Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Very Cute Vampires

Very Cute Vampires

Halloween will be here before you know it and I wanted to share one of the new projects from my Cake Pops Halloween Book in case you want to give them a go. There are 20 spooktacular treats in the book including some of my classic favorites. And these very cute vampires have now joined that group. I want to hug them – they’re so cute. I love their pale purple faces, sweet little fangs, candy bow ties and cupcake wrapper capes.

That’s right! You can use a hole punch on mini cupcake wrappers folded in half and then slide it on a lollipop stick and curve it around the bottom of a vampire head for a cute little cape.

For the bow ties, I used my new Playful Shapes Candy Mold and melted white candy wafers to shape them. Then I attached them to the pop sticks with more candy coating as glue.

Bite me

 

Want to dress these dashing fellas up even more? You can use my these printable treat tags to take them over the top.

 

Here’s an example of a bunch of the tags you can download. I hope you use them for cake pops, cupcakes and other treats this Halloween! Tag them with #CakePopsHalloweenBook on instagram so I can see your spooky sweets!

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>>> Download the FREE printables or order the book here. <<<

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Very Cute Vampires

Servings:

Ingredients

  • 48 uncoated cake balls (see basic instructions here.)
  • 24 oz (680 g) light purple candy coating
  • 48 oz (1.4 kg) white candy coating
  • 2 deep, microwave-safe plastic bowls, plus 2 small, microwave-safe plastic bowls
  • 48 lollipop sticks
  • Styrofoam block
  • Small squeeze bottle
  • Bow candy mold
  • Wax paper
  • Black candy coloring (not food coloring)
  • Toothpicks
  • Black edible-ink pen
  • 96 pink confetti sprinkles
  • 48 miniature red cupcake wrappers
  • Hole punch

Instructions

TO DECORATE:

  1. Have the cake balls chilled and in the refrigerator.
  2. Melt the light purple candy coating and 24 oz (680 g) of the white candy coating in one of the microwave-safe bowls, following the instructions on the packages. The coating should be about 3 in (7.5 cm) deep for easier dipping. Stir together until the color is a paler purple.
  3. When you are ready to dip, remove a few cake balls at a time from the refrigerator, keeping the rest chilled.
  4. One at a time, dip about 1/2 in (12 mm) of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating, and insert the dipped end straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through. Dip the cake pop into the melted coating. Gently lift the pop out of the coating and tap off any excess, as described on page 10. Stand the pop firmly in a hole in the Styrofoam block. Repeat with remaining cake balls. Let dry completely.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the remaining white candy coating in the second microwave-safe bowl. Pour some of the melted white coating into the squeeze bottle.
  6. Fill the bow candy mold with the melted white coating. Place the mold in the freezer for a few minutes until the coating sets. Remove from the freezer and gently separate the bows from the mold. Set aside on wax paper. Repeat until you have 48 bows. Reserve a small amount of the white coating in one of the small microwave-safe bowls to dot the eyes, draw the teeth, and attach the bows to the stick. Also reserve a small amount of the pale purple coating in the second small microwave-safe bowl for the ears and nose.
  7. Combine the remaining pale purple candy coating and any remaining white coating. Add black candy coloring and stir. Continue to add coloring until it’s almost black. It will dry darker. Using a toothpick and starting in the middle of the vampire’s forehead, draw two curves for the hairline that also come down the sides to form sideburns. Fill in the shape with more black candy coating until the hair is complete and let dry. When the hair is dry, use a toothpick dipped in more black candy coating to draw thick strands of hair starting from the center point moving toward the back of the head. Let dry completely in the Styrofoam block.
  8. When dry, use the black edible-ink pen to draw on eyes, a smiling mouth, and eyebrows. Use a toothpick to dot on reserved pale purple candy coating in position for cheeks and attach 2 pink confetti sprinkles. Then use the toothpick to create ears on either side of the vampire’s head. As it starts to set, use the toothpick to pull through the coating so that ears appear pointed.
  9. Dot the pupils with the reserved melted white candy coating. Then dot on coating at either side of the vampire’s smile with a toothpick. Pull the toothpick through the coating to create a sharp point for his teeth. Let dry completely.
  10. For the red collars, fold mini cupcake wrappers almost in half and then punch a hole as close to the crease as you can. Slide a collar onto each lollipop stick and move up around the base of the vampire’s head.
  11. To finish the vampires, apply the leftover white candy coating to the lollipop stick and attach the white candy bows. Hold in place until the bow is set. Let the cake pops dry completely in the Styrofoam block.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Many Mini Mummies

Mini Mummy Cookies

Mini mummies! And a bunch of them. I was inspired to make these little guys by the Mummies in my new Cake Pops Halloween Book.

Here’s the cover for reference.

But instead of cake and melted candy wafers, I had fun using fondant to decorate these tiny chocolate sugar cookies.

steps

Decorating them is pretty easy and a quicker alternative to using royal icing … which worked out perfect for me this weekend.

1. Make sugar cookies using a 1.5 inch round cutter. (You can use this recipe and swap out 1/2 cup of flour for 1/2 of unsweetened cocoa powder.) It makes several dozen 1.5 inch cookies. I think I ended up with like 72. Maybe more but I can’t remember how many I ate before decorating. Oops.

2. Tint fondant purple… or green. Cut circle shapes out of the fondant using the same size cutter and attach to cookies using a thin layer of frosting in the center of the cookie. Work with a dozen or so circles at a time so the fondant doesn’t start to dry out before attaching. Then cut out more and repeat. Also, if your cookies spread some during baking, then you can gently roll the cut fondant circle a little thinner and they will increase in diameter. When rolling, make sure your work surface and roller is clean. Sprinkle a little cornstarch or powdered sugar on the surface and rolling pin to keep the fondant from sticking.

Making mummies

3. Roll out white fondant and cut more circle shapes. Then cut the circles into thirds, removing the center piece. Attach the top and bottom pieces to the cookie with more frosting… allowing the purple center to show in the middle. You want to leave enough room for the eyes you are using.

You can also skip the purple fondant underneath and just use the white fondant for one color mummies.

Eyes

4. I used my DIY Sugar Eyes so I could customize their expressions with different size pupils looking in different directions to give them more character.

DIY eyes

You can find the eyes at A.C. Moore craft stores and online right here from Make’n Mold.

Mummies

5. Using the black edible ink writing pen, draw lines on the mummies so they look wrapped up.

And attach eyes to the cookies with a little frosting or melted white chocolate.

Mummy Sugar Cookies

Eeek!

These guys look a little paranoid.

And so they should be. Get in my tummy… you yummy little mummies!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The icing on the cake…plate

Hope you’re having a great week! I have the cutest cake plate giveaway to share with you today from my friend Cupcake Julie over at Tinsel and Twirl.

It’s a showstopper. I adore the giant cherry topper handle and the cake-decorated dome. It’s just too much fun and keeps my kitchen happy. I showcased the stand I have a while ago here on the site and so many of you have inquired about it since, that I thought it would be fun to give one away so it can brighten someone else’s day, too.

Enter for a chance to win this cherry-topped, frosting-covered, super cute cake plate!

  • Just answer the following question on this blog post:
  • What is your favorite holiday?
  • Deadline to enter is Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET. TIME’S UP! Winner Announced Below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Saturday.

Good luck cake lovers!

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And the winner is… #1225! Congratulations Leslee! Your cakes have a place to keep cozy. Enjoy!

Giveaway courtesy of Tinsel and Twirl. 
 
 
Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chocolate Chocolate Teacake

Huckleberry's Chocolate Chocolate Teacake

This cake! Yes, this cake! It may look unassuming but let me tell you, it is everything.
Completely delicious and one of the best slices of chocolate cake I’ve had in a long, long while.

It’s delish dusted with powdered sugar for breakfast or served for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream. But really It doesn’t even need anything at all… it’s that good. And that’s actually how I like cake best. When it’s so good, that plain is perfect!

The recipe is from Huckleberry Cafe’s brand new cookbook.

Huckleberry Cookbook

Look at that cover!

Hucklberry Photos by Matt Armendariz

This book is FULL of yum. There are tons of recipes for muffins, biscuits, scones, cakes, breads, doughnuts, pancakes, sandwiches and a bunch of brunch items, too. I think you’ll love it. I do. It’s published by Chronicle Books (my publisher, too) and photographed by my super-talented friend, Matt Armendariz.

Now, let’s bring on the cake.

Chopped Chocolate

Starting with 1 3/4 cups chopped dark chocolate!

Ingredients

Chocolate Chocolate

It’s titled Chocolate Chocolate for a reason. Unsweetened cocoa in the cake batter and then chopped and melted dark chocolate folded in on top of that. Whoa.

Powdered SugarKing Arthur

The recipe calls for pastry flour. I ordered some from King Arthur Flour (right here) and while I was on their site, I picked up some of this non-melting sugar too. It stays perfectly powdery … and now I want to sprinkle it over everything.

Huckleberry’s Chocolate Chocolate Teacake

Servings: One 9 X 12 inch loaf cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (100 g) pastry flour
  • 6 tbsp (45 g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (300 g) coarsely chopped dark chocolate, 60-70% cacao
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (140 g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp (225 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • powdered sugar topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Position rack in middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease 9-by-5 in loaf pan with butter. Line bottom with a rectangular piece of parchment paper allowing for some of the paper to extend over the sides of the pan. Then grease paper with butter and dust inside of pan with cocoa.
  2. Sift together pastry flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Combine coffee, buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside. Melt 3/4 cup (130 g) of the chocolate over a double boiler or in a glass bowl set atop a small saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat, but leave bowl on top of saucepan to keep the chocolate warm while mixing the cake.
  4. In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl well. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Continue on low speed, and pour in the coffee mixture. Fold in the melted and chopped chocolate.
  5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake. Cool Completely.
  6. Holding the parchment paper, lift the cake out of the pan. Transfer cake to serving plate and dust with powdered sugar.
Source: © 2014 Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan, used with permission by Chronicle Books.

Huckleberry's Chocolate Chocolate Teacake

Now the hard part … try not to eat it all by yourself.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Itty-Bitty Brownie Bites

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

I made some more minis this weekend. I’m talking tiny, one-bite brownies dipped and decorated with chocolate to look like little cupcakes.

They are so cute … I can’t stand it. And even better… they are a breeze to make using a brownie mix…

Bakerella for Make'n Mold

… and some of the products in my new line with Make’n Mold.

(candy wafers, cups mold and pastry bags)

Itty-Bitty Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites

Itty-Bitty Brownie Bites

Servings: Makes 90 brownie bites.

Ingredients

  • Brownie mix (eggs, water, vegetable oil)
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Silicone Cups Mold
  • Chocolate Fudge Candy Wafers (or another color for fun)
  • Medium microwave-safe bowl
  • Marshmallow White Candy Wafers
  • Pink Microwave-safe Pastry Bags

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and spray candy cup cavities generously with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare batter following directions for brownie mix. (I made mine with two eggs for a more cake-like brownie)
  3. Fill mold cavities about 2/3 full with brownie batter. You can use a piping bag to make it easier and less messy.
  4. Place mold on a small baking sheet for stability. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until done.
  5. Cool and remove by gently pushing the bottom of each cup shape so you can easily lift out the brownie.
  6. If you have multiple molds it will go more quickly, but if not simply clean the mold and repeat, coating with more non-stick spray each time.
  7. Melt 4-6 oz of chocolate fudge candy wafers in the microwave using the medium bowl. Microwave on medium-low for 30 seconds at a time stirring in between each interval until melted, fluid and smooth. Dip the tops of the brownies and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet for a few minutes to dry.
  8. Place some of the marshmallow white wafers in the microwave-safe pastry bag, twist the end to secure and microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Knead the wafers in between each heating until melted and smooth. Then snip off the tip and pipe loops on the top of each brownie bite.
Source: © 2014 Bakerella.com

Enjoy!!!

Brownie Bite Cupcakes

Super cute!

Tiny Bites

And super tiny!

Brownie Bites

The perfect one bite brownie! Just be careful. I gave some to my mom and she said they were like popping grapes in your mouth… way too easy to eat.

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