Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving back something sweet!

Find out about the outcome of our awesome cookie drop off courtesy of Drop In and Decorate dot org.

It was an AMAZING success!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Brides Pinks

Funnily after thinking that we would not complete the task of making 500 of these roses for our Princess White bridescakes I pulled it off! My thumb was so sore but it all ended well! After asking a lot of decorators about how to dry these roses of royal frosting, they were actually pretty much a hands off process. I had worried they would crack etc but no, all went remarkably well. Here is what I did, I piped them all on parchment squares and placed each rose on a square on a huge cookie sheet. I left each to sit and dry for 2 days and then flipped them upside down on the squares for 3 days ... They were quite hard and crusted by the time I used them a week later. I stored them in clean paper egg cartons which worked fab! So my friends now I am no longer leery to make royal icing roses that I hear can last decades haha! Cheers
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Espresso Chip Brownies...have a great morning!

8 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate

1 cup of unsalted butter

5 whole eggs

3 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon Neilsen-Massey vanilla bean paste

1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon instant espresso granules

-Don't blink because it is very easy and the outcome is dense and velvety. Perfect for the holidays. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13 by 9 baking dish.

-Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high until the chocolate is fully melted, about 2 minutes but watch carefully. Stir until fully blended.

-In a standing mixer with the paddle blade; place the eggs, sugar and vanilla bean paste. Mix on high for about two minutes. Then on a very low speed or stir setting, slowly add in the butter and chocolate mixture. Next add in the flour and beat on medium only until combined and then stop! Overmixing is deadly to brownie texture!

-Remove the paddle blade and grab a spatula. Pour the chips and espresso into the batter and fold them in by pulling the bottom batter to the top gently. You only want them evenly through the batter, you don't want to 'mush'.

-Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for about 35 mins. I love this because it is the perfect amount of time to make dinner!

Additional ideas: I poured a bag of marshmallows on top of the brownies this year and they were AMAZING!!! I have also added in dried cranberries or cherries. Get creative and play with your food. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Anita can sure decorate a cupcake

Happy Deepavali
Originally uploaded by Anita Jamal
These were submitted by Anita Jamal to our Sweet Cuppin Cakes Flickr Group which made me very happy! The reason I am so happy is then I get to share them with all of you.

I adore all the details on these and the colour work is fantastic. It makes me wonder what everyone else is up to in their kitchens and bakeries for this holiday season coming quickly upon us.

If you have something to show us, or you have someone you are so very proud of come join our group and hang out with a nice big mug of cocoa and be ready to be inspired to the point you will go bake I promise!!

Our crew also has a fan page where you can post just about anything you want, after all anyone doing sugar arts is a Celebrity in my eyes!

Happy Holidays and thank you again Sweet Anita!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lemon Shortbread Cupcake Cookies A Recipe

 When it would happen I did not know. I knew it would happen though, so that is an intuitive A++ for me. Cookies! Well indeed cookies happened, but to find an actual cookie cupcake recipe! For reals you guys. This just sets my little shoppe into trendy trendy trendy avant-garde territory. Now I better tell you why. I had thought of the cookie project myself and played with recipes because after-all cupcake liners are finicky little papers whether we would like to know that or not. They are not all so conforming to some recipes as we have learned in some point of our baking careers.
After deciding brownies sucked in baking liners I moved on. So I go and order a bunch of my 39 size liners, a bunch and to get them made a have to wait quite a while not to mention all the bakeries we supply to gobbling them up. Okay on with it, I do have some in stock and waiting for you, how long I couldn't say But this recipe I just had to share because I love you.

Lemon Shortbread Cupcake Cookies
2 cups all purp flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup confectioners sugar
3-4tbsp finely shredded lemon peel (you can add orange here too)
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (real lemon juice)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla and please use real vanilla too I like Neilsen Massey Vanilla Bean paste for this recipe
Lemony Glaze
Oven temp 300 degrees. 24 mini cupcake liners neatly set into your wee pans.
Stir together flour and cornstarch set aside a bit
Put your confectioners sugar in a bowl and the lemon peel (this step makes a huge difference) then push that lemon peel through and through until your sugar is fragrant and yellow Oh YUM.
Then in you mixer beat the butter until almost white (yes it does) Add sugar mixture and then flour mixture. Perfect
Now roll into 24 equal balls (I use a small ice cream scoop (disher) for this)
You can also use a scale but use something.
Now press your perfect little balls into your pretty pans lined with festive paper.
Bake gently at 300 for 20 minutes they will be only very very light brown
Now to glaze:
Do not do this in advance or your liners will fall off! When ready to serve beat up in a wee bowl 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup (I like the golden) and 1 1/2 - 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel and finally 1 tbsp of vanilla bean paste. Perfect (it will be a little thick) Por your glaze into a squeeze bottle (yeah I am gonna say it Wilton) and gently squirt the glaze on your cookies Let stand a bit and serve!

Oh yeah you can freeze those cookie cupcakes for a month without the glaze. Alternatively you can decorate these cookies with glaze and royal frosting flowers or what have you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

An easy and sweet way to spread love!

A few weeks ago, Lyndsay shared a beautiful link that caused me to take action.

It is a simple idea. Make some cookies, decorate them and donate them to food pantry, soup kitchen, shelter or any other agency that feeds those in need. The great thing is the reaction you can get for such a simple act of generousity. You can teach your kids the act of giving. You can get that warm, "I just did a good deed" feeling. And the most important, someone that really needed a smile gets one.

I decided to make it a Thanksgiving mission. I called Minot Area Homeless Coalition and asked them how many families they serve for the holiday. I found out they help 30-60 families, based on reservations and last minute additions. Simple math provided me with 15 people needing to bake 4 dozen. That is very easy, even for a beginner. You can buy 4 packages of break apart sugar cookies(SUPER EASY), you can make up a large batch of sugar cookie dough and divide it up for your friends to bake(Easy for the home-baker) or you can get crazy creative and bring the most gorgeous cookies your hands can make(easy for the greatly skilled artists on this site). Does not matter how you get it done, just have fun! I shared it as an event on Facebook, before I knew it I had a great surprise.

I had 30 bakers! 30 bakers making 4 dozen cookies EACH! I am able to provide all the cookies needed for both the Domestic Violence Crisis Center and the Minot Area Homeless Coalition. Amazed.

So now I have a dare. Can you out bake me for your town? Can you provide baked yummies for your local soup kitchen or charity? I DARE YOU! Then let this lovely lady know on her website! Take pictures, share your event with friends. You can even turn it into a new tradition for a holiday. If you take up my dare, leave a comment. I would love to see what special yummies you can come up with also.

I can't wait to show you my progress! Thanks, Lyndsay. I can feel the love already.