Wednesday, May 20, 2009


In addition to the cookies and truffles I made for the bake sale here are a few pictures of the scones I made.  I finished them last night around - surprise - 10:30pm... kinda early for me!! The first picture are oatmeal cherry scones with lemon icing.  The second picture are oatmeal chocolate chip toffee scones drizzled with milk chocolate.  Both unique but equally delicious!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I know... more truffles!

I am hoping to take a cake decorating class in the near future - but until then  you'll have to settle for these bite size treats! The ones with sprinkles are chocolate cake truffles and then I made peanut butter truffles dipped in chocolate then rolled in crushed peanuts and peanut butter truffles dipped in milk chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate.  I really could have you used you here this weekend Kelly!! :-)

Bake Sale!!

What a perfect excuse to do a ton of baking, a bake sale! My husband Josh has one coming up at his work this week and I of course jumped at the chance to make lots of sweets so I could eat them and then get rid of them!!! Naturally not wanting to go overboard I decided to make chocolate chip toffee cookies (yes they are as good as they sound), peanut butter truffles, chocolate cake truffles and oatmeal cherry scones with lemon icing... that's not too much right????? If Kelly were here we'd be making twice as much!  Okay, so the bake sale is tomorrow - so far I have completed the cookies and the truffles.  Here are some pictures of the cookies...I know you want some!!!  I will upload the truffle pics in a separate posting.  Oh yeah - and here you can see my attempt at cursive piping with white chocolate - and just so you know - the heart stands for sisterly love people - Kelly and I are both happily married - to men! :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cake Decorating 101

I have been taking cake decorating classes for a couple of months now. Let me first say, it is so much fun - I absolutely love it! With that being said, let me also say this means I am up to my ears in frosting. I always try to find some use for my cakes - I don't want them in our house! So my co-workers may have gained some weight recently :-) When a recent birthday arrived for a member of our family, I jumped all over the opportunity to bake and decorate their birthday cake.
Let me describe the cake to you first ( you may want to close your eyes here) : 4 layers of homemade, rich, moist chocolate cake, separated by a melt-in-your mouth chocolate frosting (also homemade). Okay, you can open your eyes now and wipe the drool off your chin! But seriously, it was delicious. It reminded me of a molten chocolate lava cake...yum! Now staying true to my style, I was up late the night before baking the cake and making the frosting (Maybe 1 or so...not too bad :-) )
The next day, I thought that I would have enough time to frost and decorate the cake during my daughter's nap and have the cake ready for the party that evening. As you can see by the photos, I did have the cake set, but literally only with about 5 minutes to spare. (This was a little source of tension between my husband and I). I guess what happened is that I had so many things that I wanted to do and incorporate into the cake. I guess some people would call that "unrealistic expectations". I'm an overachiever, what can I say? But, as you can see I was able to include several different techniques that I have learned : the rose, the swirl flower, shell and star borders. I am the most proud of the roses- a lot goes in to those babies! Each petal is made by hand!!!
So despite my late night and running around like a chicken with my head cut off the day of the party, I would call this a success. It all worked out- the cake made it on time and the birthday girl was happy. I mean maybe I should try to start my projects a little bit more in advance, but I worry....maybe I don't work as well if I am not under pressure!!! But, maybe I should try- atleast for my husband's sake :-)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fondant Fun

Okay, so as Megan already said, my first experience with fondant was for her son's first birthday. And I was intriqued to say the least.....I had seen the pictures of her sister's cake and then after witnessing the Curious George cake first-hand, I figured, why not??? And why not try it for my daughter's first birthday, when I am already trying to prepare for a birthday party for 60 people??? I was definitely working under a bit of pressure. So I decided to tackle making a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed cake. And with sticking with our name, I did not start the whole process until after my daughter was in bed, so I was up until well after midnight getting the cake set for the party the next day. Now let me admit, it was A LOT of work and A LOT of fun!!! It was far from perfect- there were folds and wrinkles ....I thought the worst part was covering the cake layers in fondant. Rolling and coloring that fondant was NO fun! After that, it was like working with playdough. I also describe it as scrapbooking on a cake. 
So I found myself totally getting into the decorating. My favorite part of the cake was the actual clubhouse that I made out of fondant and placed it on the side of the cake. The best part was knowing that I had made the cake for her. It was a white cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. I got a lot of satisfaction knowing that I had baked and decorated the cake to celebrate my daughter's very special day! But, I think that next time I want to use fondant just for fun, with no deadlines or pressure!!

First Time with Fondant..

Okay, I confess, I probably watch the Food Network Channel a little too much. Particularly any shows/challenges to do with baking, especially cakes! Finally I decided I had watched enough Food Network Cake Challenges that I was ready to play with this fondant stuff on my own. I decided that I wanted to decorate a cake with fondant for my son's first birthday party. So of course I needed to make at least one before the party to practice. My practice cake was my twin sister's (Sara) 30th Birthday cake. Believe me - it was FAR from perfect!  Lot's of unevenness, bumps, cracks and just plain imperfections. In fact - the pictures look better than the actual cake did. But most importantly - it was FUN!! I have decided that fondant is basically play-doh for adults, except it is sweet! So about a month later - with Kelly by my side I tackled my son's birthday cake. It came out better than I expected, I definitely owe this to Kelly's presence and moral support in the kitchen at the time. Of course - one of the things I was most proud of was the fact that I had made both cakes from scratch. My sister's cake was a white cake with raspberry buttercream and my son's cake was a yellow cake with strawberry buttercream!  Both were quite yummy if I do say so myself! Of course I forgot to mention the time factor involved in both of these cakes.. Sara's I started at around 8pm - so of course in keeping with the theme of this blog I finished it close to midnight! The Curious George cake however I started at 9am - and as a result finished it around 12:30pm - about 30minutes before the party began!!! Whew, that was a close one!! Alright enough about me what you really need to see is the first fondant covered cake that Kelly made - AWESOME!! A Mickey Mouse cake for her daughter's first birthday party!! Okay Kelly - the ball is in your court now - Let's see the cake and hear all the fun and gory details!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Truffles, Truffles and More Truffles!

It's 11pm on a Friday night, what are you doing? Well, we were busy making chocolate cake truffles for a baby shower.  Having started this fun project at 11pm we didn't wrap till 2am, but it was so worth it!  Just look at those cute little truffles - almost too cute to eat - but not quite!  In the beginning we really enjoyed the meticulous placement of each sprinkle but to be honest with you at 2am all bets were off.  We decorated with blue and white candy melts in honor of the baby boy about to be born and piped his first initial "F" in chocolate.  Well let's be honest, Kelly piped the pretty letters while I continued to sprinkle away!