Sunday, December 8, 2013

A million Gingerbread Cookies... Or maybe 300

So I had this big idea that I wanted to make a gingerbread war... Rainbow colored gingerbread men verses the evil dark ones... I made 300 little guys while watching the Doctor Who 50th anniversary, then trucked those little guys over to my moms house to recruit helpers to ice them. When I got there my helpers decided to do what they pleased.  What resulted was a ridiculous array if silly tiny cookies. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Growing Hands

When I think of spring, I think of getting my hands dirty and planting bulbs for spring time flowers. So for my "Spring" project I thought it would be delightful to combine the 2 things I think of....dirty hands and spring flowers.

I was able to collect a few items out of my craft supplies to achieve just what I was thinking. First a plaster casting of my own hand and fingers. While waiting for the plaster to dry I found an old flower pot and gave it new life. Just a little bit of dirt later and my hand seedlings were born!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Birthday Flowers for Jen

Jen has been away in Ireland for 2 weeks and we all missed out on celebrating her birthday with her, so Andy and I wanted to make her cupcakes for her return. We decided on red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing, and hopefully we can make them look like flowers.

The idea behind our flowers is that we will dip and pour chocolate on and in spoons to make the desired shape we are looking for in our petals. I am altering an idea I found from Bakerella's website where she used spoons as molds for making butterfly wings.

I microwaved the chocolate/candy as instructed on the bag to an easy to work with consistency, then began the creative process.

I used 5 spoons for each flower, we found that clear spoons were the most fun because we could see ahead of time what each petal would look like, which in turn made us more likely to attempt different combinations.
After I took the decorated spoons and placed them in the freezer for a few minuets so they were easier to remove from the spoons and hooray! Petals!

We then iced the cupcakes with the cream cheese icing and placed the petals around the cupcake and topped with a candy for the middle. We found that we could also use the back side of the spoon to make the petals curl up and look more like flowers, but they were much more delicate and often broke. If you have a steady hand and are more patient then Andy and I, the back side of the spoon is the way to go. However I think our flowers are adorable just the way they are. :)

Happy Birthday Jen!!

Photos courtesy of Peter Smith.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Super Why Cake!


My friend has requested that I make a "Super Why" cake for her sons birthday, so I am going to attempt to transform my soccer ball cake into the PBS character.

I baked a box cake, for a bit longer than the directions on the box specified for because the middle of the ball was still very gooey well after the buzzer had gone off.
After the cake was done, I cut it in half and placed a layer of icing in between and covered the outside of the cake as well.

I then colored a ball of fondant to match Super Whys skin tone. I used this fondant to make a small ball shaped like his nose as well as rolled out the rest to about 1/8-1/4 thick
Placed rolled fondant over the cake and cut away the excess.
Colored fondant for mask...
Then I used the cake pan to measure and cut the mask for his face.
Not too shabby :) I would have loved to keep the eye holes round, but what can you do!

And then I added a couple of fondant ears and glued them in with a little chocolate.
I then cut out black, blue and white circles for his eyes and layered them in the holes of the mask, and rolled out a cute little rope to make a smiling mouth.

Last but not least I melted chocolate candies in a ziplock bag in the microwave, then snipped the corner to make a throw away piping bag.  I drew most of the hair directly on the cake, but also piped some chocolate lines on a piece of parchment paper and let them dry. This made it possible to place the cute "Dennis the Menace' hairs at the top of his part.
And DONE! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday Chocolate Strawberries

I found these cute chocolate covered strawberries on Pinterest and wanted to recreate them. I already had a container or milk chocolate from an earlier visit to the grocery store clearance shelf. So I just needed to pick up some strawberries and a bag of chocolates. 

This is apparently the wrong time of year to buy strawberries in New Hampshire, there were only a few boxes and all of the boxes had a weird array of shapes and sizes.  So I picked up 2 boxes of strawberries to insure that I would have enough "football shaped" ones. I think I will leave some of the funny shaped strawberries for my roommate who is starting a new diet this month. 

Most of theother times I have made "chocolate" dipped strawberries I have actually used melting candies, either because I wanted an odd color, or I didn't want to mess with chocolate. All I have ever heard about is how temperamental chocolate can be, and because I like my cooking experiments to be more fun than disappointing...I choose the easy way out. 

Today though is different. I am going to attempt to use my make shift double boiler to melt my milk chocolate.  In the bottom of my pot I placed a few of my boyfriends (washed) "whiskey rocks" to keep my inside bowl off of the bottom of the pan.

Oddly enough the chocolate was perfectly behaved and with frequent stirring became the correct consistency for dipping 
quite quickly and painlessly.

I prepped a baking pan with crushed ice and water, and then place a second lined baking pan on top for the strawberries to cool on. 

Then I dipped each strawberry and let excess chocolate run off. Then place on cooling pan.

Allow strawberries to completely harden before beginning to decorate.

1 Egg White
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups Powered Sugar

I whisked 1 egg white with a teaspoon of lemon juice, then added the powered sugar and continued to whisk on a low speed. The Joy of baking website suggests that the consistency is correct when you lift the whisk the ribbon of icing that falls into the bowl will continue to be visible for a few seconds before disappearing back into the bowl. 

I have a love hate relationship with icing, I love to eat and decorate with it, but I hate to get the icing into whatever device I am going to use to decorate with. Today I am going to try and use a small bottle to pipe the lines on my footballs. My first attempt to get the gooey icing into the bottle failed miserably. My funnel just clogged up and made a mess.

My SECOND attempt worked much better, and made me feel stupid for not doing it in the first place. My mom gave me a set of adorable pouring bowls for Christmas this year, and it worked like a charm. 
I had many failed attempts at decorating the footballs...

But after while I was able to get in the groove of making them at least resemble a foot ball :)

Net time I attempt to make these I think I will find something with a smaller tip on it to make more precise lines, but all and all the strawberries are cute and delicious.