Monday, January 5, 2015

Candy Jewel Pops

Candy Jewel Pops

I shape cake pops all the time by hand, but you can also use some candy molds to help you make them. So, today I thought I’d show you a fun way to use the Gems Mold from my product line with Make’n Mold that came out last year. I love how cute and perfect they turn out.

Bakerella for Make'n Mold

The flexible silicone mold makes six different shapes.

Bakerella Wafers

I went with three of my bright candy wafer colors to make these.

Candy Pops

I love the Sunny Yellow, but they look really great in just plain white, too.

You can make solid candy pops by simply filling the molds completely with melted candy wafers and inserting a lollipop stick after the coating starts to set a little.

Cake Pop Jewels

To prepare the molds for cake pops, fill each cavity with melted candy coating.

Then turn the entire mold upside down and let the excess coating fall back out onto a wax paper-covered baking sheet. You may need to gently shake it a little to help it fall.

This is an easy way to make sure that the entire inside of the mold gets coated. And when the excess coating on the wax paper starts to set, you can remove it to reheat.

Let dry completely or place the mold in the refrigerator to help set quickly.

Cake Pop Jewels

Now that you have an outer shell, press cake pop mixture into the coated cavity leaving enough room on top for more melted coating to seal and also touch and attach to the coating already on the inside of the cavity.

Before the coating starts to set, insert a cake pop stick straight in.

Place the mold back in the refrigerator to set again.

To remove pops, gently separate the lip of the mold from the candy and then carefully push the shape out of the mold from the bottom.

Keep in mind that if you shake out too much coating in the beginning, leaving a thin shell, that the pop may break when removing.

Coated Sunflower Seeds

You can also use the same technique to fill the mold with small candy like these coated sunflower seeds.

Surprise Inside Jewels

Just let your recipients know there’s something fun to expect inside… and maybe give them a bowl ; ), so when they bite in they don’t make a mess.

Jewel Candies

I probably wouldn’t make these into pops though. Just serve them as standalone surprise inside candies.

Enjoy!

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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.

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

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Snow Cute Sugar Cookie Squirrels

Squirrel Sugar Cookies

Snowy sweet squirrels. Hmmmm… or chipmunks maybe? No, I’m sticking with squirrels. Brown fluffy, furry squirrels with big beautiful tails.

Squirrel Cookie Cutter

I found this cute cutter last Christmas at Williams-Sonoma and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make cookies that would stand up to showcase that tall tail. And it only took me a year to get around to trying them out. I’m quick like that. I couldn’t find this exact cutter on their site anymore (boo) but here is a google image search of some other cutter examples if you want to try making some similar.

Cookie Stand

To make the cookie stand, I cut out circles from the dough that were wider than the base of the squirrel’s foot. Then I used a knife to cut a thin rectangular shape in the center. Once the shape is cut, remove the center piece and place the dough circle and squirrel shapes on a cookie sheet to bake.

(I used this sugar cookie and royal icing recipe. Just swap out 1/2 cup of the flour for 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa to make chocolate sugar cookies.)

Standing sugar cookie

YAY! It works. Ok… this is where I started to go nuts and get really excited picturing a snowy mound for him to stand on.

Note: once the circles come out of the oven, use a knife or narrow spatula to recut the opening as the cookie will spread some during baking. But while it’s warm, you can easily remove any excess to make sure the squirrels feet will fit. And if the opening is a little bit bigger, that’s great too.

Piping Sugar Squirrels

I wanted to add a few details to make him a little more interesting so I drew on the cookie with a black edible ink pen to use as a piping guide.

Now, I usually start getting really anxious right before I start piping because I think I’m going to mess up all of my cookies. Especially when I’m working with shapes like circles or squares or hearts – shapes that are supposed to be more symmetrical. But this shape, even though it looks more involved was actually easier for me because the piped lines could be a bit more forgiving than say a perfectly piped circle. Either that, or I’m finally starting to get a little better at piping.

Outline the bodies first with royal icing and then add a few drops of water to make the icing more fluid so you can easily fill the shape. I usually pipe with a decorator bag fitted with a #2 tip and then I use a small squeeze bottle to fill the inside with flood consistency icing.

PipingSugar Squirrels

It’s helpful to let things dry in between stages. With the second color (brown mixed with white and a little bit of yellow) pipe and fill the face and tummy.

Right after filling the face with royal icing, add a black coated sunflower seed and a black sugar pearl for an easy eye and nose.

Pipe and fill the rest of the tail with a darker shade of brown.

When the bodies are dry, pipe on a colorful scarf to keep your little squirrels warm and cozy.

Squirrel Sugar Cookies

I don’t have a step photo of this, but before assembling, add the final details by piping white royal icing for the mouth, ears and a dotted eye. You can also attach a jumbo snowflake sprinkle for him to hold by using more of the icing as glue.

Sugar Squirrels

To decorate the bases, pipe and fill the circles with white royal icing and attach a few jumbo snowflake sprinkles so they stand up. Then sprinkle with white sanding sugar while the icing is still wet.

Let the bases and squirrels dry completely before assembling.

Sugar Cookie Squirrels

To assemble, fill the opening with royal icing and place the squirrel in position to dry and set in place.
Scratch that! I cheated a little and just filled the center with melted white chocolate. It dries much faster. : ) Sprinkle a little more sanding sugar if necessary to cover any white chocolate that might overflow.

And, now, I’m thinking I should have piped a little fallen snow on the tops of their tails. Next time, maybe.

Squirrel Sugar Cookies

These were super fun and so cute … I mean snow cute to make!

Hope you enjoy them and have a safe, sweet and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tinsel and Twirl Giveaway

I have a sweet holiday giveaway for you today from my friend Cupcake Julie’s holiday shop… Tinsel and Twirl. Julie’s my friend who has the amazing holiday decorations for Christmas each year including the house-sized nutcrackers that she and her husband hand made (Check out this post and this one too). The first time I saw her decorations I was amazed by how many sweet-themed ornaments she had managed to find or even make! And I knew right away that my next tree would definitely have to be sugar coated.

Below are some of the ornaments on my tree right now that I have from her shop.

Ice cream cones, candy garland and cookie pops!

Cake Pops and Gingerbread houses!

Cute and colorful Gingerbread Boys… and girls!

Gumball glass ornaments.

And lots of these little guys. They’re fun and flexible and love to hang out on the tree.

Want to see more?

Here are some of her other decorations that I couldn’t resist.

So cute!

Want to sugar coat your tree, too?
Love sweet soldiers, need the cutest elves or the most adorable ornaments?

Visit Tinsel and Twirl to check it all out. If you see something you like, use discount code: BAKERELLA25 through Saturday, December 20th and get 25% off your entire order.

But wait…

I’m also giving away a $200 Tinsel and Twirl Gift Certificate for one lucky winner to shop for their favorites.

  • To enter for a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post and tell me the last gift you purchased for someone.
  • Deadline to enter is Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 12 midnight ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winner announced below.
  • One lucky winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Saturday on this post.

Good Luck!

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I’m excited to announce that the winner of the Tinsel and Twirl Giveaway is Comment #1020!

Congratulations Karen! Hope you have fun shopping all the sweet decorations and Happy Holidays!

Giveaway sponsored by me because I love this stuff. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Oh Deer! Mini Cupcakes.

IMG_0598

I thought it was time to cute up some cupcakes, so I made merry mini reindeers for you.

Chocolate covered chocolate cupcakes all dressed up for the holidays.

Oh deer! So cute.

To get started, we’re going to need a bunch of miniature cupcakes.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Okay. Done.

Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup hot water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line mini cupcake pans with 48 mini baking cups.
  • Sift dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add eggs and mix until combined.
  • Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Slowly add hot water and mix until combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners with batter about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes. Cool and decorate.

 

Chocolate Antlers

Next, we need a bunch of little antlers.

Drawing Antlers

I used my Chocolate Fudge Wafers, a toothpick and a template to make these.

Download and print the antler template I made and place it under wax paper. Then just trace it with a toothpick dipped in the melted chocolate.

Make the lines thick so they will be sturdier. Let them dry and then gently separate the antlers from the wax paper and safely set aside until ready to decorate.

Chocolate Reindeer Cupcake

To decorate, we’re going to dip the cupcakes in melted candy wafers.

But first, hold the chocolate antlers near their base and gently press them into the mini cupcake to create a hole. Remove the antlers and dip the cupcake. Then after dipping, immediately insert the antlers back into the holes you made and the coating will dry and hold them in place.

Reindeer Steps

Let’s look at that in steps.

  1. Put antlers in position and then remove.
  2. Dip mini cupcake tops in melted chocolate coating. Note: I added my Marshmallow White Candy Wafers to make a lighter brown color, so the antlers would stand out.
  3. Immediately place the antlers back in position.
  4. Before the coating sets, place two sugar eyes in position and a black jelly bean for a nose and let dry.

DIY Sugar Eyes

My DIY Sugar Eyes are fun to use for faces because you can have your eyes look in different directions.

I think it gives them character.

Reindeer Cupcake

See. This one is giving me the side eye.

Mini Reindeer Cupcakes

To finish them, use some a toothpick dipped in some of the leftover melted chocolate and draw on a sweet little smirk.

Reindeer Cupcakes

Or use the melted coating to attach pink confetti sprinkle cheeks and draw on eyelashes for girls.

Super cute!

Mini Reindeer Cupcakes

And of course, the group wouldn’t be complete without a red-nosed reindeer in the mix. I used a red sugar coated peanut for the nose, but a red M&M would be cute too.

Hope you like these little guys as much as I do.

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You can find my Bakerella for Make’n Mold Candy Wafers and DIY Sugar Eyes in stores at A.C. Moore Craft Stores or online directly from Make’n Mold.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Vanilla Vanilla

Vanilla Bean Doughnuts

We’re talking vanilla today. I know. I know. Something must be wrong when I don’t have chocolate all over my treats. But, no… I’m fine. I’m just loving on chocolate’s often overlooked sister with these beauties… Vanilla Bean Doughnuts from the book Pure Vanilla and a very vanilla giveaway.

Vanilla, but definitely not plain.

Dougnuts Rising

You know, I don’t work with dough and yeast nearly enough. But when I do I remember how much I love to watch it rise. It fascinates me.

Doughnut Dough

If doughnuts can be adorable – or adoughable (ha) – then this one definitely is.

I mean, look how cute and puffy it is.

Glazed Doughnuts

But not as cute as when it’s warm and bathed in vanilla bean icing.

I did have to fight my urge to decorate these with bright, colorful sprinkles though. What a pretty pretty backdrop that white would be.

But I didn’t. I refrained. I mean it would be a shame to cover up all those beautiful tiny vanilla bean specks in the icing don’t you think?

Dipping Doughnuts

Oh my. Send help.

Vanilla Bean Doughnut

Never mind. I’ve got this.

 

Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted – plus more for kneading
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying

glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let stand until the mixture is foamy, about five minutes. Whisk in the remaining two tablespoons sugar, milk, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, egg yolks, and butter. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and begin mixing on low speed.
  • Add flour and salt and mix for three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle often to keep the dough moving.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand several times, dusting with flour as needed. Place dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut out the doughnuts with a three inch doughnut cutter, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 30-45 minutes or until doughnuts have doubled in size.
  • Pour 2 1/2 inches of vegetable oil int a 4 or 5 quart pot and heat to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Fry doughnuts in batches of up to four at a time, until the are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side, turning only once. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • For the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, salt and vanilla bean seeds until smooth. Spoon glaze over warm doughnuts and serve.

Makes 12

© 2012 Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever, used with permission

Vanilla Vanilla Giveaway

Now, to help get you in the vanilla baking spirit, I have a fun very vanilla giveaway to share with you. We’re talking a TON of vanilla all courtesy of Vanilla from Tahiti.

  • 16 oz Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
  • 100 g Ground Vanilla Bean Powder
  • Vanilla Coffee
  • 20 6-inch Vanilla Beans
  • Tahitian Vanilla Sampler with ground vanilla, vanilla extract and Tahitian Vanilla Beans

That should keep you set in the kitchen for a while.

But that’s not all. It’s a double vanilla kind of day because the winner will also receive a signed copy of the book Pure Vanilla from my friend Shauna Sever. Yay and yum! And full of fun recipes like the ones below.

Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever

Vanilla Cloud Cake, Vanilla Lollipops, Twinkie Bundt Cake, Vanilla Waffles and much more.

Enter for a chance to win the Tahitian vanilla products and the book Pure Vanilla

  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me the last dessert you baked or sweet you made.
  • Deadline to enter is Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at midnight ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winner announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Thursday.

Good luck!

Giveaway items shared courtesy of Vanilla from Tahiti and Shauna Sever. 

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And the winner is Lisa!!!!! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy all the Vanilla from Tahiti when you bake.

 

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