Sunday, May 31, 2015

Postcards from the Oven...

I had a bit of dough left form all those projects so I made two rectangles and used a postcard stencil to draw them. I had a bridal shower to go to and had made her an apron and given her supplies to make cookies so it fit that I used a cookie card.

All My Ducks in a Row

I was digging through my stencils and found some that would fit in my stencil genie so I thought I would make some cookies for a friend who is expecting. I wanted to make gingham ducks with a monogram on them.

First I just did them solid white and let it dry completely.
When they were dry I put the stencil over them and sprayed one direction. Cleaned it off, turned it and sprayed again.
It worked perfectly!
I have an airbrush but for small basic color jobs you just can't beat Wilton's spray colors. That is what I used for these. I let them dry again and when I was sure that the icing was solid I drew the stitching on them. And used the letter stencil to draw the "P" on.
I have these amazing Rainbow Dust two ended food grade pens. The have an ultra fine end and a fine end. 23 colors. 
I made the button eyes out of gum paste. I used a large piping tip to cut out the circle and then put the holes in it with my stick tool. The I piped on a black "thread" on them with a "00" tip. Glued them on with a dot of grey icing. I think the button just finished them perfectly! 

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party

I know this isn't a food item but I just have to show it. Poppy will turn 2 this week and Jayme wanted a Minnie Mouse bow garland. So I made one. 
I also made the cookies and cake balls for the party.

Can't wait to see it all put together.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wedding cake practice

I was asked to make a wedding cake for a wedding that is next week. So I wanted to try what she asked me to do and that is put gold leaf on the cake. So I baked a cake and iced it with buttercream icing because I have only used fondant once and am not sure I could do a good job with that. I do not have my edible gold leaf yet but wanted to see how it went on buttercream so I used regular gold leaf and tried it.
It actually turned out pretty good. I think when I do it the icing needs to be more set and smoother.
It is just a 6" cake and is for a barn wedding so I made this cake stand to use for it. 
She wanted a topper but couldn't find one she liked so I made a small peach and white poppy to go on top and it will be guessed it...a piece of sugar veil lace! Now I just need my edible gold to get here...
I peeled off the gold icing part and turned the cake into a Memorial Day cake with raspberry glaze. 

Sugar Veil and Stencil Genie

I have a couple new "toys" and wanted to try them. I got a stencil genie which is a device created by Creative Cookier. It holds your stencil on the cookie with magnets and it is wonderful. The air brush can't blow the stencil around and ruin your design. I had made the sugar veil lace and basically it was a fail because it came apart when I took it out of the mold but  I used the pieces on these cookies and made them shabby chic.

Cheesecake cake

Bobbi sent me a picture of a cake and a link to the recipe one day and asked me to make it for the ladies at the salon. So I set about making it. First let me say that the recipe printed out 7 pages! I read the whole thing and simplified it vastly yet followed the ingredients as best I could. I just replaced artificial flavoring with actual fruit and zest. In other words I used lemon zest and lemon juice in place of lemon flavoring, orange zest and juice along with some orange flavoring, raspberry filling instead of raspberry flavoring. She also had you making each cheesecake layer seperately so instead I made all three together minus any flavoring and then seperated them into 3 bowls and flavored them. It was layered with white cake. I used her recipe and think I would use my own next time. Bobbi said it was very good so that is the goal. 
I thought the cheesecakes a bit thin but maybe not.
She also baked her cakes in sheet pans and cut out her circles so that there wasn't baked brown edges but since I was covering it with the whipped cream topping it didn't matter to me. Also I added a cake layer to the bottom because the cheese cake seemed like it wouldn't be as sturdy.
It is just iced with whipped cream mixed with a bit of powdered sugar and vanilla. 
So I took some fruit and sugarveil lace I had made and decorated it.
Bobbi said it tasted "like heaven" so that was good.
Successful endeavor.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Carrot Cake

I like to read recipes and what people have to say about them. The other day I read this about a carrot cake, "the best carrot cake ever" in fact...Ok that is her opinion but when I read what all was in it I thought "well it sounds really good so I will try it." NOW, I do try to make the recipe the way it is writtten so that if I don't like it I can consider what changes I could make. So I made it her way, minus the walnuts because had I put them in I may not be around to tell you about this cake...I used pecans. The one ingredient I did not have on hand out here in the country was canned crushed pineapple but I had some fresh cut up that I processed and used. Probably better anyway. Ok so the one ingredient that made me go "EHHH" was coconut...I don't like it in things. It's a texture thing. Don't judge me. BUT I had some so I put it in. I will not do that again. I just don't like it no matter how small I process it. That said the cake is good. 
I will, in the future, do some things differently: NO coconut; replace the 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1/2 cup natural applesauce and 1/2 cup coconut oil (Oh wait I did do that in this cake...sorry I didn't make it exactly like her.) or 1 cup of applesauce; probably eliminate the nuts all together (again texture...) and I may back off on the 4 teaspoons of cinnamon but again that is a personal preference thing. I will very finely grate the carrots and then process them to make them cook through better. This is a dense, moist cake and it is definately better the next day.
Side note: I have failed at cream cheese icing more times than I have succeeded. I keep trying. It tastes fine it just doesn't have the stiffness I am looking for. I think I made it once and got it perfect...wish I could remember what I did. The recipe was hilarious because I am sure that it was written in a foreign language and Google translated to English. At one point it says, when talking about testing with a toothpick, "A toothpick will confess all out when done." I may start to use that phrase...
Well, that is my little review on carrot cake. Go read some recipes and entertain yourself. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Homemade "Oreos"

Call me unnatural but I have never been a fan of Oreos. What kind of person even says that? Maybe it was the crunchy cookie. Maybe it was the hard icing...whatever it was I never really loved them. But today...I baked some chocolate sugar cookies and filled them with a thick buttercream and well, let's just say became a fan of my homemade Oreos. The recipe is on my recipe page on here. Apparently not. I am going to add it at the bottom of this post. Amazing Chocolate Sugar Cookies. It was a recipe I messed with and made my own by making some changes to it. Try them, you might like them.
I happen to have some imprint cookie stamps because if I am making a homemade Oreo it needs an imprint...I only imprinted the tops.
Put the filling in a piping bag with about a #4 tip or so.
Piped the bottom cookie.
Oh yes, they are larger than the original. 
 Delicious and the milk with it just hit the spot. Seriously, try them. 

Amazing Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Preheat oven to 350
1 Cup butter softened
1Cup Brown sugar
Mix together and then add:
1 Egg
1&1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. espresso pwd.
In a separate bowl combine:
2 Cups flour
3/4 cup special dark cocoa pwd.
1/2 tsp. salt
Add dry ingredients to wet and slowly start the mixer. Mix until just combined.
Roll out a portion between parchment papers and remove the top paper when the dough is about 1/4 inch thick, cut out your cookies as if they are laid on a tray ready to bake. remove the outside leftover dough and place the parchment with the cut out cookies on a tray and put it into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes for a 1/4" thick cookie or until the center isn't shiny. 

Vanilla Buttercream
1&1/2 cups pwd. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter
Cream together to make a thick buttercream.
When the cookies are cool pipe the room temperature buttercream onto the bottom cookie and top with another cookie.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Wedding Cookies- Mr & Mrs

If I need to put writing on a lot of cookies, I print out what I want and put it under parchment paper then pipe over that, let it dry for at least 12-24 hours. This time I used silver lustre dust on the writing.
When I was ready to make the cookies I drew a line 1/4 of an inch in and flooded the middle heart with pink icing.  As soon as I finished one I would use tweezers to put on the Mr & Mrs I had made.
Then when they were all to this point I set the to dry for awhile.
After a couple hours I took some white and a ruffle tip and put the ruffle around the bare edge.
I left them all to dry at this stage for the rest of the day. Then about 5-6 hours later I piped on grey inbetween the ruffle and the heart as soon as I did one I sprinkled it with large silver sugar crystals.
I really like how they turned out.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mini Ice Cream Cones

I love little things. Small bowls, little silverware, tiny name it. Well, I saw these tiny ice cream cones and just knew I needed them. 
They are about 1&3/4 inches tall and about 1 inch across. SO cute. Well, again, I had cake still leftover so I made some ganauche instead of icing and mixed it with the crumbled chocolate cake. It was delicious so I made so little ice cream cone cake balls out of it. Before I filled them with the cake mixture I poured in ganauche and then poured it back out and put them upside down on a cooling rack to drain out more.
I also made some little apple tarts. I cut the apples into rings and cooked them in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until they were soft but not falling apart.
To fill the hole I chopped up the small pieces and ends and cooked them in the same butter and sugar mixture. After I took the apples out to cool, I continued to cook down the juice and made an apple flavored caramel. I let those cool in the fridge. So today I made the pie dough and used two different size round cutters to make the tarts.
I brushed them with egg wash and sprinkled them with green sugar.
Baked them at 375 for 30 minutes on a parchment lined tray.
After they were done I drizzled them with the caramel that I made out of the juice. 

Rainbow Dust Pro Gel Food Colors

They are here!! All the way from the UK! And I am thrilled.
If you count in this picture there are 36 tubes and I actually ordered 37 colors....
Funny story: I was reseaching pink food color because I have so much trouble getting a good pink. The general consensus was Rainbow Dust Pro Gel Strawberry. So I went to order that color and saw all these other wonderful colors and as much food color as I go through it was, in the long run, less expensive than getting them one at a time. So I ordered them. When the package was delivered I was so excited!! I opened them all up laid them out like you see them and oops two of the color terracotta. So I get the list to figure out what color I am missing...Strawberry...the one color that caused me to go online and look at these colors. I contacted the company I got them from and they got right back to me and said they would send out the Strawberry one the next day. I was impressed and grateful. 
Yesterday was the maiden voyage for using one of them. 
It just happended to be grey.
So it gets the honor of being used on the blog.
I am making some wedding cookies for a friend and made the words for the cookie ahead of time on parchment. But more about those when I do those cookies.

Happy Baking,