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.