Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chocolate Martini Cupcakes {Recipe}

Cupcakes and Cocktails. They go together perfectly. So, when I agreed to hold a little party to benefit my kids' school, I decided to make these... Chocolate Martinis with Chocolate Martini cupcakes.
(We also made some Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes, if you're interested in that recipe.)

What You Need
For 24-30 Cupcakes:
6 oz. (about ¾ cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vanilla-flavored vodka*
1/4 cup chocolate liqueur (like Godiva)
*Note: If you want a “boozier” flavor, add ¼ cup vanilla vodka and ¼ cup plain vodka.

For the Icing:
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar (not powdered sugar)
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter
2-3 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup vanilla vodka
2-3 Tbsp. Chocolate Liqueur

Friday, April 11, 2014

Special Easter Treat Ideas


I don't know what we're doing for our Easter treats this year, but what I do know is that it will be very, very CHOCOLATE because my family gave up chocolate for Lent.
Below are my ideas from the last few years.

The basketweave technique looks really amazing. 
This post includes video of how to make a cake that looks like an Easter Basket.

These are just like cake pops, but you make them with toothpicks, instead of lollipop sticks.

There's just something better about when you put anything on a stick.
Click the link to see how to make cookies on a stick.


Easter Cookie Bouquet
These Cookie Pops are perfect to make a bouquet.


The Simple Easter Egg Cake
An oval pan, some pastel colored icing... it's all you need.

These might be a little more generically spring than Easter, but they fit the color scheme here.

Click the Links Below to See:
Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe
Royal Icing Recipe
How To Make Cake Pops
Spring Decorating Ideas

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Orange Cream-sicle Cake {Recipe}

During a recent bout of strep throat in our house, my boys decided that they would live on the ice cream treat, orange creamsicles.

True to form, I decided to try to make a creamsicle cake. One of my boys has since declared it his favorite cake of all time. (Though that may just be because it's what he was eating at the time!)

What You Need:
1 white boxed cake mix
3 (large) eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk (not pictured)*
1-2 Tbsp. orange zest

Cream Cheese Icing (To decorate with this "petal effect," make a double batch of icing.)

*Note: You could also use 3/4-1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice instead of the concentrate... and add 1/4-1/2 cup milk to that. I didn't have enough oranges to make that happen.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Simple, Special Cakes

Click on the video above or this link to see the segment on the Fox 9 website.

This morning, I'm headed to Fox 9 to do some "Simple, Special Cakes."

I'm going to demonstrate how to do some of the fancy finishes on cakes that look amazing, and also help to cover up if you're not the best at keeping crumbs out of your icing -- yet.

You can come learn these techniques and some others at a class this spring/summer.
I'll be in White Bear Lake Thursday, April 24 and in Northfield Thursday, June 26.

And if you're interested in my Wilton classes at the Hobby Lobby in Woodbury, check out my schedule of classes here.

Click the Links Below to See:
How To Make a Petal Cake (like Leah's)
How to Make an Easy Ruffle Cake (like Cody's)
How To Make a Ruffle Cake
Community Education Cake Decorating Classes
Wilton Classes in Woodbury, MN

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Demons in the Kitchen

So, you know how sometimes you just don't have anything new to share on your blog about baking because pretty much everything you've tried lately as ended up like this:

Or this...

Or this???

Yeah, so, I call that demons in the kitchen. And that's what's going on lately around here.

Even though I did succeed with this:

The icing still isn't right enough for me to share it with you.
But I'm still working. I have a few more ideas coming soon... hopefully.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One Million Visits! Thank You!

I'm really excited that I have hit a big milestone, ONE MILLION PAGEVIEWS on my blog!
Thank you for being one of those pageviews right now!!

It's kind of fun for me to see what are the most popular posts from those million views:











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Monday, February 10, 2014

Bakery-Style Soft Sugar Cookies

So, the bummer about having small kids and loving to bake sweets is that most schools these days won't let you send in homemade treats. (Now, calm down, I understand why this is, we have good friends with food allergies, but it's still a bummer!) 


So, my guys have learned to love those sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles from the grocery store bakery-- since that's what so many of their friends bring for birthday treats. I'm not a huge fan, but after weeks of begging for me to make some, I gave in, and made these for my guys.

What You Need:
For the Cookies:
5 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (unsalted) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (granulated) sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream

For the Icing:
1 - 8oz. block cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (at room temperature)
4 cups (approx. 1 pound) powdered sugar

Yield: 4-6 dozen 2" cookies

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ruffle Cake Tutorial - Valentine's Day

Ruffle cakes are so, so pretty. And honestly, I expected them to be harder than they really are. The biggest challenge-- having enough icing!

What You Need:
Cake (This is a 6"x2" cake.)
Buttercream Icing (I used this Decorator's Buttercream Recipe.)*
Piping Bag with Tip #104

*Note: For a 6" cake, I used about 4-5 cups of icing. If you're making a more traditional, 8-9" round cake, and if it's taller, you need to make a double batch, just to be sure -- Especially if you're coloring the icing. (You always want to have more icing than you need because getting it the exact.same.color is really hard.)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Cream Cheese Mints {Recipe}

These mints are perfect for a special Valentine, or any special occasion. And they are really, really easy to make.

What You Need
4 oz. (half of a block) of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pound (approx. 3-5 cups) powdered sugar
2 tsp. creme de menthe (or 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract)*
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
 Either:
  10 oz. Chocolate Almond Bark (or Candy Melts)
  or Semi-sweet chocolate for melting

*I prefer Creme de Menthe for my mint-flavored treats. I just think the taste is better. You can find it in the liquor store or liquor aisle (if you don't live in Minnesota). For this recipe, the clear version would be better. I was stuck with green because that's what I usually carry.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chocolate Cheesecake with Peanut Butter Crust {Recipe}

It's that time of year... when I make a ridiculous chocolate dessert for my husband's birthday... This year's entry: Chocolate Cheesecake with Peanut Butter Cookie Crust.

What You Need:
Peanut Butter Crust:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter - cold
3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

Chocolate Cheesecake Layer:
3- 8 oz. bricks of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup sour cream (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs (at room temperature)
6 oz. melted chocolate (semisweet recommended)

*Yield: One 9-10" Round Cheesecake- Serves about 16-20 people.