Monday, February 18, 2013

Ooey Gooey Goodness

S'mores Brownies

S’mores Brownies.

Chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows all baked up in a fudgy, gooey brownie. What could be better?

S'more

It’s like having a campfire inside my oven.

Chocolate

I love a recipe that starts with chopped chocolate.

S'mores Brownies

And ends in something like this.

The recipe for these is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Home Baked Comfort. At least favorite to look at anyway, because I’ve only made one other thing from it so far. But it’s one of the few books I have that I’d want to make almost everything in. Here’s the other recipe I tried out and love: Chewy Chocolate Meringues if you want to check them out. They are way good!

chocolate

Melted chocolate is so pretty to me. So smooth, shiny, warm, and the beautiful beginning of these brownies.

Heat the chocolate with butter, whisk in sugars, add eggs, vanilla and salt.

Sifted

And then sift in the flour and cocoa. Hello.

So, after I added the sugars, I realized I was going to need a bigger pot. But too late for that … no turning back.

graham crackers

So I carefully stirred it all together and added the crushed graham crackers to the mix before spreading in a pan.

Yummorama!

 

Marshmallows

Then just top with marshmallows. I used 9 jumbo ones, but next time I think I’ll try regular size. Read the notes in the recipe below if you decide to make these. The giant amount of gooeyness from these seeped in and made the brownies take longer to bake.

But if you like gooey melt in your mouth brownies, you’ll love these.

S'more Brownies

Bake away.

S'mores Brownies

Servings: 24 brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 3 Tbsp natural cocoa powder
  • 6-8 whole graham crackers, crushed in your hand
  • 9 jumbo or 12 regular size marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9-by-13 inch baking dish
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in sugars. Then whisk in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa over the chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatular to stir just until blended. Stir in crushed graham crackers. Pour into dish, spreading evenly and top with marshmallows.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool and cut into gooey squares.
  5. NOTES: Try regular size marshmallows. The jumbo ones I used almost covered the entire surface of the brownie when baked and as they melted into the batter, caused me to increase the baking time significantly until done. About 30 minutes in, I covered the dish with foil to keep the marshmallowy tops from getting much darker. Smaller marshmallows would have yielded less goo and given the brownies more places to show through the surface. The few spots that weren't completely covered by marshmallow had a wonderful texture, but the marshmallow saturated sections were gooey even after increasing baking time to almost 45 minutes. But you may like that too. Either way - super yummy!
Source: 2011 Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw by Weldon Owen Books

S'more Brownie

And take a big bite.

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mini ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day!

Heart Cake Pops

I made mini and many cake pops for you this past weekend. I had this idea I wanted to try just using basic round pops and color to make a sweet little display. So I set out to dip enough cake pops to get the job done. That turned out to be 350 plus. Yikes. Not quite sure what I was thinking … Around number 70, I was really starting to reconsider. I thought … oh my gosh I have to make five times that many. But when I start something I can’t let it go until I get to the end and see how it works out. I know this project doesn’t help you much for this year, but I thought the heart display could totally work for a lot of other things besides Valentine’s Day.

So keep reading below for the how to… or check out my big “mini” giveaway at the end of this post. It’s a mini way for me to say Happy Valentine’s Day!

Okay, here we go.

You can’t tell in the picture, but these cake pops are tiny. Like Cake Dots instead of pops. So tiny that you use a toothpick to dip them with instead of a lollipop stick. Yes a toothpick. The cake balls are actually about the size of a penny. But they are small for a reason.

  1. Regular size cake pops would take up a lot of table real estate.
  2. The lollipop sticks would be much taller and people would have a harder time viewing the design from above.
  3. I figured the proportions out so they would work on a pretty standard size piece of styrofoam to make it easier to recreate and transport.
  4. I only had to make one cake. Score.
  5. Mini is major cute.

steps

I based the display design off of a template (see below) I made so that it works with a 12X18 inch or 12X20 inch sheet of styrofoam you can find in craft stores. Then I worked backwards to figure out how many cake pops you’d need to make the the shape look right. Once I had that, I knew how big to make the cake pops. Or how little.

  • Crumble cake and mix with frosting
  • Roll into tiny cake balls. (basic cake pop instructions here) You can use the circles on the downloadable template as a guide for the right size. They should be slightly smaller than the circle so that when you add the coating they will still fit together nicely.
  • Keep rolling and rolling until you have enough
  • Dip a toothpick into melted coating and then insert into a chilled cake ball.
  • Dip entire cake pop into the coating and then sprinkle with non-pareils. They are tiny and will be the best size for these tiny treats.
  • Place in styrofoam to dry.

A couple of things to note.

  • Use a small plastic bowl to melt the coating. You can work with a smaller amount of coating when dipping. Just melt the coating in batches as you go. Then you can take breaks and watch the Walking Dead marathon on AMC in between.
  • Buy more than one sheet of styrofoam. You’ll need more room than the display size so they aren’t touching each other as they dry.
  • Invite a friend over to help you. It will go faster and maybe your neck won’t hurt like mine does right now from looking down and dipping for so long.
  • I’d try Mercken’s candy coating for this project. It melts nice and fluid – you don’t want thick coating on these. It will add too much volume.
  • I’ve probably discouraged you already. Kind of like I felt as I was starting making these. But I had a feeling they’d be cute when I finished so I went on… like I’m going to do now. And by the way, these completely make me giddy when I see them finished on the table (looking at them now), so I guess it was worth it. And it will definitely be worth it if one of you decides to try it out some day. Hope you do… with a friend.

Sprinkles

Use multi-color non-pareils for the second candy coating color. Minus the static.

Baby Cake Pop

Super cute.

When all the pops are done, prepare your display.

styrofoam

  • Wrap a 12X18 inch or 12X20 inch sheet of styrofoam with paper. I used the 19X25 inch single sheets you purchase at the craft store. You could also use wrapping paper though.
  • Packing tape worked best on the styrofoam to tape the paper down.
  • Print out the template provided centered on an 11X17 sheet of paper at somewhere like Kinko’s. The design is created for a 12X18 surface area but it is set up on 11X17 paper since that is a standard size to print. You’ll notice that some of the circles on the template are getting cropped off when they print, but that’s okay, you’ll have enough information to figure out where the pops on the perimeter should go. I hope that makes sense.
  • Tape the template down temporarily and use a safety pin to poke holes into the paper.
  • Remove the template and start arranging the cake pops using the template as a guide. Start in the middle and work your way out from the center. More than likely some of your pops will be bigger than you think and if you start at one end, left to right, they will start to tilt too much to make room as you place them in position. But if you start in the center, they will angle out equally all the way around. Again I hope that makes sense.

Heart Mini Cake Pops

Full of heart.

Mini Cake Pops on Toothpicks

But you can also rearrange them for a different look …

LOVE Mini Cake Pops

And spread a little love…

XO

… Or some sweet hugs and kisses.

Here are the 11X17 inch templates for each.

LOVE Cake Pops

And because I love you guys and all things mini, here’s a little giveaway for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me who your Valentine is, what your plans are (or were) for the fourteenth or just say hi.
  • Deadline to enter is Sunday, February 17th at 7:00 p.m. ET. Sorry, Time’s Up. Winner Announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Sunday evening on this post.
  • Winner will receive a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad mini.

Good Luck.

We have a winner! YAY!

Congratulations to Brenda! Hope you and your Peanut Butter Man enjoy the mini iPad!

Giveaway sponsored by me.
Monday, February 11, 2013

Give Love Cake Pops

Candy Hearts

Candy Hearts. These don’t just make cute little ears for puppy dog cupcakes, they can also be used to make perfect little bows.

Present Cake Pops

Bows on top of pretty present cake pops for instance.

When I posted those candy hearts last week, it made me think of these sweet little presents.

Cake Pops Holidays Book

They are actually a project in my Cake Pops Holidays book. I thought I’d share the how to with you for those that don’t have the book … yet. ; )

The white candy coating and especially the red candy hearts make them totally work for Valentine’s Day. If I had used red and green for the boxes in the book, not so much.

But these can work … especially if you add some cute little tags to the lollipop sticks.

In the book I used tags that look like gift tags for presents. So, I thought I’d give you some tags to coordinate if you wanted to give some sweet love for the fourteenth, too.

Valentine Cake Pop Tags

Download the tags and use them with a 1 7/8 inch paper punch for cake pops or make cupcake toppers with them, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day Tags
Conversation Hearts Tags – red
Conversation Hearts Tags – pastel (not shown)

And below is the in depth how-to for these. Have fun!

Give Love Cake Pops

Servings: 48 Present Cake Pops

Ingredients

  • 9 X 13 cake, cooled (makes 48 cake pops)
  • Frosting
  • Wax paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Cookie cutter with a straight edge
  • 48 oz (1.4 kg) white candy coating
  • Deep, microwave-safe plastic bowl
  • 48 lollipop sticks
  • 96 red candy hearts
  • 48 red mini M&M’s
  • Styrofoam block
  • Red colored cocoa butter (you can also pipe on red candy coating)
  • Small dish
  • Small paintbrush

Instructions

  1. Crumble cake and mix with 2/3 - 3/4 container of ready made frosting or about 1 cup equivalent homemade until completely combined. Roll into 48 balls and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up and then transfer to the refrigerator to remain chilled (not frozen).
  2. Remove the cake balls from the refrigerator and shape them, one at a time, into small squares to form the shape of a box. You can use wax paper to aid in shaping the sides. Take each side of your cake ball and slide it on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Rotate and repeat for each side to help create a flat surface. In addition, you can use the flat side of a metal cutter to cut off any rounded excess and to help form straight edges.
  3. After shaping, put the shaped cakes in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up again for dipping. Once they are firm, transfer them to the refrigerator. Remove a few at a time for dipping, keeping the rest chilled.
  4. Melt the candy coating in a microwave-safe plastic bowl, following the instructions on the package. The coating should be about 3 in (7.5 cm) deep for easier dipping.
  5. One at a time, dip about 1/2 in (12 mm) of the lollipop stick into the melted candy coating and insert the stick straight into the bottom of the box shape, pushing it no more than halfway through. Dip the cake pop into the melted coating, and tap off any excess: Hold it over the bowl in your left hand, and tap your left wrist gently with your right hand. If you use the hand holding the cake pop to shake off excess coating, the force of the movement will be too strong and could cause the cake ball to loosen or fly off the lollipop stick. Tapping the wrist holding the cake pop absorbs some of the impact. The excess coating will fall off, but you will need to rotate the lollipop stick so the coating doesn’t build up on one side, making it too heavy on that side. If too much coating starts to build up at the base of the stick, simply use your finger to wipe it off, spinning the lollipop stick at the same time. This can happen if the coating is too thin or too hot. It’s not as hard as it sounds; it just takes a little practice.
  6. While the coating is wet, place two candy hearts on their sides, with pointed ends facing each other on top of the pop. Leave room to place a mini M&M’s candy in between. Tilt the hearts up to form the shape of a bow before the coating sets. Let dry completely in a Styrofoam block.
  7. Heat the red cocoa butter in the microwave following the directions on the bottle. Pour a little into a small dish. Paint ribbons on sides and tops of the cake pop with a brush for a flat appearance. Or you can also use red candy coating instead of colored cocoa butter for ribbons. Pipe coating with a squeeze bottle or apply with a toothpick to draw the ribbons on for a more three dimensional effect.
  8. Let the pops dry in the Styrofoam block.
Source: © 2012 Cake Pops Holidays by Bakerella

Give Love Cake Pops

 

Enjoy!

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More Minis

Puppy Love Mini Cupcakes

Puppy Love … mini cupcakes decorated with pink and red heart sprinkles for little ears and noses. I love using sprinkles and candies to make faces. Remember these pandas I made? I did something similar using chocolate chips for ears and noses. A candy challenge of sorts. It’s just fun for me to make something with what I have on hand. And make them easy at the same time.

And mini, too. More cupcakes. More cuteness.

I have to say, I’m not completely in love with these puppies. They’re cute, but they were cuter in my head. So keep reading and you can see how a quick candy edit can change them all together.

Chocolate Cupcakes

You can use the cupcake recipe from the panda post. It’s quick, easy and bakes yummy cupcakes. And I like that you can measure and mix everything in one bowl. And this basic buttercream recipe works great with it. After you frost the cupcakes, dip the tops in a bowl of sanding sugar to help even out the surface. When you add candies, add a little dab of frosting or even water to the back, so it will attach to the sanding sugar coated cupcake tops.

Mini Cupcake

This little guy. He’s pretty cute with hearts for folded ears.

Ruff.

Jumbo Heart Sprinkles

Red jumbo heart sprinkles.
I always have some of these on hand. They’re handy.

Candy Hearts

Red Candy Shape Hearts. Whenever I see these, (usually at Hobby Lobby or Cake Art) I grab them. Love the shape and thickness.

Puppy Cupcake

This little guy is pretty cute with an upside down pink jumbo heart nose and a little bone bow tie.

Bone Candies

Funny Bone Candy Shapes.

Now I don’t always have these on hand, but I thought it would be fun to finally use them for these Puppy Love Cupcakes.

Puppy Cupcake

And this little guy. He’s my favorite even though he doesn’t even have a heart shape to help make his face. So much for my puppy love idea. If I was just going to make one puppy, I think it would be him. He looks sweet.

Licorice Pastilles

His ears are made of pink licorice pastilles.

I usually pick these up at the Fresh Market from the buckets of candy you can buy by the scoopful. You could also use Good n Plenty candies, but the pastilles are usually a little thinner which I like.

Jimmies

Chocolate jimmies. You can use these for eyebrows and also for mouths.

Black Sugar Pearls

Black sugar pearls for eyes and noses, too.

Confetti Sprinkles

Pastel confetti sprinkles. I’d consider these one of my sprinkle staples. I have them in several sizes and shapes.

I used the pink ones for puppy tongues.

Candy Eyes

And these candy eyes actually make great noses on small sweets. I find this size at Hobby Lobby. They’re in a jar and sold by Festival. You can also find other brands sold by the sheet like candy buttons.

So those are the add ons I used to make puppies.

Now, like I mentioned above, I didn’t completely fall in love with the puppies for some reason, but as I was decorating I noticed if you take away the licorice, the hearts, the jimmies, and the bones and add something new for the ears you will end up with an even more adorable cupcake.

Mini Polar Bear Cupcakes

Polar bears.

A cute cupcake with even less candies. I like it…and love when you can create with minimum decoration and still be effective.

Soft Edible Sugar Pearls

The ears are 8mm edible soft pearls. They look like snowballs to me.

Miniature Polar Bear Cupcakes

There, much better.

Polar Bear Cupcakes

Here they are in comparison to a regular size cupcake. I know it’s hard to tell size sometimes by the photographs but they are itty bitty.

Mini Polar Bear Cupcake

Now, I love these. They’d be super cute served at a winter wonderland party.

Puppies or polar bears. Which do you like prefer?

Either way, it’s fun to get creative with candies. Sprinkles, too.

Friday, February 1, 2013

It’s National Cake Pops Day!

Happy February and Happy National Cake Pops Day, too! Whoohoo!

Or is it Cake Pop Day? It is in the photo above anyway. You know, so I could have POP centered in the card above … The S would have totally thrown off my graphic. : ) And I added International, too. Cake Pops bring smiles everywhere, right.

Can you believe it’s been five years today … five! … since I first posted these cupcake pops. Reading that post now makes me smile. I had no idea then of how incredibly popular they would become or that people all over the world would be making them. And if someone had told me then that I’d have books based on that little cupcake on a stick … or even better … a toy. Ha! I would have told them they were from crazy town. So I’m glad no one told me that because I might of sabotaged myself if I knew what was coming. But just letting things unfold and having fun making cake pops and sharing them with all of you has brought so much joy and amazingness in many more ways than I could have ever imagined. Plus, I love living in crazy town.

Anyway, last year I thought that February 1st as the anniversary, would be a sweet day to celebrate a treat that takes part in the celebrations of so many. So this year, I’m excited it’s also on Foodimentary’s calendar of national food holidays for February 1st. Yay!

Love Cake Pops?

  • Raise your hand if you’ve seen them at a party, or made them, or just eaten them.
  • Give yourself a shout out if you sell them or share them with others.
  • Say hi if you have. I love hearing how they’ve impacted lives in so many unexpected ways.

Below are a few of my pops from the last five years. I was trying to pick a favorite, but I don’t think I can anymore. The cupcake pops will always be nearest and dearest to my heart, but man those Garfield pops are too much. I didn’t even remember making them until I started looking back at some of my photos.

Anyway, I hope these brighten your day … and maybe give you a little smile, too.

  • And please, link up some of your own cake pops below. Who’s making Valentine Pops?
  • I’d love to see what you’ve been dipping and decorating and especially all of the countries you’ve been doing it from.

Hi… Hugs… and Happy Cake Popping!

xo Bakerella

Cake pops

 

Random Sweetness
Newsletter 2
Advertisement
Google Left
Left Custom Ad
image
image
popshop
Bakerella T-Shirts
Show off your inner Bakerella with a super-cute T!
FM Media Survey