Friday, March 27, 2009
When I make cards, I tend to either make them one at a time, or end up with a series of cards that all look similiar. I was a little nervous about being able to offer my client (I love that word, by the way!) a broad range of cards that she would be able to use. I wanted to make sure that there was a card in there for everyone on her list.
This card was one of the Birthday cards that I created. I have loved this cow stamp (part of an older Stampin' Up set) as long as I have had it, but I definitely have not used it enough in the past 8 years.
Even though the card includes flowers on the patterned paper (though, they could be sunbursts) and a ribbon, I still believe it is neutral enough to serve as a birthday card for men.
You can see some of the other 23 cards at my flickr.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The cupcakes themselves are chocolate with cookie pieces baked inside. They are a little denser than I would like, but taste awesome. If you gave these to someone without telling them that they were vegan, they would never know.
I used the vanilla buttercream recipe, and instead of using crushed cookies in the frosting, I placed a cookie half on top as a garnish.
This is my new favorite frosting recipe. It is so darned good, and I think a little less toothache inducing than some other buttercreams.
All in all, they were delicious and I can't wait to try another recipe from the book.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Originally, I was going to make the cupcakes look like Cookie Monster (if you read a lot about cupcakes on the internet, you've probably seen these already). However, I ran out of time so I went with something more Cookie Monster inspired.
I started with Martha's one bowl chocolate recipe as the base for the cupcakes. Each cupcake got a bit of semi-frozen cookie dough added in, pre-baking.
Unfortunately, something went wrong somewhere with this recipe. I think that I either overmixed the batter or the cookie dough wasn't frozen thoroughly. The cookie dough ended up baking pretty much into a little cookie and the chocolate cake did not rise nearly enough- so it ended up being dense instead of light and fluffy.
The frosting is a simple vanilla buttercream, tinted blue. I topped the cupcakes off with chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookies pieces.
Regardless of the issue with the cupcake batter, they still tasted quite good. I think I will try this again, with frozen cookie dough and a more watchful eye on the batter mixing.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Annnnd....after a brief (hah) 3 month hiatus, we're back! Life kind of got in the way lately (new job, play, the holidays, etc), but I can assure you that I have been baking and crafting over the past three months. I'm going to try to play catch up and post about some things I did in Nov-Feb, but for now how about something current?
My husband and I have been in a play for the past five weeks (closing is this weekend), and last weekend one of our castmates had a party. She decided to have a pot luck, so obviously I chose to bring dessert. Originally I was going to decorate the cupcakes using details from my character, but I ran out of time.
I've been wanting to try my hand at a Faux-stess cupcake (faux Hostess cupcake) for some time now. I love Hostess Cupcakes. I don't think there was ever a time when I didn't like them, but when my husband and I started going on road trips together they were the perfect treat. Two to a pack, so we could split them, and not something we ate on an every day basis.
My husband asked me to make extras (for a coworkers) birthday, so I decided to make the cupcakes in both chocolate and orange flavors (I know the Hostess site says "golden" but I swear those suckers taste orange to me).
I used a Martha Stewart 1 Bowl chocolate cake recipe for the chocolate cupcakes. I was a little iffy on the cupcakes when I put them into the oven- but holy cats were they awesome after baking! This is probably the best chocolate cupcake I have made. They were light, fluffy, and really flavorful.
For the orange cupcakes, I modified a recipe from Wilton for Golden Yellow cupcakes by using 1/2 orange extract and 1/2 vanilla extract (instead of only vanilla). They came out pretty well- light, fluffy, flavorful- but I might cut back a tiny bit on the orange if I make them again.
After baking the cupcakes (each recipe yielded 24 cupcakes), and allowing them to cool, I used the cone method to fill the cupcakes. I definitely need a little more practice with this method but it wasn't hard.
I used a recipe from Baking Bites for the filling, and while it tasted just fine, I'm not sure I would use it again. It called for thickening milk with flour over a medium burner (on the stove) and I hated that method. Just hated it. I would much rather just make a whipped cream frosting for the centers.
The cupcakes were all topped with white whipped cream frosting- because I felt they were already rich enough. Using buttercream would have pushed them over the edge to sickeningly sweet.
Everyone at the party (and my husband's work) loved them. I will definitely be making these again.
I will post a photo of the orange verson as soon as I upload it from my camera.