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