Archive for ‘Food & Drink’

September 9, 2011

M-I-C-K-E-Y C-A-K-E

I am soo proud of this mickey mouse cake!

First, I drew up a sketch of the way I wanted the cake to look and then I started brain-storming on how it could be done.  Duff’s cake fondant really helped me get this job done.  His products are great to work with and aren’t bad tasting.

cake sketch

Enjoy the photos of Brody’s 1st Birthday cake 🙂


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September 9, 2011

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Mickey Mouse Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate frosting

To recreate these delicious little cupcakes, simply make chocolate cupcakes and chocolate icing (using your favorite chocolate frosting recipe).  I used red cupcake liners and hot glued white circles onto the liners (left over circles from my three-hole punch worked great!) Add mini-oreos for mickey mouse ears and chocolate sprinkles for some fun. Enjoy!

September 9, 2011

Mickey Mouse Oreo Cookies

I wanted to make as many mickey mouse themed treats as I could… well, I think I succeeded!

Thanks to Kathie Cooks I was able to follow her simple directions and make these delicious little treats.

What you will need:

– Double stuffed oreos

– Red chocolate melting chips (Wilton chips are great, plus they are found at most craft stores and you can use a coupon)

– Dark chocolate melting chips

– lollipop sticks

– wax paper or foam (I substituted wax paper for foam.. I stuck the lollipop sticks in the foam to dry)

Directions:
Melt red chocolate melting chips in microwave, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the bottom half of each Double-Stuffed Oreo into the red chocolate. Gently slide a lollipop stick directly through the center of the Oreo cookie (through the white filling in the middle) and stop just before it comes out the other end. Lay on waxed paper for the red chocolate to dry.

Hint: If you are having troubles with the Oreos breaking, pop the Oreos in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds before you dip them in red chocolate and insert the sticks so the centers will soften up and the stick will slide right in.

Rub a dark chocolate melting chip on the side of a hot kettle to slightly melt it, and gently insert between the biscuits. Repeat for the other ear. When the icing is dry, add two dots of white icing (I used a tube of white icing) for Mickey’s buttons. Store in an airtight container, and refrigerate if the weather is hot!

If you want to give them as party favors, pop each one into a cellophane bag, then tie a little ribbon at the bottom.

Photo Shoot with the cookies:


September 9, 2011

Mickey Mouse Cookies

Using the Vanilla Sugar Cookie recipe I baked up two dozen Mickey Mouse cookies for Brody’s 1st birthday party.  Thanks to the recipe, they tasted sooo good and stayed firm enough that I had little problem with Mickey’s ears falling off.

I decided to set the cookies in the fridge for the night before decorating.  I did this for two reasons.  The first reason was for the cookies to settle and be chilled in order to hold the icing better. The second reason was to simply give myself a break so I could concentrate on making the cookies look GOOD without filling rushed or overwhelmed by doing it all in one day.

The Royal Icing recipe I used for outlining and flooding (add a few more drops of water to successfully “flood”)
(from Bake at 350)

(This will cover 2-3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies in 2 colors; I usually double this recipe.)

4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional)

1. Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

2. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

3. Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. ( I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.)

4. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.

(You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”

More information from Bake at 350 on making icing Black

More information from Bake at 350 on making icing Red

Tip: make sure your outline is dry and HARD before flooding…. I had many cookies that leaked out over the edges.




July 29, 2011

Brody’s 1st Birthday!

Happy 1st Birthday Brody!


July 13, 2011

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

I’ve had an itch to start decorating more sugar cookies… I mean really cute sugar cookies (like the ones seen here) So I’ve been hunting for the best recipes and tips from the best sugar cookie artists.  Here is the recipe that I came up with thanks to my two cookie-decorating idols: Bake at 350 & Sweetopia.

I recently used this recipe to make Mickey Mouse sugar cookies for my nephew’s upcoming 1st Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed birthday party. The cookies turned out AWESOME! Not only do they taste great, but they also kept their mickey-mouse-shape after cutting them out with a cookie cutter. Currently, the cookies are in the fridge awaiting their proclamation of “decoration” (cheesy, I know.. but I’m excited!) I’ll keep ya posted on my adventures with Mickey Mouse (cookies), but until then, enjoy the recipe for the vanilla sugar cookies.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

  • 5 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 ½ sticks (salted) butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Cream the sugar and butter.

{Tip: Cream together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed.  (Use the paddle attachment).  Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more.} {Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough.  If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.}

Add the egg and extracts slowly and mix.

{Tip: Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.}

Sift the dry ingredients together. (Flour, baking powder, & salt)

Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

{Tip: Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape.  Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready.  It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough}.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling (video on University of Cookie).

Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. 

Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.

Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes.

Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Re-roll scraps and repeat.

To help cookies keep their shape, freeze them!

Freeze the cut out shapes on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before baking.

They rise just slightly higher and keep their shape better. This really helps when using an intricate cookie cutter, but can also be done when baking circles.

“If I’m baking a large batch of cookies, I normally have one sheet in the oven, one in the freezer, one on the counter for loading and one cooling and I just rotate through them. “-Bake at 350.

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.

The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.

Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Start decorating all of those fabulous-tasting sugar cookies! 

 

   
If you aren’t ready to decorate just yet, the cookies can also be frozen. 

More tips on helping your cookies keep their shape. 

Check out the cookies I baked using this recipe:
Mickey Mouse Cookies

 

 

May 8, 2011

fun & yummy ways to eat fruit

dark & white chocolate stuffed raspberries
May 7, 2011

Freezer Smoothie Baggies

Lately I have been all about smoothies.  Strawberry-banana smoothies, blueberry smoothies, chocolate-banana smoothies, yogurt-strawberry smoothies.  I’ve been mixing up multiple flavors in the comfort of my own kitchen.  Although nutritious, smoothies aren’t exactly the quickest or cheapest to make yourself.  I got this great idea from “The Tidy Nest” to  make  my own Freezer Smoothie Baggies to save time and money. “The Tidy Nest” divides the fruit and yogurt into serving size baggies and stores them in the freezer.  


  • Wash and chop the fruit. 
  • Freeze the yogurt in ice cube trays to divide into appropriate serving size. 
  • For a smoothie that serves two: use 1 1/2 cups fruit and 3-4 yogurt cubes.  Add milk or juice into the blender until it reaches a smooth consistency.  
  • Throw all packets into a large freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

May 3, 2011

Cheesecake filled strawberries

Get it
Whole strawberries 
Philadelphia ready-to-eat cheesecake filling 
Good quality dipping chocolate 

Get Bakin’
  • Wash strawberries and pat dry. Remove the stems from the berries. Using a small paring knife, core the center of each berry. 
  • Fill a plastic baggie with the cheesecake filling. Fill each berry with cheesecake. 
  • Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. 
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt dipping chocolate at 30-second intervals until chocolate is smooth and creamy.  Dip each strawberry into chocolate.  Lay on baking sheet. 
  • Fill a second plastic baggie with chocolate and drizzle over the berries in a pretty design.  
  • Chill. Bring to room temperature before serving. Store in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator. 


Happy baking! 

May 2, 2011

Grilled Zucchini Pizza

Get it
– large zucchini slices, cut 3/4 inch thick 
– olive oil, for lightly brushing both sides of pizza and oiling grill grate 
– pizza sauce of your choice 
– grated cheese 
– pizza toppings (anything you like on your pizza can go on top of your zucchini pizza (get creative!)

Get Cookin’
  • Oil the grill grates (tip: use oil on a paper towel), then preheat grill to medium-high.
  • Cut the zucchini into thick slices about 3/4 inch think.
  • Grill the zucchini 7-8 minutes, or until there are some grill marks and it’s starting to be tender.  – Remove the zucchini from the grill, putting them grilled-side up on a cutting board you can use to take them to the kitchen.  
  • Add sauce, cheese and other topping as desired. 
  • Put loaded zucchini slices back on the grill and cook 7-8 minutes more with grill lid closed. (check them every few minutes to see when the cheese is melted and the toppings are lightly browned) 
  • Remove zucchini pizzas from grill and serve hot. 
  • Bon appetit! 


Recipe borrowed from Kalyn’s Kitchen