Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Few Weekend Projects

It's been a little busy around here lately! Just thought I'd share what we've been up to.
I Love these colors! But ya'll already knew that...
These were for a baby boy shower.
Yellow cake with chocolate mousse frosting filled with sweet cream cheese... the turquoise ones are dark chocolate fudge cake with whipped mascarpone cheese frosting and raspberry filling.

Baby girl shower.
Vanilla cake, raspberry filling with a whipped cream cheese and mascarpone cheese frosting.
The sweet little flowers are made from marshmallow fondant.
I gave in... I finally tried royal icing on sugar cookies. I LOVE the look of royal icing, so smooth and crisp. But honestly it's like fondant vs buttercream. One just tastes SOOO much better. I even put lemon flavoring in it! Royal icing wins cute, buttercream wins taste.
Sorry. It's. Just. The. Way. It. Is.

Easter Egg Cupcakes.
Vanilla cake, dulce de leche filling, whipped chocolate ganache, buttercream Easter grass and chocolate eggs.

Easter Sugar cookies with buttercream frosting for preschool!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Brownie Points

You better run and get a glass of milk before you read this post. I warned you.

The Brownie post I did last month has created quite the stir. I love hearing your feedback... things you've tried, recipes you've made and things you've tweeked or improved. So here's a proud shout out to all of you who've had fun making outrageous brownies!

These ooey gooey caramel marshmallow brownies were created by my Uncle Jeff. (He's one of those fun-not-that-much-older-than-me, and our-kids-are-the-same-age kind of uncles.)

Don't they look AMAZING!?

Here's what he did:

He made our family's favorite brownie recipe. You can find it here. Although he probably didn't tweek the recipe like I do. The original is an AWESOME brownie. I changed it a little to get a fudgier texture. (Although, excuse my rambling, I had the original at my mom's a couple weeks ago and I think I like both versions the same, I'll let you decide!) The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 C flour, I only use 1 cup. Also the original calls for 1 teaspoon of baking powder. I either leave it out completely or use 1/2 t.

Okay, moving on. Next is the caramel layer. You can find the recipe here. This makes twice as much caramel as you need. So... I would either pour half on my brownies and the other half in a separate dish for later enjoyment or only make 1/2 the recipe. For all you candy people who just gasped, I've done it... and it works just fine!

Next comes the marshmallow layer. You can find the recipe here. Same story with the marshmallow. It makes more than you need. Spread half on top of the caramel layer and the other half on a cookie sheet that has been covered with powdered sugar.

Last is the fudge layer. It's sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips (1 c.) melted together in the microwave until smooth. Poor over marshmallow layer!

Thanks Jeff for this incredible creation!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not Yo Mama's Strawberry Shortcake

If you are the kind of guy or gal who can eat Strawberry Shortcake all summer long... well this is not the one you should eat all summer long. BUT it is super fantastic for special occasions when you want a big crowd pleaser!
I got the shortcake recipe here. It is the most tender and outrageously delicious shortbread, I promise. (Unless you over bake it, then you're on your own.) I want to emphasize one little thing. This recipe calls for citrus sugar. If you scroll down on the recipe it tells you how to make it. DO IT. It makes all the difference. It will make you smile at first bite!
After the shortcake is baked and cooled it's time to mound it full of sweet delicious strawberries. I sliced the berries and sprinkled them with some more of that wonderful citrus sugar.
Now for the creamy sauce layer. This comes from one of the most heavenly desserts I have ever eaten! Maybe some of you have also had it. It's Paula Deen's "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding". You can find it here. Skip the Peppridge Farm cookies and the bananas, just make the pudding part. I thinned the pudding mixture a little by adding about 1/4 c more milk. I wanted it to be easy to spoon onto the berries.
There you go! A little of this, a little of that. Worth every calorie!

Repurposed Thrift Store Plates and Candlesticks

I saw this super fun idea over at Creations From My Heart and HAD to try it. (Hurry run over there right now and check out her fabulous creation!)

I thrifted this stuff for $7.00.

Glued it all together with Epoxy (love that stuff!)

Spray painted it apple green. (I know the original creation is meant for food, this one is not, so by all means spray paint away!)

Antiqued it with brown paint. I brushed on the paint and wiped off the excess with a damp cloth.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two Knock Off Favorite Recipes

Inside Brucrew Life shared a fantastic recipe for homemade Twix bars. Buttery cookie crust, caramel center and slathered in chocolate?!?! I'm in!! I tried out this recipe, it worked beautifully and tasted AMAZING! I kept thinking it reminded me of something else I love. . . So half a pan later I figured it out! I melted some more chocolate, spread it on top and covered it with toasted coconut. Girl Scout Samoas! If you're a fan of chocolaty caramely things you've got to try this recipe out! This picture belongs to the talented mama over at Brucrew life

I love LOVE Cold Stone's cake batter ice cream. The stuff from the grocery store not so much. But, Rockie over at Something Wonderful has created a close second! I made this for our family and it was a hit! Check out her blog for the recipe. The only thing I did different was not add the baked cake chunks. We went for a smooth batter ice cream with cake on the side. This is her picture, not mine. It already looked mouth watering enough!

Have fun trying something new!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

St Pattie's Cookie Bouquet

I've been working on quite the project for the last week.
I can't take all the credit though, lots of help went into this one!!
Huge HUGE thanks to those who helped me!
Shamrocks, daisies and lucky little ladies were cut and baked (and cut and baked and cut and baked...) 372 in all!!!

All were decorated with buttercream frosting, bagged, tied with ribbon and arranged in a bouquet. 12 cookies in each bouquet.

I just love the lady bugs, they're my favorite!

30 bouquets in all. Whew! We did it!! I can't help but smile at the cheery end result.

30 dentist offices and 360 lucky people get one of these cookies today!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Inspiration From a Baby Tee

While shopping with my cousin at Kohls we happened onto this sweet little baby tee. Which we bought, of course, for her little girl. We got to thinking that all those cute little doodles would make the sweetest sugar cookies.

After some playing around this is what we ended up with

Each cookie was placed on a cupcake smothered in chocolate buttercream.

And sold at a school bake sale.

What inspires you?