Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zebra Cupcakes, Wild!

So what kind of cupcakes do you make for a 12 year old girl who is turning 13? Why, zebra and pink of course!

When my mom asked me to make cupcakes for a co-workers birthday, I was all for it. I asked what kind she wanted, and my mom said, "She just wants something pink." Ummm, ok? Pink. Pink. What does a 13 year old girl like that is pink? So I asked my mom what she liked. Her co-worker said, "Can she do something zebra? Oh, and I want the icing to be fluffy." Can I do something zebra? Of course I can!

So I mixed up a batch of white cake mix and a batch of chocolate. Let me just say that the chocolate went a lot further than the white.

Wanna make some?
Step 1: Fill on squeeze bottle with white mix and one with chocolate mix.
Step 2: Squeeze a thin layer of white mix into a cupcake liner.

Step 3: Add a layer of chocolate over the white. ( Hint: It doesn't have to completely cover the white.)

Step 4: Continue to layer the different batters. You should end up with 3 layers of white and 2 of chocolate.

After baking, They should look like zebras ( at least on the inside). I got lucky and got one to look like a zebra on the outside as well.

Use a 1M tip to get the pretty swirl icing, then add some pink and white sprinkles to give it some sparkle.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Cookie Bouquet (or any occasion!)

With Mother's Day coming up, I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to get both my own mother and my mother-in-law. I finally figured out what to get my own mom, but my mother-in-law was a bit harder. I mean, I've only been part of her family for two years. So I'm searching the internet for good ideas, and of course, I come across flowers and edible arrangements. Then, the idea just hit me - a cookie bouquet. I can do this, right? My mother-in-law is very supportive of my baking aspirations, so I know she will love it.

So how do you make this bouquet you ask?

Here's what you'll need:

  • Easter basket stuffing (you can find this in the craft aisle even if it isn't Easter)
  • A planting pot or basket
  • styrofoam
  • skewers or lollypop sticks (found in the baking aisle)
  • cookies
I used your basic sugar cookie recipe:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups of flower
  1. Beat butter and sugar until combined
  2. add eggs, milk, and vanilla
  3. Beat until light and fluffy
  4. Mix in flour ( do not use a mixer)
  5. Chill at least 4 hours
  6. Bake at 350 until edges are light brown or toothpick comes out clean
You'll need to bake the cookies on the stick. Make sure you don't roll the dough too thin. It should be about an inch thick or so.

Next, you'll need icing. You can either use a glaze or Royal Icing. A recipe for Royal icing is found here. Some people don't like the taste, but I feel it tastes fine. If you are one of those people, you can use the following glaze recipe.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp milk
You'll need to mix all the ingredients together. Make sure to use a gel food coloring with the glaze.

Pipe the outline of your decoration.

Let the outline sit a few minutes, then "flood" the filler icing. This is done by thinning the icing one tsp at a time. It should have the consistency of syrup. In other words, if you hold up your spoon, a small rope should fall into the bowl. Here is a tip: Use squeeze bottles to flood. If you don't bottles (they are highly recommended) use a ziplock bag and cut a slit in the corner.

Let the cookies dry for as long as possible. You can set up your pot or basket now.

Place the styrofoam in the pot. Add the basket "grass". Now poke holes in the styrofoam. It's a good idea to have holes in the foam before actually adding the finished product. You can even do this before you start icing. The "pre-holes" will make to cookies way easier to work with in the end.

After the cookies are dry, add your extra piping. You can add whatever you like.

Let the dry a while, then start adding your "flowers" into your styrofoam. Arrange them however you like.

Voilá! Now you have a cookie bouquet - just in time for Mother's Day.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

This week, I decided I wanted some French Toast. It just so happens, we had purchased some Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl bread on impulse while at the grocery store.
This bread is great plain, with butter, with Nutella, and with peanut butter. So, I thought it must be great as French Toast. Boy, was I right!

Here's what you need:

Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread ( stale or fresh, I prefer stale)
1 egg per every 2 slices of bread
2 tablespoons of milk for every egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
Powdered sugar (optional)
Syrup (optional)


Turn the oven burner on hi (personally I used 8). Use butter, PAM cooking spray, or olive oil to grease the pan, and let it heat up on the burner.

Whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Soak the bread in the mixture until evenly distributed.

Fry the bread until brown; this shouldn't take too long. Serve with powdered sugar, syrup, or both. If you like, you can add more cinnamon to taste.

You may also want to add a side item such as bacon, sausage, or strawberries.

There you have it: Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl French Toast


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