Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keeping it in the Family - Collecting Mom's, Grandma's and other Family Recipes

My new project. I bought a nice 3 ring binder at Michael's Craft Store, and am committed to start collecting family recipes! It'll be no easy task i'm sure - I have a lot of good cooks in my family and so does my fiance.

The idea came to me when I looked at my refrigerator and saw about 10 handwritten index cards with various recipes on them (like the above!) There's something about handwritten notes that's special, and makes me think of the person who wrote them. Above is my grandmother's recipe for pistachio cake, and my mom's recipe for risotto. Going forward, when I visit family I will ask them to write down my favorite recipes of theirs and add it to my binder. My mom loves the idea, and said she wishes we had more recipes from her mother.

The challenging part, is that some people bake or cook and don't really measure things. They just know how to make it because they've done it hundreds of times. I might have to hover over them and document how they make certain things, I'm sure that won't be annoying or anything.

I also started adding things that I've baked, and things my fiance and I have cooked together. All hand written of course. And yes, my hand hurt after writing a few pages of recipes ha! Anyway, just wanted to share this story with you guys. Happy baking, hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mini 3 Tiered Wedding Cake - My First Attempt!

Mini 3 Tiered Wedding Cake! 

I got this awesome little pan from Amazon and couldn't wait to try it out! It makes 2 mini cakes at a time. I also wanted to experiment more with my Wilton Food Gel, so a lot of baking fun was had this weekend! I made a vanilla cake, and colored the batter with 3 different color gels. I topped it off with an orange buttercream frosting, and of course had to color the icing orange =) The colored tiers didn't come out exactly as I'd hoped, but it still tasted good! See below for more photos!

Started off by making a simple vanilla cake batter. 
Next time, I will only use egg whites if i'm coloring the batter.

Wilton Food Gels! These really beat the pants off any food coloring I've ever used. So vibrant!
My idea was to color each tier differently. Better luck next time HA

After 50 minutes of baking (and me sweating it out) I finally took this baby out of the oven!
I searched high and low for recipes using this mini cake pan but couldn't find any.
It was tough for me to judge the bake time, since the tiers are sized so differently. 
Also, I clearly over-filled the pan! Looks kind of like a muffin =)

Here it issssssssss! So the purple color really didn't translate too well,
the orange and green looked a lot better.
As you can see, I have to get more practice on properly filing the tiers.
I trimmed off the excess from the bottom so the little cake could stand on its own!

The inside! The colors look a lot more vibrant inside the cake. 
I will definitely be using the purple again!

My orange buttercream frosting! My fiance really likes citrus-type desserts, so I made this for him

Finished mini cake! 
It's a bit hard to see the layers, next time I might try a different icing that's easier to decorate with.
Still think it's pretty cute, I will post more photos if I try again!

Hope you guys enjoyed, and that everyone is getting through Monday the best they can!

PINK Chocolate Chip Cookies! Photos and Recipe!

They came out so beautiful right?! Ever since joining Pinterest, my life has taken a drastic turn into non-productive land. All I want to do is look up 1000 recipes, and bake them all at once. To say i'm obsessed would pretty much cover it.

I've seen a new fad going around the Pinterest world - pink chocolate chip cookies! I thought it was such an adorable idea, and had to try it out for myself. I just bought Wilton's Food Coloring Gel (below) and could not wait to try them out. They are like food coloring on steroids, seriously. If you want very strong colors, it takes a large amount of food coloring to achieve it. A few drops of this gel and wow! Bright pink, beautiful cookies woohoo! 

I found the chocolate chip cookie recipe on Pinterest as well, they are so soft and doughy, I prefer them this way! I used about 3 drops of the pink gel to achieve the bright pink color. Happy baking!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mini Lemon Cupcake Recipe - To Die For!

I made these mini lemon cupcakes for my annual Christmas cocktail party, and they were a HUGE hit! I wanted to try something a little different this year - no plain old vanilla or chocolate over here! Anyway, I thought the minis would be a great cocktail party size - gotta leave more room for cocktails right? HA. 

I found the recipe online and will absolutely keep it in my back pocket! The lemon cake was so soft, and the lemon frosting gave it such a great citrus kick! Often times, cupcake recipes are built for the regular sized cupcakes and not the minis. You could use the same recipe, but have to judge the bake time on your own which we all know could end up a disaster. Over cooking the minis for even a minute and they are hard as a rock - ugh! But fear not, this recipe (bake time and all) is for mini cupcakes! 

I got the cute little Santa-themed cupcake wrappers at Michael's, along with my new obsession - edible glitter hearts! They come in all colors - I picked the gold to accent the lemon colored frosting - absolutely love these! Check out the photos and recipe below! 

Ingredients: (makes approximately 24 mini cupcakes)
For the vanilla cupcakes – recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp milk

For the lemon icing
4.4 oz. butter
8 oz. confectioners sugar
Lemon extract (to taste)
Yellow food coloring (optional – I did not use any as my lemon essence was already coloured)
Lemon zest to decorate

To make the cupcakes 
Preheat the oven to 165°C – 330°F and line muffin trays with muffins liners.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Then cream the butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until pale and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating it with two additions of buttermilk and milk. Beat until well combined

Put the batter into the lined muffin tray cups, filling each to 2/3. Bake for about 15 minutes (25 if you make bigger cupcakes). When cooked, let them cool down in the tray for 10 minutes, then put them on a wire rack to cool down completely.

To make the lemon icing 
Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for a few minutes and then incorporate the icing sugar, lemon essence and the yellow food colouring (optional). Mix well.

Enjoy!! xoxo

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cupcake Earbuds!

My mom got me these adorable cupcake earbuds for Christmas and I am obsessed!
Also, a huge thank you to my wonderful brother for my new ipod!
Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NYE Cake Pops!

Hi all! My cousin and I made these adorable cake pops for NYE this year! Check out the below for more photos, recipes and fun!

Red velvet cake pop with vanilla buttercream icing (a dash of green food coloring)
and some pretty pink sparkling sugar!

My new cake pop stand - thanks Mel!! This stand doubles as a cupcake stand too.
I have the BabyCakes Cake Pop Maker - it's so easy to use!
After you make the batter, the pops only bake 4-5min and they're done!

Experimenting with different sparkling sugars
These sugars really stick to the icing and don't fall off

Cake pop recipe - I took this from the booklet that came with the BabyCakes Cake Pop Maker
I've made most of the recipes from this booklet and they are all awesome!

My sparkling sugars. This thing is so fun and can be used for cupcakes, cake pops, donuts, cakes, etc.
Hope everyone had a fantastic New Year's!!