Sunday, July 5, 2015

Minions Cake Pops

Minions Cake Pops

The Minions are coming to back to theaters this Friday headlining their very own movie and I thought it would be fun to showcase these sweet little guys again. I made them back in 2013 for Despicable Me 2 and they are still one of my favorite cake pops. They make me smile every time I see the photos.

Minions

Here’s the Minions Cake Pops how-to from a couple of years ago … plus instructions for adorable Agnes and her unicorn, too!

Yellow Candy Coating

Despicable Me 2 Cake Pops

I can still hardly stand how cute these guys are. So much expression in such a small space.

I’d say they are too cute to eat…

Bitten Minions

… But that’s just not true. ; )

Want to make some Minions, too?

Bakerella Candy Wafers

Bakerella for Make'n Mold Sugar Eyes

Try my Bakerella for Make’n Mold Candy Wafers and DIY Sugar Eyes (FREE SHIPPING on $50 or more) to get a jump start and check my post for the full Minions Cake Pops instructions.

Here’s to lots of giggles this Friday!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fourth of July Pennant Cookies

Fourth of July Pennant Bunting Cookies

Mini pennant bunting sugar cookies!!! So sweet and full of fun for a Fourth of July Celebration. Or any celebration really. Change up the colors and use them for baby showers, birthdays and other holidays.

Cookie Dough

I used an ice cream cone cookie cutter to make the pennants and then just chopped off the ice cream part. Kinda sad.

Looking back now, maybe I should have made ice cream cone bunting cookies. I mean how totally cute would those be!?! Or snow-cone bunting cookies.

But these pennants are super cute, too.

To make holes, just press a plastic straw into the cookie and gently twist it to remove the dough and make openings.

Note: when the cookies bake, the openings may close back up some. If that happens, go back over the holes with another straw right after you remove the cookies from the oven.

Oh and you can use this sugar cookie and royal icing recipe. It’s awesome and easy.

Piping Cookies

To decorate the pennants, outline the cookies, including the openings with piping consistency royal icing and let dry.

Add a little water to the royal icing to make it more fluid and then flood the cookies with color.

Dotting Cookies

To make a polk-a-dot pattern, just pipe dots with a second color of royal icing while the base color is still wet.

Piped Cookie

See the ones in the back, those were just piped, but they’ll settle down like the ones in the front. You can also draw lines or make other shapes with the same technique.

Little Letter Sugar Cookies

Yay for little letter cookies! These are the cutters I used.

They are a little tricky to get the sugar cookie dough out of, because they are tiny. So I used the end of a lollipop stick to gently push the shapes out of the cookie cutter with.

Sanding Sugar Cookies

To decorate the letters, pipe them with royal icing and sprinkle the tops with white sanding sugar while the icing is still wet. Let dry and then attach the letters to the pennants using royal icing as the “glue”.

Fourth of July Pennant Bunting Cookies

Ta-da! Too cute!

Pennant Sugar Cookies

You can also skip the words and simply thread the cookies with thin ribbon or decorative twine.

Have fun and hope your fourth is a happy, happy, happy one!

Happy Sugar Cookies

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Brownie Caramel Sandwich Cookies

Brownie Caramel Sandwich Cookies

These brownie sandwich cookies are all kinds of yum.

Brownie Cookie Tops

And so tasty that I could have eaten them just like this.

Wait… I did do that.

I had to stop myself so I would have enough cookies left to take pictures of them doubled up for sweet little sandwiches.

Cookie Halves

That’s right, I decided to pipe circles of vanilla buttercream on half of them…

Caramel Filling

And fill the centers with caramel.

Caramel Flling

Because caramel is the right thing to do.

Piping Cookies

I used my pink decorating bags to pipe the buttercream and love them!

Sandwiching Cookies

Okay, time to make the sandwiches. Gently press the tops on to secure all that deliciousness in place.

Brownie Cookies

They stack up so sweet.

Brownie Cookie

And taste even sweeter with that hidden surprise of caramel inside. Soooo YUM!

Brownie Caramel Sandwich Cookies
Makes 12 sandwich cookies

12 oz dark chocolate (I used Guittard Bittersweet 74% Cacao)
7 tablespoons butter, salted
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place butter and 10 ounces of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Position the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Chop remaining 2 ounces of chocolate into small pieces and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • Mix sugar, eggs and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium high for about 8 minutes.
  • Add melted chocolate to the sugar mixture and fold until combined.
  • Then add flour and remaining chopped chocolate and stir until just combined and the flour has disappeared.
  • Let rest for about five minutes and then scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet about three inches apart.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.

Caramel Filling
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, salted
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Heat sugar in a medium pot stirring constantly with a wire whisk. The sugar will turn clumpy and then melt before turning into a thick amber-colored liquid. As soon as this happens (Be careful not to allow the sugar to burn) immediately add butter, whisking until completely melted. Remove from heat and slowly add cream. Whisk until combined and smooth. Pour into a glass jar and set aside to cool and thicken. Note: This makes more than you’ll need for the cookies, but you can store in the refrigerator up to two weeks and then reheat to use over ice cream or other treats.

Frosting
12 tablespoons butter, salted
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream

  • Using a mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until combined. Add vanilla and heavy cream and mix until combined.
  • Pipe buttercream circles on half of the brownie cookies. Fill the centers with thickened caramel and gently press remaining brownie cookies on top to sandwich.

Enjoy!

Brownie Sandwich Cookies

Note: This photo is of a second batch I made where the cookies came out a little more mounded. Just use a 1/2 cup of flour instead of 1/3 and 5 tablespoons of butter instead of 7 in the above recipe. They were good this way too, but the flatter cookies were tastier.

Monday, June 8, 2015

New York City Sweets

New York Bakeries

Back in May, I was in New York City to treat Nestle’s Tollhouse Time “Sweetstakes” winner to a sweet tour of the city as one of her prizes. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen a few of the pics. Well, I took a ton. Too many to even show here, but I thought I’d share all the places we visited in case you’re looking for a sugar-filled way to see the city, too.

 

Milk Bar New York

We started out at Milk Bar Midtown. I figured their Cereal Milk soft serve topped with cornflakes would be a great way to start the morning. But we also left with compost cookies, cornflake-marshmallow-chocolate chip cookies and candy bar pie. Stocking up for late night snacks you know.

 

Sprinkles New York

We went to Sprinkles Cupcakes next. This is Angela (the winner) and her husband. It was their first time so we grabbed a few flavors to take home and enjoyed a red velvet cupcake in the shop. It’s my favorite flavor after their black and white cupcake.

 

Baked By Melissa NYC

A couple of doors down is Baked by Melissa. These are the teeniest cupcakes. Smaller than mini and perfect for tasting… these one bite babies are just way too fun to eat and because they’re so small, you can try several flavors without feeling bad or full. I tried the PB&J in the store and brought these adorable “cupcarons” – macaron topped cupcakes – for the road.

 

Laudree NYC

Next we stopped in Ladurée for french macarons. Oh my gosh I loved it inside – so pretty – and I didn’t want to leave. We couldn’t decide between all the beautiful pastries, so we left with just the macs. Sampling would take place in my hotel room later though. I had to pace myself you know.

 

Levain Bakery NY

And also because we were heading to Levain Bakery next and I knew we’d be enjoying their decadent warm chocolate chip cookies on the spot. Head to NYC right now and get one of these. So so good. and big and warm.

 

Bouchon Bakery NYC

Bouchon Bakery was next. One of my faves. I absolutely love their macarons (get the big ones) and TKO cookie sandwiches. Like giant homemade Oreos. But better.

After Bouchon, we headed down to Chelsea Market where we stopped in several shops. As a sidenote, I think the best thing I had here was actually lunch from Los Tacos No. 1. OMG The only mistake I made was only getting one. And I wish I had some right now.

Okay back to sweets.

 

Eleni's Cookies NYC

If you like sugar cookies, stop in Eleni’s and treat yourself to one. Or cupcakes, too. So fun!

 

Fat Witch Bakery

And if you like brownies, you’ll love Fat Witch with all their different flavors. Right about this point, I was super happy that these were packaged and individually wrapped. Easy to grab and save for later because I was still trying to pace myself.

 

Amy's Bread

Amy’s Bread has tons of baked goodies to choose from like cupcakes, cookies, bars and breads. Try the Yellow Cake with pink frosting if you get a chance.

 

Liddabit Sweets

Liddabit Sweets! Caramels, cookies and candy bars. They had a small setup in Chelsea Market and I was glad because we didn’t have time to make it to their shop in Brooklyn.

Ahhh Brooklyn! There are so, so many places I want to visit. The Original Baked, Ovenly, Hay Rosie and much more. I’ll just have to plan another trip for all their tasty treats.

 

Sarabeth's NYC

Sarabeth’s – more goodies galore. Buttermilk Biscuits, cookies, tarts, pastries, pies and chocolate pudding, too.

 

Magnolia Bakery NYC

I had to take Angela by Magnolia Bakery to adore their beautifully swirled buttercream frosting. We left with cupcakes and tried the Banana Pudding in the car on our way to our next stop for chocolate.

 

Jacques Torres Chocolates

Jacques Torres Chocolate! I don’t remember what flavors I had but one thing I can recommend is his recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I make them often and always with people adoring them!

 

Dominique Ansel

After chocolate we went to the place known for inventing the Cronut. Of course by the end of the day we had to settle for Dominque Ansel’s other amazing treats. S’mores on a stick, Cookie and milk shooters, Coco the cream puff cat, and the kouign amann… a croissant-like dough with a caramelized crunchy crust. That one was my favorite.

 

Sugar Sweet Sunshine

Sugar Sweet Sunshine is another cupcake bakery we stopped in. I enjoyed their vanilla cupcake best, but if I could top it with Magnolia’s frosting, then I think it would be perfect.

 

Morgenstern's Ice Cream

We ended the day with ice cream at Morgenstern’s. The ice cream parlor feel makes you want to hang out while you chill with your ice cream in hand. Such a cool little spot. And I love the paper hats they wear, too.

So that was all done on day one. Angela and her husband were so awesome to hang out with for the day. I hope you guys had a great time and enjoyed the rest of your weekend in the city.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

The next day… because I obviously didn’t have enough sugar on Saturday, I stopped by a few more places with a friend who lives in the city.

Lady M Confections

Lady M – Gorgeous cakes and confectionary masterpieces. Try their signature Mille Crêpe Cake. Amazing! I love the simplistic decor. It’s stunning in white and really showcases all of the desserts.

 

Sant Ambroeus

My friend and I stopped in Sant Ambroeus on Madison Avenue. I had a proscioutto sandwich and just adored everything else.

 

Maison du Chocolate

At Maison du Chocolate we enjoyed champagne truffles.

 

Ô Merveilleux

The last place I visited in NYC was Ô Merveilleux. And OMGoodness. It was one of the best things from the entire trip. This ever so light meringue sweetened with whipped cream and covered in belgian dark chocolate shavings. Simply Merveilleux or Marvelous as they say in the shop.

Okay, that’s it. What did I miss out on? What should I try next time? And if you have any Brooklyn recommendations, I love to hear your thoughts on those too.

 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pugtastic!

Pug Cake Pops

I made the cutest chocolate and peanut butter pug cake pops for you. These little guys were inspired by a recipe from Tablespoon.com. I’m working with them to put my spin on one of the sweets from their site. Not that they don’t already have cute covered though. Tablespoon’s community is overflowing with fun recipes, creative ideas for entertaining and more. I love the way they think with categories like rainbow, OMG, party, and mini.

And you guys know it’s no surprise that I love little treats, so when I found this adorable pug cake on their site, I knew I had to down-size it to bite-sized proportions. But the full-size version is just as fun if you want one big cake.

Alright. Let’s get this pug party started.

Pug Cake Pops

Here are the goodies you’ll need to make 16 Pug Pops.
4 cups crumbled chocolate cake
1/3 cup buttercream frosting
2 tablespoons peanut butter
White candy wafers
Chocolate candy wafers, reserve 16 wafers for decorating
Medium heatproof bowl, plus two smaller heatproof bowls
Wax paper
Baking sheet
16 lollipop sticks
Cake pop stand
8 Tootsie Rolls
16 black sunflower seeds
32 sugar eyes with black edible ink pen
Pastel confetti sprinkles
Candy Bones
Toothpicks. I can’t live without toothpicks when it comes to decorating cake pops.

Here’s a link to my full instructions for making basic cake pops if you need more help.

Cake Balls

  • Stir peanut butter and buttercream until mixed together and then incorporate into chocolate cake crumbs until completely combined.
  • Roll the mixture into 16 balls and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Let the rolled cake balls rest for about 30 minutes and then place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up. When firm, transfer them to the fridge to remain chilled (not frozen) for dipping.

Dipping Pops

  • Melt chocolate wafers with vanilla wafers. Start with vanilla and add a few chocolate wafers at a time until you achieve a lighter shade of brown. (Note: You can use peanut butter candy wafers insead of mixing chocolate and vanilla.)
  • When ready to dip, remove a cake ball from the fridge. Dip the end of a lollipop stick in the melted candy wafers and then into the cake ball and dip.
  • Make sure the cake ball is completely coated and tap off any excess.
  • Before the coating sets, place a chocolate candy wafer on the front – towards the bottom half of the pop. Hold in place until the coating dries and place in a cake pop stand until you’re ready to decorate.

Decorations

We’re using Tootsie Rolls for ears, confetti sprinkles for tongues, sunflower seeds for noses and sugar eyes for the eyes. But you already guessed that one.

Pug Faces

  • With the candy wafer already in position on the pop, dip a toothpick in melted chocolate and swirl two large dots on the front of the pop in position for eyes. Then gently press the sugar eyes right on top so that the chocolate surrounds the eyes.
  • Dot on coating in position for the nose and tongue and then attach a sunflower seed and pink confetti sprinkle and let dry.

Decorating Pugs

Then finish the mouths. Use a toothpick dipped in melted chocolate candy wafers to apply coating on top of the already attached wafer … under the sunflower seed nose and down around the sides of the tongue. Make sure to overlap the confetti sprinkle so it looks like a sweet little tongue is sticking out.

Tootsie Rolls

Now for the ears. Cut a tootsie roll candy in four equal parts and hand shape into rounded triangles for ears. Note: microwave the candy for 3-4 seconds to make it easier to shape. Don’t overheat.

Pug Cake Pop

  • Use more melted chocolate to attach the ears and add finishing details to the mouth.
  • Draw big black pupils on the eyes with the edible ink pen. Feel free to stop here, but if you want to add a few more details, then keep going with me.

Pug Pops

  • Draw on eyebrows with a toothpick dipped in the melted lighter brown candy coating. Then dot tiny dark chocolate freckles on each cheek.
  • And most important, add a little sparkle to the eyes by dotting on melted white candy wafers.

Adorable!

But let’s dress these doggies up a bit more…

Candy Bones

… with candy bones.

Pug Cake Pops

Because they make the super cutest bow ties, you know.

Enjoy!

This post is a collaboration with Tablespoon.com.

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