Monday, September 16, 2013

Boo. Hiss.

Boo the Dog Cake Pops

That’s right.

Boo Hiss… in the sweetest way possible.

It’s Boo. The World’s Cutest Dog.

Grumpy Cat Cake Pops

And hiss… it’s one Grumpy Cat.

Yeah, so this is what happens when cake pops and cute internet celebrity pets collide.

Adorable edible animals.

Chronicle Books

Did you know Boo and Grumpy Cat have their own books? Boo has almost 7.5 million Facebook fans, stuffed animals and calendars and Grumpy Cat even has a movie deal. Crazy.

And the three of us have a little something in common. We share the same publisher, Chronicle Books. I already had Boo’s book and when I found out Chronicle was publishing Grumpy Cat’s book, too – I was unexplainably excited – like I could stop by their offices or something and be able to cuddle that kitty. I thought a while back, it would be fun to surprise my friends at Chronicle and make these two cuties into cake pops and I finally got around to it last weekend. Hope they love them. By the way guys, if you’re reading… I totally want to be there for a Boo and Grumpy Cat playdate.

Boo Cake Pops

Boo is a little pomeranian with the cutest puppy haircut and bouncing personality.

Grumpy Cat Cake Pops

Grumpy Cat (whose real name is Tardar Sauce) on the other hand is not so perky with a permanent grumpy expression. Let’s just say that if these two hung out together, Boo would totally be Grumpy Cat’s Nermal. And if you get that reference you’ll probably enjoy this and this, too.

Now… if you have no idea who these two are or what I am talking about, just google Boo the Dog and Grumpy Cat for a little pop culture and you’ll get it. Adorable overload.

But even if you don’t know anything about them … they still make the cutest little pet pops. Here’s how I decorated them…

Crumbled Cake

Start with crumbled cake and frosting mixed together and rolled into balls.

You guys know how to do this by now, but if not… here’s a link to the full how-to instructions for basic cake pops.

Make 'n Mold

Once the balls are rolled, chilled and ready to dip, you’ll need some candy coating.

I melted chocolate and vanilla and yellow until I achieved a shade I liked that could work as the base for both pops. These candy wafers are by Make ‘n Mold and you can find them at craft stores like Hobby Lobby and A.C. Moore. Start with white as the base and add a few brown wafers in and then some yellow as you melt them. Stop when the color feels right for you. I wish I had kept a ratio of these for you, but I didn’t keep track as I was melting.

Boo Cake Pops Steps

When the coating is fluid, dip the pops in the coating in one motion – no swirling – and tap off any excess.

When dry, Reserve some of the melted light brown candy coating for later use and then add some more chocolate and yellow to the coating to make a darker shade. Dip Boo’s head in about half way and at a slight angle and let dry.

When dry, use a toothpick dipped in the reserved light brown coating and draw on Boo’s snout. Place a miniature pink confetti sprinkle in the coating while it’s still wet and then let dry. Then dot on more light brown coating to overlap the sprinkle. It will look like Boo is smiling with a tiny pink tongue sticking out.

Then use a toothpick dipped in the darker shade and dot/draw on Boo’s ears. Form the shape first and when it dries draw over the shape with more coating to make the ears look curved forward.

Finally, dot on some dark brown coating for a tiny nose. Then draw eyes with a black edible pen and dot then with a speck of white coating to finish the look.

Boo the Dog Cake Pops

Hey Boo.

Grumpy Cat Cake Pops

Now for a frowning feline. It’s grumpy time.

Grumpy Cake Cake Pops Steps

First, use some of the chocolate wafers and cut triangles out of them for ears using a sharp (non-serrated) knife.

When you dip the pops, place ears in position while the coating is still wet.

When dry, use a toothpick and etch out the shape for Grumpy Cat’s face. I drew a cake poppable likeness of Grumpy cat on paper to use as a guide.

Attach eyes (Jumbo confetti sprinkles broken in half) in position with a little melted candy coating and then use a toothpick dipped in more dark coating to draw around eyes in the shape etched on the pop. This way the confetti sprinkle eyes will look recessed a bit with the chocolate overlapping.

Grumpy Cat Cake Pops

Then draw in between with a toothpick dipped in melted white coating. Overlap the brown a tiny bit and let dry.

Dot on pink coating for a little nose and use some of the light brown coating on the ears. Finally draw on eyes and a lovable frown with a black edible ink pen and then dot the eyes with white coating.

A little tip to get sharper edges is when everything is done, use a toothpick to define lines and make sharper edges. You can remove unwanted candy coating pretty easily if you’re careful. You can also use the side of a toothpick to gently rub on the surface if you need to smooth out an area or on the edge of the ears to help make straighter edges. Fingertips can work great too.

Grumpy Cat Cake Pops

Grumpy Cat may be frowning on the outside.

Grumpy Bite

But Grumpy Cat is pretty sweet on the inside.

Boo Bite

Boo is too of course. I couldn’t resist those cute little chocolate cheeks. Could you?

Here’s Boo’s Book, Grumpy Cat’s book and mine, too if you want to check them out.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Handy Peach Pies

Peach Hand Pies

It’s time for pie.

Peaches

And peaches.

Peach Hand Pie

Pretty little peachy hand pies.

Yeah, I’m not sure what’s happening today. Fruit and pie. Instead of chocolate and cake. I never do that. I must be dieting.

Or pieting.

pie crust

That means pie crusting is happening. This pie dough is made with added cream cheese in the dough. Yummo!

Peach Pie Filling Ingredients

And peachy pie filling… you’ll need diced peaches, sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt.

Peach Pie Filling

Toss the filling ingredients together and spoon a small amount in the center of circles cut out from the pie crust dough. Fold the circles together and seal the edges.

You want to keep all those juices tucked inside as much as possible.

hand pies

Then crimp the edges with a fork.

I cut out cute little letters for my pies with these mini alphabet cutters. This would be super fun to do if you were making pies in different flavors. Helpful and handy at the same time.

Here’s how to make them:

Just Peachy Handheld Pies

Servings:

Ingredients

  • PIE CRUST
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • PEACH FILLING
  • 3 cups diced peaches
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • beaten egg
  • more flour for dusting

Instructions

  1. FOR THE CRUST: Cut butter and cream cheese into half inch cubes and freeze for 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt to combine.
  3. Add butter and cream cheese cubes from freezer and pulse until small clumps form.
  4. Add milk and pulse again a few times until dough forms. Press dough together to test. If needed add another teaspoon of milk until the dough holds together when pressed.
  5. Turn out dough onto a floured work surface. Gather the doughy pieces and knead together. Shape into two 1-inch thick round disks. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  6. TO ASSEMBLE: When dough is chilled, dice peaches and stir filling ingredients together.
  7. Remove dough from fridge, unwrap and roll out dough on a floured work surface or parchment paper until it's about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out pie shapes from dough and remove scraps. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and fill the center of each circle with a spoonful or two of filling depending on size of your shapes. I used a 5-inch round cutter for these.
  8. Brush beaten egg on the edge of each cut pie circle. Fold up like a taco and press seams together starting at the bottom and working up until you have a crescent shape. Lay on one side on parchment lined baking sheet and crimp edges with a fork.
  9. Refrigerate prepared pies for half an hour before baking and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Before placing in the oven, brush each pie top with beaten egg and sprinkle sugar. If you cut out letters, attach them with a bit of egg wash first.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a baking rack to cool for a few minutes. Serve warm or store for up to two days. P.S. I would totally eat these warm with some handy vanilla ice cream, too.
Source: Adapted from Handheld Pies, 2011

Handheld Pies

There you have it. Peach hand pies.

Peach Hand Pie

They’re kind of handy… and definitely yummy…

Just Peachy Handpies

 

… and Just Peachy.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

It’s been weird being in moving limbo the last few weeks. I definitely don’t like having all my pans packed up. And all my stuff boxed away. But I’m almost unpacked. At least the boxes labeled pantry are in the pantry. That’s pretty close. I have a long way to go on getting that all organized.

Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve been storing things anywhere I could find a spot and now I’ll finally have a place where I can see my supplies in a central location. And I’m way excited. It’s been kind of like Christmas unpacking things already and finding five years worth of stuff I didn’t even remember I had. Out of sight is definitely out of mind. But not any more.

Oven

The first thing I unpacked though were my baking pans. A good place to start. Especially since I have a new oven to work. One 18 years newer than my last one. Yikes and Yay! I was actually kind of nervous … like meeting someone new and hoping you’ll be good friends. But you have to hang out together for a while first to find out.

Ingredients

So, I decided to break the ice with a cupcake recipe I make all the time. I thought it would be a good way to see how it compares to my old oven in terms of baking times and such.

Baking

So far so good.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Really good!

Peanut Butter

And I made chocolate and peanut butter frostings to go with it.

Creamy

And whipped up some peanut butter cookies to go on top of it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

But, that was really just an excuse for me to try out some basic cookies in the oven, too.

So I stuck them on top of the cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Chips

I rolled chilled cookie dough into small balls and then rolled balls with peanut butter chips in my hand, instead of stirring them into the dough to make sure each little cookie was well covered in chips.

Frostings

Oh… and the frosting. Peanut butter and chocolate. I’m easy.

Place a decorator bag fitted with a 1M tip into a large glass and spoon even amounts of chocolate and peanut butter frosting on each side.

Frosting

Fill the bag, twist off the end and squeeze evenly until the frostings fill the tip.

IMG_0346

Then pipe pretty swirls.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake

And put a cookie in it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

And then take it out and eat the cookie.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

And then eat the cupcake.

Cupcake Wrappers

And then keep eating. I mean share with friends.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Servings: 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. peanut butter chips
  • FROSTINGS
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. FOR CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined. Add hot water and mix. It will be very liquid.
  4. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Pour into liner with a large spouted measuring cup for ease.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Cool and make the cookies.
  6. FOR COOKIES: Note: You can make these ahead of time.
  7. Beat butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes until creamy. Add the peanut butter, egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  8. In another bowl, stir the dry ingredients with a wire whisk and then add to the peanut butter mixture and stir until combined.
  9. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into small balls about an inch or so in diameter. Chill again if necessary and then roll in peanut butter chips.
  11. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes. Cool.
  12. FROSTINGS: For chocolate frosting, beat 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add 2 cups confectioner's sugar and cocoa and mix until combined. Add 1 Tablespoon milk and mix until creamy and smooth. For peanut butter frosting, beat 1/2 cup butter and 2/3 cup peanut butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add 2 cups confectioners sugar and mix until combined. Add 1 Tablespoon milk and mix until creamy and smooth. Fill a decorator bag fitted with a 1M tip with chocolate frosting on one half and peanut butter frosting on the other. Squeeze bag to force frosting into the tip and swirl frosting on cupcakes. Top with a little peanut butter cookie.
Source: Bakerella.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Inked in Sweets

Hey guys and YAY!!!!!! …… I feel like I need to scream that right now. I guess you’ve noticed a little lack of baking lately. I’m sorry about that. I’ve been away from the blog for a few weeks but everything is fine. (Thanks for your sweet emails asking if I was okay.) I’ve just been moving to a new house and my kitchen has been all packed up for a while. And on top of that, I’ve been without internet for almost two weeks, too. Can you say stir crazy? … Because that would be me. But they finally got it up and going last night. YAYAYAY! So now that I’m starting to get all settled in to my new space, I’m way excited to start baking again … and in a new oven.

In the meantime, how about a fun little giveaway now that I can finally blog again. It’s a pretty cute one.

Tattly Party Set

Have you heard of Tattly?

They’re designy temporary tattoos for adults and kids alike … plus they are totally cute.

Tattly

They’re like real, but fake.

And you can buy them in sets or singles.

I chose some that are sweet themed of course but there are tons of other cool and whimsical Tattly designs to choose from.

Tattly Party Set

These designs all come in the Party Set illustrated by Julia Rothman.

Tattly Birthday Set

Tattly Birthday Set

And these designs are in the Birthday Set illustrated by Mike Lowery.

You could totally use either set for a birthday though. Fun times.

Want to see some more sweets in single versions?

Popsicle Tattly

How about popsicles? These are fun because you can use all four as one tattoo or cut them into sections and use one at a time. Love these.

Ice Cream Tattly

Ice cream cone tattoos with sprinkles? Yes please.

Lollipop Tattly

What about lollipops?

Birthday Garland Tattly

Or Birthday Garland? Way fun.

Tattly

Want to win some?

Enter for a chance to win one of two Tattly sets including:
The Party Set, The Birthday Set plus the popsicles, ice cream cones, lollipops, and birthday garland.

  • To enter, just leave your answer to one of the questions below on this post.
  • Which one of the above temporary tattoos is your favorite (if any)? OR Do you have a real tattoo? and what is it? I’m curious.
  • Deadline to enter is Friday, August 16 at 8:00 pm ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winners announced below.
  • Two winners will be chosen at random and announced sometime Saturday.

Good Luck!

 

And we have two winners. Sorry, I didn’t get these posted last night but here they are.

Congratulations Kathy and Wendy M! I hope you have as much fun playing with these as I have.

Giveaway sponsored by me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nice Cream Giveaway

 

I’m giving away something nice today.

It’s silver and boxy. Short and sweet.

 

 

And it will help you make beautiful creamy creations right at home.

It’s the Cuisinart 2-quart ice cream maker.

Very Cool! Freezing, actually.

Want endless ice cream options? Sweet scoopable treats? Fun frozen flavors right at your fingertips?

I think yes. Because I know I totally want one, too. But first I’m giving away one. And to go along with it, a copy of Jeni’s Ice Creams at Home. I love this book and her ice cream, too! It’s soooo so good.

Here’s the scoop for a chance to win a Cuisinart 2-quart ice cream maker and the book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home:

  • To enter leave a comment on this post and share something fun you’ve done this summer.
  • Deadline to enter is Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 at 8:00 pm ET. Sorry guys…Time’s Up. Winner announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Wednesday evening.

Good luck!

Giveaway sponsored by me.

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

And now we have a winner. Congratulations Princess! Looks like it’s party time for you guys.

P.S. Thank you all for entering and sharing your summer.  You guys are having way too much fun.  It makes me smile reading your responses. Hugs!

 

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