Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Cupcakes

It's Easter time, which means spring themed confections!  I've made some cupcakes for my women's Bible study.  The first is a chocolate cupcake with the same peanut butter mousse filling from the winging cake.  I think it may be my favorite of the three.  Little bee hives with jelly bean bees with almond sliver wings

Next, we have vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream filling.  I toasted some coconut to make some nest material, and used chocolate eggs to make a fun spring nest. 

Last, we have vanilla cupcakes with a raspberry cream filling.  These I just went for more simple and iced the tops with buttercream and used melted vanilla wafers to make a design and placed them on the tops.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Winging cake

My husband just earned his Naval Aviator wings, and so in celebration I made a cake for him!  It's a chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse and peanut butter cups chopped up for the filling.  I iced with buttercream and then sculpted the wings from fondant.  The side is decorated with hand placed gold dragees (sugar pearls) It was a lot of fun to make and my husband appriciated it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I see London I see France

This weekend, my best friend from college is getting married!  So, we’re throwing her a lingerie party for her bachelorette party, and I made cupcakes.    Her wedding colors are marigold and pewter, so I made her future monogram out of melted vanilla candies (the bride doesn’t like chocolate….we’re trying to get her some help for that) and put those on the white chocolate cupcakes filled with raspberry mousse.  I also made vanilla cupcakes with the same filling, and so you could tell the difference, I made lingerie garments to go on those.  


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Be on the lookout!

No, there is no one after you.  I don't think...I can't honestly be too sure.  However, do be on the lookout for my baking blog 'confections of a bakeaholic' back up and running!  I had been avoiding it because I couldn't come up with a good way to design it, and I didn't want an ugly blog!  Well folks, it won't be ugly for much longer!  I'm getting a Mandy designed blog!  She designs really cute and fun blogs and usually a percentage of her proceeds benefits a different charity each month.  This month is her birthday month though, and so she's running a deal that all (that's right 100%) of the proceeds benefit the MS Society bike ride that she participates in every year!  You can get anywhere from a blog button to a full on blog makeover, and you'll be donating money to a very worthy cause!  If you're a master blog designer yourself and don't really want a supercool blog, you can just donate any amount of money here, but why wouldn't you want something designed by her.  We need to keep Mandy busy, because she just has too much time on her hands.  Between running Survival Mode Parent, participating in Awana nights at her church, working full time, being a wife and supporting her husband as his TaeKwonDo tournaments, she just doesn't have much to do!  I am of course being sarcastic, she sets an amazing example that I surely admire, so I coulnd't imagine donating to anyone else!  So, go check out her blog and I'll of course announce when my baking blog is pretty!  It's gonna be good!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wedding favors?

If I haven’t already mentioned, my sister Katie is getting hitched in May!  She’s my only and older sister and she said she’d beat me up if I didn’t make her wedding favors.  No, I’m just kidding.  Don’t hit me.    Well, her wedding cake is themed around Legos so I thought I’d attempt to make some favors that reflected the cake.  However, a wedding is also a formal affair, so I thought I’d offer her an option between a cookie that coordinated with her colors and dress, and one that matched the cake.  I made the round cookies by using a brush embroidery effect inspired by Toba Garret’s design in her book Creative Cookies.  (I think she’s leaning towards the round ones.)


Happy Valentines Day!


More recipes

The baby shower cake I previously posted about was made up of the mom-to-be’s favorite flavors.  Lemon and Chocolate.  Not together, although she was pregnant…so who knew what she actually meant.  I didn’t think that there was any reason why she shouldn’t get to have both, so I made the citrus cake and the best ever chocolate cake.  Both had a raspberry buttercream filling and a plain buttercream frosting.  I will now bequeath unto you my favorite (so far) buttercream filling recipe. 

Fluffy Buttercream (a-la cakecentral.com)

3/4 C. egg whites (pasteurized or about 5 lg eggs)
2 C. shortening
1/2 C. butter (softened a little and cut into pieces)
4-5 C. powdered sugar
2 Tbs desired flavoring
2 Tbs milk or heavy cream

Whip the whites slowly at first until they get foamy, add flavor, and increase speed to medium
Start adding 1C of powdered sugar slowly
Keep whipping until meringue is shiny and stiff
With mixer in medium start adding shortening and butter a bit at a time.  (at the beginning the mixture will look weird and kind of lumpy, that's normal)
Change mixer to high and mix until your buttercream looks homogenous and fluffy (5-15 min.)
Start adding sugar by 1/2 C.
Add the 2 Tbs of milk, and keep whipping until the sugar is well incorporated (5 more min)

Now, to make this a raspberry filling, you can either add a couple tablespoons of raspberry preserves, or chopped up fresh berries.  You can of course substitute any berry you’d like.  I won’t get mad at you.  I’m just gonna say that raspberry goes so well with everything…as does strawberry, but raspberry just feels more sophisticated.  I don’t know why.

I have my first official cake order!

babyshowercake01A friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her friend’s baby shower!  I am so excited to get to do this!  The expectant mom-to-be is a Navy pilots wife and is going to be welcoming a baby boy.  That of course meant that I had to do a plane design.  I just had to!  (well that and I got complete design freedom!)  So, this is what I came up with… A 6” round with cupcakes!babyshowercake02babyshowercake04

Cookie recipes

As promised, here are the recipes I like to use for my cookies.  (I’ve never understood the hoarding of recipes to keep under wraps.  I guess that may be because we don’t have secret family recipes…)

Sugar Cookies (this is the No Fail Sugar cookie recipe via Cakecentral.com)

6 C. flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 C. butter
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (or whatever you want)
1 tsp salt

cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
mix in dry ingredients a little at a time, mix until flour is incoperated and dough comes together

chill for 1-2 hours

Pre-heat oven to 350°
roll into desired thickness, cut and place on ungreased cookie sheet
bake for 10 min. or until edges are browning

Raspberry thumbprint cookies (bettycrocker.com)

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 cup white vanilla baking chips 
Red or green sugar, if desired

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg and flour until dough forms.
2. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls; place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Using thumb or handle of wooden spoon, make indentation in center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon jam into each indentation.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. 
4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips on High 1 to 2 minutes or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Spoon melted chips into small resealable plastic bag; cut small hole in corner of bag. Squeeze bag gently to drizzle melted chips over cookies. Sprinkle with colored sugar.

Chocolate Snowflake cookies

2 squares chocolate (it doesn't say which kind)
1/4  cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 teas. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teas. baking powder
1/4 teas. salt
1/2 to 1 cup nuts
Powdered Sugar

Melt in a pan:    2 squares chocolate,1/4  cup butter or margarine

In a bowl mix:    1 cup sugar and the chocolate mixture

Cool and add:   2 beaten egg, 1 teas. vanilla, 1 cup flour,1 teas. baking powder, 1/4 teas. salt, 1/2 to 1 cup nuts

Chill 3 hours.

Make into balls and roll in powdered sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min.

It’s Christmas, and that means cookies!

Ok, I realize that Christmas actually means celebrating the birth of our savior, however for some reason we celebrate with cookies instead of cake.  This year I decided to conquer the sugar cookie in my small apartment kitchen.  I’ll share the recipe in my next post in which I’ll share my favorite cookie recipes.  For the shapes, I decided to make snowflakes, snowmen, mittens, and trees.  The snowmen faces definitely came out to be my favorite!  Although, I like the other snowmen too.  I’ve got a thing for snowmen.  The mittens have crushed peppermint to get a kind of furry look, and I used colored dragees to make Christmas tree ornaments.

cookies01 cookies02cookies04


   I am fairly confident when I say that everybody loves cupcakes.  They're quick and simple and already portioned out, no cutting required!  I haven't had a whole lot of experience making them yet, but I'm getting better.  Although, come to think of it, you can't really mess up a cupcake.  You can really just blob icing on the top and cover it with sprinkles and you've got a festive little confection!  However, in order to achieve a fancier look, you Moms cupcakesdon’t have to do too much!  All you need is a couple of decorator tips (a large star tip and a petal tip) and voila!  The top photo, is simply made with the large star (1M size) tip.  Fill your icing bag halfway full of your desired frosting.  In this case, I used a chocolate fudge buttercream.   Starting near the edge of the cupcake, make a single swirl around the rim.  Then, make a smaller circle in the center of it, creating concentric icing circles.  Top it off with another swirl.  Garnish with sprinkles and mom cupcakes3little candies.  The ones pictured above are made from royal icing, but you can certainly buy fun candies to adorn your cupcake!   The black and white ruffle cupcakes are made with alternating cream cheese frosting and chocolate fudge buttercream.  You can most certainly use anything you’d like, but since these were for Halloween, I liked the black and white contrast.  The ruffles were achieved using a number 104  petal tip.  With the narrow end pointing out, basically draw an “n” shape over and over until you’ve gone around the circumference of the cupcake.  Repeat, alternating colors on each row.  I usually get 7 or 8 rows of ruffles until I’m satisfied.