Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Red Velvet Mummies & Pumpkins

Halloween is this Friday!

I had cupcakes to bake for a few occasions this week, so I decided to go with a Halloween theme for decorations. The cupcakes themselves are Red Velvet (from Paula Deen's recipe). I needed to test out the recipe for a project next week (stay tuned to find out what the project is!).

I used the same frosting tip for the basketweave on the Mummies. I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with the Mummies- I feel like maybe they need some sort of mouth, but I couldn't figure out how to do that without making them too cute.

The Pumpkins I frosted and then dipped in orange sugar sprinkles. Once the sprinkles were on, I piped on orange lines to serve as the Pumpkins ridges. On the top I piped a brown stem and green leaves. The stems...are wonky at best. But, live and learn.

I think overall the cupcakes came out pretty well. Cute and Halloween-riffic, while still tasting yummy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wilton Course 2

Last night was my last class in Wilton Course 2. For our final class we have to decorate an oval shaped cake using some very specific techniques: the basketweave, the rope border, and at least two kinds of flowers made from Royal Icing.

I was really nervous about both the basketweave and the rope border. I made all the flowers last Thursday so that they had time to dry out before class. Both the rope border and the basketweave ended up being easier than I had anticipated.

I need to get a cake leveler I think. It's so hard for me to level my cake and make it even. I'm not too worried about it since the cake just got eaten, but it would be nice to have an even top.

Here are some detail shots of the side of the cake.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Black Bottom Cupcakes (Take 2)

I have made what I called Black Bottom Cupcakes before, but I think that this batch is a more traditional version.

They are rich chocolate cupcakes with a spoonful of a cream cheese, sugar, and chocolate chip mixture baked inside. They taste kind of like a cheesecake cupcake. Mmmm....delish.

I made about a million of these. Not really, but it certainly seemed that way. I think I ended up with 24 full size cupcakes and 48 minis. They were all eaten within three days- it helps that we had five people spend the weekend at our place.

I used my new Wilton silicon cups for the first time. They turned out quite nicely, and I liked that they have a little line on them at about 2/3 full. I'm not sure if that line is intended to use as a fill line, but that's definitely how I used it. If you use these, remember to spray them first otherwise your cupcakes will stick. I sprayed my baking cups and had no problems getting the cupcakes out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Candy Corn Cupcakes

I love Halloween. I love the costumes and the decorations. I love the haunted houses and the jack o'lanterns. But most of all, I love candy corn.

I wanted to combine my favorite Halloween candy with my favorite baked good- viola! Candy corn cupcake.

Candy corn has a tendency to be overly sugary sweet and I know that a lot of people don't like it for that very reason. I wanted the cupcakes to give a hint of candy corn flavor that wasn't over powering or too sweet.

I scoured the internet to see if I could find any candy corn cupcake recipes, but no luck. Maybe my google-fu isn't as good as it should be, but as far as I know there isn't a recipe for candy corn cupcakes out on the old interwebs.

I decided to use a recipe for White Velvet cupcakes (from Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman) which includes mini marshmallows baked in. Then I chose to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream as the frosting, adding some honey to enhance the candy corn flavors.

As you can see from the picture below, my attempt to layer the colored batters didn't come out exactly as I planned. The marshmallows prevented the batter layers from settling evenly. But, I'm ok with that.

The cake tasted more like a sugar cookie to me, but the frosting was amazing. I just took the regular SMBC recipe and added about two teaspoons of honey (to taste). Mmmm....

Happy Halloween (a little early)!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanks So Much

Another thank you card that was made for my Aunt, Uncle, & Cousin. They sent me some very cute stationary and a nice Starbucks gift card.

I used my Cricut to cut out the smaller square, and then stamped the sentiment on it. Then the yellow background went through the Cuttlebug to give it some texture.

A simple, yet very beautiful card.

Thanks a Million!

I've been on vacation for the past week, but I'm back now and back to posting on a regular basis.

I made this thank you card for my parents, to thank them for my birthday gifts. They sent me more crafting stuff than I would have imagined could fit into a box that size. Thank you Mom & Pa! (I know you read this blog.)

I used one of the Cuttlebug folders they gave me on this card for the background, and then used a new stamp set for the burgler and sentiment. I stamped both onto shapes that were cut out using my Cricut.

I couldn't find my gel pens, so I used crayons to color in the burgler.

I finished off the card by using my Paper punch on the corners.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

Last weekend I tried out the Magnolia Vanilla cupcake recipe again. I'd gotten a nice new sifter and was hoping it would help make the cupcakes less dense.

I made 2 dozen full size cupcakes (for a coworker's birthday at my husband's office) and still had tons of batter left over. So, I figured I would make some mini's for my office.

I got More from Magnolia as a birthday gift and wanted to try out another recipe from the book. I picked out the Cream Cheese Butterscotch frosting. I was not really very pleased with it. The other cream cheese overpowered the other flavors, and I had wanted something different for the frosting to balance the vanilla cupcake.

I think I overbaked the minis a little- this being my frist time making them. But, I was happier with the Magnolia Vanilla recipe this time. Although I learned that I should halve it next time.