dipped cookies

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A super simple “cookie-pop!”  Just get some Oreo’s, cookie sticks and a pound of Melties (or almond bark).  Using a mini-crock, warm the melties or almond bark, stir until completely melted and smooth.  Dip the tip of a stick into the melted bark/melties and *gently!* and *slowly!* push the stick into the side of the Oreo cookie, set aside and repeat with many cookies, setting aside after you insert the sticks.  Then prepare to begin the cookie dipping (make sure you have a cup or a styrofoam board or  a mug to stand the dipped cookies in – in order for them to completely harden/set undisturbed0.  Plunge the cookie into the melties and remove quickly, gently (!!!!) tapping off the excess chocolate (or vanilla almond bark).  Just tap against your opposite index finger, not the side of the pot or cup—you want to go pretty easy with the tapping so you don’t knock the cookie off the stick.  At this point, you can sprinkle the dipped cookie with coloured sugar sprinkles or just leave them plain and stand the cookie pop in a mug or cup or poke the stick into a styrofoam board.  They’ll set or harden relatively quickly.  You can just keep moving on through however many cookie pops you’ve planned to dip.  Enjoy! ♥

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Seahawks Super Day!

seahawks football cake
I made this cake for the Superbowl party! What a wonderful day it was!!   From the first 12 seconds of the first half, to the first 12 seconds of the second half,  to the last 12 seconds of the game: My-o-my, what a game!!
What a day, too, it was for CAKE!
In addition to this cake and a whole bunch of cupcakes for the Superbowl party at our son’s house, I made another football cake/cupcakes just like these for a special birthday surprise party that same day.

seahawks-superbowl-cupcakesthis cupcake is one of the varieties I made…
I’m showing you a (sort of blurry, sorry) close up so that you can see the cupcakes paper on this one… these are printed with grass motif and are quite a bit taller than regular cupcake liner papers–the effect is nice, and the candies are better contained.  To keep with the colour theme of blue & green *and* Skittles®, I pulled out all the blue and green Skittles®  On the cake plate, I sprinkled Sixlets® candies.
If I ever have to pull out certain colours of candies in the future, this experience has taught me, I’ll have no trouble finding volunteers to eat the rest! :o)

Our son and daughter-in-law made all sorts of delicious foods—dips, fish tacos, salsas and more.

I loved making this cake and all the swirly cupcakes topped with green & blue Skittles®,  green & blue M & M’s® candies — and bright, colourful Skittles!  I topped some of the cupcakes with bright green Sixlets® candies.

cupcakes-seahawks2 For the frosting, I made a whole bunch of buttercream — some to go on the cake, between the layers under the ganache and under the fondant — and some to colour different shades of green & blue.

Here’s a Tip:
To create the three tone or the two tone swirls, I put one colour in a ziplock (cut of 1/4″ of the corner), squeeze the frosting into a “log” to the corner point and set it down into the frosting bag and repeat the same thing with another colour in another bag, also inserting it into the frosting bag and squeezing them down together — I use this method when I don’t want the colours to blend.  Looking for more of a blend for the blue and green, I spooned the blue frosting inside one side of the bag and then carefully spooned the green on top of the blue down inside the bag.   And then, I carefully pressed it but not twisting it much.

To pipe a swirl on the top of cupcakes , I use a Wilton® ‘M’ tip — I like it the best for swirls!  But if you don’t have an ‘M’ tip, you can use any wide ‘star tip’ you have and start piping just beside the middle and swirl in a circle, tucking the end of the swirl under the edge of the circle to make it look like one continuous circular motion.

I made the football out of a 5″ square pan that’s 3″ tall.  I was counting on the dome of the cake to give me a rounded effect.  When it was cooled, I cut off two opposite sides of the cake.  This gave me a domed “boat” looking cake, so I continued to “shave it” into a football shape.  When I was pleased with the shape, I frosted it and then covered it with fondant I’d coloured brown.  I rolled out the fondant into a sort of pointed oval shape and fitted it over the cake ‘football’ —working quickly to smooth the fondant over the shape and pressing it out so as to eliminate puckers and wrinkles.  I used strips of white fondant to make the two football strips — one near each end and then I used a spiked rolling wheel to make three seams in the football… one from tip to tip over the top and one on each side; then I cut two very-very thin strips to make the lacing, and five of the same thin strips cut into 1/2 inch lengths to ‘secure’ the lacing. I used a point to ‘poke’ the ends into the fondant ball so the lacing would look more authentic.

I liked it well enough to leave it alone… my biggest problems in cake decorating over the years has been over-messing with cakes.  Do you do that sometimes, too?  I put the finished ball on top of the candies topping the  green ‘grass’  I’d piped on top of the fondant covered, three layer cake.

seahawks football cake cut

many blessings to you ♥

p.s. My local supplier is Dawn’s Candy & Cake

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Sam’s Rehearsal Dinner Cake


It sure was a blessing for me to be able to make Samuel & Kirsten’s Rehearsal Dinner Cake
the cake a was dark chocolate, ganache filled, ganache frosted cake and was
wrapped with a chocolate using musical notes transfer sheet
alongside the cake were tira misu cups, and irish creme mousse cups

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The Cupcake Pan

cupcakepanI’m so happy to have gotten this new cupcake pan — it’s not for single serve cupcakes, it’s a cupcake that serves a dozen or more!  Isn’t this fun?!?

acupcakebirthdaycake2

So… my first attempt was fine – but I should have just stayed with the original plan — instead of continuing to play in the frosting to see what different styles look like.  You know, I find that that’s often my problem — especially with frosting, swirls or flowers.  It’s like: one more, one more, just one more… ooops, too much!  So that’s how this cake was.  I should have stopped with the giant piped swirl.  But I didn’t. ♥

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Blanching Almonds

A recipe called for blanched almonds.  I had raw.  So, instead of going to the store to buy blanched almonds, I explored how to process the almonds myself.  So now, I’ve discovered that when it comes to blanching almonds: there is nothing to it!  You simply boil some water in a saucepan and then drop the raw almonds into the water, boil (blanch) for a minute and then pour off the water and place the almonds on a clean kitchen towel.  Then just slip the skins by sort of ‘pinching’ the almond between your fingers – the skin just slides right off.  Easy!

Later, I will share with you the recipe that called for blanched almonds.

blanchingalmonds

love. ♥

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White Velvet Butter Cake

This one’s from The Cake Bible, p. 46-47.  I wanted to make a special cake for a couple of girlfriends who have birthdays this time of year.  I wanted it to be light, not too sweet and not too strong in flavour.  So… browsing  TCB I remembered a cake I’d made a couple of times before — but not for this cake journey — so that’s the one I chose — the White Velvet Butter Cake.

I think it’s a bit dry – very light and tender, but a bit dry.  It’s a white cake – except for the insignificant colouring from the butter and vanilla.  I think I’d add a tad more butter next time.   But I think it baked up beautifully — and when I asked my daughters how they liked it, they thought it tasted good.    Still… ISO… the perfect cake.

To frost it, I knew I needed something that wouldn’t be too overpowering for the simple cake – so I decided to make the Mousseline Buttercream (TCB p. 244-245).
mousellinebuttercream mousellinebuttercreambowl

I’m pretty sure Mousseline Buttercream could be just the right thing for anything… as a spread for muffins, toast, crackers or fingers.  It’s smooth as silk, buttery and soft.  And yet! I used it to pipe the edges and base and to make the little dots after I used it to frost the Raspberry filled cake.  I don’t know if I like it as much as the other buttercreams, but it’s very nice!

The funniest part of making buttercream is the almost suspenseful process!  You make the syrup and add it to the stiffly beaten lightly sugared egg whites and then when it’s cooled, by continually beating, you add butter by the pound tablespoonful.  You continue to add butter — even though you might feel just certain the process is failing and you’re wasting a pound of butter.  It’s not until you get three fourths of the way through that you finally see some marvelous progress!  At this point, it really does seem as Rose says… (even though my heart is beating faster at the suspenseful process) the frosting is finally a “luxurious cream.”

It was delightful to stack the cake (filled with raspberry filling) and frost it with this marvelous dreamy frosting – piped the edges and added flowers.  I decided not to pipe the roses, but to make them from fondant — which I love doing!

mousselinebuttercreamlisa

♥ love.

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