Wednesday, November 19, 2008

50 is Dreamy When it's Chocolate Raspberry Flavored!

A co-worker ordered these mini (of course) cupcakes from me for another co-worker's 50th birthday.

These are chocolate sour cream cakes with raspberry butter cream.

I also made little chocolate "50" to put on top of some. I hear they were a hit!

Happy Birf-day JB!

These are just some pics of the mini cupcakes I made for a friend's birf-day. The usual fave - white with marshmallow buttercream

and chocolate with cream cheese icing.

Charity Auction Cupcakes

I was asked to donate some baked goods for a charity auction - specifically cupcakes. The auction was for Northwest Ohio's Foodbank and the event they call "Scouting For Food." I made chocolate logos for the tops of the white cupcakes and used a little luster dust to make them sparkle.

The two flavors I made were the infamous MVC - Most Valuable Cupcake which is white with marshmallow butter cream

and chocolate cheesecake,

which are chocolate butter cakes with cream cheese icing. I hope whoever won them loved them!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All Things Pumpkin, All The Time

I cannot go through the Fall without making a ton of pumpkin flavored things. I've already posted the pumpkin cookies and pumpkin muffins, as well as a pumpkin coffee-cake. And now, drum-roll for the newest pumpkin dish........Pumpkin Roll. Who doesn't love them? This was made for a special request by my best friend, Becca.

And for more pumpkin excitement, I also made a pumpkin-swirl cheesecake for a charity auction last week. The crust was made from gingersnap cookies and toasted pecans....

And the center was a delicious pumpkin swirl.

And I only had one tiny crack, and if you know anything about baking cheesecakes, that is the hardest part - keeping it from cracking!

Halloween Always Makes Me Think of Dog-Nuts

As a kid, my older sisters and dad would always take me trick-or-treating. And when we returned to our house to sort through the bags of candy, my mother would be making dog-nuts in the kitchen. Dog-nuts = Donuts. So this Halloween, I decided to make some homemade donuts. Cinnamon-Sugar and Chocolate. They were great, but, like most donuts, not so great the next day. Good thing they were pretty much all gone the next day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sorry TWD

Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the TWD this week at all because I am sick with a cold. WAAAHHH!!! I was looking forward to making the Rugelach, and probably will in the near future, and I'll be sure to post it when I do. But in the meantime, click the TWD link to the right and check out some other blogs of those who managed to make it this week.

WTF Was She Thinking?

I recently got a new cupcake cookbook and, of course, was very excited to make something from it. Our neighbors were celebrating their 36th Wedding Anniversary so I decided to make some cupcakes for them. The hard part is, she is allergic to chocolate and nuts. (Why go on living?) So I chose a Caramel Banana recipe. Sounds lovely....

The first sign that I wasn't going to like these cupcakes was the cake recipe. The recipe was great up to the point where you add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest. I thought it sounded strange for a banana cupcake, but then again my fave banana cake recipe has coconut in it, so how bad could it be?

I hated it. Ok, hate is strong, but seriously, I did not like it. I did not like the lemon flavor in the cupcake at all.

Then the frosting. It was basically an Italian meringue buttercream with banana added. It started out lovely....

and ended in disaster. It totally broke down when I added the banana and looked disgusting. So I tossed it and made peanut butter buttercream instead, which was delicious. But the cupcakes remain, on my counter, uneaten, and below my gift-giving standards. I think I will stick to my fave recipes from now on...

I Love Olive Bread

My husband, Tom, loves olive bread. And I can't say I don't. But what I don't love is making breads. I can't explain why, it's just not as exciting to me as all other baked goods. But I am trying to learn to love it, and I think I'm actually getting there....

I tried to make this olive bread once before and failed miserably. The recipe failed to mention that you should drain and DRY your olives, otherwise they are too wet for the dough.

So this time I drained them and laid them out on paper towels for hours to dry, and them pressed them with paper towels again after I chopped them and....

it worked!

The bread is really really good, and it made two big loafs (which is nice).

I think I should have baked it a little longer to get a crisp, crunchy crust, but the soft crust is definitely not bad at all.

These Cake Pops Are Making Me Crazy - Help Me Bakerella!

So, if you haven't checked out Bakerella's blog (see Other SoGood Blogs to the right) then you simply must. She is awesome. The Queen of Cake Pops. She made the cutest Halloween cake pops, so I decided to make some for work. Of course, they were almost a disaster.

For some reason, several of them cracked when the chocolate dried. I can't figure out why, except that maybe the cake expanded as it thawed. But not that big of a deal.

What ticks me off even more is that this is the 2nd time I have purchased Wilton's crappy food color pens for $8. They DO NOT work! Bakerella apparently uses a different brand (Americolor) and I need to find those, because I could not use the Wilton ones to draw the faces on my jack-o-lanterns and ghosts. SO, I spent hours shaping little ghosts that ended up looking like white wedding bells instead (because they had no faces). Ugh.

But, they were still a hit - everyone loved them, and it will not stop me from making them again. Although it probably will stop me from making any which require drawing...

Jack Daniels - Cake Form

I received a special request from a friend that went something like this:
Friend: "Do you make cupcakes with Jack Daniels in them?"
Me: "Sure, why not!"
Friend: "I'll take a dozen!"

The cupcakes were for Friend's boyfriend who is an avid catamaran sailor (is that right?). So I topped a few of them with chocolate catamarans. The cakes are basically a vanilla cake with Jack Daniels, pecans and chocolate chips in them, and a buttercream frosting made with Jack Daniels.

Admittedly, I hate Jack Daniels (but my husband loves it)so I didn't even taste these. The smelled like JD out of the oven and after, so I couldn't even bring myself to put a crumb in my mouth. My husband did try them, however, and he thought they were pretty good, but "I wouldn't make them again," he snorted. The taste of JD was apparently pretty strong. Duh.