Monday, May 19, 2014

Meringue Kisses

Meringue Kisses

So these were really fun to whip up. Cute. Colorful. Adorable.

And you only need two ingredients to make them. Unless you want to color them and then it’s only three. I like it.

I used the recipe from the New Meringue Girls Cookbook that releases in June, but you can preorder it now.  I received an early copy from my friends at Chronicle Books. I like sweet surprises.

Egg Whites

The Meringue Girls Mixture is super easy to remember. One part egg whites to two parts sugar.

(P.S. I’ve gotten used to photographing things one handed with my left hand turned backwards balancing the camera and holding ingredients in my right hand. I’m pretty proud of grabbing this one before the egg white dropped. I should use a tripod sometimes but I never do. I’m too impatient I guess.)

Superfine Sugar

Make the meringues with superfine sugar and heat the crystals in the oven for about 5 minutes so it will dissolve more quickly when added to the egg whites.

steps

Whisk away and then when ready for the sugar, add heaping spoonfuls of warm sugar one at a time to the whipped egg whites.

Meringue Mixture

Smooth and shiny.

You can leave your meringues marshmallowy white, you can flavor them and color them, too.

Making meringues

For stripes of color, turn a piping bag inside out and brush on stripes of food coloring.

Carefully turn it back and fill with meringue.

Striped Kises

Then snip off the end and pipe little kisses.

Kisses

Or for solid color kisses, gently fold the color into the meringue mixture until combined.

Meringue Kisses

Pretty and fun.

Just like the Meringue Girls.

Check out their videos below on how to make and color meringue. These two London girls are as cute as their confections.

Meringue Girls Mixture from Deneemotion / Denee Media Films on Vimeo.

Colouring & Piping Meringue Kisses from Deneemotion / Denee Media Films on Vimeo.

And here’s a peek inside the Meringue Girls Cookbook full of decadent desserts and colorful confections.

MERINGUE GIRLS

Meringue Kisses

Servings: three dozen kisses

Ingredients

  • 300 g superfine sugar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 150 g egg whites (from about 5 eggs)
  • food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, pour in sugar and bake for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees F until the edges just begin to melt.
  2. Meanwhile, pour egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer (make sure it’s clean) fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low allowing bubbles to form, increase to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form and you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.
  3. Remove the sugar from the oven and begin whisking again at high speed. Add one big spoonful at a time, ensuring that the whties come back to stiff peaks after each addition. Once all the sugar is added, continue to whisk for 5 - 7 minutes. You should be able to rub the mixture between your fingers and not feel any grit from the sugar. You know it’s ready to use when it forms a smooth shiny peak on the tip of your finger.
  4. Decrease oven temperature to 200 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a dab of meringue on four corners of pan and press paper on top to hold it down flat.
  5. To stripe kisses, turn piping bag inside out and paint on 4-5 stripes of food coloring. Roll the bag so the painted side is inside and carefully spoon in meringue mixture so it is packed in tightly. Snip off the tip of the piping bag about an inch in diameter and pipe kisses on baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 200 degrees for 30-40 minutes until the kisses can easily be lifted off the parchment paper with bases in tact. Let cool completely. Meringues stored in an airtight container will keep for up to two weeks.
Source: Adapted from The Meringue Girls Cookbook, 2014 published by Chronicle Books
Monday, May 12, 2014

Mom Approved!

Lemony Lemonies

These may not look like all that much at first glance, but let me tell you they are fantastic! They’re little lemon brownies or lemonies. My mom found them on Pinterest and said she wanted me to make some for her right away. So I came up with this version to give her on Mother’s Day.

These are such a refreshing treat.  A dense, tangy, cakey little bite of bliss. And it pains me to say that I might even choose them over chocolate. I know crazy, but they are that tasty. My mom loved them and so did I. Warning… they won’t last long so load up on lemons and be prepared to make a second batch.

Lemons

Pucker up. These pack the perfect amount of lemony punch. A combination of fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest.

Lemon Zest

Zesty!

Lemon brownie steps

The ingredients are mixed in one bowl and stirred by hand. Nice!!!

Glazing

And after they’re baked and cooled, they’re topped with a tangy lemony glaze.

Perfection.

Lemon brownies

 

Lemon Bites

Lemon Brownies may not be the right name because they’re like the opposite of chocolate. And lemon bars don’t really work since that dessert is already taken. (Speaking of lemon bars, I think you’ll like this recipe, too.) Lemonies is a cute name that some recipes used. I think I like that best. Lemony Lemonies it is. Thank you for the recipe inspiration Pinterest and for helping me make my mom happy.

Sink your teeth into these right away. You won’t regret it.

And here’s more variations on Pinterest.

Lemony Lemonies

Servings:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, almost completely melted and then cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • - - - - - - - - - - -
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square pan or line pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray to easily lift brownies out of pan.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and zest together using a wire whisk.
  3. Add melted butter, lemon juice, eggs and vanilla and stir until completely combined.
  4. Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.
  5. Remove from oven and cool.
  6. For lemon icing, sift powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and zest and stir until completely combined and smooth. Pour over lemonies and let rest until icing sets. You can also place in the fridge to speed things up.
  7. Cut into 16 or 25 small bars.
  8. Enjoy! P.S. I think they're even better slightly chilled for a few minutes.
Source: © 2014 Bakerella.com

 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Flower Bouquet Cake Pops

Flower Bouquet Cake Pops

I’m sharing these easy flower bouquets today… just in time for Mother’s Day.

There are endless ways to make flower cake pops. I’m blown away by all the amazing designs you guys have created and it makes my heart happy to see how much fun this website has inspired and how creative everyone’s cake pop designs have become. You can use candies for petals, flower cookie cutters to shape your dough, molds to make flowering attachments, fondant for flower petal details, you can pipe swirly tops on roses and even use cupcake wrappers as backers to do most of the decorating. Then you can gift them grouped together for a beautiful bouquet. I bet if you did a search for flower cake pops, you’d be busy for days at all the different ways you can celebrate cake and flowers combined into one cute little treat.

Well here’s another little way that brings cute and cake together. In this design the cake pop is its own bouquet. Give them in a group piped in pastel colors or simply share them individually with a sweet little tag and make someone smile… like Mom! These would even be cute for baby or bridal showers or weddings with coordinating colors. So many options and the best part is they are easy to decorate.

Crumbling cake

You’ll need to make basic cake pops. Crumbled cake, mixed with frosting and rolled into bite-size balls.

BASIC HOW-TO HERE.

Then it’s time to get down to decorating.

Dipping Cake Pops

First up, dip your stick about two inches in green candy coating and let start to dry. Then insert the dipped tip about halfway into a slightly flattened cake ball.

When dry, dip the uncoated cake ball in melted candy wafers in the color of your choice and let dry. Then dot on more melted coating with a toothpick or squeeze bottle. I used a toothpick and dotted it on. These can be random sizes and shapes.

Piping petals

There’s no need for perfection because we’re going to swirl on more coating to resemble petals… or at least insinuate petals. At this scale, tiny little swirls are all you really need. Again, I used a toothpick dipped in melted candy coating that I made lighter by mixing with white wafers. I let the coating drip off the toothpick and used the coating that was dangling to land on the pop and then swirl in a circular motion to draw. Does that make sense. I wish I had a live action shot or at least a fourth hand so I could have taken a pic, but it’s easy. Just start playing and you’ll get it. The key is fluid coating so you can make thin lines.

Flower Bouquet Cake Pops

To finish the stems, use a toothpick dipped in remaining melted green candy wafers to layer on more stems for bulk.

Then if you want a little more detail, apply more random dots of coating and drop nonpareils on the cake pop over a large dish to reuse any that fall off. Wrap the stems in ribbon to make them super sweet.

If you’ve made flower cake pops, share a link below, I’d love to see what you’ve been doing!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sweets for People

I don’t have one recipe for you today. Nope not one.

But how does six sound?

Pretty sweet I hope and I wanted to tell you where you can find them. I’ve been working with my friends over at People.com for the last several weeks to revisit some of their celebrity recipes and it’s been fun to be featured on the site. Below are six sweet switch ups I’ve created for them so far. Hope you like them and if you want to keep up with me over there, follow me or People’s Great Ideas on twitter for my latest treats.

But for now… enjoy these sweet links.


 

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies.
These cookies with a kick were the latest recipe they featured. So good. A little spicy and a whole lot of yum!

 


 

Bunny Bark.
I made this easy treat leading up to Easter. Still perfect for spring and summer or you can switch it up with other candies and colors for any occasion.

 


 

Boozy Birthday Cake Shakes.
Ice cream, sprinkles and a little cake flavored fun to celebrate.

 


 

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes.
I love chocolate and bananas and I love them even more in pancakes stacked and covered in syrup.

 


 

Brownie Bon Bons.
Quick and easy brownie balls dipped and covered in confetti sprinkles. A party in every bite. The instructions will work with any basic brownie recipe (homemade or from a box). There’s no frosting needed since brownies are already so moist and fudgy on their own.

 


 

Monster Cookie Bars.
These big bars are chocked full of chips, candies and even cranberries. Mix them up with your favorite add-ins.

And coming up next week……… Nutella Cinnamon Roll Muffins. So yum yum!

Enjoy.

Monday, April 21, 2014

So Peanutty! Peanut Butter Cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

These little cookies are soooo good and they were the perfect way to use up all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs I happen to have………Except I can’t stop eating them myself. Help!

Reese's Eggs

Reese’s always seems to make an appearance around the house during Easter… and Christmas … and Valentine’s Day. Just about any day there’s a reason to celebrate. I’d definitely say they are my go to candy.

eggs

Sweet little peanut butter eggs… ALL chopped up!!!

But these cookies are jam-packed with even more peanut power.

Peanutty!

Creamy peanut butter and chopped peanuts round these cookies out.

Cookie Dough

The dough is to die for.

Cookie Dough

Use a cookie scoop for evenly sized cookies. Place scooped dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Then roll each scoop in chopped peanuts and sugar and bake away.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Just a few minutes in the oven …

Cookie Bite

and then these soft little bites of peanut butter yumminess can jump in your mouth.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Peanutty Peanut Butter Cookies

Servings: 32 2-inch cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 oz. bag Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped into small pieces. (Note: I used about 15 snack size eggs)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy, about two minutes.
  4. Mix in peanut butter, egg and vanilla until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix on low until combined.
  6. Stir in chopped peanut butter candies and half of chopped peanuts (reserve remaining)
  7. Use a cookie scoop to place dough on baking sheet a couple of inches apart.
  8. Roll the top of each scoop in reserved peanuts and more sugar.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove, cool and enjoy.
Source: © 2014 Bakerella.com
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