Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

It's not Christmas without a baking. I pulled a Sandra Dee today and made semi-homemade brownie cupcakes. I don't like to use mixes too much anymore, but I grew up on them and I have a weakness for box mix brownies! I made the cake-like recipe, chopped up some Hershey's candy cane kisses, put them in liners, then made homemade white chocolate peppermint swirled frosting. I'm quite impressed :-)


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Spirit

I'm finally feeling "Christmas Spirit" this year with only 3 more days til actual Christmas. County schools were canceled, so my friend (who's a teacher) and I finished up our shopping and baked cookies all day. We baked sugar cookies with royal icing and two kinds of drop cookies. I'm not a cookie connoisseur BUT I believe I am the queen of adding different things into batches (anything from different nuts, chocolates, whatever I can find) and calling it your own. We did a chocolate cookie with mint chocolate chips and then a peanut butter cookie with peanut butter chips and Christmas m&ms. I have NOT been able to stop eating them!! *Cookie tip: put a piece of plain bread in with your cookies to keep them soft :-)

If you're looking for some cookie recipes:

Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies
(good for more delicate sugar cookies but I definitely recommend adding either vanilla or almond extract. I also added some fresh vanilla bean to ours. Let them cool on the pan before removing them)

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
(I modified it by adding the mint chocolate chips to half the batch. The other half I chopped up Hershey's candy cane kisses and topped those off with peppermint sugar)

Peanut Butter Cookies
(I modified these by using the Christmas color M&Ms instead of the chocolate chips)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Ashley!!

So we were supposed to celebrate last night but due to a snow storm here in the DC/MD/VA area we were all snowed :( Today's Ashley's official birthday and I want to dedicate today's post to her!!

Here is the cake I made her last year. It's a kitty litter cake!! LOL

Snowstorm Birthday Cupcakes!

(This is how much snow we have gotten in about 12 hrs...
its still snowing and is supposed to continue until tomorrow morning!)

That's right! I even deliver in snow storms!! lol... I was up all night baking these cupcakes for a birthday order that I forgot to take good pictures :( I made a about 65 minis and threw in 4 big cupcakes, one even said "Happy Bday." Flavors were: vanilla bean w/ chocolate ganache frosting, red velvet w/ vanilla been cream sheese frosting, Smores, and pumpkin. I wanted to try some new decorating techniques and made some royal icing flowers. Very basic ones - I'm still learning/teaching myself ;-) Here are some pics of my pretty packaging and some of the extras I had around.

I hope you enjoy them Marlene and family!! Send pics :)

Holiday Cupcakes

My dad ordered two dozen cupcakes for his work party. He said any flavor, so I decided on red velvet w/ vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and the Irish stout cupcakes (same ones I made last week). They turned out so cute when I topped them with the homemade fondant holiday decor I made.

Ready for delivery!!

Decorate your own Cupcake

Last weekend I was able to raise money for the Everybody Wins! program. I set up a "decorate your own cupcake" station at the restaurant I work at. I made all the fondant decor from scratch and it turned out so nicely. It tastes soooo much better than store bought - I flavor mine with almond extract. I had tons of sprinkles and candies and frosting. I think it was a success considering I had no time to advertise. The parents loved it for their kids and even the adults had fun. A lady even asked if i did birthdays :) I made $85 which is really good for working at a small restaurant. Not too shabby!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Irish Stout Cupcakes

...or the politically INcorrect term "Irish Car Bomb" cupcakes. I don't "do" Irish Car Bomb drinks, but I'll eat one of these cupcakes any day!! Guinness chocolate stout cake, Irish whiskey chocolate ganache in the middle (I know - it's not Jameson's), topped with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting. Something about a good dark beer around the holidays... I'll make it again for St. Patty's :) Happy Holidays!!