Sunday, February 8, 2015

30 Valentine’s Day Worthy Treats

I rounded up a bunch of fun treats for the fourteenth. If you’re looking for something yummy, cute or chocolatey to make for your sweetheart this Saturday, then check out the links below. The list is a mix of some of my favorite past Valentine’s Day desserts plus some straight up chocolate decadence, too. Enjoy!

 

LOVE Cake Pops

1. Mini Cake Pops Display

 

Assorted Box of Cake

2. Box of chocolates cake

 

Chocolate Truffles

3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

 

 

Big Love

5. Big Love Butterscotch Cookie

 

Fourteen Layer Cake

6. Fourteen Layer Cake

 

Meringue Kisses

7. Meringue Kisses

 

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8. Cha Cha Chocolates

 

Cheesecake Pops

9. Cheesecake Pops

 

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10. Red Velvet Cake

 

Cookie Stands

11. Sugar Cookie Dessert Stands

 

Puppy Love Mini Cupcakes

12. Puppy Love Mini Cupcakes

 

Whale Cookie Valentine Treats

13. Whale Cute Sugar Cookies

 

S'mores Brownies

14. S’mores Brownies

 

Strawberry Cake Pops

15. Strawberry Cake Pops

 

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16. Valentine Bear Cake Pops

 

Candy Cupcake Toppers

17. Sweet Shape Candy Cupcake Toppers

 

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18. Cookie Molds

 

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

19. Itty-Bitty Brownie Bites

 

Kit Kat Cream Cheese Brownies

20. Kit Kat Cream Cheese Brownies

 

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

21. Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

 

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

22. Melty Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 

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23. Cupid’s Arrow Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

24. Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

 

Mocha Brownie Milkshakes

25. Brownie Mocha Milkshakes

 

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26. Vintage Valentine Cookies

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cake
27. Peanut Butter Cup Cake

 

Give Someone A Big Kiss

28. Oreo Kisses

 

S'mores Cupcakes

29. S’mores Cupcakes

 

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30. Big Kiss Cake Pops

 

Hugs and Kisses and Happy Valentine’s Day this Saturday. Hope it’s the sweetest!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sweet Shapes Candy Cupcake Toppers

Sweet Shapes Candy Cupcake Toppers

I have another easy little project to share with you today using candy wafers and one of the candy molds in my Bakerella for Make’n Mold line. If you liked the candy jewel pops from a few weeks ago, then I think you’ll enjoy this project too.

It’s a fun way to make the cutest candy cupcake toppers … perfect for your sweetheart!

First, we’ll need this Sweet Shapes Candy Mold.

Bakerella for Make'n Mol

Here’s a glimpse of the super cute packaging.

Bakerella Candy Wafers

We’ll also need some candy wafers in happy colors. Melt them and you are ready to go.

Painting candy molds

Okay, let’s get some melted candy in this mold. You can take the easy road and fill the shapes with just a couple of colors …(or even just one) in no time, but I wanted to show you how fun they could be using all the colors in the product line.

To fill in the mold, use a toothpick dipped in the melted candy wafers to draw in defined areas. If you’re filling in larger areas with one color, you could spoon it in carefully or use a squeeze bottle to pipe it into the mold.

Painting candy molds

Then layer on more colors until the mold cavity is full. (This takes a little longer than just using one or two colors, but the great thing about these is you can make the toppers ahead of time.) Make sure to let each color set before adding another color on top. When finished, pop the mold in the fridge for a few minutes to set.

They don’t look like much here, BUT…

Sweet Shapes Candy Mold

…When you turn them over, they’ll look as sweet as can be.

Sweet Shapes Candy Mold

I mean, look at that cute little bear with his perfectly pink paws. Oh my gosh.

I illustrated these shapes and it’s so fun to see them evolve from a two dimensional drawing on the computer to an adorable edible 3d version.

Sweet Shapes Candies

To remove the shapes, give the mold a little twist, then turn the mold over and let them release on to your counter. You can do this over a dishtowel also to help prevent any from breaking. If some don’t want to pop right out, then twist again and gently lift them out by the edge, one at a time.

Making cupcake toppers

To turn them into cupcake toppers, just dip a toothpick in more melted candy wafers and attach it to the back of each candy shape and let dry.

That’s it. Super easy.

Cupcakes

I like placing these toppers on vanilla frosted cupcakes so the colorful candies really stand out.

Candy Cupcake Toppers

Leave them just like this or add a few pastel sprinkles around the edge of the cupcake to spruce them up a little more.

They’ll make the sweetest Valentine’s Day treat!

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Below are the Bakerella for Make’n Mold products used in this post if you want to give them a go.

You can find them in stores at A.C. Moore Crafts.

Or, if there’s not a retail location in your area, you can also order online from Make’n Mold at the links below.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Groundhog Cupcakes

Happy Groundhog Day!!! I know it’s late in the game to make these little guys, but I had a last minute idea for them this weekend using some fave candies and I didn’t want to a year to see how they might turn out. Bookmark these cuties if you want to make them next year for Groundhog Day… or I guess if you need any Beaver cupcake inspiration, then the faces could come in handy for that too. ; )

Now, I couldn’t be more ready for Spring. I’m hoping for a cloudy morning when Punxsutawney Phil pokes his little head out this morning. If he sees his shadow, then he’s predicted another six weeks of wintery weather.

But regardless if he’s right are not, I hope these little guys make you smile.

Here’s how to make them.

Cupcakes and candy

You can use the chocolate cupcake and frosting recipe below to get started.

Then you just need to organize your candies to decorate.

Candies

  • Hershey’s Chocolate Drops for cheeks and paws
  • Brown M&M’s for ears
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups for heads
  • Black coated sunflower seeds for noses
  • Chocolate wafer cookies crumbled up for dirt

Candy Eyes

Groundhog faces

  • To make the faces, first separate the peanut butter cups from the wrappers, but leave on so you can move them around without getting chocolate on your fingers.
  • Use a toothpick dipped in some melted chocolate coating to act as glue and attach the candies. Place two Hershey’s Drops in the middle.
  • Then dot on more coating and attach the nose, and two candy eyes.
  • For the teeth, take the marshmallow bits, press them together flat for teeth and attach them with melted coating.
  • Draw on eyes using a black edible ink pen and let dry.
  • If they cups started to warm up from your touch, place them in the fridge for a few minutes while you frost the cupcakes.

Decorating groundhogs

  • Frost the cupcakes using an offset spatula. Apply the frosting around the sides of the cupcake with a downward motion using the offset spatula, leaving a “well” in the center.
  • Roll or press the frosted sides of the cupcake into chocolate wafer cookie crumbs for the soil.
  • Place a groundhog face gently in the center until secure. You can coerce the crumb coated frosting around the base to help hold it in place if necessary.
  • Then attach two M&M’s in position for ears with more melted chocolate as glue and let dry.

Groundhog Cupcakes

Finally, take two more Hershey’s drops and place on each side of the groundhog’s face for paws.

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CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown 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 whole milk
1/2 cup hot water
FROSTING
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Fill cupcake tray with 18 cupcake liners.
  • 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.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Pour into liner with a large spouted measuring cup for ease.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
  • For chocolate frosting, beat 1 cup butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and cocoa and mix until combined. Add 1-2 Tablespoons milk and mix until creamy and smooth.
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Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Super cute!!! Here’s hoping for an early spring!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls and this weekend these were the perfect comfort food. Or comfort dessert that is.

Dough swirled with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Yes, yes. yes.

These are basic cinnamon rolls … basic yum … with vanilla icing. But you can also try these chocolate cinnamon rolls or pumpkin pecan cinnamon rolls if you like them jazzed up a bit.

Dough

Prepare the dough and let it rise per the recipe below before rolling it out.

Rolling dough

Then roll it into a roughly 14 X 24 inch rectangular shape.

Brown sugar

Cover with melted butter and brown sugar.

Cinnamon Filling

Then sprinkle on cane sugar and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Roll Filling

Then you are ready to roll. Start from the back and roll toward you to create a long spiraled cylinder.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

Like so. And like so pretty!

Cinnamon Roll Slices

Slice the dough into 18 equal sections about 1 1/4 – 1/2 inches thick.

Butter two square pans and place 9 pieces in each. I like using disposable aluminum pans with lids for these.

Cinnamon Roll Dough Rising

Let the cut rolls rise again in a warm place for about 45 minutes before baking.

Cinnamon Rolls

Remove them from the oven and cover with vanilla icing while the buns are still warm.

Yum!!

 

CINNAMON ROLLS WITH VANILLA ICING

Makes 18 cinnamon rolls

DOUGH
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg

CINNAMON FILLING
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

VANILLA TOPPING
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 tablespoons whole milk

PREPARE THE DOUGH:

  • Heat milk and butter in a small heatproof bowl in the microwave until warm. Stir in sugar.
  • Transfer milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Sprinkle yeast on top of warm milk mixture and let rest for 2 minutes. Gently stir together.  (Note: temperature of liquid should between 100-110 degrees when using Fleischmann’s and between 120-130 degrees for Red Star active dry yeast.)
  • Add 3 cups of the flour, salt and egg and mix on low until combined.
  • Switch to the mixer’s dough hook. Add remaining cup of flour and knead dough for a few minutes until it pulls away from the bowl. If needed, add another tablespoon of flour to help all the dough completely pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Spray a medium bowl with non-stick spray.
  • Remove dough from mixing bowl. Knead dough a couple of times by hand and then shape into a ball. Place in coated bowl and turn over to coat each side.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise in a warm spot for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. If dough reaches top of the bowl, punch down.

FOR THE FILLING:

  • Butter two 8 X 8 inch pans.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Keep extra flour handy to coat your rolling pin, hands and work surface if needed. Roll into a roughly 14 X 24 inch rectangular shape with the longest side closest to you. Roll so that the dough is almost 1/4 inch thick.
  • Drizzle melted butter on dough, spread around to coat, leaving about a 1/2 inch uncoated along the edges. Sprinkle both sugars and cinnamon all over surface of the dough.
  • Starting from the side opposite you, roll dough tightly towards you to form a long cylinder of dough. At the end, pinch the seams together and turn so the long seam side is down. If needed, gently squeeze or shape the dough to help form more equal size cinnamon rolls. Cut dough shape into 18 1-1/2 inch sections with a serrated knife and place nine cinnamon rolls in each pan. There will be a little space between each roll.
  • Let rolls rise a second time in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and then bake rolls for 15-17 minutes.

COVER WITH TOPPING: While the rolls are baking, prepare the vanilla topping. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in melted butter, vanilla and milk until completely smooth. Remove rolls from the oven and pour topping evenly over cinnamon rolls while warm.

Notes:

  • You can also bake these cinnamon rolls the next morning. After placing cut rolls in the pans, refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, let the rolls rise in the pans in a warm spot for the second time (45-60 minutes) before baking.
  • For a maple topping: Make the vanilla topping above and use 1 teaspoon maple flavoring instead of vanilla.
  • For a cream cheese topping: Beat 4 oz softened cream cheese and 2 tablespoons room temperature butter until smooth. Add 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Then add 3-4 tablespoons milk until smooth.
  • If you like your topping thicker, add more confectioners’ sugar or thinner, add a little more milk.

 

Vanilla Glazed

Enjoy!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A peek inside my pantry

Pantry

I finally organized my pantry and I’m super excited about it. If you follow me on instagram, you may remember the photo below that I posted several weeks ago.

Before

This is my out-of-control pantry, but it barely has any food in it. It’s 95% dedicated to baking and decorating supplies and it’s looked a lot like this since I moved in about a year and a half ago. I’ve just never taken the time to focus on organizing it.

Pantry Clutter

Cookie cutter chaos, overflowing bins, baking cups everywhere. A ton of space, but somehow no place to put anything… let alone find anything when I need it.

But now that’s changed because I recently partnered with Target to use some of their storage solutions to spruce up my space. It was a perfect opportunity to work with them since I’ve been using their plastic bins for years to stack and store my stuff.

But now… oh my gosh. I’m so excited about this space.

Want to see the after?

Pantry After

Aaaaaaaahhh! I LOVE it! My friend Julie came over and helped with the final arranging and now I keep walking in and staring at everything with my heart all fluttery. I think I could even sleep in here … especially now that I can find the floor.

If you want to take a closer look, I’ve included lots of pictures and links to the Target products below in case you like any of the items I used. (And if you have any storage solution ideas you want to share, I’m all ears.)

Let’s start with that bar cart in the back. I bought it from Target a while ago to put supplies on when I work on a project and I can’t wait to finally use it again.

Canvas Bins

For the new items, I went shopping in the store and online. I found these fabric bins to organize things like regular and mini baking cups, cake boards and more.

Pom Poms

I added pom poms to the ring pulls to decorate the fronts.

Y-Weave Bin

These cute y-weave baskets came in super handy to store things like my candy molds…

Y-Weave Bin

Colorful straws …

Cookie Cutter Sets

… and my collection of cookie cutter tins. I love the pattern.

Organizers

For individual cookie cutters, I found these 3-Drawer Organizers to store them in and I added washi tape to the fronts to give them a little color.

Cookie Cutter Storage

Each drawer is organized by theme. Easter, Christmas, Halloween, hearts, animals and sweets. What I love about these is that I can easily remove the individual drawers to carry.

Cake Pop Stands

Here are some of my cake pop and cupcake stands now all stacked up. YAY!

Paper Straws

I used these utensil holders to put pretty paper straws on display.

Chevron Bin

I love this chevron bath basket for my candy wafers. It makes it easy to grab the color I need. It’s actually a baby item, but I couldn’t resist the design.

Bowls

I only have a handful of props to organize … thank goodness.

Wire Baskets

These tall wire baskets came in handy for yarn and paper filler.

Cake Pops by Bakerella

And I finally found a place to put my Cake Pops books and kit on permanent display.

Cake Pop Sticks

These easy-to-access glass containers keep my lollipop sticks cozy.

Luster dust

Here’s another three-drawer organizer that I decorated with more washi tape. I’m using it for luster dust, plus powdered and gel food coloring and candy flavoring.

Pantry

The four small bins in the upper right hold small items like miniature spoons. You can write on the pink fronts with a dry erase marker but I decided to leave them blank. I also used the medium size bins to hold ribbon and treat bags and twist ties.

Carry Tote

I found this small tote basket great to carry bottles in. It’s holding colored cocoa butters for now.

Magazine Holders

I was going to print out labels for these magazine holders, but instead I just used bright green washi tape to cover the cardboard insert for a little pop of color.

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons and ice cream containers. I bought the egg cartons a while ago to package mini cupcakes in. Now that I can see them, maybe I’ll finally use them.

Glitter

Here’s a small kitchen organizer I’m using to hold glitter. I liked the size of it and the bottom was teal. So basically I had to get it.

Glass Jars

I wish I had more of these glass jars. Love them!

Mini Marshmallow Bits

P.S. I think I’m set on mini marshmallow bits. : )

Candy Storage

These are some of the thirteen storage bins that I already had. They are filled with all kinds of candy that I keep for reference. At one time they were organized by pastel and primary colors. But the contents kept growing. I guess going through these will be my next project.

Sprinkle Storage

If you are wondering where my sprinkles are, they hang out upside down in two of my kitchen drawers so I can see them all at a glance. They used to be in several plastic bins this way, but I love having them handy in the kitchen.

Pantry

Here’s a last view of the main wall from the left…

Pantry

and the right!

Bake

Thanks for peeking inside my pantry. And now that I’m all organized, it’s time to bake!

This post is a collaboration with Target.

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