July 30, 2012

Happy 86th Granny!

Whew.. I'm almost caught up with my blog posts.  I feel like I've been behind for 3 or 4 months even though it's really only been 2 months.   My Granny turned 86 on July 8th & her request was for chocolate cupcakes.  I kept it simple with fondant daisy's on top of vanilla buttercream & CHOCOLATE cupcakes :)

Love you Granny!!

July 23, 2012

Cookie Dough Balls

One of my favorite things to take to our friends potluck
are Cookie Dough Balls (egg free, people..they are safe!) .  The 1st time I made them they were not bite size and were actually hard to eat so this time I used a smaller cookie scoop for the perfect cookie dough ball.

I use the recipe that http://bakeat350.blogspot.com/2011/01/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-cupcakes.html used but I add a little baking powder for flavor.  I used the same recipe for cupcake filling a month ago.  I doubled it for the cookie dough balls to make sure I had enough.    Simply make the filling, then roll balls and stick a mini fork or sandwich pick in.. pop in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until they are firm.  In the meantime, melt some semi sweet chocolate chips.  Add a little vegetable oil to thin the chocolate.   Dip the chilled dough ball in the chocolate, then set on wax paper. I put mine back in the freezer to chill.


July 20, 2012

Summertime Pool Party

Normally our weather here is mild but the last few days have been in the low 80's
which is nice but add humidity to that and it's time to head to the pool or beach!
The above cupcake is supposed to look like a scoop of ice cream.  I frosted the cupcake then rolled it in sanding sugar.  I made 3 colors of frosting so it looked like a sherbert.

The girls and boys were made with this Makin' Clay cutter set. When I bought it I thought I'd never use the body cutter but I use it all the time. I have used it to make Fireman jackets & pants several times.  It's a great set to have, lots of possibilities. 

July 18, 2012

Custom Communion Dresses

Many of us think we.must.buy.every.cutter.we.see but that's not actually true.  I wanted to make Evanny some cookies that matched her communion dress but her dress was sleeveless.  I made this set of cookies for Remy so I pulled out that cutter and modified it to match Evanny's dress.   Basically this means 2 cookie shapes out of one cutter (and I can save my money for a cutter that I actually MUST.HAVE!)

Cut your dress out

Using a circle cutter or knife, cut off the sleeve
I used a circle cutter because I wanted it to be a bit rounded

Done..now bake
See how easy that was?  I do know some cookiers that actually hand cut many of their cookies so they get the exact shape they want.. I have not done that yet : )

July 17, 2012

Once Upon a Time..

I had this great post planned for this cake that I took to a baby shower for Vanessa & Baby Athena but time has gotten away from me.. and I'm so behind in blogging! This cake is from the beginning of May - 2 months ago!  Athena is just about to make her appearance that's how bad I'm lagging!  

The shower theme was "Once Upon a Time" so it was everything
ruffle-y (is that a word?) and lacey.. perfect for a sweet baby girl. 
Someone actually said the cake looked like a dress.. which I didn't see til
they pointed it out.  Everything on the cake was edible except for the ribbon & wand stick. 

I made the crown by wrapping wax paper on a 7-UP
bottle (I had planned a tutorial but have somehow lost the pics in the last 2 months).
I then cut a piece of fondant and put it on the bottle. I let it sit for 24 hours and then glued the accents on with
vodka.  I embellished with royal icing & lots of princess dust (which is actually disco dust).  Notice the "A" for Athena?  I thought it was cute to incorporate her initial into the crown.

Congratulations to Vanessa, Dan & the Meyer-Feistel family!!

July 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Hadleigh

I think I've made about 3 out of 6 of cousin Hadleigh's birthday cakes... they come to visit every year around her birthday.  I still remember her 1st Birthday (in 2007 before my blogging days) I made her a cute chocolate cake with chocolate frosting & pink polka dots.  She freaked when her hands touched the frosting & wanted nothing to do with it. Little did she know that she was missing out on a yummy chocolate cake (silly girl). Her favorite is chocolate, it's my favorite too.

For her 4th Birthday she requested Little Mermaid cupcakes .  I loved that set, they were so bright and cheerful. This year she wanted Minnie Mouse- Mickey themed party so she picked a two tier cake out on Pinterest and I made a few alterations to it.  Since I don't cover cakes in fondant I was afraid I would not be able to get a deep red shade of buttercream. I used a drop of Americolor black & many drops of Americolor Super Red.  I let it sit overnight and it was perfect..a nice dep red!

I also made lemon cookies with my Mickey cutter from Disneyland.  I picked 4 designs and kept them simple:   Black, Red, black with white polka dots and red with white polka dots.  I wrapped 8 of them in bags with ties for the party bags that my cousin, Rachel, put together for the kids that came to the party.

Happy 6th Birthday Hadleigh!!

July 13, 2012

It's all Downhill from here..40th Birthday

My cousin's husband is an avid biker so it only seemed fit to make him a "Downhill from Here" cake for his 40th Birthday to welcome him to the WONDERFUL 40's.

Do you know what pan I used to make this cake? 
If you guessed, the Wilton Wonder Pan, you guessed right.
I bought this a few years ago to make a barbie cake for Ruby
and have used it twice now as a mountain cake. (Of course, when I bought the pan I thought I'd never use it again and almost gave it away.) This cake was my first attempt at torting it & filling it with homemade strawberry filling...so good!   I don't use a recipe for my filling.... simply wash and slice the fruit, toss it in a sauce pan with some lemon juice and sugar. Let it start to simmer, then add in some dissolved cornstarch so it will thicken. It's that easy! 

The signs were made with Duff's texture plates
The tires spokes are royal icing..this was one case that I didn't mind if the spokes broke
since it just came crashing down the mountain

The 40 MPH sign was made with fondant and a lollipop stick up the center
and if you down own the Wilton grass tip you should buy one or two now!
I use to only own one but then I misplaced it so now I have several.

The frosting was vanilla buttercream dyed brown
I added crushed oreos to the path down the middle so it would
look more like dirt

Wishing Brad a Happy 40th!! 

July 11, 2012

Dora the Explorer

Ever say you will do something then all along while working on it wonder "What was I thinking?"
This was THAT cake!  Originally I was going to do a 3 tierred cake but transporting a 3 tierred cake, stacked doesn't work very well so I redesigned it and made it a 2 tier cake instead.

When designing this cake, the Dora characters looked fairly easy...considering I spent about an hour on each piece, I would say they are not easy but more on the medium-difficult level.  I read something recently about clay shaping (which also works well with fondant work) that said to look at shapes not the figure. It seems to be helping so my figures look much better than they did a year ago.  I worked on a biker for my cousin's upcoming cake the other night and was able to do the biker in about 15 minutes so it's definitely getting easier.   I googled "fondant Dora" so I could see a few examples and that's when I came across an AMAZING Etsy store, KrazyKoolCake Designs.  Talk about a talented fondant artist!  She sells her pieces for $38-$120 each and they are absolute perfection.  I'm secretly in love with her Mater from Cars but can't afford his price tag.. maybe with practice I can make him myself for my husband's birthday in February.

The Baking Gods were not with me when I baked this cake.  One of the layers stuck to my pan so I sent my husband to the store for more ingredients.  I put another layer in the oven to replace the stuck cake & when I pulled the replacement out of the oven it slipped out of my oven mits.. upside down on the floor.  I can not repeat what came out of my mouth at that point $#@#$^. After we tossed all the wasted cake, I realized I should have kept it and taken it to our friends chickens for feed but I wasn't thinking clearly and just wanted it out of my sight. I made another layer and put it in the oven and babied that layer with all my might!  Finally I had a perfect layer for the cake shortly before midnight ;( 

My favorite character on the entire cake was Tico.  I can't look at him without smiling. He's colorful and his expression is priceless.

Backpack & Map

Boots is pretty cute too

Happy 2nd Birthday Avery!
so glad you warmed up to your party and had fun with all
your friends & family



July 3, 2012

Class of 2012

Congrats Alyssa! 
Graduating from the same school her mom & I graduated from 20+ yrs ago (we won't count the actual years)... just leave it at that.
Alyssa was on the cheerleading squad so I went with that theme in our school colors..red, black and white.

I made my 1st pennant banner out of fondant & royal icing for her cake. I decided to put it on
white fondant so it would be easier to place on the cake.  I love the way it looks...so cute!

Thanks to my aunt, I copied her cheerleader (see below) and made my own.  Figures are hard to copy and I really struggle with faces.   My aunt made a face I could copy... wait til you see my Dora figure this week.  It took me 5 tries to get her eyes just right but I DID IT!   The pompoms were easy, I just cut strips 3/4" x 1" of fondant then cut slices in it.  I laid the red on the white, then wrapped them around the bottom of the arms, again copying my aunt.  This made it so easy!

Here's my aunt's fimo clay cheerleader.. isn't she darling? (Thank you auntie for making her for me)  My aunt is so darn creative, her fimo work is amazing.  Many years ago she made bread dough ornaments that were so detailed and absolutely adorable. My little sister (about age 3-4 at the time) decided to eat them - shellac and all off the Christmas tree!  She's lucky she didn't get sick. 
Wishing the Class of 2012 best of luck in the future!
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