Monday, October 31, 2011

Mrs. Fox's Sweets 2011 Halloween Recap

The day has finally arrived....
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year and I have made lots of desserts this past month in honor of it! This day brings out the kid in each of us! I love the costumes, trick-or-treating, spookiness, and cool crisp air, just to name a few things! Oh, and how could I forget to mention all the fun foods and creative desserts that Halloween lends ideas to?
Here are the Top 9 Most Visited Desserts from Mrs. Fox's Sweets, plus the last Halloween Dessert of the season:
Last Halloween Dessert: Miss Pink People Eater Cupcakes
#9: Spooky Nerds Cupcakes
#8: Fall Brownies

Okay I couldn't stop there...may as well recap all of the sweets that I have made!
Be careful and watch out for ghouls, goblins, and princesses running around!
It's still not too late to bake up something, unless you are reading this at bed time!
Hope you had or are still having a wonderful Halloween!
Note: The rankings were as of the last Blogger Stats update before finalizing this post. All others are in no particular order.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Think Pink Cookies

Painting the Blog World PINK for a Day!
When I received the email from Marilyn from the Artsy Girl Connection about participating the "Paint the Blog World PINK for a Day" event, how could I say no? Sure we are all knee deep in Halloween right now, and an upcoming birthday that I am working on as well, I could go on and on about all the things on my plate right now, but then again, we all have a lot on our plates. This is a reason that we forget to do our monthly breast self exam, or to get our mammograms when it is time, we put it aside and say "I'll do it later." Which is a reason why I thought it was important to take part in this event, to remind everyone to take a moment for themselves and to remind their sisters, mothers, friends, to do the same.
Lesson 1: Step Out of your Comfort Zone and Don't Wait Until Later!
Early detection is the best way to survive breast cancer! Step out of your comfort zone and get checked! Your doctor should be checking you yearly and depending on your age or symptoms may recommend a mammogram.
For this PINK event, I am making cookies...also a little out of my comfort zone!
Lesson 2: Not everything goes as planned!
Left photo: original recipe. Right photo: original recipe with dough chilled and smaller cookies. 
I thought I had found the perfect recipe and it just was not turning out right! Was it because I used a different brand cookie mix? Margarine instead of butter? I tried to refrigerate the dough before baking, no luck. I tried changing the oven temperature and size of cookies, still no luck. I went back to recheck the directions for any changes and found I wasn't the only one with this problem. I just feel it would just be wrong for me to share that recipe!
Who knows the reason. Sometimes there is no reason and things just happen.
When life gives your lemons...make lemonade!
Lesson 3: Adapting
Life happens, stay positive! Be supportive for someone in need!
The original recipe was based on a doctored up sugar cookie mix with powdered sugar. In the end, I ended up adding flour and baking powder to keep these from going totally flat. I made a lot of cookies! Some were flat, some spread out too much, some were crunchy, some were soft inside.
Lesson 4: Surviving
Finally, I had adapted the original dough enough to make a cookie I could live with.
The final outcome was crisp on the outside, yet slightly chewy in the middle, much different than the type cookie I set out to make.
Sometimes with cookies, as in life, everything doesn't work out as planned, but then again this post is about Painting the Blog World PINK and raising awareness...not making cookies!
In the end they all tasted good, even the first few cookies that looked more like crackers!
The end result didn't look so bad either!
So you may be asking why didn't I just scrap this idea and make a recipe that I know more about and that will come out great?
My answer: doesn't go as planned, and as I was making these cookies, with the huge let down of the test cookies, and then things seemed to be getting even worse. I had to make so many changes to my original plan. The whole process really made me think of the woman who just got her diagnoses of Breast Cancer, she wasn't planning on, yet she must keep going....
Make Your Own Pink Cookies (Easy Method!)
 1 bag sugar cookie mix (plus ingredients needed on package)
pink coloring
white chocolate chips 
3-4 tablespoons flour (if you want to roll dough for rounder cookies)
In mixer with dough hook, mix together cookie mix, plus ingredients on package. Add in pink coloring. Stir in about 1/2 of a 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips, more or less depending on your preference.
Method 1: If you would like to roll your cookies into balls for a rounder appearance in the finished cookie, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of flour to the cookie dough and roll into balls, slightly flattening before placing on cookie sheet.
Method 2: Using no flour, just drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake as directed on cookie mix.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
But, Breast Cancer doesn't just occur in October!
Looking for a PINK idea and not into the cookies?
Check out my Think Pink Cupcakes!

Visit the other  Paint the Blog World PINK participants below:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Miss Pink People Eater Cupcakes

Does our drool turn you on?
Karen Tack and Allan Richardson from "Hello, Cupcake!" have done it again! Okay, this was from last year, but super CUTE! You can view an easy Video Tutorial at Taste of Home to learn to make the Purple People Eaters!
Liz from Hoosier Homemade has just made Purple and Green People Eaters this week and she shows how to make these with a fabulous Picture Tutorial at Hoosier Homemade!
With 2 wonderful tutorials already available, I was able to put down the camera and just have a lot of fun making the People Eaters and I am sharing the finished product!
My little twist to these guys gals, is I made mine into girls!
This is what you need for Miss Pink People Eater:
Cupcakes (I even colored the batter Pink!)
Canned Frosting (colored Pink!)
Large Marshmallows (for eyes)
Mini M&M's (for pupils)
Mini Marshmallows (for teeth)
Laffy Taffy (tongue)
Pretzel Sticks
Tube of Black Icing (for the eye lashes)
Aren't we ADORABLE?!

These Monsters are Making People Laugh at:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Who doesn't love candy corn?
Okay, sure there are people that don't, but I do!
Remember these? My favorite box mix and this cute little cupcake party pack I got from Target?
Today, I am using the candy corn liners and pics from the set! I am showing you this, because I love cute cupcake liners and forgot to take a picture of the bottom of the! I love kits like this pick and liner kit, quick and easy way to make a cute cupcake, especially for parties or when you need to make a lot and there is no time for details.
I had not yet grabbed the candy corn out of the cabinet yet, so followed the color order from the picks and liners, is that the wrong order? I divided the batter in half and colored the first half orange and left the second half as is, since it was about the color of the yellow on the picks. I probably should have added some additional yellow coloring to the pale yellow batter. After the orange was in the liner, I added the filling, and then topped with yellow.
I topped the cupcakes off with Wilton Decorator Icing, a pick, and a few pieces of candy corn. Notice the different order of the candy corn colors on the actual candy corn? Yellow is on the bottom of the candy corn. The candy corn is by Branch's, which is my favorite from what I have tried. The picks, liners, and background paper all have orange on the bottom. Hmmmm?
Whatever the proper order, yummy was the flavor!
So what order is the colors on your candy corn?

These Cupcakes are Shared at:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spiderweb Cupcakes (Tutorial plus more!)

In case you missed it, earlier this week I went on an adventure to Happy Hour Projects and wrote my first guest post as Blog of the Week! If you haven't visited her, you should! Adrianne has such wonderful craft projects that can be done in about an hour! In keeping with the "Happy Hour Project" spirit, I made these cupcakes, which can be completed in about an hour, maybe a little longer, since the cupcakes will need to cool. The fun part...Adrianne made them too!
Spiderweb Cupcakes

What you need:
Black Candy Melts
Spider Sprinkles
Black Sugar Sprinkles
Orange Gel Coloring
waxed paper
piping bag
tip 4 (optional)
tip 1M

Step 1: Bake your favorite cupcakes!
I used a recipe that I like quite a lot Buddy Valastro's Vanilla Cake- from the Rachel Ray Show Website. This time, I did make them a little bit different in substituting out half the butter for unsweetened applesauce. It does make the cake a slight different texture, but still taste great. You can also just take a box mix, add 1 cup water and 1 cup unsweetened applesauce as a healthier alternative, no eggs or oil, again a little different texture and slightly denser, but healthier.
Just bake up whatever cupcakes you would like, after all they are your cupcakes!
Let cupcakes cool before decorating. To speed up the process, stick them in the freezer for a few minutes!
Step 2: Make Spiderwebs
While cupcakes are baking, on waxed paper covered board pipe out your spiderwebs with black Candy Melts, I used Wilton Candy Melts. Microwave about 1 cup of melts in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute on 50%, stirring halfway, I added about 1/4 tsp of shortening to the melts to make them easier to pipe. After candy is melted, pour into piping bag with size 4 tip, or just use a zipper bag and snip a tiny corner off to pipe for no clean up. However, I like the control of having a tip on a piping bag. Be sure not to make the spiderwebs too thin or they will break easily when removing from waxed paper.
 . Immediately after piping each spiderweb, add your spider candy while the it is wet, these are by Wilton also. Make a few extra to allow for breakage. Once you are done put them in the refrigerator to set.

Step 3: Make Icing
I made Buttercream, using margarine instead of butter, but feel free to use your favorite icing recipe, or just use store bought icing! Color your icing whatever color makes you happy! Place icing in piping bag fitted with 1M swirling tip. I find it easier to put the bag in a cup to fill it.
Step 4: Decorate Cupcakes
Starting from outside and working your way to the center, swirl the icing onto the cupcake.
 Immediately sprinkle with black sugar and add a few spider sprinkles. Gently remove spiderwebs from waxed paper and gently pressing into the icing. Eat and enjoy!
I also decorated up some cool Witch Hat Cupcakes to go with the Spiderweb Cupcakes!
Now get to baking and have fun!
Happy Halloween!

That wasn't a demand...but I was thrilled when Adrianne told me she was going to try making these cupcakes herself! I just love seeing photos of when people remake my sweets! It really shows me not only are people reading my post, but they must actually kinda like it!  Now Adrianne says she is "not a foodie," but even as a beginner she did an awesome job! Her husband even became part of the fun running to her, after grabbing the camera, as he heard alarming noises coming from the kitchen! She is unveiling her first piping adventure today on Happy Hour Projects!
Stop by Happy Hour Projects and read about her fabulous and a little funny adventure!

Adrianne did ask if I would share a few additional tips for newbies and here they are:
  • Using a piping bag takes a little getting used to! Whether it buttercream, royal icing, or candy melts, I like to use a large cup to hold the bag as I fill it and that will also catch any drips while filling. An extra pair of hands is also helpful!
  • I use black office binder clips to hold the piping bag shut at the top after I twist it closed, bread ties work as well.
  •  Until you get comfortable with using a piping bag, fill it no further than 4 fingers high, this will give you more control.
  • When holding the piping bag your pinky finger should be closest to the tip, kinda like you are making a fist.
  • When using candy melts they can be very drippy or not drippy enough. Trust me, too drippy is better, if you have to squeeze too hard the bag will burst, been there done that! Experiment with different sized tips to help control the flow. No matter what, I usually end up with some candy drizzle on the counter top from when I sit the bag down. Keep papertowels handy!
  • If your tip does become stopped up unstop it with a toothpick or straight pin.
  • If using the 1M tip, you will not need a coupler, just cut the bag to fit the tip, snip about 1/3 inch off the bag, try the tip in for size, snip a little more if needed.
  • When starting out, as with any hobby, expect a lot of trips to your local craft store for start up supplies, tips, bags, colors, etc. Michael's is great, you can go to their website and get 40% or 50% off coupons!
  • Don't stress over it, even a messy cake taste great! We are our own worst critics! Check out Cake Wrecks!
  • Most of all HAVE FUN!

and in case you still missed it....

Thank you so much Adrianne for inviting me to guest post as Blog of the Week and for walking me through ever step of the way! This has been a lot of fun!

These Cupcakes are Shared at:
Around My Family Table: Turning the Table Thursdays
Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
Talking Dollars and Cents: Sweet Temptations

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mummies, Monsters, & Hybrids Cake Pops

Meet the Mummy & Monster Hybrid Family
Mummies are spooking everyone all over the internet right now, but I recently saw them haunting over at 365 Days of Cake Pops and thought, hey, what a good use for my leftover white candy! As I was running out of white, I decided to make purple ones too and since mummies aren't usually purple, I am calling them monsters, and together they made a family!
I didn't have the cute Wilton Candy Eyeballs, so I decided to make them from Mini M&M'S instead! I used a Wilton FoodWriter to draw the pupils. I also used this new favorite tool of mine, the Wilton Tweezers. They came in the Deluxe Gum Paste Tool Set. I never knew how much I needed these! I have held things still and placed small things on pops with my fingers. I have tried using dollar tweezers, that haven't helped a whole lot. These have a very wide head and work very well! I am not saying to buy the whole kit, unless you need the whole kit, but investing in a good pair of wide headed tweezers is very helpful when working with small things!
These guys and gals are very easy to make and very forgiving!
I accidentally put a little too much frosting into the crumbled cake and had a feeling that some would crack, the bandages can be made right over any cracks. Without needing a perfectly smooth base coat of candy to start, these are made very quick! I added the eyes with an additional dab of melted candy. Using a spoon I drizzled on the "bandages."
If you haven't made cake pops before, this is a great starter project!
Not sure where to start? View my Basic Cake Pop Tutorial.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spiderweb Cupcakes

I'm Going on an Adventure Today!
Hi everyone! I am so excited that Adrianne from Happy Hour Projects invited me over to be Blog of the Week and to write my very first guest blog post! Adrianne's projects can usually be done in about an hour, so sticking with that theme, and just in time for Halloween, I am sharing a tutorial on how to make these Spiderweb Cupcakes...and they only take about an hour!
These Spiderweb Cupcakes were the cupcakes that I made to go alongside the Witch Hat Cupcakes!
Follow me on my adventure over to Happy Hour Projects and check out my very first guest blog post and learn how to make these cool Spiderweb Cupcakes or just stop in and say "Hi!"
Happy Halloween!

Learn how I made the Spiderweb Cupcakes on my guest post at Happy Hour Projects!
Learn how I made the Witch Hat Cupcakes right here at Mrs. Fox's Sweets!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Martha Stewart's "Broken Glass" Cupcakes

When I saw Martha Stewart show these on the Today Show: October 18th Episode (Video Link) , I immediately thought they were the coolest thing! They are easy to make from stuff that is already in the cabinet. This is such a busy week and the last week before Halloween, I just figured I would file the idea away and make them next year. I usually stick to more kid friendly themes having a 3 year old, but when my teenage daughter saw them and absolutely loved them, I knew that I had to make them very soon (she is having mouth surgery Thursday- Field Hockey injury- um those mouth guards aren't perfect, even the good ones!) and she may not be able to eat something like this for a few days. Anyway these are super easy and very quick to make!
If you have been following Mrs. Fox's Sweets on Twitter or Facebook you already know this, if not I am sharing it with you now! I am trying to get a headstart on baking my teenage daughter's cakes for her birthday, and freezing them, so that on the big day I can just focus on the decorating part. For the top 2 layers of her birthday cake I am using the Cake Boss Vanilla Cake Recipe, so I used the leftover batter from that, for these cupcakes. I also used the Wilton Decorator Icing, since I already had that in the refrigerator. I am only making a dozen cupcakes, so I cut the ingredients for the "Broken Glass" down to 1/3 of the amount of the full recipe. If you cut the "Broken Glass" recipe down to 1/3, like I did, just use a nonstick loaf pan greased with butter to pour the clear caramel into, perfect size! For the dripping blood, I used a tube of Cake Mate Red Gel, heated in a cup of hot water.
You can view the Original FULL RECIPE at the Martha Stewart Website. I would love to have tried the cupcake and icing recipe that actually goes with this cupcake design. I have been a huge fan of Martha Stewart before I even had a clue how to bake. I did crochet her prison poncho, for myself, daughter, and dog too many years ago! I have watched her show for probably 15 years (until it moved to the Hallmark Channel, I don't have that channel) and I love her books and recipes, so nothing against Martha's recipe, just multitasking here!
These would really WOW guests at a Halloween party!

These Cupcakes are Shared at:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" Cupcakes

Welcome Great Pumpkin
We've made it! Just a week and a day until Halloween! With Halloween on a Monday this year, there are many Halloween events taking place in less than a week!
Every Halloween in my entire life, I spent waiting on the Great Pumpkin, more specifically "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" to air on broadcast television. The first year the show aired, Halloween was also on a Monday. It first aired on CBS on Thursday, October 27th, 1966 at 8:30PM. This year, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" will also air on Thursday, October 27th on ABC at 8PM est. It will be paired in the 8-9PM time slot with a shortened version of "You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown." I used to worry so much that I would miss seeing this!
Now we have the luxury of watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" year round, since we have the Peanuts DVD Box Set! We do too, I am up for watching it any day of the year! However, this time of year it is extra special to watch!
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" has taught us so many important lessons like:
"Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker."
An un-notarized signed document is worth nothing.
Santa Claus gets more publicity that The Great Pumpkin.
"A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality."
"Trick or Treating is legal."
Even if your brother is being a stupid blockhead, ask for candy at each house for him, after all he is your brother and you killed his pumpkin!
We also learn that a person with a bald round head makes a perfect model for a Jack-o-Lantern.
Bobbing for Apples was a favorite past my personal experience I thought I would drown doing so.
The fury of a woman scorned is nothing compared to the fury of a woman who has been cheated out of trick-or-treats!
This year I was super excited to be able to create  "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" Cupcakes too! I found the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Cupcake Liners at Michael's and I have been holding onto them for this special occasion. All of the decorations are made with fondant. The ghost are fondant held up with a Dum-Dum Lollipop.
Here's the gang in cupcakes from left to right- Pigpen, Marci, Violet, Lucy, and Charlie Brown.
The 1996 Merry Miniature Figurines in front are by Hallmark.
And remember...
Trick or Treats come only once a year!
Have a wonderful Halloween!

These Cupcakes are Shared at:
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