Whoopie pies for UFC Fight night

It's that time of month again to go to friends & watch the UFC fight...and eat..and eat ..and eat...there is always a great variety of munchies (except for last month when 5 of us showed up with pizzas..great minds think alike, right?). This month I wanted to take something from my "to do" pile.  Shanna over at A Cup Full of Cake, just made Pumpkin Whoopie pies & made Chocolate Whoopie pies in the past, so I had the craving to try them myself.  They were very easy to make.


I went by the recipe except I used Oreo buttercream for the filling instead of peanut butter.  I've left the original recipe below. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Peanut Butter and Julie

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream

2/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
8 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, and both sugars at high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, 2 minutes more. Add half of the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the remaining half of the flour mixture and beat the mixture, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Drop 12 heaping tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 8 minutes. Switch the positions of the baking sheets, rotate the sheets, and continue to bake the cookies until they spring back when lightly touched, about 4 minutes longer.
Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, repeat the baking process with any remaining batter.

Make the peanut butter buttercream: Cream the peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed. On low speed, mix in the confectioner's sugar until combined, and then beat the mixture on high speed until fluffy and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to taste, if desired, and mix to combine. (If you didn't actually measure the powdered sugar like I did, you'll end up with peanut butter fudge instead of a smooth filling - a splash of milk will bring you back home.)







Filling:  1 cup softened butter, 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 cup marshmallow creme, 2 cups powdered sugar.  Optional:  Add 1 Tbsp. creme de cocoa (or coffee brandy or strong coffee), 1/4 tsp. vanilla powder or vanilla extract + 1/4 tsp. cinnamon)



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November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Gene


Gene is married to my friend, Kim.   I couldn't think of a better ONE-OF-A-KIND cupcake for him than a
bottle of Corona!    It was a little bit too big & top heavy so I had to put it on top of a jumbo cupcake.



Happy Birthday Gene!



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November 16, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract

A while back I ran across a blog that explained how to make homemade vanilla extract.  I go through alot of vanilla extract I thought it would be fun to try to make my own.
 I started mine so it would be ready to use the 1st of 2011.   
Most recipes I found use vodka or rum.  I felt what I use mine for would be better with a vodka base.  

Start with 2 cups of vodka (I used a 375 ml bottle of KetelOne, it's close to 2 cups)
 6 vanilla beans & a knife

Open the vodka


Cut all 6 vanilla beans down the length of the bean

 Drop the beans in the bottle of vodka


Put the lid back on the bottle

give it a shake & put it in a dark cupboard


This recipe takes less than 5 minutes to put together....seriously you should try this yourself! The worst part is it takes 2 months to infuse...but that won't stop me from making my own from now on.   
Looking foward to trying this out on January 1st.


Vanilla Extract
2 cups vodka
5-6 medium vanilla beans, whole
Split vanilla beans in half, lengthwise.

Combine vanilla beans and vodka in a glass bottle or jar, make sure beans are completely covered by vodka.
Store tightened bottle or jar in a cool, dark place. Every week shake the bottle then put it back in a cool, dark place. Your extract will be ready after 2 months. To make more, continue to top off bottle with vodka and additional vanilla beans.


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