Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 29 :: Snickerdoodles

I actually made cookies this week! Gasp--I know.  Well...honestly, I made a couple cakes too (to be posted later) but cookies first!

These snickerdoodles were amazing--I have established (what I think) is the perfect recipe.  These cookies are light, fluffy and cinnamon-sugar-deliciousness.  But then again, you can't exactly go wrong with butter and sugar (why I love baking).

Prep time :: 25 minutes
Bake time :: 8 minutes/batch
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening (butter flavor preferred)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs and vanilla together.  Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Place dough in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Blend remaining sugar and cinnamon together.  Shape dough into balls about an inch around and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture (picture below). Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.

Happy baking!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 28b :: Tennessee Titans Cake

There were two cakes this week so I thought I would do another quick post on Lisa's Tennessee Titans Birthday Cake!  Here is a quick shot:

Happy Baking!

Week 28 :: It's a Girl!

This week is another cake (surprise!) for a baby shower.  I made this cake for one of the assistants at my dentist's office.  She has always been so sweet to me and I was thrilled to be asked to make a cake for her!  If you are looking for a dentist in Nashville, check out Nina Foley--everyone in their office is loads of fun, they do great work, and they give you headphones and blankets (among many other comfort measures) during your visits.  I highly recommend them!

Close-up of the bubble bath:

One tip for the week.  If you use a Kitchenaid (AKA God's gift to bakers) there is this little attachment that makes SUCH a difference, the Silicone Pour Spout, and it's $5.  It will fit other bowls as well but fits the Kitchenaid PERFECTLY.  Here is an action shot:

Shout out to my sweet Mom who found this wonderful tool for me!

Happy Baking!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 27 :: S-mores Cupcakes

This was such a sticky fun and easy recipe.  I needed to make quick cupcakes and didn't have all my cake-baking and decorating stuff with me.  I looked at a bunch or ideas online and came up with these s'mores cupcakes!   There are a ton of variations out there, all of which I am sure are great, (I mean how can you go wrong with chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker?) and this final idea was no exception.

Here is what you need:
  • Chocolate cake recipe
  • 13 oz marshmallow fluff
  • 1 package graham crackers (1/2 a box)--crushed into crumbs
  • 2 Hershey bars (12 squares each)
So you start with a basic chocolate cake recipe, and make 24 cupcakes.  Once they have completely cooled place a blob of marshmallow fluff on top like so:

Let it sit for a few minutes and the marshmallow will spread out on top of the cupcake.  If you have to spread out with the back of a spoon or a knife, let sit a little longer and it will smooth out.  Once the marshmallow has spread out, roll the cupcake in a plate of graham cracker crumbs like so:

Then add a little Hershey bar on top and voila!  If you don't serve immediately, keep in the fridge.

Note ::  Use foil cups for easier clean up.  Once the marshmallow has spread out you can remove the foil with any excess marshmallow and you are left with a plain liner on the cupcake!

Happy Baking!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week 26 :: Cupcake-cake!

It's Week 26 and I'm halfway there!  I'm starting to think that 52 Weeks of Sweets might last longer than 52 weeks...No problem though--I. Absolutely. Love. Baking. And this week was no exception.

I was asked to make a cake for a 5-year-old's cupcake themed birthday party.  I got a lot of direction from the mom and the cake turned out great--one of my favorites.  It's a white cake with plain buttercream icing, the birthday cake combo--one of my favorites.  To make the top cupcake tier I used Casabella Jumbo Silicone baking cups.  There is no need for a pan, just place on a baking sheet and go!  They bake evenly, cool quickly, and pop out easily without greasing the cups.  A great find I think.

When I delivered the cake I saw the adorable set-up the mom had created for the party, including personalized aprons(which you can see in the mirror in the picture below) for the little guests.  You can (and should) check her out here.  I think 52 Weeks of Sweets aprons may be in the near future!

I just adore the whole get-up for the party!  I am certain the birthday girl had a blast!

Another week down!  Happy Baking!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Week 25 :: Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila-Lime Buttercream Icing

You can make this recipe from scratch or use a "cheater" recipe.  Either is great, but the "cheater" version is super fast and super easy.  Here it is:

Margarita Cake
::Prep Time:: 5 minutes
::Bake Time:: 21 minutes
::Yields:: 24 cupcakes

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbs. oil
  • 1 Tbs. Tequila
  • 5 drops lime flavoring or a lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into prepared cupcakes pans with liners about half way full.
  4. Bake for 21-23 minutes
  5. Voila!

Tequila-Lime Frosting
::Prep Time:: 5 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups Crisco
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 10 drops lime flavoring or lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Tequila
  • 1/4 cup water as needed
  1. Mix butter, Crisco, Tequila, and lime flavoring until well blended.
  2. Mix in sugar slowly and add water until desired texture is reached.
Happy Baking!

Week 24 :: Golf, baseball, beer, the beach and country music....

Phew!  What a combination.  I had a request in the office to make a cake for a colleague that has somehow yet to try my cake.  I really enjoy tailoring my cakes to fit the personality of the person they are going to, so I asked what he liked.  Well....he likes golf, not working, vacationing, and hockey.....and the beach.....and beer.....and the Yankees.  Ummm.....well I'm glad this guys likes so much--I mean that's great!  But how I am supposed to make a cake that reflects all of that?!?!  After thinking about it for hours I came up with the idea to make three small cakes, each with their own theme--and here are the finished products!

Close-up of the Yankees cake:

Close-up of "Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand..."

Close-up of buzzed golfer cake:

Happy Baking--and be creative!