Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Personality Plus

Along the same vein as my last post, here are a couple more ways to personalize birthday cupcakes.

Legion of Dune

PIC PICKS
  1. Using a photo editor, crop a picture of the birthday boy or girl into a circle about 1" to 1.5" in diameter.
  2. Embellish the image by adding border(s), text, etc
  3. Copy and stamp the image so that you can get as many as desired/possible onto a single sheet.
  4. Print directly onto white cardstock, or print onto paper and affix to cardstock using a gluestick. (Prevents wrinkling.)
  5. Cut out circles.
  6. Attach each circle to a toothpick using a hot glue gun.
  7. Insert into top of cupcake.

Just JoJo

INITIAL COOKIES
  1. Bake butter cookies in letter shapes that correspond to the birthday boy or girl's initials.
  2. Decorate the cookies with royal icing and sprinkles.
  3. Place onto frosted cupcakes.

Merry Kitchen (extras): cookie cutter set

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mirror Mirror

If it's true that "you are what you eat", then I am a whole lotta cupcake! In fact, my body does have a little something commonly referred to as a "muffin top". (And we all know that muffins are simply naked cupcakes masquerading as breakfast.) For my 29th birthday, I decided to put a twist on things and make "what I eat" look like me instead.

Cute Birthday Girl Cupcake

BIRTHDAY GIRL CUPCAKES
Serves 24

raspberries
black gel
pink gel

  1. Bake yellow cupcakes. (recipe below)
  2. Make chocolate buttercream frosting. (recipe below)
  3. Fill pastry bag with frosting and fit with star tip.
  4. Once cupcakes are cool, pipe frosting along the top of each cake to create a lovely hairdo.
  5. Slice raspberries crosswise and place one slice in each girl's hair for a bow.
  6. Pipe 2 arches with black gel onto each cake to create eyes.
  7. Pipe pink gel onto each cake to create a sweet smile.

YELLOW CUPCAKES (adapted from cupcakes!)

2 1/2C all-purpose flour
1t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
3 eggs
2C sugar
1C canola oil
2t vanilla extract
1C sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin tin cups.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. On medium speed, mix eggs and sugar until thickened and lightened.
  4. On low speed, add oil and vanilla.
  5. Mix in sour cream.
  6. Add flour mixture.
  7. Divide batter into lined cups. Bake 23 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool in tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Invert tins to release cakes and continue cooling upright on wire rack.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (adapted from cupcakes!)

3oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/2C powdered sugar
1 1/2T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2C butter, room temp
1t vanilla extract
1/2C heavy cream, room temp

  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside.
  2. Sift sugar and cocoa in a bowl.
  3. Add butter. Mix on low speed.
  4. Mix in melted chocolate.
  5. Add vanilla and cream.
  6. On medium speed, beat the frosting until smooth and creamy and lightened.

Merry Kitchen (extras): muffin tins, #32 tip

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where's the Beef?!?

Besides inciting crazy sales on cars and mattresses, Memorial Day Weekend also marks the official start of Grilling Season. And what American BBQ is complete without burgers?!? Here are some fun ones that meat lovers and vegetarians alike can enjoy.

Burger Cupcakes

HAMBURGER CUPCAKES (adapted from FamilyFun.com)
white frosting
yellow food coloring
red food coloring
shredded coconut
green food coloring
Nilla wafers
orange juice
white sesame seeds
Grasshopper cookies (You could use other chocolate-coated cookies, but the irregular shape of Grasshoppers look more like patties.)
red,white and blue sprinkles

  1. Bake 1 batch of easy cupcakes and make enough white frosting to decorate. (I prefer to use the "kid-simple cupcakes" recipe from cupcakes!)
  2. Once cupcakes are cool, spread a smooth layer of frosting over the tops.
  3. Divide remaining frosting in half. Color one half bright yellow and the other half bright red. Put into separate pastry bags fitted with round tips.
  4. Tint the coconut by shaking in a plastic baggie with a couple drops of green food coloring.
  5. Lay out as many Nilla wafers as you have cupcakes. Brush each with orange juice and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let dry.
  6. Assemble each burger: Turn a naked Nilla wafer upside down. Add a very small dab of frosting. Attach Grasshopper cookie. Generously squirt red and yellow frosting on top. Sprinkle with tinted coconut. Top with a decorated Nilla wafer.
  7. Place one burger on each cupcake. Add sprinkles.
  8. Serve, and salute our nation's heroes.

Merry Kitchen (extras): small offset spatula, #6 tip, pastry brush

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Yummy Honeymoon

In keeping with my recent theme of bridal shower posts, here is a cake-related game from my friend's lingerie shower. The fun one with the BUTTer cookies.

As the bride opened up each gift, I had her name the lingerie set after a sweet treat--which I dutifully recorded. Then I scanned her Save the Date card and Photoshopped it to create a dessert menu listing each of the yummy items. The bride tucked this into her luggage and presented to the groom on the first night of their honeymoon. He was able to "order" a different outfit each night!

Dessert Menu

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Like Buttah

For a bolder bride or one that already has a well-equipped kitchen, a lingerie party may be more appropriate than a traditional shower. Here are some "BUTT-er Cookies" that I baked for my friend's bachelorette/bridal weekend. As a fun activity, I left them naked (hehehe) and let the guests decorate them with panties made of icing and sprinkles.

Bridal Shower BUTTer Cookies

BUTTer COOKIES (adapted from Baking Illustrated)
Makes 36 cookies

2 1/2C all-purpose flour
3/4C superfine sugar
1/4t salt
16T butter, cut into 1/2" squares and softened
2t vanilla extract
2T cream cheese, room temperature

  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt at low speed.
  2. Add butter 1 piece at a time. Mix until crumbly (~1 min).
  3. Add vanilla and cream cheese. Mix until dough forms large clumps (~30 sec).
  4. Knead the dough by hand for 2-3 turns.
  5. Divide the dough in half and pat into 4" disks.
  6. Wrap in plastic and refridgerate until firm (~20 min).
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Place one disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to 1/4" thickness.
  9. Slide the rolled dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Refridgerate until firm (~10 min).
  10. Repeat with second disk.
  11. Cut the rolled dough with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Use a sharp paring knife to trim off the bottom 1/3 of each heart.
  12. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place trimmed hearts onto lined sheet about 1 1/2" apart.
  13. Dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and rerolled once.
  14. Bake until cookies are light golden brown (~10 min) and cool on a wire rack.

Merry Kitchen (extras): parchment paper, cookie cutter set, paring knife