The past two evenings have been super busy as I’ve been baking up a storm over here! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to:
For the sugar cookie boxes I cut out 5 large hearts, and then used a smaller heart to cut out the middles of three of them. Once baked, I stacked them using royal icing and connected them to a base piece.
For the chocolates, I made peanut butter filled milk chocolate hearts, and peppermint filled dark chocolate hearts.
And finally, my newest creation: cookie confetti! It’s a great way to use up cookie dough, and you only have to bake them for 5 minutes 🙂
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!
What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus? I wanna hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand?
I promise this is the final post in my 3 day posting binge! I had an extremely jam-packed holiday schedule this year (last year..?) and as a result, haven’t had time to write posts until now…as it is already two weeks into 2014 I figured I would just publish them all at once before it is too late! Don’t worry, knowing me, I probably won’t get around to another post for at least 2 months :).
The night that I finished writing my last exam, I started a baking marathon that involved 14 dozen sugar cookies for my Dad’s work. 14 dozen might not sound so bad (or maybe it does), but I can assure you this was a very time-consuming endeavor! Keep in mind I used a standard sized oven, and decorating was a multi-step process. In the end, the effort was worth it, as everything came together on time, and my “clients” were happy with the result!
On a whim I decided to make some last minute mini cupcakes on Christmas Eve. The flavours were chocolate and gingerbread, and the icing was ginger-cinnamon. Delicious! All of the toppers were made out of fondant and decorated with edible markers.
I also made 3 different kinds of chocolate bark this year: Peppermint, Dark chocolate with pistachio and cranberry, and milk chocolate with mango, papaya and coconut. I failed to temper the chocolate, so the bark was in perfect condition as long as it was in the fridge, but had some unfortunate blooming if left out at room temperature too long. Lesson learned!
Last weekend I got to do some baking for a baby shower! For this task, I was very excited to be provided with an adorable duck-shaped cookie cutter. The little ducklings started out all yellow, but this seemed too boring so I added a few blue bubbles on the bottom of each one 🙂
I also got to make some chocolate cupcakes for this order, which I decorated with a swirl of yellow icing using a 2D tip, white nonpareils and sugar pearls. They were easy to make, and I am really happy with the way the turned out.
Long time no see, blogging world! The past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind. School is now over and I am in Quebec City for 5 weeks to work on my French, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have time to fill you in on my very first wedding cake!
My bonne amie’s brother tied the knot earlier this month, and I had the pleasure of making the cake, cupcakes and cookie favours for the big day! The ceremony took place the the Celebration Pavillion at Queen Elizabeth Park, and the reception was at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful day in Vancouver, and for a city known for its beauty, that is saying a lot! G&K, I don’t know what you had to pay Mother Nature to arrange that one, but she definitely came through!
Ask anyone in my family, and they’ll tell you that I can get a bit….”territorial” in the kitchen when I am baking (among other things). Lucky for them, they were either out of town or at work in the few days leading up to the wedding, so no one had to witness any meltdowns, and I had ample space to take over. See what I mean?
For the wedding favours, each guest received two sand dollar sugar cookies, which tied in with the beachy theme. To make these, I used my kitchen scale to weigh out equal portions of dough, which I rolled into balls, flattened, and dipped in a mixture of granulated and sanding sugar. (note: the petalloids are actually white chocolate, not almonds)
There were three different types of cupcakes: red velvet with vanilla frosting, banana-chocolate with chocolate frosting, and vanilla confetti with vanilla buttercream. Each cupcake was topped with a bride or groom fondant cupcake topper. (Yes, those took me a very long time to make, but the end results were worth every minute!)
The wedding cake was a two-tiered, four-layer banana-chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. For the beach-themed accents I made shells and starfish out of Wilton candy melts, mixed brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs for sand, and made plumeria flowers using fondant and petal dust (I will post a tutorial soon). The adorable adirondack chair toppers were ordered from Etsy.
All in all it was a wonderful day, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process leading up to it. I couldn’t have asked for a better, or more easy going couple to be my (first) wedding cake clients. It was also an honour to be a part of the day as both a guest and a baker :).
G&K, congrats again, and I wish you both a life time of happiness together!
After the cookies have baked and cooled, divide and colour your icing. Water the icing down with water, until it is runny, but thick enough to hold its shape when squeezed/piped onto the cookies (this will be pretty obvious…the icing will either maintain a clean edge along the cookie or it will drip off of the side…if it drips, just return it to the bowl and add more icing sugar, until you get the right consistency).
Typical sugar cookie directions online will recommend piping an outline on the cookies first and then flooding with runnier icing…my cookie piping skills are amateur at best, so I just used a squeeze bottle to ice the entire cookie :).
Let the cookies dry for several hours or overnight, and then you can add the speckles! (you probably want to do this next part outside, unless you don’t mind brown speckles all over your kitchen).
Mix a small amount of brown food colouring with a small amount of water. Dip the brush in the diluted food colouring, and flick the brush bristles using your index finger (just like the good old days of Kindergarten splatter painting!), until you are happy with the amount of speckle on your eggs. I used a medical glove for this step, so that I didn’t have one tanned finger :).
Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy Holidays! The past month has been a whirlwind, and unfortunately I haven’t been spending much time in the kitchen as a result. On the bright side, I was able to find the time to build a gingerbread house in the few days leading up to Christmas.
In previous years I have always bought a gingerbread house kit from Michael’s but this time I wanted to make my own from scratch. I started off by sketching the house, then made a template out of cardboard. I used recipes from Sprinkle Bakesfor both the gingerbread and the royal icing. Both recipes were great; I will definitely be using them again and I highly recommend them for both houses and cookies!
The roof is made from large chocolate chips, the windows are melted down Jolly Rancher candies, and the pillars and cobblestone pathway are constructed from (gingerbread-flavoured) candy canes.
Here’s hoping you had a wonderful Christmas, and be sure to enjoy the rest of 2012!