Monday, December 24, 2012

DIY Peppermint Candy Tray - Takes Only 10min!

Merry Christmas Eve! I'm sitting down for a few minutes to tell you about the coolest little Christmas craft i've done in a while! A DIY Peppermint Candy tray! My friend Nicole gave the recipe to my mom, and I thought it was the cutest thing!

You know all those red and white candies that are just about everywhere during the holidays? Take a ton of those, pop them in the oven on a baking tray for 10-12min, and guess what? You have a hardened, shiny, BEAUTIFUL serving tray to put baked goods on top of! It's safe to say i'm obsessed, and want to make 20 of them. Anyone can do it, I promise, and it's so much fun! Here's what you'll need:

  • A bag of peppermint candies. We tried finding the green and white ones as well but couldn't.
  • Parchment paper
  • A baking tray or pan in any shape you'd like

Here we go...

    Cut parchment paper to fit the tray. I would leave a little extra room on the sides like the above. Line up your candies - make sure they're touching.

     All lined up and ready for the oven!

    The finished product! Keep a close eye on it. As soon as you see it has been melted all the way, take it out and let cool!

    A close up!

    Take candy tray with parchment paper out of pan when it's cooled. It will peel right off.

     My mini cinnamon buttercream cupcakes proudly displayed on the peppermint tray! (Recipe on those little guys to come later)

    A peppermint bowl! This was kind of a mistake that turned out awesome. We tried making a circular peppermint tray that burnt a bit (too much vodka while baking maybe?) We cut off the burnt edges, and molded the tray into a cute bowl! Wait until it cools a bit, and you can mold it any way you'd like.

    Try it! Merry Christmas! xoxo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mini M&M Bite Sized Rainbow Fish Cupcakes

I am complete in love with these rainbow fishy cupcakes! Although I would love to take credit for these, I saw the recipe on this baking blog (click to read!) I made these for my company's bake sale to support BCRF and they all sold out! I would definitely make them again - for a kid's birthday or even a cocktail party - everyone loves them!

These little guys work with any cupcake recipe of your choice (store bought or homemade) We wanted to go the extra mile and make homemade funfetti cake! It's easier than you think - make a normal vanilla cupcake batter, and simply add rainbow sprinkles before baking. You could make chocolate, or any other flavor. The part that matters is the decorations!

As for the beautiful fish - you will need a few things to decorate:
  • Vanilla icing - split into a few different bowls and add desired food coloring. I seemed to have misplaced my red food coloring (tragic!) so we made green, blue and yellow fish. Again, you could buy icing or make your own.
  • Mini M&Ms. My fiance was wonderful enough to sit there and actually sort the mini M&Ms by color. The original recipe matches the icing to the M&Ms but we mixed it up a bit =) Check out the photos below!

 Greg sorting the M&Ms. What would I do without him?!

 The sorted minis in little martini glasses!

 Our vanilla batter sorted by color! The yellow was my favorite =)

 Melissa and Greg decorating!

 The finished little fish! We tried putting tails on them using the M&Ms, but it didn't stay too well. Still think they came out great!

 Our school of fish


The fish displayed at the bake sale!

The beautiful funfetti - so satisfying to make your own!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! Any questions about how to make these, just comment below! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Bread Wreath - Step by Step!

Hi All! It's been terribly long since my last post, I apologize for that! Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving.

My fiance and I made this Holiday Bread Wreath for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit! We got the recipe from the Food Network magazine, and you can also find it on their website. Let me start by saying - if you want to make this, make sure you can dedicate most of your day. The actual cook time isn't very long, but the prep time is lengthy - about 6 hours of prep time (most of which is waiting around while it's in the fridge) and only 20 min of actual cook time. However, it was totally worth it and our family and friends were asking for the recipe! So festive and fun for the holidays. Here's what you'll need:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for forming the loaves
2 1/4 cups bread flour
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast

Here we go!

What they will look like when you're done! So cute right? 

To start: Mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, the bread flour, salt, yeast and 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 degrees F to 110 degrees F) in a large bowl with a wooden spoon to make a wet and sticky dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until almost tripled in size, 2 to 3 hours (the top will flatten and begin to sink in the center).


After 2-3 hours

Divide the dough in half and transfer one piece to another bowl. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (See what I mean about the waiting around time? HA!)

Put a pizza stone or inverted rimmed baking sheet on the highest oven rack and put a broiler pan on the lowest rack; preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, sprinkle each piece with 1/4 cup flour, then shape each into a smooth, taut ball. Cover the bowls loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Put a large piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet and dust with flour. Using floured hands, pick up a ball of dough and poke your thumbs through the center to make a hole. Place on the parchment, then gently stretch the dough from the center to make a 9-inch-diameter ring with a 5-inch hole in the center. Sprinkle generously with flour. Lay out another sheet of parchment, dust with flour and repeat to shape the other ball of dough into a ring. Let rest, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Holding kitchen shears at a 45 degrees F angle, make deep cuts at 1-to-1 1/2-inch intervals all the way around both dough rings, pulling the cut sections away from the center as you go to make "leaves."

Almost done... 

YAY! Let rest, uncovered, until plump, about 15 more minutes. (Is it time for a wine yet?)

Slide one dough wreath (on the parchment) directly onto the hot stone. Carefully pour 1 cup water into the broiler pan underneath to create steam; quickly shut the oven door. Bake until the bread is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with the second dough wreath, adding another cup of water to the broiler pan.

And we're finally done!

The bread was so soft and delicious! I found it a little difficult to make the proper cuts for the leaves, but you get the hang of it after a few cuts. What do you guys think, do you have the guts to try? Haha, hope everyone had a great weekend! xoxo

Friday, September 21, 2012

The "Right Way" to Eat a Popsicle

How funny is this?! I saw this on Buzzfeed and had to share. No more drips while eating a popsicle, just use a cupcake paper!

Friday, September 14, 2012

SWEET Halloween Costumes

Clearly, this is a just for fun, let's see how many stupid dessert-related costumes I can find online post. Some of them genuinely made me CRACK up. Enjoy and Happy Friday! 

Which is your favorite? =)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When Cupcakes go to Heaven

Aren't these beautiful?! I'm talking about the cupcakes AND the photos taken of them! My sis and I spent the day Sunday making my favorite dark chocolate cupcake recipe for one of her college classes. She is a photography major, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity of showing off her kick ass skills! The first photo is my favorite - the cupcakes look like they're in heaven haha.

Of course the best part of the day, was enjoying a Grey Goose and apple juice cocktail (surprisingly delicious and fall-like) and shoving cupcakes in our mouths. Nothing compares!

Us on Christmas with our pillow pets! Love you

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Time Making Apple Pie!!!

Isn't she beautiful?! My fiance and I decided on a whim to make apple pie last weekend. Neither of us had ever made pie before, so we kind of just winged it. And it came out pretty good! We used the Betty Crocker recipe below and it was very tasty. Check out the photos we took below and step by step directions!

You'll Need:

2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

Filling shopping list
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
6 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (6 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, if desired

1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Heat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt.

Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

The camera made it look yellowy, but I guess this was the size of small peas. Right? =)

2. Gather pastry into a ball

It's coming along!!

Divide pastry in half; shape each half into flattened round on lightly floured surface.

Wrap flattened rounds of pastry in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until firm and cold, yet pliable.

While you wait for the pastry, you can cut the apples and make the filing!

We used 3 Granny Smith and 3 Pink Lady Apples to add some interest

3. On lightly floured surface, roll 1 round of pastry into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate, using floured rolling pin. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

4. In large bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and dash of salt. Stir in apples. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over apples. Trim overhanging edge of bottom pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate. (This was a little tricky! If there were breaks in the dough, we just took the excess from a different side of the pie and it came out fine)

5. Roll other round of pastry. Fold pastry into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape; place over filling and unfold. Trim overhanging edge of top pastry 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute. Brush top crust with 1 tablespoon water; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

6. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours.

Ta DAAA!!!
Our only minor complaint, was that our pie was a little watery on the bottom when we went to cut it. This could have been because we didn't drain the moisture from our apples, or because we didn't wait long enough for it to cool. Regardless, the pie was delicious and i'm not a big pie person at all. Definitely worth the time to make!