Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's Not the Ice Cream Man!

It's the Cupcake Van!
Part 2
"20 Ways to Eat a Cupcake"
Once again I was lured like a kid by candy to hunt down this cupcake van!
Remember they gave me a punch card, so that was like an open invitation! HAHAHA! There was also another little incentive this week, they asked people to post crazy pictures on Twisted Sisters Cupcakes Facebook Page of "20 Ways to Eat a Cupcake." My daughter was a recipient of one of these 20 cupcakes they were giving away, being the cutie that she is!
I checked there schedule on their Twisted Sisters Cupcakes Facebook Page and found a time and location that was convenient to me and we were off! I subscriped via SMS to there Facebook page for the day as well so make sure I would be aware of any changes once I was on the road. We beat the cupcake van to it's destination, which was interesting to watch. The parking lot was full of cars and as the Diva (cupcake van) arrived, people popped out from everywhere and lined up to get one of these cupcakes! Happy people arriving in cars, happy people walking, happy people from the bank where it was parked, happy people everywhere! Maybe that is all the world needs is more mobile cupcake vans!
We walked up to the cupcake van and were greeted with a smile! My daughter excitedly handed over her printout for her free cupcake and chose the "Pinkalicious!" Cassandra, one of the Twisted Sisters, even remembered her from the Twisted Sisters Cupcakes Facebook Page!
Today we picked out 4 different flavors to bring home! I put them in the car, a/c on high and headed home, they still melted a little bit as you can see in the picture. I guess with summer coming in the future I should bring a small ice chest!
The "Pinkalicious" is a Vanilla Cupcake with Crushed Strawberry Swiss Frosting to celebrate the Royal Wedding! There was a little pink crown on top, fondant maybe, I don't exactly know what it was made of but it tasted familiar and yummy! My daughter wants this cupcake next time too, so I hope they find a way to work a Princess Crown into some future cupcakes!
"Baby Cake" is Chocolate Cupcake with Black Currant Swiss Frosting drizzled with Ganache and topped with a home made Black Raspberry Sugar Candy. I had wanted this cupcake on my last visit since this cupcake goes to support the March of Dimes...and made the news, but last time they were sold out. This time, I got one! Chocolate...what can I say? It tasted great! I loved the Black Currant flavor too!
Strawberry Lemonade Smash is a Lemon Cupcake with Crushed Strawberry Swiss Frosting and this cupcake screams "SUMMER!" I really liked the cake flavor! Would have been nice with a glass of lemonade too!
Chocolate Overload...do I need to explain this? There is no such thing as Chocolate Overload! I would rename this "Chocolate YUM!" This has been the only cupcake that I have gotten so far from Twisted Sisters Cupcakes with a Chocolate American Buttercream and I LOVE IT! The cake tasted a little like brownie chocolate, different from the Baby Cake. I love that extra chocolate added and the Chocolate American Buttercream...just hand me the bowl! YUM! There was even a little yellow candy flower on top of this cupcake! I love those extra little touches of cute!
From left to right...Pinkalicious- Baby Cake- Chocolate Overload- Strawberry Lemonade Smash
This visit to Twisted Sisters Cupcakes was fabulous! No lack of flavor this time in any of the cupcakes! Like I said, I am super picky about my cupcakes and not everyone likes everything! I am getting used to the Swiss Frosting too, last time it was a first for me and I wasn't that sure how I liked it, but this time I liked all 3 of the cupcakes with the Swiss Frosting!
So how do I eat a cupcake?
First, I photograph these little piece of artwork, so they aren't just a memory to my taste buds. I love cupcakes and each one is special to me! Next, I cut them into enough pieces for everyone so that we each may sample and enjoy all of the cupcakes! Finally, we all enjoy the cupcakes together!
If I bake so many cupcakes...why am I chasing down a cupcake van?
While I love baking cupcakes, and decorating them, sometimes the sweetest cupcakes are the ones that don't dirty up my kitchen! Cupcakes are like people, each looks different with a different personality, and while I am not a cannibal, I do like trying cupcakes other than mine from time to time!
For more information and upcoming locations visit them at Twisted Sister Cupcakes on Facebook and Twisted Sister Cupcakes Website
 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wilton Course 1: Decorating Basics- Lesson 4

THE FINAL CAKE

Today is my final Lesson in Wilton Course 1....It's Graduation Day!
Prep work for my final cake was rather difficult being it was Easter Weekend and I was busy preparing for that as well. I chose to do the 3 color Rose cake. For the final cake, we had to have our 8" 2-layer cake frosted with a border and ready to go. We are also suppose to have our icing colored and in a bag with the proper tip for our ribbon rose...Wilton tips 12 for the base and 104 for the petals. We will spend 1 hour and 50 minutes learning to make these, if it is anything like the drop flower I will need a good 50 hours! Speaking of drop flowers, we had to pre-make any additional flowers needed for our cake. I needed 12 each Pink, Yellow, and Orange drop flowers, and I discovered while trying to make them, I don't like making drop flowers! I just can't get them to look right! After making what felt like a hundred, I managed to make some that I can live with...I don't love them, but I can live with them.
Many thoughts are racing through my head: Did I make enough of each color? Yes. If I didn't will I be able to get the leftover white to match? Didn't need to. Will the drop flowers that I made come off the waxed paper without breaking? They did come off the waxed paper, but I had to stick them back in the freezer each time after placing 5 or 6 to harden them back up, the temperature is hitting 90 today, so not necessarily decorating weather! Will my cake arrive to and from class without melting? Yes.
Class tonight was amazing! Everyone caught on to the ribbon rose pretty quickly. Of course we would, our teacher was amazing! Everyone had a different looking cake and everyone's cakes looked great! One girl from class will be continuing on to Course 2 with me, so that is exciting too! I am very pleased with my cake as well as everything that I learned in Course 1! That all comes from having a great teacher!
At the end of class we had our little graduation ceremony and the teacher called up each of us individually for our certificates. I hope to cross paths again one day with some of my other classmates that aren't taking the next class with me and wish each of them good luck in continuing their adventures.
I am totally excited that on May 10th I start:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Coconut Cupcakes!

After eating a wonderful Coconut Cupcake last week from a local cupcake van, I was inspired to create my own! I started by scouring cupcake cookbooks for ideas!
The Coconut Cupcake recipe came from Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes, I love this book, great recipes, great pictures. Instead of following the directions exactly, I just used the cupcake part of the recipe  and replaced butter for applesauce, I also added 1 teaspoon coconut extract. This recipe does have filling and frosting included, I just chose to use a different filling and frosting. You could also just add 1 teaspoon coconut extract to your favorite white or yellow cupcake recipe. The frosting I used came from another book I really like, Betty Crocker Just Cupcakes. I wanted a graham cracker crust, and couldn't find a recipe with a how to on this, so I just used the ratio 8 whole graham crackers (not broken on the lines) to 4 Tablespoons butter. Crush the graham crackers first in a zipper bag with a rolling pin and then put them in a bowl with melted butter.
I put about 2 teaspoons of the graham cracker crust into the bottom of each cupcake liner (24 liners). I smashed this down with a small cup and then put the cupcake batter into each of the 24 liners dividing evenally, about 3/4 of an ice cream scoop. I took the picture below before squishing down the graham cracker crust.
The cupcakes baked at 350 for about 18 minutes. While they were cooling I lined a cookie sheet with parchment and toasted about half a bag of coconut and put that in the 350 degree oven, taking out every 2 minutes to stir, for a total of about 8-10 minutes. While the coconut was toasting, I mixed up some Coconut Cream pudding and let that set up, this is what I filled the cupcakes with using the long Wilton Tip 230 and the pudding in a piping bag. I filled them quite full poking 2 holes in each cupcake. You can either use a spoon and scoop off the extra or just leave it on and frost right over it.
I put the filled cupcakes in the refrigerator while I prepared the coconut frosting according to the Coconut Cream forsting recipe in the book Betty Crocker Just Cupcakes. The key ingredient in the recipe is another 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to a buttercream icing, butter, not shortening.
Finally I just snipped the end off a piping bag, filled it with my icing and swirled it on each cupcake, this can be as neat or as messy as you want, no one will see it. After putting icing on each cupcake I pressed the toasted coconut into the icing and some of the cupcakes I topped with a Wilton Nest with Jelly Beans Royal Icing Decoration.
The others I topped with Reese's Pieces Eggs, leaving the filling of the cupcake uncovered so the candies would stick to it.
I love how they turned out!
The taste of coconut is throughout the cupcake and that is what I like in a coconut cupcake! These would make great anytime cupcakes without the decorations!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wilton Course 1: Decorating Basics- Lesson 3

CUPCAKES!
This week we are decorating 6 cupcakes in Wilton Decorating Basics Lesson 3. I am very excited about this because...I love Cupcakes!

I read in various places that prep time for these classes can be quite long and I have found for myself how true that is! I probably spent about 2 hours prepping, which is nothing compared to the time I spent prepping for the cake last week.  With class on Monday, it is hard to get the prep work done on Sunday, with weekends always busy and impossible to try and squeeze in on Monday before class. This week, I actually began the prep work for these 2 days in advance baking cupcakes. I decorated 18 for the family (you can see the ones not for class on my post Quick & Easy Easter Cupcakes) and then I reserved 6 in plain white wrappers for the class on Monday. I am storing them in my Wilton Cupcake Carrier in the refrigerator.

In addition to our 6 cupcakes, we need 2 recipes of the Wilton Class Buttercream, divided, colored, bagged, and with the proper tip ready to work. This sure seems like an awfully lot for 6 cupcakes! I made this 1 day in advance, since the day of the class will be pretty busy for me. If we wish, we can fill the cupcakes, so I am filling mine with Sugarfree Strawberry Preserves. I tried filling a cupcake earlier this year, and didn't get enough filling inside, so I am hoping our instructor has some tips for knowing when the cupcake has enough filling without busting in half! Total there will be 7 piping bags, filled, tipped, and ready to decorate with!

In lesson 3, we are learning the 1M Swirl (I have that one down!), Shells, Leaves, Drop Flowers, Rosettes, Shaggy Mums (I made these before for Cheerleading pompoms for birthday cupcakes since that is what they look like), and Pompom Flowers (which don't look like pompoms at all!) These skills will be used to decorate our 6 cupcakes.
These are the 6 cupcakes that I made in class! I had a hard time getting them out of the container that I transported them in so they didnt look as well as I hoped when I photographed them. I should have just used my Wilton Cupcake Carrier. Overall, I am happy with how they turned out and really enjoyed this lesson!
Next week is the 4th and final class for Decorating Basics- The Final Cake!

It's Not the Ice Cream Man!

It's the Cupcake Van!

It is no surprise that I LOVE CUPCAKES! I recently saw a cupcake van on the news making a special cupcake called the "Baby Cake" with 25 cents from each one going to support the March of Dimes. The cupcake van is owned by 2 sisters and together they make up Twisted Sisters Cupcakes. They don't have a storefront, just a van called the "Diva"! They go to new destinations each week in the Hampton Roads area and to find out where they are going to be you need to check the schedule on there website, follow them on Facebook, or Twitter. After seeing them on the news, I immediately began following them on Facebook and was super excited to see just a week or so after following them, they were coming to a parking lot near me! Everyone seemed so happy to see this van that says:
"Move over Ice Cream Man- We have BIG GIRL treats!"
We were greeted at the window by a happy and sweet girl...sorry didn't get her name!
We barely made it to the van before they were leaving, so pickins' were slim, but I was able to get 2 out of 3 of the choices that I wanted and the alternate! They were sold out of the special "Baby Cake" that supports the March of Dimes. They also give you a punch card...great incentive for coming back!
The cupcakes that I chose (from left to right in photo BELOW) were: "Grammie's Coconut Cream Pie", "Harry Potter Butterbeer", and "The Keys".
We split each of these cupcakes 3 ways so that we each could enjoy each of them!
First up, "Grammie's Coconut Cream Pie"- all I can say is YUM!!! We all really enjoyed this cupcake, topped with a Vanilla Cream Swiss frosting and it was filled with a creamy coconut filling, just perfect,  great texture and a graham cracker crust in the bottom. This cupcake tasted of coconut in everybite and is what a Coconut Cupcake should taste like! PERFECTION!

Second, we tried "The Keys" cupcake (pictured last). The cream cheese frosting was pretty good. The Cream Cheese cupcake, did lack a little in the flavor department, and the lime curd inside, well we all would have preferred a little more filling, there was just a small squirt of it. However, again we loved having the Graham cracker crust in the bottom! Over all this cupcake was pretty good!

Last, the cupcake that we were all most excited about "Harry Potter Butterbeer"! I had a mug of the Harry Potter Butterbeer at Universal last year and let me tell you this cupcake, didn't taste like the drink! The Cream Soda Cupcake had a good texture, but lacked a bit in the flavor department. This was also supposed to be filled with Home Made Butterscotch, and there was just a little drop inside, so that was a little disappointing. The Butterscotch Swiss frosting, well we weren't really fans of that either. I could feel the fat in my mouth. Their Coconut Cupcake had a Vanilla Cream Swiss frosting that I absolutely loved, so not sure why the Butterscotch Swiss frosting was so different in texture and didn't have that nice flavor.
So while it may sound like I wasn't that thrilled, let me tell you I really was! I love the concept of the Cupcake Van, I think they call this the "Diva", from what I have read. They really do a great job on there cupcakes, and I am very picky with my cupcakes being a baker myself, dissecting every little bite! I am sure most people just eat there cupcakes normally!  Overall, I have recommended Twisted Sisters Cupcakes to my friends, with my honest opinion, and I do plan on stopping by the van when they are in my area again and trying 3 entirely different cupcakes...okay I may have to get the "Grammie's Coconut Cream Pie" again...and my daughter made me promise I would get that one for her again next time too! She never like coconut before this cupcake!

Each week they offer 6 different cupcakes, so you can't get bored with that line up! This week they are cooking up a special Easter decorated cupcake for this week...too bad when they are in the area, I won't be. You can also let them know what you want ahead of time by giving them a shout on Facebook or calling them and they will reserve it for you, and they take preorders on there website. Again this week, they will have that "Baby Cake" cupcake to support the March of Dimes, it is a Chocolate Cupcake with a Black Currant Swiss frosting drizzled with gnache! YUM! Also, if they reach 1,000 Facebook Fans by May 1st they will donate an additional 10 cents per new fan so go to the Twisted Sister Cupcakes Facebook Page and "Like" them!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quick & Easy Easter Cupcakes

Short on time? Need to bring some cupcakes to work or for school? These cupcakes are for you!
No huge tutorial here, you don't need it! I used a Betty Crocker Spring Party Chip Cake mix made with unsweetened applesauce instead of oil in the same amount, just drop the water down to 1 cup. Bake for 17 minutes and cool, they cool pretty quick, within 15 minutes they were ready to decorate. The frosting is store bought, Pillsbury Spring Funfetti frosting, 2 containers of it to decorate the 24 cupcakes. Put the frosting in your piping bag with the Wilton 1M tip. Sprinkle the tops with the sprinkles that come with the Pillsbury Spring Funfetti frosting and top with a Wilton Bunny Icing Candy and wallah, your done! 
Super quick, super easy, super fun, in under an hour!

This Cupcake is linked to Cupcake Tuesday- where you can find new cupcake ideas every Tuesday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cakes of the Past

It's Flashback Friday!
This is a weekly segment that I post to show you some of my past adventures...

With only a little over a year of decorating...I am almost out of stuff to share with you for my Flashback Friday that isn't related to a specific holiday, so this weekly posting may be coming to an end very soon!

I have not made many cakes, I am more into cupcakes, and find cakes to be a lot more work! I have already shared a few of the cakes here on my blog... 2 Hello Kitty Cakes and the Tinkerbell Cake, and this week in the Wilton Decorating Basics class we decorated a Dimensional Cupcake Cake, today I am going to share with you the cakes of the past!
German Chocolate Birthday Cake
Checkerboard Birthday Cake and Pom-Pom Cupcakes
 Lemon and Orange Checkerboard Cake (checker pattern turned out better this time!)
Valentine 2010 Cake- this was my first attempt at making roses for a cake and one of the big reasons why I am now taking decorating classes...to learn how to make a proper rose!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hello Kitty- Apples and Bananas Cupcakes

These cupcakes taste great without icing, they are low calorie and low fat, and really could be eaten for breakfast or a lunchbox snack! However, I have leftover icing from my Wilton Decorating class this week and Hello Kitty liners and Candies that are begging to be used!
I started by finding a Banana Cupcake Recipe that I liked from Disney Family Fun and then changed it up a bit to suit my tastes. This recipe makes 23 standard sized cupcakes.
Ingredients
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Applesauce*
1-1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Wilton Clear Almond Flavoring*
3/4 Cup Milk (I used 1%)
3 Mashed Bananas (about 1-1/4 Cup)*

(*These are the ingredients that I changed from the original recipe)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together the applesauce and sugar, then beat in the eggs, added baking soda and salt and alternately add in the flour and milk, finally add in the bananas, mixing on low until combined. I filled 23 liners about 3/4 full and baked for 19 minutes. Take the cupcakes out of pans and cool on wire rack until fully cooled. I like to put a papertowel on top of the wire rack so that the cupcake doesn't get grooves in the bottom. I find by cooling them this way the wrapper stays nicer and peels of easier.
I calculate these cupcakes (with no icing) to be only about 110 calories each with only about 1 gram of fat. I came to this calculation by adding the calories of all of my ingredients and dividing by 23 for the 23 cupcakes that I made and then doing the same with the fat. I am no nutritionist or mathematician...so I can't promise this is 100% accurate, but it should be in the ballpark!

I love cupcakes and eat lots of them, so I do try and make substitutions whenever possible to lower the calories and fat in my cupcakes and family and friends actually preferred the taste of the lower calorie/fat cupcakes. I have learned a lot of the substitutions from the Hungry Girl books, email newsletters, and website. You can have a low calorie/lowfat cupcake without sacrificing taste!
Try one of these before you decorate them, my daughter and I love them as-is!
I had Almond flavored buttercream icing leftover from my Wilton Class this week, so I am using that to decorate my cupcakes. I first made a ring around the cupcake with the bright pink with a size 12 tip. Then I put a 1M swirl on top of that, sprinkled with pink sanding sugar and added the Wilton Hello Kitty candy piece to the top!
Here's the class picture!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wilton Course 1: Decorating Basics- Lesson 2

This week is my second lesson in the Wilton Decorating Basic Class! We will be transferring a pattern using piping gel and using "dimensional decorating". The entire class will be making the same cake with our own choice of colors. We will be doing the Cupcake Cake.

My Cake from lesson 2
-Day 1-
For class we need to bring a cake iced with Wilton Class Buttercream Icing and then bring an additional recipe of icing to decorate the cake with in class. I have done all the prep work a day early, down to the coloring of the additional icing for tomorrows decorating. The weather was warm today and it has taken awhile for the icing to become "dry to the touch". I am glad that I have allowed myself plenty of time starting day before the class to prepare the cake. Today I completed both the crumb coat and the top coat, about 6 hours apart.  I keep remembering the teacher said we have 3 DAYS to decorate a cake!
-Day 2-
So tonight is the class....the weather is even warmer hotter and my cake isn't holding up as well as I had hoped. I love hot weather...but it isn't agreeing with my cake. I am about to go nuts trying to smooth the icing since it once crusted but no longer is due to the humidity, I guess. I have a fan blowing on it on high trying to keep the buttercream from melting off. I don't want to refrigerate it since in just a few hours I will have to bring it outside in even hotter temperatures. At this point, I am really rethinking about signing up for another class during spring/summer. I want to but if everything is going to melt...I don't know! I may wait until that dreadful cold weather is back. Cupcakes are soooooo much easier!
Naked Cake to be decorated tonight
-Night 2-
Turns out everyone had a problem with there icing melting today, glad it wasn't just me!
Class went very well and everyones cakes looked great and I went ahead and signed up for the 2nd Course- Flowers and Cake Design!
Side view of cake
Next week- Cupcakes! Now that is one lesson that I won't stress over!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Hello Mickey!

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes
4/8/2011

A Years Worth of Disney Cupcakes!

It's Flashback Friday!
This is a weekly segment that I post to show you some of my past adventures...
Last year just finishing a family trip to Disney World and gearing up for an anniversary trip to Disney World and a Disney Cruise, I made lots of Disney Cupcakes and my first cake!!!
To start with since I had never successfully baked and decorated a cake I had *ahemm* ordered...my daughters 2nd birthday cake...Tinkerbell...which I later recreated in a round version for her 2-1/2 year old...half birthday...which is something we just started celebrating in 2010 right after I started baking.
Mother and Father's Day 2010
Since my youngest likes Tinkerbell so much, for Mother's Day with my leg in a cast, I made Tinkerbell Cupcakes piping my first stars ever. To keep with the Disney theme, on Father's Day I made Mickey Mouse Cupcakes for my husband!
July 2010
With leftover Tinkerbell supplies, I made Tinkerbell Cupcakes again in July!

July 2010
My daughter saw "The Little Mermaid" cupcake liners and candies and wanted "The Little Mermaid" cupcakes! I remember it was so hot outside this day that the icing wanted to melt right off!

August 2010
This is the 2-1/2 year old half-birthday cake that I made....my first cake!
I used no eggs, no oil, lemon flavored cake and lemon flavored buttercream icing. I had never piped a flower in my life and really had no clue. I also found out why you need to foil cover the cake board...it soaked up the buttercream icing.

August 2010
More Mickeys! Chocolate and Cream Cheese Icing!

Then came September 2010...right before our Anniversary Disney Cruise and Trip. Since the kids were staying home with Grandma, I left them goodies...I loved how the water turned out under the ships with the whitecaps, the picture doesn't do them justice!

The first night of dinner on our Disney Cruise they presented us with an Anniversary Cake! Awesomeness!

While waiting to watch the "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween" parade at the Magic Kingdom, I went down to the bakery and got a cupcake! I have to get a cupcake where I go! If you look closely you can see Cinderella's Castle to the right of the cupcake! These things were SUPER SWEET! Thank goodness I just got one for the two of us to share! I think the whole family could have shared this sweetness! At Downtown Disney I purchased a Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutter...still haven't used it yet! As soon as I get a little better at decorating cookies, I plan too, just got to make sure my cookies will be "Mickey Worthy!"

Soon the trip was over and we were happy to be home with the kids...and of course started breakfast off with Mickey and Minnie Pancakes!
These were 2 of my favorite plates of Mickey and Minnie pancakes!

My youngest wanted a flower and Princess crown...I did my best and she was happy!

So that ended my year of Disney Cupcakes, Cakes, and Pancakes...but expect to see some again very, very soon this year in 2011!
 
View My Other Disney Cakes and Cupcakes

This Flashback is shared at:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Decorating Basics...Leftover Cookies!

I had 7 cookies left from the Wilton Decorating Basics Class that I took last night, so I decided to try my hand at using some "Cookie Icing" from a recipe I found that really didn't work for me...so back to the drawing board and on the search for a recipe that I like. I also made the mistake of not waiting long enough for the icing to dry before moving on to the next color.
In case you are wondering, those are supposed to be Easter Eggs that I drew on the cookies. You may also be wondering, where did the other 3 cookies go? Well, I originally took a picture of all of them, huge glare and after a few were eaten tried to photograph them again with different settings and that photo looked better!

Wilton Course 1: Decorating Basics- Lesson 1

After signing up nearly a month ago to take the Wilton Decorating Basics Class, last night was my first lesson!
I actually began preparing for the class on Sunday (the day before my class) with making the 6 plain flat cookies. I used my favorite recipe for cut-out cookies, which is the Martha Stewart Essential Recipe No. 2: Sugar Cookies. From the Wilton Class Discussion Forum I had read that 3" or larger is best. 3" looked so small, so I went with a 4" round cutter to make sure I had plenty of room to decorate!

Before the class I was seriously getting nervous! After everyone arrived to class the Wilton Instructor introduced herself.  She is a Master Chef, Master Pastry Chef, and Nutritionist...I hope I got all that right! Anyway she really has a passion for food and wants to share her knowledge with anyone that wants to learn! We did class introductions, everyone taking the class for a different reason. Some for a hobby, some to get better at what they already know, there was even someone there to prepare for decorating her own wedding cake!

We learned to properly prepare the icing in the bag and then used the practice board, making stars and zigzags. Let me tell you that Wilton Decorating Icing in the small tub, that everyone brought...it is thick and hard to squeeze out of the bag. I definitely prefer homemade buttercream! Then we pulled our cookies out. I was surprised to see most everyone brought in store bought cookies! Well that isn't me, but to each her own! We just used the icing as is...white...blah! Then she let us decorate away, there were ideas in the book, but without color or a whole lot of time, I made our families initials. 
While we were decorating, the instructor began showing us how to make our own class buttercream icing and the difference between the consistencies and the flavorings and how to color. She gave us tons of hints and tips and the class was FULL of information! In the end she showed us how to use the icing tip and a 16" bag to ice a cake. She did this so quickly and it looked great! I have that tip, I have used it, but after the icing is on the cake it takes me forever to get it smooth! So here is where I really learned a lot. You need to apply the crumb coat...then wait an hour for it to dry over before you put on the final icing. Dry? I have never let anything dry! I just start and don't stop until it's done, so the icing is sticking to the other icing, and...well you get the picture, it takes me near to forever to get it smooth. I didn't know it needed to dry, so I think this will really help me a lot! It can also be smoothed with Viva paper towels or parchment paper after it has dried.

This class is definitely going to help me a lot with my methods. From my experience so far, I would say that EVERYONE needs to take this class! It should be taught in high school!

Next week we bring in a cake, iced and we are doing a piping gel transfer picture on it. Dimensional Decorating it is called...or 3-D. There are 3 templates we can use, a fish, a cupcake, or a hamburger or we can make our own, she doesn't want to confine us to the book! Well let me tell you, last night my mind was running non-stop about what I could put on top of my cake! I can't wait to try icing the cake next weekend with the new methods I have learned! I thinking things will go much more smoothly! :)

Until then...I still have 7 more cookies left from class to decorate, so I am going to try my hand at using color flow icing!


Friday, April 1, 2011

It's April Fool's Day!

Happy April Fool's Day!
I know this has been made by just about everyone...but I made them too!
I introduce to you....my "Spaghetti and Meatballs"

and...my April Fool's Dinner Cupcakes...
Cornbread cupcake with Garlic Mash Potatoes, Bacon, and Italian Seasoning


Funny thing is with the garlic mash potatoes, the house smells like actual spaghetti!

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