Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fish Bowl of Sweets

I know, I know!  Two posts in one day=crazy! I had to post this though because I finally put together my masterpiece for the Jelly Belly Challenge.  

One of my mom's co-workers showed the website to her and she then told me about it.  Basically create art with Jelly Bellies on cupcakes and get people to vote for you.  The most votes wins $10,000.  So if any of you really want me to start a bakery, please vote for me as much as possible and get EVERY single person you know to vote for it and I can provide you with a professional bakery full of sweets for everyone.  You have to register for free to vote and then I think you can vote once a day.  Keep voting!!  Yes, I have entered the link to my specific creation numerous times here so you don't mistake it and vote for someone else's.

I'd like to thank Dylan's for having a wall full of different Jelly Bellies for me to take as many as I wanted and plenty more too!  Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for other cupcakes.

Until next time, Happy Baking!

Happy Birthday Erin!

Luckily enough I met Erin on a recruiting trip for the swim team for our college.  We decided it'd be a great idea to choose to be roommates so that we didn't have to be stuck with some crazy stranger.  We then went on to be roommates for 4 years.  Over the weekend she turned 26 and her awesome boyfriend decided to throw a surprise party (that didn't end up a surprise since he couldn't keep a secret! Haha!).  I offered to make the cake to celebrate and asked him and one of her sisters about her latest likes and hobbies.  The main one they gave was facebook games.  That was an interesting idea but I wanted other ideas.  Craig mentioned skulls and Lauren mentioned books. The books was a great idea but seemed too simple so I decided to go with the skull option.

Erin's most favorite cake is funfetti with rainbow chip frosting.  It's my favorite too!  I used to make it in college randomly because I was craving it.  The cake wouldn't last long.  So I covered the cake with black fondant, wrapped red ribbon on the bottom of each tier, the iced skulls with glittery white icing gel.  I made the large skull out of fondant and the bones and 26 are made out of chocolate.  I got the idea from Dudeman's blog and adapted it a bit. It tasted awesome and everyone was surprised by the cake.  Craig kept trying to take credit for it at the restaurant but not many people believed him.  Haha!  I think I will make cake pops out of the left over cake parts.  I will also be attempting the Jelly Belly Contest.  I will post pictures as soon as possible!

Until next time, happy baking!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kiss Me I'm Irish!

So I love St. Patrick's Day- not just because of the green beer but because I'm Irish and it means another holiday that I can bake for!  I do like the beer though, don't get me wrong.  I am from Wisconsin with some of the best beer.  Since I am currently in New York, I guess I will focus on the baking.  My sister is a first grade teacher in Wisconsin and I always try to find something fun to send her class each year.  I realized a couple weeks ago that I hadn't sent anything yet but was happy to think that St. Patrick's Day was coming up soon.  Sure, I could've just done Easter but was excited about having a fun activity to send with the treats.  I got a great idea from SomethingShinyBlog on her St. Patrick's Extravaganza post.  I decided to make green velvet cake pops and sugar cookie shamrocks.
Green velvet cake pops
These were such a cute idea and they turned out great!  I just made green velvet cake with cream cheese frosting then dipped it in white and green chocolate candy melt chips.  I had picked up awesome sprinkles that have white regular sprinkles and green shamrock sprinkles.  They are sooo cute.  I mixed and matched and put some on each of the white and green chocolate.

They turned out pretty cute, huh? 

Inside of the green velvet cake pops

They turned out so green on the inside.  I was so excited.  I think the first graders will love that the inside is green.  I know when I was a kid, I loved coloring all of my food (heck, I still do!).  That's another great thing about St. Patrick's Day.  My mom's friend has always dyed her entire gallon of milk green each year and I think that is just too fun!
Sugar Cookie Cutout Shamrocks with Royal Icing 

My next item was cookies.  Kids always love cookies.  I had never flooded with royal icing before.  I definitely need some practice and I definitely over whipped the royal icing.  I know a lot of taste testers who will not mind me practicing more.  So I baked the cookies, waited for them to cool, and outlined the cookies in typical Irish colors: dark green, orange, white, and I threw in light green too.

After the outlines dried, I tried to flood the cookies.  I don't think I put enough icing on each for them to actually be flooded but they turned out cute enough.  I will definitely need to make the icing more liquidy next time.  Once the flooded part was dry I was able to make all the fun designs.  Those really made the cookies!  

Taste testing was next and man were both the cookies and cake pops tasty.  I could've eaten all of them. Fortunately, since I'm not swimming anymore I had to send the majority of them to my sister's class and extras for her friends.  She said if there were extra after that, she might give one each to my mom and dad.  I'm glad I finally get to post these pictures because the package arrived today just in time for tomorrow.  To send them out, I package each one individually.  The cookies got shamrock plastic bags and the cake pops got clear bags with either a green or white ribbon (green went with the white pops, white went with the green pops).  I forgot to take pictures of the completely finished product.  I hope you enjoy these and they inspire you to make your own.  I know my mom tried them out over the weekend and they looked great.

Look forward to next week-  a fun surprise in the works!

Till next time, happy baking!