Thursday, February 27, 2014

TIME FOR THE STEEL MAGNOLIAS SUPPORT MEETING


If you follow this blog you know that I volunteer for Alzheimer's Idaho (local grassroots organization) and one of the things that I do for these deserving ladies is make the dessert for their monthly support meeting.  This month they are having Double Chocolate Oreos.
Since you use a cake mix this is a very simple recipe, (4) items, eggs, oil, cake mix and a little brown sugar. Please make sure and sift the sugar and the cake mix.
 Recipe called for parchment paper but they did fine on the Silpat mats.  Do your best to make them uniform since they become a cookie sandwich, and give them plenty of room to spread out, having said that they don't spread out too much.


Along with the Oreos they are having homemade vanilla ice cream.

Double Chocolate Oreos Recipe
Ingredients
Chocolate Cookies:
1 box devil's food cake mix, sifted to remove any lumps
2 eggs
1/3 C. oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Chocolate Filling:
1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese (or an extra 1/2 C. butter)
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C. powdered sugar, more if needed
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and brown sugar until smooth.
3. Make small dough balls about the size of a walnut and place on cookie sheets 3 inches apart.
4. Bake for 6-8 minutes depending on how brownie-like or cake-like you want them to be.
5. Let cookies cool.
6. Chocolate Filling: Combine all ingredients until smooth in a standing mixer. Add more powdered sugar if too thin or not sweet enough.
7. Frost the bottoms of half the cookies and place the unfrosted cookies on top to create little Oreo cookie "sandwiches."
8. Place in tupperware and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Chilling them helps the filling not to gush out when you eat them BUT it's not necessary.
Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine Vanilla Ice Cream
Ingredients 
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Instructions
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving

 Moseyed over to the Graphic's Fairy and did a search on label and found this lovely frame/label to make a label for the vanilla ice cream.  Ready for delivery!
 FAIR WARNING: I never eat any of the desserts I make for the mags but because I had not made this recipe before I made two little cookies and filled and cooled them as instructed - this cookie along with the ice cream may put the consumer into a sugar coma.  Seriously folks these are some rich cookies and one or half one to a customer. Having said that a chocolate lover will be in heaven.

Resource 
Double Chocolate Oreos Recipe, Your Cup of Cake 
Ice Cream Recipe from the Cuisinart cookbook
Cake stand, Williams-Sonoma
Plate, IKEA charger

Thank you for stopping by!



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BEST CUPCAKE RECIPE EVER!

Our twins were 7 last week and because of time constraints after their birthday day with Grammie & Poppa they had to go home before birthday cake and ice cream.  They came for dinner the other night so we had cupcakes and ice cream for dessert.
 I like using the bakery emulsions that are available now and for these cupcakes in place of vanilla I used the Princess Cake/Cookie emulsion, it has a distinctive flavor sort of citrusy, vanilla-ish, a nice rich flavor.

This recipe is an Australian recipe from Paper Eskimo.  I LOVE their products and this is a wonderful, easy cupcake recipe. I am going to give you the recipe exactly as they publish and recommend these yummy cupcakes.


BEST EVER CUPCAKE RECIPE

Crack 2 eggs into a 250ml measure and then fill to 250ml with cream.

Pour into a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer beat the egg/cream mixture for one minute.

Add 1tsp vanilla (this is where I added the Princess emulsion) and 3/4 cups superfine sugar, beat for three minutes.

Sift 1 cup of self-rising flour and fold into the wet mixture with a wooden spoon until blended.

Place into baking cups and bake at 350 until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

This is such a good recipe and so nice to have a recipe that only makes 12 cupcakes and of course you can double, etc. if you need more.

 I did not have Barbie picks so I found a print out with Barbie picks and brought it into M/S Paint and cut out the ones I wanted and then put six of each on the sheet of card stock and printed them out.  I pulled the little clear sticks from other picks and just cut these out and hot glued one to each side so they were good on both sides. Here is the link to the print out: Barbie Cupcake Picks

After 15 minutes the cupcakes are perfectly done - not very dark on top but they are done.
Here is another product that I used on the "Cars" cupcakes, the chocolate curls in a little bottle.  I found these in of all places Walmart and not in the cake decorating section but in the regular baking aisle.  They were great to work with on the cupcakes.  I also bought the little Belgian chocolate dessert cups and have not tried yet, think they would be wonderful when you wanted a little dessert, so good for a little pots de creme. I am sure they will find their way to a future post!

 Vanilla buttercream and chocolate buttercream frosting and these are ready for dessert!

Vanilla Buttercream
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
 I cut this recipe in half for these cupcakes

Chocolate Buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
  • 3½ cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
 I cut this recipe in half for these cupcakes
 
Resource

Cupcake Stand, HomeGoods
Cars cupcake picks, Walmart
Chocolate curls, Walmart
Princess cookie emulsion, Specialty stores, Walmart, HomeGoods

Thank you for stopping by.


 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MEXICAN DINNER


Company tonight! Decided to drive away those winter blues with a good old Mexican dinner of shredded beef tacos/burritos, pinto beans with peppers and ground beef, Spanish rice and all the fixings - started off with a few chips and salsa.
 Remember this post?  Loved the color for my table but not so much the checkered ribbon and the harlequin design so.... 
At first I thought I would just scan the plate but the patina of the plate did not scan well so I found the plate online, brought the image into my draw program and enlarged it to fit on an 8 1/2x11 full label sheet and printed out two copies, trimmed them down to fit and covered the vase. Then I removed the checked ribbon and added a red one.
The table was bright and cheery and the perfect foil to all that spicy food.  The one recipe that I want to post is for Spanish rice.  This recipe was given to me by the owner of a restaurant in Colorado Springs and is very succinct and was cut down by the chef from a very large recipe.  It is simple, tasty and what I love about it best is that it is done in the oven so you can make it on the stove top and then put in the oven.  I put it in the oven in a covered casserole and once it is done I just turn off the oven and keeps fine until you are ready serve.

Spanish Rice

1 – 14oz box Uncle Ben’s whole grain instant brown rice or Uncle Ben's converted rice
4 Strips bacon (2 Tbls bacon grease)
1 very large onion or 1 1/2 medium, very small dice, about 2 cups
1 6oz can tomato paste
3 ¼ cups water
This is how the recipe was given to me except where the strips of bacon are they said use lard.  The bacon is for a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease, you could use butter.  I also dice the bacon and put it into the rice.  I like this with either type of rice and usually just cut the recipe in half and that is more than enough for four people.
Cook the bacon, set the bacon aside. Dice the onion and cook until transparent in the bacon fat - I pour the fat into a dish and only use about a tablespoon (for half recipe)
Add the rice, cook for a bit and then add the water and the tomato paste until all combined. If  you like dice the cooked bacon and put in with the rest of the ingredients.  Put into a covered casserole and into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, check and if the rice is not done add a little more water and tomato paste and cook for another 10 minutes.

Resource

Salad Plates, Better Homes & Garden, Red Damask
Yellow Dinner Plates, 222 Fifth
Place Mats, Steinmart
Red crystal water goblets, Horchow
Red flatware, Hampton Signature
Runner by Fiesta
Napkins, Bed, Bath & Beyound
Salt & Pepper mill, Pier 1
Candlesticks, Coldwater Creek
Napkin Rings, Antique Farm House
Draw program, Corel Draw
Avery full sheet labels

Thank you for stopping by


 



Sunday, February 23, 2014

ST. PATRICK'S DAY DIY

This Celtic knotwork design started out life a looking a little different than it does now.
 I was in my garage looking for something when I spied this black Celtic Knotwork cross in the box that I consider Purgatory - somewhere in-between I will keep because I know I will use someday and the Goodwill box. Somewhere in my pea brain when I spied this a little light bulb went off for a St. Paddy's Day craft.  At first I was thinking about just painting it green but then I decided that a good Irish plaid would be better.
 What you are looking at here are a full sheet label of the Irish-Scottish plaid that I found online - royalty free, actually I just copied a photo of fabric off of Ebay.  I first looked for patterns that were considered Irish and Irish-Scottish found the one I liked and brought it into my draw program and printed it out on a full sheet label.  I then scanned the cross in my scanner because that is all that would fit.
 Besides the label the only other things that I used were removable dbl sided tape, very sharp scissors and I added the little ceramic number to the front.  I just took the scan, cut it out, placed it on the plaid label with the removable tape (it will not tear the label) and cut out the cross, when I had cut it out what remained is this perfect fleur de lis which I did not throw away as I am sure I will find a place for this too since it matches the cross. Then it's pretty much like doing wallpaper, I peeled off the back of the cut-out part and placed on the cross and then took leftover paper, cut it out to cover the areas that I wanted to cover.  I ended up not having quite enough and had to print out one more sheet. Now that I have done this and it was so easy I'm thinking I might find some other projects to apply this simple technique. Hmmmm.
All done and it will be ready when I finish decorating for St. Paddy's Day.

Resource

Celtic knotwork cross, Hobby Lobby
Full Sheet Label Link 100 Universal Labels® - Full Page Shipping Labels - Heavyweight label that will works in all Laser & Inkjet Printers, 8.5" x 11" Inch Label, Vertically Slitted on Back for Easy
Scissors, tape, ceramic number, craft store

Thank you for stopping by.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ST. PATRICK'S DAY WREATH

Good morning or guess I should say "top of the 'mornin to ya."  As much as I love Valentine's Day (and I do, what's not to like about a day dedicated to love?) when I woke up this morning I knew it was time to put things away till next year.  My old St. Paddy's Day wreath was looking pretty sad so I had purchased a few supplies thinking it was time to make a new wreath.
 Basically what I gathered was a grapevine wreath (I was lucky to find one that had moss on the front, makes it oh so easy to fill with greenery because you don't have to worry about "holes" of the wreath showing.  I also have three (3) types of greenery, ivy, a broad leaf and leafy boxwood.  The first two are from the $ store but the boxwood which is the star of this wreath is good greenery from the craft store - the other two are for the background. I have several types of ribbon, (2) Balloon holders, a package of $ store foam shamrocks and I printed out some little circles of Irish sayings.  You will also need a glue gun, wire cutters and I used my laminator because this will be outside and I used a lami-label for the little circles.
Start by cutting the greenery off the stem and then because this is a grapevine for the most part (I needed hot glue with the boxwood) you can just stick the greenery into the wreath without glue.  Go down one side with the greenery facing out and do the opposite on the other side. After you have filled in the ivy and the broad leaf time to add the boxwood.
 I took out two plain and two glitter of the foam shamrocks and punched a hole in the top in order to have a place to thread either string or ribbon through to hang these.
I then picked out two of the circles, put them in a lami-label and laminated them - once you have done that you peel off the back and they will easily stick to the foam. Here is a link to my post on lami-labels. Link
 Almost ready to put the wreath together.  This is what the $ Store balloon holder looks like with the foil taken off (BTW I saw these at a craft store yesterday for $5, maybe a little fuller but not worth 5 x more money).  This is when you really need the wire cutters as this is thick wire.  Save the "hockey puck" bottom as it is a useful weight for all kinds of things like sewing, in the kitchen they are great when you have a cookie you need to flatten before baking - to use this "puck" for anything you will need to cover as it is crumbly and I have no idea what it is made from but in the kitchen you would cover it well and then you always put parchment paper over the cookie.  The other advantage to using the balloon hanger is that it has a wire circle to hang the balloon on and you use that same circle to attach your shamrocks.
 So here is the finished product after adding the balloon weight foil shamrocks to the top - have to use glue gun for these, then attach the shamrocks and then a green and white small checked gingham ribbon is what I chose. I then added the black checked for a little pizazz!  Sorry that the photo is so light but to my surprise when I stepped out onto my porch to place the wreath it was snowing so I had an awful lot of very white light to contend with, not the best for photography.  I hang a wreath on the side of the front door and change the item on the Black Arrow for each season.

Resource

Wreath, Local hobby store
Ribbon, Online seller, by large roll
Small Ribbon, Hobby Lobby
Black & White Checked Ribbon LUV RIBBONS Fabric Ribbon by Creative Ideas, 1-1/2-Inch, Black Checkered, White
Balloon Hanger, Dollar Tree
Foam Shamrocks, Dollar Tree
Ivy & Flat Leaf greenery, Dollar Tree
Boxwood greenery, Hobby Lobby
Graphics, Link

Thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT

Here is my menu for last nights dinner for my Valentine.  At the end of this post I will put a link to my previous post that has all the recipes.  As I mentioned in that post I prefer Cuisine at Home's recipe for the beef Wellington and if anyone wants that recipe I have it in a MS Word format, zip me an email and I will be happy to send to you.
 Guess I need to take a food photography class as this salad does not look so yummy but it was on the chilled plate with the wonderful jalapeno ranch dressing.
Here is exactly what I am talking about when I say it doesn't have to be perfect.  In the photos of the beef Wellington in the recipes the fillets are perfectly round and therefore easy to make the puff pastry PERFECT.  Well my Costco fillets were not perfectly round and I was not about to trim off any of that yummy beef for perfection.  What was perfect however was the taste and the puff pastry was nice and crispy and the steak was cooked perfect.  Since my preference is to NOT include the pate on top of the deuxelles I tried something a little different for that creamy texture, I added a good size teaspoon of cream cheese with chives on top of the deuxelles and it turned out so good.  My house smelled like a fine dining establishment! The individual potato gratin does not look perfect either and they are so yummy and the beans were very tasty too.  You will note a lobster tail on the top right - this was hubby's plate and as I was leaving the meat area in Costco I passed by the shell fish road show and bought one lobster tail as he so loves lobster. We both had leftovers for lunch today, he steak, potatoes and lobster and I steak and potatoes, almost as good on day #2.
 I adapted the apple-cranberry crisp so that it had no sugar and replaced the apple juice with a little Calvados (Fr. apple brandy) and the sugar was not missed at all - the whipped topping is low-fat real whipped cream.

Not perfect looking but almost perfect tasting.  Hope your dinner was a good one too.

Resource

Valentine's Day Dinner Post - Click Here 

Thank you for stopping by.




Friday, February 14, 2014

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

Williams-Sonoma had this big heart cookie cutter in a recent catalog so I ordered thinking that my sweet granddaughter Ms. Belle and I would make cookies.  But alas, even a 6 year old (almost 7) is very busy these days what with homework, basketball, pesky school and skiing we could just not get together to make these big cookies.  So, I made five to deliver to her house today - one of these cookies is more than enough for one person. It must have been a popular item as they sold out long before Valentine's Day.
This cutter measures 8" across.  I have a lot of experience with large cookie cutters as I collected the beautiful cooper ones from Martha by Mail made by the talented coppersmith Michael Bonne. I have found that it is much easier to roll out and cut large cookies on the silpat mat that you are going to bake on, especially on any cookie with cut outs and this one has 10 cutouts.  It only takes about 6-7 minutes to bake each cookie and so I just did one at a time.  I used a flat cookie sheet, not a jelly roll pan and as I was ready to put another cookie on the sheet I put the hot pan under cold water so I had a cold surface to put the silpat back onto. I am very busy today and if I had more time I would also have put each cookie back into the fridge to chill a little more.  Anytime  you have a cutout in a cookie you must keep the dough chilled or the cutout will either close or not be sharp at all. These all came out OK but they would have been sharper had the dough been allowed to chill again.
 I just want to take a second to say Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. I hope whatever you are doing will be fun and happy.  I recently saw one of those maxims that goes around the web and thought it was exactly how I feel about love....."Love doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be true."
 Ready for delivery!

See yesterday's post for the sugar cookie recipe.

Royal Icing

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons warm water

Makes

About 3 cups of icing.

Instructions:

Step 1

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).

Step 2

NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.

This is Wilton's royal icing recipe.  If you have another that you prefer all the better.  I have a love-hate relationship with royal icing but if you are going to stack cookies without wrapping each cookie individually or decorate cookies that look really clean and neat than you need to use royal icing.  It needs to be an icing that quickly hardens. I think one of the best cookies ever is just a good from scratch (made with butter) sugar cookie with buttercream frosting. You will want to use food coloring powder, not liquid food coloring.

Resource

Cookie Cutter, Williams-Sonoma
Silpat Mats, Costco, any specialty kitchen store  
Food Coloring used, Linnea's Cherry Pink, specialty & baking stores
Heart Tray, $store
Ribbon, foil garland and cellophane, Michael's & Hobby Lobby


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BIRTHDAY INVITATIONS

Our sweet twins are turning 7! We have only lived near any of our grandchildren since moving here a year ago last July.  We love being near them and it affords us a chance to do some special things that faraway grandparents cannot do.  We decided last year that it might be fun for their birthdays to spend the better part of the day just us and them.  This let's me utilize my creative side and make them special invitations.  Our other grandchildren live in the Midwest and I have a fond memory of the first birthday of my only grandchild born in my century, of getting on an airplane in Fresno, CA hand carrying a "Winnie the Pooh" birthday cake for his 1st birthday in 2000 - held it on my lap all the way to Kansas City! I guess post 9/11 this would no longer be possible.
These little invitations are so easy and with the exception of the ribbon and the cookie everything you need is made of paper.  I keep these little 4x4 gift boxes in my craft room because they are not only good for gifts but just the right size for other things like these invitations.  I printed out all the graphics onto a full sheet label and cut them out and just peel off the back and stick to the box - could not be easier, really, this is so easy. I cropped down some photos of the twins and then cut them out for the "ticket" and to embellish the little box invitation.  As long as you don't have to mail the invitations - like if you were having a shower or a bday party that included co-workers, hand them out at work, deliver them to neighbors, etc. I have done these for bdays, showers, tea parties, etc.
 Inside the kiddos will find a heart shaped sugar cookie with their initial and the "ticket" for the day of fun with Grammie & Poppa (that would be us).
  Ribbon the top makes a more festive look.
 To attach the ribbon simply punch a couple of holes, thread about a 6" length of ribbon through and then use that ribbon to tie on the bow.  I made sure that I printed out and extra 4x4 sheet of the checkerboard label and put that over the ribbon to finish off the look. Put a hand full of sizzle inside to nestle the cookie and the invite inside.
 Ready for delivery.

 Sugar Cookies - This is a favorite recipe from David at http://www.goodthingsbydavid.com/http://www.goodthingsbydavid.com/ His blog is wonderful and I am sure you will want to follow so sign up!


The Ingredients
  • 4 3/4 cups {675 g} all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon {2.5 ml} fine sea salt
  • 3 sticks or 24 tablespoons {339 g.} unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups {310 g.} granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons {10 ml} pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon {2.5 ml} pure almond extract
Yield: approximately sixteen 5-6" cookies or approximately forty-five 3" cookies.

Equipment: parchment-lined or silpat-lined baking sheets.
  1. In a bowl, whisk to combine the flour and fine sea salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for 1 minute, just until malleable.  Add the sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until lightened & creamy.  Stop & scrape the bowl and paddle.
  3. Add the egg on medium speed and beat until combined.  Beat in the extracts.  Stop and scrape down the bowl & paddle.
  4. On low speed add the dry ingredients and beat until a mass of dough forms.  You don’t want a crumbly mass.  It should begin to pull away from the sides.
  5. Divide the dough in half between overlapping pieces of plastic wrap and shape into flat disks.  Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.  The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or it can be frozen for up to 1 month (if freezing, place the wrapped dough in a zip-top freezer bag).
  6. Working with one disk of at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8" in thickness.  If you roll a thicker cookie, the yield will be smaller.  I find using the same piece of plastic wrap to roll out this type of dough very helpful.  
    Cut out your shapes as close as possible so that you maximize your dough and minimize having to roll out scraps.  Having said that, scraps of dough can be rolled out twice (chill the scraps to make it easy to roll out).

    Place the cut outs on your prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2" in between each shape.  Chill the cutouts for 30 minutes.

    Note: you will be able to fit eight 3" cookies per half sheet.  For larger cookies, you may be able to fit only 3 cookies.  

    Preheat the oven to 350° F (177°C)

    • Bake each sheet of 3" cookies for approximately 12-14 minutes.
    • Bake 5-6" cookies for approximately 13-16 minutes.
Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Preparation:

Melt chocolate chips with butter in top of double boiler over hot water. Remove from hot water; stir in sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Slowly beat in confectioners' sugar until desired spreading consistency is reached. Makes enough chocolate sour cream frosting for a tube or bundt cake or 2-layer cake, or lots of cookies.
Resource

4x4 Cardboard box, hobby & specialty stores & online
Ribbon, Bazzill Basic, black & white checked, 3/8"
Full sheet label, Avery, online, hobby and business supply stores
Graphics, On line, Graphic's Fairy has both a ticket & a clock graphic, always free and always legal to use
Sizzle, Hobby and gift stores
Cellophane bag for cookies, Walmart and specialty stores 

Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

LEGO CUPCAKES

I had a call from my dear DIL last Thursday asking me if I would make some cupcakes for a birthday party for our twin grand-babies, Belle and Mitch.  She was very sweet to add that I could say no but I was more than happy to oblige.  Not long ago she had purchased some cupcakes for a party and they were uber expensive and not tasty at all and at the time I told her all she had to do was ask and I would be happy to make them so she did and I did.
After thinking about the cupcakes for awhile I thought how am I going to make a Lego??? Candy Melts that's how but I needed a mold and it was snowing like crazy.....Amazon Prime thank heavens for you!  Ordered the mold, paid a little for one day delivery and bright and early the next morning my mold arrived.  So easy to make candy using Candy melts.  I had red Candy Melts and Orange ones so I added yellow to the orange to make the yellow.  For the blue I melted a couple of white chocolate squares and some white chocolate chips and added the blue coloring.
 Made triple-chocolate cupcakes in baking cups and then went to my computer and found Lego graphics and made the wrapper. I have covered enough lampshades in my day to know that if you are wrapping something and the sides are not straight up and down you need to make a pattern.  I took one of the cups apart and made a pattern and then scanned the pattern and used that scan to add the Lego graphic and then duplicated the wrapper and printed out the 24 that I needed.  Cut them out and then used dbl sided tape to tape to the baking cups.  Baking cups are so worth the money that they cost vs just using cupcake papers because they are easier to handle, easier to fill and best of all nothing leaks through these specially treated papers so you get a nice clean look.
Vanilla bean buttercream frosting and you are done.  I think they turned out pretty cute and I am sure that they will be appreciated by the 7 year old kiddos just before they go to see the new Lego movie!

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time. I think the secret to good buttercream is to make sure you really whip the butter well and then when all the sugar and the other ingredients are incorporated just set the mixer and walk away for a few minutes and let it get nice and fluffy.
Triple-Chocolate Cupcakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box mix, any flavor but be sure and get good quality mix like Duncan Hines
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted - must use BUTTER
  • 1 cup of water
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  2. Add cake mix, eggs and water to the butter in large bowl.
  3. Mix on low for 1 min. Then mix on high for 1 min.
  4. You will be amazed that your batter is nice and thick and creamy - not thin and runny like it is when you follow the box instructions.
  5. Fill cupcake papers or cups, I use the large scoop for this, size is perfect
  6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool before frosting
This is a recipe for ANY cake mix, I used triple-chocolate for my Lego cupcakes

Resource

Cake mix, Pillsbury triple-chocolate, grocery store
Food Coloring for candy, Linnea's or any gel paste food coloring, you get better saturated color with these types vs regular grocery store food coloring. Available at specialty stores.
Baking Cups, Paper EskimoPaper Eskimo 25-Pack Baking Cups with Red Stripes
Lego graphic, Google graphics
Draw Program, Corel DrawCorelDRAW Home and Student Suite X6 - 3 Users
Wilton Candy Melts, Walmart, Hobby Lobby and other stores
Lego Candy Mold, Life Of Party Molds K162 Building Blocks Chocolate Candy Mold

Thanks for stopping by.