Cupcake Pumpkin Patch

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in so many months! I have failed miserably at blogging and sadly this is because I have not been a very good baker. :/ See, when I started this blog in February, I was still looking for a job and so I had plenty of time to bake. Then in July, I finally found a job at Hobby Lobby and for some reason I just haven’t had the energy to bake much in the last few months but I am going to work to change that. In an effort to make myself bake, I bought some food coloring and sprinkles and stuff at work last week. (You would think that since I work in a craft store and get a discount, I would buy tons of baking stuff and bake myself crazy, but that just hasn’t been the case.) The result was these cute pumpkin cupcakes.

They are a little pumpkin patch of cupcakes. 🙂

I used Wilton’s Chocolate Cake recipe and it was very yummy. I baked the cupcakes for 22 minutes and the recipes made almost 3 dozen. For the frosting, I just kind of threw whatever ingredients I had together. I used a stick and half of butter, just under 3 cups of powedered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and about 2 tablespoons of milk. It’s yummy but not enough for all the cupcakes (although I ate one, dropped two and used one for the stems, so in the end I had just enough.)  I frosted as many cupcakes orange as I could and then used the green on the extras. I covered them with sprinkles from the fall sprinkle mix I got at work and added a stem from pieces of cupcakes and a couple of leaves. I love how cute they turned out. Here is a close up of one.

I’m so glad I had a chance to make these and decorate them. I miss baking, and all the other creative things I love that I jsut don’t have the motivation to do. Hopefully, this will be the first of many posts because I miss it and I’m tired of not doing the things I love. I also don’t want to go another four or five months without baking!

Advertisements

Just Because I Wanted To :D

Yesterday I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Just because I wanted to. Isn’t that awesome? What’s more awesome is that I’m actually blogging about the day after and not next month! One step forward in beating the procrastination that tends to run my life! I’m excited, can you tell? Haha, anyway, I made used this Devil’s Food Cake  recipe from BHG to make these cupcakes (I used only the cake recipe, not the glaze or frosting).

It was the first time I had tried it and they are pretty good. I think they could use more chocolate or something but the cake is nice and light and fluffy. And they definately satisfied my craving for cake. And, just so you know, I used butter instead of shortening because I didn’t have shortening but it didn’t give me any problems.

Doesn’t that cake look perfect? They are very yummy and I will certainly make them again but I will probably add in more cocoa and maybe take out the cinnamon.  I topped them with this Vanilla-Chocolate Powdered Sugar Frosting, opting to add in the cocoa powder, of course. I’ve made this frosting before and it was pretty good. This time I added more cocoa powder and then added an extra tablespoon of milk. Next time, I won’t add the third tablespoon of milk because it was too soft (but still good). It’s a pretty sweet frosting but that works here.

These were a very yummy treat and were just what I needed to satisfy my craving for cake. My little sisters really liked them too and I’m sure there won’t be any left by the end of the weekend. If you’ve got a craving for chocolate cake, try out these recipes this weekend and let me know what you think. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Playing with Candy

So I started this post a couple weeks ago and the procrastination won again… seems right on schedule for me though :/ (I swear I’m going to try to do better!!)

Some weeks ago, I was at the airport and I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens.  Whenever I go to the airport, I usually pick up a magazine just not that one.  This time, however, I couldn’t find a Glamour and I didn’t like who was on the cover of Self so I grabbed a BHG.  I was pretty glad I did because there were a couple recipes I could try the next weekend for my sister’s birthday cake. I was pretty excited to make my little sister a cake and it turned out pretty cute.

I was really excited to try the recipe for Candy Clay, which is what the flowers, butterflys, and letter are made of. Candy Clay is just corn syrup and white chocolate mixed together. It’s really simple to make and is very sweet. It was pretty soft though which made it a bit difficult to work with. This could have been because I made it in a very humid, hot area. The butterflies were especially difficult to do so I only made two but it was definately an interesting experience. To make the candy clay, you melt a 12 oz. package of white chocolate chips and then mix in 1/3 cup corn syrup. Once it’s all mixed together you let it sit for atleast an hour. You are suppsed to wrap it in plastic wrap but I didn’t have any so I put it in a container which didn’t help it firm up so in the end I left it out to air dry. Then when you want to use it, sprinkle your work surface with powdered sugar and roll it out and cut shapes or cover your cake as would with fondant (something I have never used and I’m not sure I want to try). I think next time I will try adding less corn syrup to see if it will firm up more. I also used the clay to decorate some cucpcakes for my older sister since her birthday is also in May.

Here, I shaped the candy clay as I would normal clay. On the cake, I rolled the clay out and hand cut the letters and numbers. I think I prefer the second method but I need some cutters to that the letters and numbers come out more even and neat. I will definately try this out again, with some tweaks, so I can see what else I can make with it. But I’m glad I got a chance to make two of my sisters something yummy for their birthdays and I think my sister’s enjoyed their cake/cupcakes which was what was really important. 🙂

Trying Something New…

I was supposed to write this post a few weeks ago but I often lose the battle with procrastination and this time was no exception. It kind of sucks because I was really excited about what I accomplished and I wish I had shared it sooner but later is better than never right? Plus, I’m still pretty excited about it. See, I finally tried making royal, something I once mentioned I was afraid of. I’m not afraid of the product itself, just the process. It turns out it’s not that scary.It was definately a learning experience but it wasn’t too scary. I used a sugar cookie recipe that I have used since I started baking and this royal icing recipe from Joyofbaking.com. I made some flowers, a couple of suns, and some piggies!

Flowers and Suns

So, this icing tasted like marshmellows and was very light and fluffy, none of which I was expecting, although I’m not really sure what I was expecting. It was very interesting to work with. I mixed three different colors, pink, yellow, and brown, and also used the icing as it was(white). It was weird though, because the white icing never really dried but the colored icing dried just fine. I’m not sure if I need to whip the icing more or if it had been too thinned. It might have helped to read some of the information in the paragraphs above the recipe, which I didn’t do until way later, since it says add more powdered sugar for piping… oh, well. Like I said, it was a learning experience. I also need to work on mixing icing colors; the didn’t just didn’t come out brown enough and the yellow was too pale, but practice makes perfect and I will keep trying.

For the piggies, I used a tulip cutter. They may seem a little random but I could see that pig in that tulip cutter and had to try. It didn’t come out quite the way I saw it in my head (which is usually the case) but they are pretty darn cute. And this attempt at decorating with royal icing didn’t come without its major mishaps.

Oops :/

The top of the bottle popped off when I was filling in the sun. But it’s ok because I got to eat that one. 🙂

Overall, this experiement went a lot better than I had anticipated. I think I’ll try this recipe again as it seemed to work well for basic cookies and tasted great but I’ll also continue to try out other recipes to see which works best for me. I had a lot of fun making these cookies and I can’t wait to try again and share more.

Spring Break Treats – Red Velvet Cheesecake

The Cheesecake Factory has the most amazing cheesecake in the world. I will always admit to this. I don’t think I will ever be able to make cheesecake like they do. Last summer my brother-in-law got their red velvet cheesecake for his birthday and it was a hit with the whole family. So, when I saw Wilton’s Red Velvet Cheesecake recipe, I got really excited and knew I had to try it last week when everyone was here. Except, instead of red velvet, I made mine green velvet, mainly because I could. 🙂

As you can see, I didnt have a springform pan so I just baked it in a glass dish. But the recipe calls for four packages of cream cheese and I knew that would be too much for this dish, so I made some mini cheesecakes as well with a muffin pan.

I let the mini cheesecakes bake for an hour with the large cheesecake and then took them out to cool. The recipes calls for the cheesecake to bake for and hour and 15 minutes and then to sit in the oven for another 15 minutes with it off. I only let the big one bake for an hour before turning the oven off.

I think I needed to bake the larger cheesecake for awhile longer but overall, the cheesecakes turned out great. The mini ones disappeared quickly but my sister didn’t realize there was a whole cheesecake there as well so I ate most of that one. :/ I’m not sure how red velvety it tasted, as I don’t eat much red velvet but it was a really good cheesecake. I think that next time I will make Blue Velvet Cheesecake but this is definately a recipes I will try again. Try it and let me know how it goes. Enjoy your weekend y’all! 🙂

(P.S. After previewing this post, I liked the way it inside pictures turned out in the layout even though that isn’t what I had intended.)

Spring Break Treats – Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Last week was full of fun and baking. My family was here for Spring Break and for once we were able to do some fun stuff in the area. I was really excited to be able to bake a bunch of stuff. I made chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, lemon poppy seed muffins, caramel sauce, red velvet cheesecake, and blueberry cobbler pie for Pi Day (it was really just cobbler but since it was Pi day everyone called it pie so I called it cobbler pie). As you can see I made a lot! Everything was great but some of the recipes need tweaking so over the next week or so I will show you the ones I liked and hopefully, eventually, I will show you the ones that need the tweaking.

So the easiest of the treats to make, and the quickest to disappear, were the Chocolate Covered Pretzels. I made these because my brother-in-law loves them. They were a hit with everyone.

As you can see I used big pretzel rods and pretzel twists. The process is very simple. You melt chocolate chips in a bowl set over a pot of water. Heat the water on low so it simmers while you are working. Throw in a tablespoon of shortening for each cup of chocolate chips you melt. I don’t know why, it’s what they tell you to do :). I don’t actually measure out my chocolate chips, I just throw in half a bag or a whole bag and it works.

I use two different bowls so I can melt the milk chocolate and the white chocolate at the same time, and have found that this smaller, ceramic bowl works a ton better than my larger metal bowl. Once the chocolate is melted, you dip the pretzel in the chocolate. I hold the pretzels in the bowl and spoon the chocolate over it because it is easier to get an even coat. The tap off the excess and put it on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Then the pretzels go in the fridge for awhile and that’s all it takes.

It’s a pretty simple process. Takes a bit of time but chocolate and pretzels are so yummy together. I also added a bit of food coloring to some of my white chocolate to change it up a bit. It altered the consistency of the chocolate a bit, which was weird, but they were still great.

It’s been too long…

Other than a box of Duncan Hines cupcakes, I haven’t made anything yummy in the last few weeks which, of course, means I haven’t been able to blog either because what is a baking blog without yummy treats to share? Now I prefer to make most of my baked goods from scratch or mostly scratch but sometimes you just need a quick chocolate fix and let’s face it, Duncan Hines knows what they are doing, (which is more than I can say for me and scratch cake) so I will openly admit I sometimes bake from a box. This, however, does not improve my baking knowlegde or skills so I don’t really find it blog worthy… but that is not the point of this post. The point is that I finally get to make something yummy again! Some of my family is going to be together this weekend (yay!) and  my way of honoring family get-togethers is to make yummy baked goods. It’s become expected and I failed last time because it was a last minute trip but I am totally prepared this weekend. I have some experimental recipes to try and some classic favorites but I’m not going to tell you what I’m making just yet (partially because sometimes I don’t get to make everything I want to and I don’t want to disappoint). I can’t wait to share them with y’all in the next few days though. 🙂 Have a geat weekend y’all!