Monday, February 28, 2011

Lucky Monkey Baby Shower

This past weekend I made cupcakes for a shamrock/monkey theme baby shower. The family is Irish (hence the shamrocks) and for the monkeys they wanted the Fisher Price Rainforest monkey. I did my best interpretation of the monkey I could ;-) Cupcake flavors included lemon and Oreo mint.

Since I had extra cupcakes, I made some different flavor combos to bring to my friend's bachelorette party that night. Flavors included lemon or chocolate cake with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream with a Chambord raspberry filling. Kinda funny - I bought the jam at the dutch market and mixed alcohol in it ;-)

I also made a coffee swiss meringue buttercream to top off some of the chocolate cupcakes. I looove the coffee swiss meringue, it reminds me of coffee ice cream and pairs so well with chocolate cake.

The ladies loved them, I mean... Who doesn't love cupcakes after a few drinks?? ;-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes

It's been awhile since my last post! School and work have consumed my life. Haven't been able to bake as much as I've liked. I didn't even get to make something cute for a valentine's day post :( Ah well... I made these cupcakes last weekend for a friend's birthday. Blackberries were on sale and I've been wanting to make some lemon cupcakes. A great flavor combo - reminds me that spring is around the corner!

Recipes Used:

Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream
-I cut this recipe in 1/2 and added a few tablespoons fresh blackberry puree (be sure to remove the seeds! I use either a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth) instead of using vanilla
-It makes a beautiful all natural purple color that I just love

Joy of Baking Yellow Cupcakes
-I added fresh lemon zest and lemon juice to the batter
-This recipe is best when eaten the same day, if not as soon as its cooled. I think I would use another yellow/vanilla cake recipe instead next time because they were a bit dry at the time of the party that night (but still tasty ;-)

Almost forgot... I got to use my logo stickers! I look so professional huh?? ;-) ~Cara Lee

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Cupcakes

I made some Super Bowl cupcakes for the big game today. I came up with a "Pretzels and Beer" cupcake. How I came up with this concoction:

Pretzels + Chocolate = Flipz
Pretzels + Beer = A delicious food combination
Chocolate + Beer = Young's Chocolate Stout
Pretzels + Chocolate + Beer = CUPCAKE!

The result: a cupcake with a pretzel crust, chocolate stout cake, a little vanilla swiss meringue frosting, and topped with a chocolate covered pretzel.

I could care less for the teams who were in the game (I'm and Eagles fan myself ;-) but I did match the colors black liners with yellow sprinkles for the Steelers and then yellow liner with green sprinkles for the Packers.

Recipes I used

Crust: I just winged it... smashed up some pretzels, sprinkled some sugar and some melted butter

For the cake: Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cake (just the cake part, and I used Young's Chocolate Stout instead of Guinness)

Frosting: Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Birthday

A friend of mine asked me to make some cupcakes for his girlfriend's birthday. He let me do anything I wanted, except the flavor had to be red velvet - her fave ;-) Since Valentine's Day is around the corner I used that as inspiration.

Even though I cannot stand the taste of those conversation hearts, I do think they are fun to look at. I made fondant conversation hearts and I thought it would be a cute idea to write things on each heart that had to do with them as a couple.
Some phrases I used: "family" (since they are expecting), "farmville" (she loves that game), to really personalize it. I also put fun fondant curly ribbon on some of the cakes to make it more birthday-ish :)

So I had some left over red velvet batter and wanted to create something... I came up with a "red bottom" cupcake.

It's red velvet and cheesecake cupcake with chocolate chips. Traditionally you use a chocolate cake on the bottom. I attempted to make the cheesecake part look like a heart ...FAIL! But it tasted good. You don't even need frosting. You know I've met quite a few people who ... dare I say this....don't care for frosting!
(My BF included... but I've been working on that ;-) ~Cara Lee

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Happy February. Thanks to all who entered the giveaway this past week. Congrats to Rene of Rene Takes the Cake! She left the 3rd comment and she is the Winner of the CSN Stores giveaway. She won $35 to any of their online stores! Thanks again to everyone :)