Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving! As we all know it isn't Thanksgiving without turkey, so I wanted to do something super cute this year that involved my favorite sweet indulgence...cupcakes + Turkey = Gobble Gobble Turkey Cupcakes! How cute are these? We are heading to Baton Rouge for turkey day to visit my husband's family so I know our nieces and nephews are going to gobble these right up! I love getting creative and making them fun desserts.
I got the idea for these adorable little cakes when I was clipping coupons a few weeks ago and saw the Betty Crocker ad. Check out the step by step instructions on how to make the turkey cupcakes here. It's not too late, you still have time to make a batch of these for your own Thanksgiving Day festivities!
Turkey cupcakes have been iced in chocolate frosting and the candy corn tail has been added to give it some bright orange and yellow colors!
Next step was to add some chocolate jimmies to look like feathers.
Next a squirt of extra chocolate to create the body of the turkey and one more candy corn for the nose.
Don't forget about the eyes, I gave my turkeys blue and green eyes for some variety and a few extra jimmies on top of their heads!
Thanks Betty Crocker for such a cute Thanksgiving treat!
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE
Monday, November 23, 2009
I know Thanksgiving hasn't even come and gone yet, but I am already planning out my Christmas baking plans and wanted to share with you all this super cute idea! Last year I found one of the most creative ideas I have ever seen in a holiday craft book called Celebrate the Holidays to create a homemade advent calendar using a muffin tin. Unfortunately by the time I had discovered this unique way to countdown the days to Christmas the month of December was already half over. I have been anxiously awaiting for December to roll around this year so I could create this calendar as this brings me back to my childhood. Every year my sister and I would get an advent calendar that had a holiday scene on it with perforated windows that would punch out and have a piece of candy behind them. Each day we were so excited to open up the window on the calendar and reveal the shape of the chocolate whether it was a tree, bell, ornament or present, as we counted down the 24 days to Christmas.
With this muffin tin advent calendar I plan to place a piece of paper that contains a fun holiday recipe in each compartment that I will make and share with you so we can count down the 24 days to Christmas together. The recipes I plan to make will be family favorites that we have made over the years at Christmas time or brand new recipes that I have come across that I think you will really enjoy! So be sure to check back on Dec 1, 2, 3, 4 and all the way to the 24th for a unique way to celebrate this holiday season!
There is still plenty of time to make your own muffin tin advent calendar so I'm going to share with you all the materials you will need to get started!
Muffin Tin Advent Calendar Supplies:
- 24-piece Wilton muffin tin
- patterned paper
- magnetic sheet
- stickers & embellishments
2. Cut twenty four 2 1/2" squares from a magnetic sheet and cover each with an assortment of paper and embellishments.
3. Place candy inside the holes and cover with the magnets.
Pull back the adhesive layer from the magnetic sheet and place a piece of your pre-cut patterned paper over top. Place the magnet over a muffin tin hole and continue this same process until all 24 holes are covered.
Once all the muffin holes have been covered, use stickers to number the days 1-24 and then add on any extra embellishments you wish to add a special touch to your advent calendar.
Look how cute this calender turned out! The possibilities are endless with what you can fill the muffin holes with. So now that you know how I am going to personalize my advent calendar with a new recipe each day, I'm going to share with you some ideas on how you and your family can personalize your advent calendar.
1.Place a piece of candy in each hole
2.Write the name of a Christmas carol on a piece of paper and place in each hole, and sing a song a day until Christmas (Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, O Holy Night, etc.)
3.Write down a family activity that you can do as you count down the days to Christmas (buy a tree, make popcorn garland, go ice skating, make a snowman, etc.)
If you plan to make an advent calendar, leave me a comment letting me know what you plan on putting in each muffin hole to celebrate the countdown to Christmas!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
BAAA, MOO, OINK, QUACK...these are the sounds of the farm animals I just spent tonight making out of fondant. I went over to Evan's house, my cake blogging friend from Mobile, Buttercakes by Evan to learn how to make fondant farm animals....this was so much fun. Thanks Evan for dinner and my first fondant lesson! How cute are these sheep, cows, pigs and ducks... ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!
Evan invited me and one of her friend's Billie over to make these animals. They are going to be used as cupcake toppers for Billie's three year old nieces' birthday party this weekend. Evan has made these creations once before, check out how cute the final farm scene turned out here.
Fondant is basically like playdough for cake decorators, it comes in a variety of colors and it is edible too. By starting with basic shapes, like varying sizes of round balls we were able to create all of these animals!
We needed to make a total of 12 animals, there were 3 of us, so we each got to make 4 animals, one of each type. We started out with the chicken, which was the easiest and ended up with the sheep which was the most complicated since you have to roll out all of the little balls of fondant to create its big cotton coat. Leave me a comment letting me know which farm animal is your favorite! I think I definitely like the sheep the best, the little balls of cotton just make it look so cute and fluffy!
Here's a picture of Evan and Billie my new cake decorating friends!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Well it has been a few days since I have shared some baking with you so I figured it was time to give you all another fall recipe...and guess what, it involves pumpkin again! For those of you that love pumpkin, this is a really fun idea! For those of you that do not like pumpkin, I'm sorry but my pumpkin cravings are still not out of my system, I think I still have a few more pumpkin recipes left to share, so hold tight, I promise there will be more recipes coming soon that don't involve pumpkin as the main ingredient.
I have had a pumpkin recipe poll on my blog for the month of November and so far only one person, has voted that a Pumpkin Roll is their favorite pumpkin recipe. So whoever you are out there that enjoys the Pumpkin Roll this recipe is for you!
As I sit here typing this post I am enjoying a piece of the pumpkin roll right now, and let me just tell you I have counted 9 layers of pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting all rolled up together...simply delicious! This was my first time ever making a pumpkin roll so who better to turn to than Libby's, you know the maker of the canned pumpkin you find at the grocery. If you are intimidated by making the pumpkin roll, don't be, Libby's website has the recipe and a step-by-step instructional video from start to finish for this traditional fall desert. This is a super easy and quick recipe!
Friday, November 13, 2009
You are all in for a treat...this is my all-time favorite pumpkin recipe! I have made this pumpkin streusel cake every November for the last four years. I first discovered this recipe in the Betty Crocker Fall Baking magazine at the end of the grocery checkout isle. I am excited to share this recipe with you since Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. This would be the perfect dessert to compliment your turkey dinner.
The most delicious part about this cake is the streusel layer in the middle. Look at how ooey gooey this ribbon of brown sugar and cinnamon looks, it just melts in your mouth with each bite.
Streusel In-Between Pumpkin Cake (Betty Crocker)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar, if desired
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening; lightly flour. In small bowl, stir all streusel ingredients until crumbly, set aside.
- In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy. Add eggs, two at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended.
- Spread half of the batter in pan. Sprinkle streusel over batter, making sure streusel does not touch side of pan. Top with remaining batter, making sure batter layer touches side of pan.
- Bake 58 to 62 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Makes 16 servings.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
As promised, the month of November will be dedicated to a lot of pumpkin recipes...so get ready this is one you definitely need to try...Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & Salted Caramel Sauce...wow that is a mouthful...but a very delicious mouthful once you bite into one of these delicious treats.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe from www.recipegirl.com)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
3 cups powdered sugar (more if you intend to pipe it on)
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan (or a 24 cup mini muffin pan) with baking cups.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir oil and sugar together. Whisk in eggs, and stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir pumpkin into the batter until it is thoroughly combined.
- Spoon batter into lined muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Less time will be needed if you are making mini-cupcakes. When cupcakes are removed from oven, let them sit for about 10 minutes, then remove them to cool completely on wire rack.
- Meanwhile prepare the cream cheese frosting: In a medium bowl beat together all ingredients.
I used a #1 Wilton decorating tip and a piping bag to swirl on the icing.
Cupcakes ready to be drizzled with the Salted Caramel Sauce.
Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe www.chow.com)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Stir together sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Let boil until amber in color, about 3 minutes.
- Immediately add butter and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, add cream and salt, and mix well. Serve immediately or let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.
What you are looking at above is a picture of a "bondi band", basically it is headband to wear while you are running to keep the sweat or hair out of your face, it can also double as an ear warmer when the weather is colder. I first discovered "bondi bands" this May when I was in San Diego running the Rock N' Roll Marathon. At the race expo the day before the event, there was a vendor set up selling these headbands...and the moment I saw the one that says "will run for cupcakes" I was SOLD, I knew I had to get this! As long as I can remember I have always enjoyed eating cupcakes, they are just so cute and the perfect size indulgence to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings! So I'm guessing you are now starting to see where the name for my blog and my profile name "I Run for Cake" came from. I was so excited when I bought this headband and apparently was a little too hyper the rest of the weekend...all the other runners I was doing the marathon with kept calling me "bondi band, bondi band, bondi band" all weekend long! They actually still do to this day as well.
So now that you know the story behind my bondi band, here is the story about this amazing cupcake plate above. One of the guys, Thomas, who to this day still gives me a hard time about my bondi band excitement got me this plate. I was Thomas' mentor through our marathon training so as a thank you to helping him with his fundraising him and his wife Katie bought me this super cute cupcake plate. I absolutely love this piece and used it for the first time this past weekend when Katie and Thomas had us over for game night!
I just realized that as I am typing this post I have on my "will run for CUPCAKES" bondi band..I just got back from track practice a little while ago and wore it while I ran tonight! I love this headband!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Peanut Butter cookies are one of my all time favorites! Well, pretty much anything with peanut butter is just plain yummy! So let me tell you how these peanut butter cookies came to be. I have been following another baking blogger, Buttercakes by Evan, from Mobile, AL since August. I first discovered Evan's blog when I was at a local running clubs 1 year anniversary 5K run and she had made the cake for this celebration...check it out here. She had some of her business cards sitting by the cake, so I grabbed one and immediately went home and looked up her blog and have been following her ever since. Evan is a self taught cake decorator and has been decorating cakes for about a year and a half...she is amazing! So last week I finally decided it was time to send Evan an email, letting her know that she has inspired me to create my baking blog and tell her how much I enjoy seeing all of her cake creations. She replied right away and ansewred all the questions I had for her about how she got started in cakes. She even asked me if I wanted to make something for a bake sale she was hosting this weekend for the Environmental Studies Center. This was an excuse to bake so I said I would definitely help her out. So after a week of corresponding back and forth via email, I finally got to meet Evan on Friday afternoon when I dropped off these cookies!
I had some Reese's Pieces left over from Halloween so I decided to make half of the batch with additional peanut butter in the cookies by adding these colorful candies...delicious!
Peanut Butter Cookies (recipe from Lovin' from the Oven, blogger)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 med eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla.
- Mix in both sugars, salt and baking powder.
- Gradually mix in flour, half a a time.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar.
- Using a fork, flatten cookie and make criss cross pattern
- Bake for 12-13 minutes.
As you all know when it comes to bake sale items, everything needs to be individually packaged so it is easy to sell. I wanted to come up with a cute way to display my cookies. I used a scalloped paper punch and cut out some tags that I decorated with dots around the edges and then labeled as "Peanut Butter" or "Peanut Butter Reese's Pieces". Then I punched a hole in the top of each tag. I placed 2 cookies per bag and then added a colored ribbon through the tags to tie off the top of the bags to close them.
Look how cute these little cookie bags turned out and they were so simple! So next time you have a bake sale, get creative and add some fun labels to your bake sale goodies. I bet you can find all the materials you will need around your house.
Materials Needed for Bake Sale Tags:
- 1 1/2" scallop punch
- colored markers
- hole punch
I just got an email update from Evan and her bake sale raised over $250 for the Environmental Center...I am so glad I was able to help with this event!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Happy Halloween! Here are some pics of the Halloween Dessert Table I created for my friend Jennifer's costume party! I got the inspiration for this dessert table from Amy Atlas Events, she does some amazing stuff! Check out her dessert table from last year here. I love everything on her website, she is so talented and all her tables are to die for yummy!
Here's the behind the scenes of how my dessert table came to be:
This is my bag of "tricks" to create all my "treats"...white & milk chocolate, sprinkles, food coloring, lollipop sticks, candy corn, Reese's Pieces, black licorice, sugar cones.
Dessert Table Menu:
-Chocolate Dipped Pretzels with Sprinkles
-Chocolate Dipped Cake Balls with Sprinkles
-Orange Candy Corn Bars
-Wicked Witch Cupcakes
All the baking has been done, it is time to start decorating.
Brownie molds that will turn into Ghost Lollipops dipped in white chocolate.
Ghost pops awaiting to have their scary eyes & mouth added.
Ground up chocolate cake mix that will be used to create Chocolate Covered Cake Balls with Sprinkles & Pumpkin Lollipops. I used the "One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcake" recipe found in Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book. Click here for the recipe.
Once the cake was ground up in the food processor I added a container of chocolate icing and mixed it together so they would form nice balls.
I first found the idea for cake balls & cake pops from Bakerella. Check out how to make them in more detail here. The possibilities are endless for cake balls & cake pops, just pick your favorite cake flavor and let your imagination run wild with how you decide to decorate them.
The cake balls were dipped in Ghiradelli chocolate and then sprinkled with orange, yellow & brown jimmies.
Pumpkin lollipops dipped in orange candy melts.
Pumpkin & Ghost lollipops painted with chocolate tube icing.
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels with Ghiradelli chocolate and orange & black sprinkles.
And my absolute favorite dessert of all...Wicked Witch Cupcakes. Who better to come up with such a cute idea than Martha Stewart herself...check out the recipe and decorating details here.
To decorate the cupcakes you need: 2 Reese's Pieces for eyes, candy corn nose, black licorice for hair and eyebrows and sugar cone hat.
Let the party begin! Check out some close ups of the final dessert table! I wanted to stick with the traditional orange, yellow & black color scheme so I had been keeping my eye out for a few weeks for serving pieces that would fit my color pallet. I found the black cake pedestal from Hobby Lobby, the 2 white plates from TJMaxx, and the orange & black pails from Target. I got the black spooky tree and the Happy Halloween banner from Michaels. Everything else you see on the table was a DIY project. I bought some yellow and black wrapping paper and just covered some boxes I had around the house to use for my cookie, lollipop and cupcake platforms. Then I reused some old canned good cans and just tied a cute orange ribbon around them to put the pretzel sticks in. The tree is sitting on top of an empty oatmeal conatiner that I wrapped in black paper as well. I love being able to re-purpose things that you can find around the house in a creative way.
How cute are these Orange Candy Corn Bars! My friend Robin sent me this recipe and I just had to try them. This is basically a homeade sugar cookie bar with layers dyed with yellow and orange food coloring to resemble a piece of candy corn. Check out the recipe here.
Jennifer, the host of the party made her famous sugar cookies in the shapes of pumpkins and bats. So cute!
And now it's time for the costume pictures...here I am as Olive Oyl standing by my dessert table.
Here I am with my husband as Popeye and Olive Oyl. Everyone always called me Olive Oyl in high school, I guess because my legs are so long, so when my husband suggested these costume ideas, I couldn't resist. He was having a blast showing off his muscle arms and spinach face smirk last night!
Here are the party hosts, Jennifer as a Geisha girl and her husband Brian as Big Bird...Hillarious! That brings back some childhood memories of Sesame Street.
My friends Molly as Amelia Earhart and Paul as a NERD.
Hope you all had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!