Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Cake Balls

Cake Balls

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Cake balls seem to be so popular right now and I know why…they are so fun to eat.  If you want to make these tasty treats make sure you have a few hours to spare.  These are so fun for kids, parties, and any holiday.  Here is how I make them, and I hope you will give them a try.

Materials:

Boxed cake mix

Canned frosting

Chocolate bark

Glass bowl

Parchment paper

Cookie Sheet

Optional:

Chocolate Dipping Tools, Scoop (for melon or cookie dough)

  1. Bake the cake according to the directions on the box.  Let cool and crumble in large bowl.
  2. Mix ¾ of the canned frosting into the cake crumbles.  If you like really gooey cake balls you can add the whole can.  Use a spatula or just get your hands in there and mix it up well.  Place in the refrigerator for an hour to set.
  3. Take cake mixture and roll into a 2 tablespoon sized ball.  I highly recommend using a stainless steel scoop to make this part go faster.  Place the cake ball onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Make sure the cookie sheet can fit into the refrigerator.  Let sit over night or you can put them in the freezer for 2 hours.
  4. Once the cake balls have set, place the chocolate bark in the glass bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals until melted.    I suggest having a second cookie sheet lined with parchment paper ready to place the chocolate covered cake balls on.IMG_0514
  5. Drop a cold cake ball into the chocolate and roll around with two forks or use the dipping tools.  Once the cake ball is covered, tap the fork on the side of the bowl to smooth out the chocolate and let the excess drip off.  Place on parchment paper and add topping if desired.  Don’t wait too long to decorate or the chocolate will harden.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to harden chocolate.
  7. Make sure to display in a fun and cute way.  Enjoy.

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Here are some yummy flavor combinations:

  • Red Velvet Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting
  • German Chocolate Cake & Pecan Coconut Frosting (top with coconut)
  • Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting (chop nuts and add into frosting/cake mixture)
  • Orange Cake & Butter Cream Frosting (tastes like a creamsicle bar)
  • Triple Chocolate: Chocolate Cake & Chocolate Frosting topped with mini chocolate chips

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If you are new to crafting, you may want to visit the Newbies Page. Thanks for visiting!

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Guinness Shamrock Cupcakes

Ingredients:IMG_1541

1 (12-ounce) can Guinness stout

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 8oz. bar of cream cheese, softened

1 4oz. stick of unsalted butter, softened

2 C confectioner’s sugar

4 – 6 Tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream

Aluminum foil

Green food coloring

Green licorice (Twizzlers Rainbow Twists, or green apple licorice found at Whole Foods)

Making the cupcake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream (don’t worry, you can’t taste the sour cream).  In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

IMG_4504Place baking cups into pan.  Fill half way up with Guinness mixture.  For each cupcake, you will need to make three balls of aluminum foil 2/3 inch in diameter.  Place the foil balls between the paper liner and the pan equidistant around each cupcake.  The foil balls will create the shamrock shape.  Bake 25 minutes.  Makes 24 cupcakes.

For the frosting:

Blend together cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the Bailey’s, and beat until completely incorporated into the frosting.  Add green food coloring and blend until you have the desired color of green.  Using a spatula spread the frosting on top of the cupcake.  Be careful to keep the frosting within the paper liner so you don’t lose the shamrock shape.  For the stem, cut the green licorice into 1 inch pieces and insert into the cupcake. Top with green sprinkles if desired.

I couldn’t let the cool looking beer can go to waste, so I bought a few green carnations from the store and used the can as a vase.  It added to the Irish spirit as friends came by to grab a yummy cupcake.

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Rainbow Cupcakes

IMG_4490This project makes the most adorable cupcakes.  You will need some patience to make all 24 cupcakes in this rainbow fashion.  Children over 6 may enjoy this project but don’t expect perfect cupcakes.  Seeing and eating the finished product is the most fun part of this project.

Materials:

Box of white cake mix (enough for 24 cupcakes)

Food coloring

Cupcake liners (I used reusable silicone liners)

Prepare your favorite white cake mix.  Divide the batter evenly among six small bowls, about 1 cup for each color.  Using the guide below, add food coloring to each bowl of cake batter and mix well.IMG_4481

Purple: 9 red and 6 blue drops

Blue: 12 drops

Green: 12 drops

Yellow: 12 drops

Orange: 2 yellow and 4 red drops

Red: 18 drops

IMG_4484Drop in the cupcake liners into the pan.  Using a small spoon add a ½ teaspoon of the purple batter and spread around the bottom of the liner.  Make sure the batter is level and touches all around the sides of the liner.  Next add a spoonful of blue batter.  Tilt the spoon on its side and pull the batter to the side of the liner being careful to not allow the purple to mix with the blue.  I found it easier to spin the pan instead of twisting my arm around (a little trick I learned from cake decorating class).  Continue adding each color in the following order: green, yellow, orange, and then red.  Bake as directed on the cake box (probably about 20 minutes).

Allow cupcakes to cool and the remove liner.  It is like magic to see the rainbow throughout the cupcake.  Top with frosting as you desire. You can also use this idea to make a fun and exciting birthday cake.  Be sure to only frost the top so the rainbow sides are displayed.

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Krispie Kisses

Here is a great idea for kids to make for their friends, teachers, and loved ones for Valentine’s day.

Materials:IMG_4320

3 tbls butter or margarine

1 package (10 oz., about 40) marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies

Funnel

Aluminum Foil

Paper

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Stir in food coloring and flavoring if desired.  Remove from heat.  Add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated.  Let cool for 2 minutes.

Spray funnel with Pam.  Spoon mixture into funnel and compact down to form the kiss shape.  Turn funnel upside down releasing the mixture on a cookie sheet.  Let cool for 30 minutes.

Using foil squares, wrap each kiss.  I found that pulling the foil in a diagonal motion looked more realistic compared to a chocolate kiss.  Print out a special message and cut into strips.  Add your special message before sealing the top of the kiss.

Take it to the next level:

-Add food coloring to the melted marshmallows for colored kisses (I used 8 drops of red to get this shade of pink)

-Use Cocoa Krispies for a chocolate flavored treat

-Add flavoring to the melted marshmallows (I used peppermint)

Krispie Kisses Message

For another idea using Rice Krispies Treats check out http://www.ricekrispies.com/#/recipes/valentine-cut-out-treats

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Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

IMG_4224So for anyone who is scared to try new ideas out of fear of failure…get over it.  I saw this cute idea online and thought it would be super fun and easy.  Through a little trial and error I got one good looking cookie out of a dozen.   Don’t take shortcuts on this one and you will be more successful than me plus have beautiful cookies.

Start with your favorite sugar cookie dough.  I took the easy way and got a box mix at the store, which turned out to be a big mistake.  Make sure the dough is nice and cold.  Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with Pam.

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Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick on parchment paper with flour so the dough will not stick.  Cut out cookies with a large shaped cookie cutter. Using a smaller cookie cutter remove the center of the cookie.  Place on the cookie sheet.

IMG_4229Place hard candies (I used Jolly Ranchers) in a zip lock bag and crush them into smaller pieces.  Place the crushed candy into the center of the cookie.  Be careful to not overfill the center.  Bake according to your recipe, about 8-10 minutes.  The edges of the cookie should be light brown and the candy melted.  Let cool for 5 minutes or until the candy has hardened.

A few tips and tricks:

-try coloring the dough red or pink

-use a textured cookie cutter to add a ruffled effect to the edge of the cookie

-make sure the cookie sheet is placed in the middle of the oven for even cooking.  Rotate the sheet half way through the cooking time.

Here are my results:

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Here is the original recipe:

http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/lovin-from-the-oven-685398

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Groundhog Day Cupcakes

A friend sent me an article all about Groundhog Day cupcakes that I had to share.  There are some great ideas.  Take a look at the pictures and you can dissect each part and find candies and cookies that can turn into a groundhog with a little creativity.

http://entertainment.comedy.com/2010/02/02/15-silliest-groundhog-cupcakes

Get Crafting!

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Wilton Cake Class– week 3

Today was my last day of my cake decorating class.  We learned all about roses.  This week was interesting for me as it reminded me that no one is perfect at crafting on the first try.  You may see the photos and think wow, I could never do that.  YES YOU CAN!  I look at the cake and see rough frosting that wouldn’t smooth and lots of gaps.  It takes time to master the technique and then learn tricks of the trade to make a perfect cake…if that is even possible.  Today’s class inspired me to keep trying no matter what happens.  No matter what the end product of your crafting looks like, it is the process that should bring joy to your life.

I highly recommend taking a cake decorating class.  You can save a ton of money on birthday celebrations and make your cakes personalized to the recipient.  To get fun decorating ideas, visit your local cake shop or craft store.

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Wilton Cake Class – Week 2

Now that my sugar high from last week’s cake is wearing off, it is time for week two of cake decorating.  I had time on Saturday to practice a few techniques from our last class, but had some trouble with my frosting.  Against the teachers recommendation I used shortening from the grocery store which lacks the fat necessary for the frosting to stick together…BIG MISTAKE.  My frosting wasn’t the creamy consistency, but I still learned a lot.  Today I learned how to do a shell border, faces, hearts (kinda look like butt cheeks), star flowers, swirl flowers, and finally a clown.

Next week will be the last and final lesson for course 1, which is all about roses.

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Wilton Cake Class – Week 1

Today was the first day of class.  A local Austin cake shop, All in One Bake Shop http://www.allinonebakeshop.com, offers all three levels of Wilton cake decorating classes.  I learned how to make frosting (no low-fat version), proper way to frost a cake with no crumbs, and a few borders and flowers.  In only 3 hours I made a decent looking cake.  Hope next week goes this well too.

To find a cake decorating class near you visit http://www.wilton.com/classes/local_classes.cfm.  The instructors will teach you the technique to get a Craftfully Made cake every time you bake.

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Cake Decorating

Growing up my mom always made our birthday cakes and decorated them herself, well most of the time.  I can still smell the sweetness of buttercream frosting.  Mom would also do cakes for friend’s special occasions and get paid for it.  I was always so impressed that she could manage to make such beautiful creations in a house with 5 kids.

Here are a few cakes from my childhood:

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The biggest challenge was when she made a wedding cake for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary…and I got to help.

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With Mom as my inspiration, I decided to sign up for a cake decorating class so I am prepared for many children’s birthdays in the future.  It starts next week and I am so excited.

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