Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baby Steps

These were for my supervisor's baby shower.  I used the medium-sized Wilton paisley-shaped pan and carved the edges to make the cakes appear more foot-shaped.  I forgot to line the cake boards with foil wrap and regretted it very quickly.  The cake on the left was chocolate with liquid fudge filling and the one on the right was white with raspberry vanilla filling.  Both cakes were iced in buttercream frosting. The footprints were made using frozen buttercream transfers.  It was my first time using this technique and it was pretty simple, probably because there was only one color.  But I thought the cakes turned out pretty cute.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Feet

I think this cake looks much worse from this angle.  It really wasn't lopsided or out-of-square, but it certainly looks very "wrecky" here.  (Thank goodness I am not a professional who turned out a cake like this one.)  This was for a baby shower at work.  The bottom layer was half-white and half-chocolate and the top layer was yellow.  Both layers were torted and filled with a chocolate fudge filling. The frosting was a chocolate butter cream and the baby feet were made of white fondant.  Due to a time crunch, the fondant was sprayed with a food-safe dye to get the proper color.  The lettering and edging were "frosting in a can", not my first choice - ever - but again, due to a time crunch I worked with what I could get.  The cake tasted much better than it looked.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chocolate Sinful Surprise

I named these cupcakes "Chocolate Sinful Surprise", as each chocolate cupcake had a small Rolo (chocolate & caramel) or Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in the middle.  The frosting was chocolate buttercream made with Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa and they were dusted with the Special Dark Cocoa powder.  You can't tell here, but oddly enough, the cocoa powder looks green up close...

There was no story behind these cupcakes, other than a friend at work gave me the box of Special Dark Cocoa and I wanted to try it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's my Birthday! :D

Okay, today isn't really my birthday, tomorrow is (December 7th).  I am a Pearl Harbor Day baby.  The nurse wanted my mother to name me Pearl.  Thank goodness my mother refused.  (No offense to any "Pearls" out there.)

One of my goals for the past 17 years has been to get my husband to remember when my birthday is.  He knows it's on Pearl Harbor Day, but he cannot remember when that is.  Never mind that every media outlet around floods the air waves with reminders every year... 

And this pie wasn't baked for my birthday, but for Christmas last year (obviously, from the date).  It is a coconut cream pie with meringue.  I used a recipe I found in one of my mother's old cookbooks back when I was in high school (many years ago).  In fact, the book was so old then that the front and back covers were gone and I have no idea what it was called.  I'm sure she still has it, though.  I have made the pie numerous times and the only change I have ever made to it was to add more coconut to the filling.  I love lots of coconut in there.  :)  The meringue is true egg white meringue, not the meringue you can make using Meringue Powder, although that works well, too.  I like this recipe for meringue because the pie doesn't weep as much as some others I have seen.

This pie dish is one of my favorites, mostly because the unique heart shape lets everyone know that this is not a store-bought pie.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Christmas Story

These are "A Christmas Story" sugar cookies.  They were made with Fun Dough, a set of four tubs of colored cookie dough in red, green, blue, and yellow.  The dough was purchased through a school fundraiser and was very tasty.  The cookie cutters were in the shapes of a house, a star, a roasted turkey, Ralphie in his pink bunny suit, and the infamous "major award" - the leg lamp.  The cutters only came in the deluxe boxed DVD set, but were worth the extra cost.  Everyone loved these.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This is a sweet potato pie I made a couple of years ago using Albert G's recipe, which I found in the Tulsa World many years ago.  The edge and the shapes on top were cut out using plunger pie-crust cutters (small cookie cutters) from Williams-Sonoma.  The pies made from this recipe have a smooth, rich flavor and melt in your mouth.

Last year I made a similar pie, but didn't decorate it.  Hence, no photo of it.  This year we visited relatives and I took flavored popcorns from The Corn Popper in Tulsa.  No muss, no fuss.  :D

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pistachio Almond Fudge cupcakes

(NOTE:  This blog has been slightly modified for inclusion at  Yes, I entered it last week, but it wasn't a contest then and I still think this is my best dessert photo.  Sorry if you are seeing it a second time.)

These were made for my mother's 80th birthday party and were an homage to my favorite Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor, which is now defunct.  I wish they would bring the flavor back, but since it's been over 20 years, they probably won't. 

The cupcakes were triple chocolate fudge with homemade pistachio almond frosting.  The cupcake batter was from a Duncan Hines Specialty mix.  The frosting was homemade and extremely tedious to make.  Magic Shell Chocolate Fudge ice cream topping was drizzled over them and a speckled jewel-tone chocolate almond was pressed into the top of each one.  The Magic Shell didn't harden like it does with cold foods, so I popped the cupcakes into the refrigerator for a few minutes.  This worked initially, but when the cupcakes warmed to room temperature, the Magic Shell liquefied again.  It stayed a bit thick, though, so it turned out fine.

I found the recipe for the pistachio frosting on the "How to Eat a Cupcake" blog about spumoni cupcakes.  I modified it by grinding roasted almonds along with the pistachios.  I used about twice as many pistachios as almonds.  The pistachio almond frosting took over eight hours to make by itself and consisted of shelling, soaking, roasting, and grinding the nuts before making them into a paste.  It was so time consuming, that unless I can find some pistachio paste for sale, I won't make these again.  But I must say they tasted wonderful!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Bite Me" Cupcakes

These cupcakes were for Halloween at the office, although I didn't bring them to the office until the following Monday.  They were basic white cupcakes with fluffy pale white frosting.  Two holes were made in the baked cupcakes by using the end of a wooden spoon, although a straw would probably have worked, as well.  The cupcakes were frosted after the holes were made.  I inserted toothpicks into the holes so that I would remember where they were, then I used the toothpicks to open the holes back up.  Raspberry Dessert Gel (from the refrigerated section at the grocery store) was used to fill the holes, allowing the gel to ooze out the top for a gorey "vampire bite" look to each cupcake.  The raspberry filling was seedless and added a good flavor to the vanilla cupcakes.

Happy "B" cupcakes

These little bee cupcakes were in honor of my office, Tulsa County 72B, affectionately known at "The B" to staff there.   I transferred to this office just a couple of months before baking these and I don't really recall exactly why I made them, other than to share with co-workers.  There were chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and cream cheese icing.  The flower centers were Oreo cookies.  The bees were lemon drops and the wings were made out of white Airheads candy or different types of stick gum.  However, I found that there are not very many white or beige stick gums anymore, so some of the wings were yellow.  The faces and stripes of the bees were black food gel and were drawn on with a toothpick.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Only Difference between Men and Boys...

This was the cake for my husband's first ever birthday party.  I was running short on time, so I bought the sheet cake and had them add edible images from his childhood and recent years to the cake.  They also wrote the phrase and did the border.  The cake was half chocolate and half white.  I wasn't completely thrilled with the bakery's job, as the writing was slanted, but after I added the embellishments, I thought it looked pretty good.  I made the poker chips, golf tees, golf ball, and dollar bills out of fondant.  I added foil-wrapped chocolate coins and full-sized chocolate cigars.  The cigars had "It's a Boy!" labels, so I removed those and added real cigar labels that I had saved from my husband's smoking room.  (The chocolate cigars had cellophane under the wrappers, so changing the labels didn't require that I touch the chocolate.  They were still pristine.)

The party was at one of the cigar shops my husband frequents.  We had sandwiches, chips, pretzels, dips, and this cake.  It was a surprise party, but he was a bit suspicious.  All went well, though, and he and his friends had a good time.  :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blue Velvet Cupcakes

These cupcakes were made for the birthday of a little boy on my caseload.  He was in the hospital, so I took one to him and shared the rest with my co-workers.  The cupcakes were moist and had a very creamy vanilla flavor, with just a slight hint of bubblegum.  The frosting was basic decorator's frosting tinted with Wilton gel food coloring.  The glitter sprinkles are from Wilton, as well.  They are the size and shape of jimmies, but are really small sugar bars.