April 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Daisy!


Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Daisy!
She saw the hat my friends bought me for my 40th and commented on it
so I had to be the good sister-in-law and get her one of her own.
I often think I'm one of the luckiest girls alive because Daisy and I have so much in common even though we live 3,000 miles apart.   She loves to do all the things I love like bake, sew, paper crafts and shop in cute little boutiques.   My friend, Susana, bought me the Mickey cutters on one of her visits to Disneyland last year.  She was going again and I asked her to pick them up for me if she saw them again so I could send them to Daisy.   She found them..so now Daisy has a set.   The timing could not be more perfect because she is making a Mickey cake on May 20th.


Happy Birthday Daisy!

April 27, 2012

Corsets, Corsets & more Corsets

When you walk into one of Brenda's parties you are transported to another place. She doesn't miss a thing!  Of all the parties she's hosted I think my favorite was her husband's 40th... Wyatt Earp . I remember her telling me "Wyatt Earp, western, but not the red & white cheesy colors.." and I immediately knew what she was talking about and was looking forward to creating pieces for her.  She meant rusts, burgandy, browns, ivory... it all came together and looked fabulous!  It was like stepping into a western set from the early 1900's.. absolutely perfect.

This party was a bridal shower for her niece and the theme was "Pin Up Girl". Her instructions were pink, white, black.. and here's the invitation.   (Oh did I mention I didn't own a corset cookie cutter so I had to find one and add it to my collection despite the fact I promised to not get any more cutters until my cutter collection is organized & cataloged.. a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!)  Once the cutter came I got to work on the cupcake toppers & cake topper.  I made the cake topper freehand by cutting the shape of a corset & then detailing it with royal icing & fondant. The cupcake toppers were made with left over royal icing from the cookies. I piped the corsets on wax paper and allowed them to dry for 36 hours before pulling them off the wax paper. This went really quickly and was easier than trying to freehand 2 dozen mini corsets out of fondant.   
Ruffled cake with Ateco tip 050
Learn to ruffle with this fabulous YouTube video!

The cake was vanilla cake with strawberry filling, topped with whip cream.  The filling is very easy to make and tastes much better than store bought filling.   You can make any berry filling with the below recipe.  If I use raspberries, blackberries or boysenberries, I usually press the mixture through a wire mesh strainer before I add the cornstarch to get all the seeds out. 

Strawberry Filling :
print recipe here
1 basket of strawberries
5  tbsp sugar
1  tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cornstarch, disolved in 1 tbsp cold water

Slice the berries. Boil the berries, sugar & lemon juice until soft.  Add dissolved cornstarch and simmer til thick.  Cool & then put in the middle of your cupcakes or between layers of cake

Flowers are by Jessica Armstrong, Photos by Chantel Perreault & Decor by Brenda Rosales




Corset cookie cutter here from Cheapcookiecutters.com

Consistant thickness makes each cookie look perfect
I learned this trick from Sugarbelle and could not 
roll cookies without my square dowels 

It was fun to make so many different designs, I drew them out first and
then went to work.  It's nice to have a plan before you put royal icing to the cookie

April 25, 2012

Panne Cotta

Photo courtesy of Tastebook.com

I made this a while ago, probably over a year ago and just realized I never posted the recipe.  It was delicous, both DH & I enjoyed it.
Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

Panna Cotta
2cups heavy cream
1 1/2cups lite coconut milk
1/2cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4tsp. salt
1envelope plain gelatin (1/4 oz.)
1/2tsp. vanilla extract
1/4tsp. coconut extract (opt.)
Berry/Red Wine Reduction
2/3cup red wine
6tbsp. granulated sugar
2tbsp.  raspberry jelly
1/2cup fresh blueberries -or- raspberries

Directions

Panna Cotta prep:
Place 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over cream and let set for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk gently. Mixture will be VERY LUMPY. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine the remaining heavy cream, sugar, and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in vanilla extract (and coconut extract if using). Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the 1/4 cup cream and gelatin mixture, then the coconut milk. Strain the panna cotta mixture through a fine sieve then pour it into eight 4-ounce ramekins or fancy glasses and chill 2 hours or overnight.
Berry/Red Wine Reduction prep:
Bring 2/3 cup wine and 6 tbsp. sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Cook until reduced by half. Add black raspberry jelly and stir until melted and incorporated. Add blueberries and cook until fruit is soft but still holds shape. Use as garnish on finished panna cotta custards.
NOTE: The coconut flavor is very slight without the coconut extract.

April 20, 2012

Sweet Dresses

Precious little dresses look so hard to make but they are really easy!

Outline the cookie then flood with icing

Using PME 1.5 tip start piping
(see the pink stuff - that's a nylon that was white that I have between my tip and the bottle to prevent clogs. It's my lazy version of this handy dandy tip from The Bearfoot Baker . Brilliant idea!
Let your cookie sit for 30 minutes, then pipe the shoulder and bodice lines

Then pipe the sleeves

Add the neck details.. leave space in between (we'll go back and fill that in later)

add 3 petals on the bodice for your flower


add more petals for flowers on the dress

remember the neckline..go back and add dots between the original dots

and repeat for the flowers on the dress

so they look like this

add a bow to the bodice line


Wait 20 minutes and use another color pipe the flower center

and there you have it..a pretty little dress !


Oh and if you are looking for anyone to eat your broken cookies..
send them to my sister.  I spent a few vacation days with her and my nephew this week
and she helped me eat wrap cookies.  Amazing how many broke in the process :)
Love you sis! Thanks for your help!

April 18, 2012

Everyone loves Mickey!

It rained all day Friday and I was worried that we would see more on Saturday - Brayden's 1st Birthday.
We woke up Saturday and it was a little windy but sunny! I boxed up Brayden's cake and we headed to Toro Canyon Park.   Let's just say the Mickey cake did not like going uphill to the park and it settled a bit.  I think it bothered me more than anyone else and there was no fixing it.  I think I learned my lesson.. no more transporting 3 tier cakes stacked no matter what.

I used my special Mickey cutters for the Mickey heads & gloves.  They came out so cute. I was able to put the glove cutter on my copier and downsize it to make royal icing cupcake toppers to match.  The bottom tier was frosted smooth and then I added Satin Ice red fondant stripes.  The middle tier I dragged my spatula along the sides and spun the cake on my turntable.  The top tier I used tip 104 and piped verticle lines.  I loved using the different textures for each tier.

Happy 1st Birthday Brayden!!
cupcakes ..chocolate with peanut butter buttercream
and
red velvet with vanilla buttercream

Royal icing Mickey hands

Royal icing star

Fondant Mickey ears

April 11, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Neil

My sister's youngest nephew turned 1 at the end of March.  His mom, Charlee, was one of my co-hosts for my sister's baby shower.   Charlee is a great party planner and no detail is left out.  For her son's party she used his initial "N" as the theme.   I made her favorite lemon cut out cookies and put a "1" and "N" on them which probably caused a few people to walk around with blue mouthes from the blue royal icing..no sneaking cookies on the side.   Lemon & Chocolate cupcakes were topped with royal icing toppers. 

Photo courtesy of Coral Tree

Photo courtesy of my sister Brie Z.

Photo courtesy of my sister Brie Z.



Photo courtesy of Coral Tree


Happy 1st Birthday Neil!!

April 10, 2012

Evia turns 2!

This set of cupcakes reminds me so much of the cupcakes I made for
my cousin Hadleigh's 4th Birthday.  I struggled so much with the crabs for her cupcakes... this time they were so quick & easy!    This set of Sea Creature cupcakes was for Evia on her 2nd Birthday.   I did all the creatures out of fondant in coral & red.  

Turtle

Crab



Shell.. I used a flower cutter, cut off 2 of the "petals"
then used a knife to make the indentions

I made brown sugar cupcakes & carrot cupcakes for her but split both recipes. 

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

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl & set aside.  Mix wet ingredients until well blended.  Slowly add dry until it's mixed well.    Makes 3 dozen cupcakes or 3 layers for 8" round..or 13x9 rectangle.  Bake @ 350
Cupcakes - Bake 12-15 minutes
8" cakes   - Bake 30 minutes
13x9 cake - bake 35-40 minutes


For the 2nd recipe, I started with a vanilla cupcake recipe and modified it a bit to make it a brown sugar cupcakes.

Altered Easy Eggless Vanilla Cake = Brown Sugar Cupcakes
Prep time: 25 Mins        Cook time: 14 Mins     Yields: 15 Cupcakes
These eggless cupcakes are light, flavorful and very easy to bake too with readily available ingredients.
 
Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 and 1/2 cups Cake Flour
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Procedure:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C for 15 minutes. Prepare muffin tins either by lightly greasing it with cooking spray or line it with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and make a well.
  3. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry mix one by one, stirring with a whisk simultaneously. Don’t be bothered by some small lumps.
  4. Fill each muffin cup 3/4th full, which is about 3 tablespoons of batter for each cupcake. Bake for about 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. 
  5. Remove the pan/s from the oven and allow it cool for about 5 minutes on a cooling rack. Then take out the cupcakes from the pan and let it cool on the rack completely before frosting.

 

Happy 2nd Birthday Evia!!

April 3, 2012

Bunnies


At the end of March I saw Bambella Cookies post the cutest cookies... they were the backside of a bunny. At first I didn't think I had the right cutter but then realized I did have a bunny face & that's exactly what makes this cookie! 

It's best to premake the tails. I put mine in the warm oven to dry extra quickly because I didn't plan ahead.


To make the tails:
-wax paper
-royal icing in white
-nonpareils


Pipe a blog of royal icing on wax paper

Pour non-pareils on the wet icing


Let it dry - the hardest step!

Aren't they cute..little bunny butts!



Hope you all have a Happy Easter!
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