Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #5- Ice Cream Sundae

Ice Cream Sundae
July is National Ice Cream Month, so I decided to make "Ice Cream Sundae" for the last cupcake of July.
 
This is the 5th cupcake out of 28 different Pink Princess Cupcake designs that I am making from the Pink Princess Cupcake Book by Barbara Beery. Be sure to view the other Pink Princess Cupcakes I have made too.

 The book recipe for these particular cupcakes was the Strawberry Cupcake that I used for the Pink Princess Cupcakes #1- Pink Lemonade. Just getting back from vacation, I wanted to simplify these from using the book recipe. In making the Ice Cream Sundae cupcake, I used Pillsbury Funfetti Box Mix and 12 ounces Kroger Diet Black Cherry Soda. That is it, just 2 ingredients, no eggs, oil, or butter. The Diet Black Cherry Soda gave the cupcakes a pinkish/lavender color.
 Place your flat bottom ice cream cones into your cupcake tins. Fill them with your cake batter only 1/2 to 2/3 full. I went up to the line inside the cone (about 3/4 full) and some of the cupcakes dripped over and out of the cone while baking.  I made 18 cones (that is how many came in the box) and 2 cupcakes with the leftover batter. These baked at 350 for 20 minutes. You could really make a full 24 cones making the cupcakes with soda as I did.
 
After the cupcakes are well cooled, just before serving, top with a scoop of ice cream, Magic Shell, rainbow jimmies, and a stemmed maraschino cherry! This was easier said than done. Even with the air conditioning going non-stop, with this 100+ degree heat wave our house is at 81 right now. The ice cream wasn't even that hard in the freezer, usually you need a chisel and hammer to scoop ice cream. I had to work quickly at putting the ice cream on and my daughter quickly added the toppings and put them immediately into the freezer to harden up a bit before we photographed.
The cupcakes in the cones taste great and were cooked perfectly. I love the taste of them with the Diet Black Cherry Soda. With just a scoop of ice cream on top it is easy to eat before the whole thing melts! I really like these, they are my favorite out of the 3 ice cream cupcakes that I have made from the Pink Princess Cupcake Book.

Next weeks Pink Princess Cupcake:
Sunshine Princess (subject to change)
I have not been able to find a key ingredient for the "Sunshine Princess" yet, so I may pick out a different cupcake for next week.

Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!


Visit the Ultimate Coupons.com Blog for a fun "What Your Favorite Ice Cream Says About You" infographic.
I have 2 favorite ice creams out of the selection. The ice cream I like the most, "Coffee", says that I am "The Elitest", my second favorite ice cream says I am a "Straight Shooter." Go check it out to see what your favorite ice cream says about you!
 
These Cupcakes are shared at:
A Well-Seasoned Life: Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Screaming Sardine: Month Long Cupcake Party
Party Mindie Style: Weekend Link Up
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
Talking Dollars and Cents- Muffin (and Cupcake) Monday
Sweetology: Tea Party Tuesday
Hoosier Homemade: Cupcake Tuesday
Rook No. 17: A Little Birdie Told Me Tuesday
Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
This Chick Cooks: These Chicks Cooked
Daily Organized Chaos: Foodie Wednesday
Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
 
These Cupcakes were featured at:
Screaming Sardine: Cupcake Link Features

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #4- Lollipop

Lollipop
This cupcake is #4 of 28 cupcakes that I am making from the Pink Princess Cupcakes Book by Barbara Beery. To view the other cupcakes from Pink Princess Cupcakes click HERE
The "Lollipop" cupcake is another very simple cupcake to decorate.
 
To start use your favorite cupcake recipe or one from the book. The author used a chocolate cupcake. You will need to ice them in pink buttercream icing, there is a recipe in the book for that too. To be quick with these, I am using canned pink vanilla frosting that came with pastel jimmies (Pillsbury), while we were picking this up from the store, my little princess saw "pink" cake mix, so these were made with Pillsbury Strawberry Cake mix too. For decorations use lollipops and different candies. I used Pink Jelly Bellys, Runts, Pink Tiara Sprinkles, Pastel Flower Sprinkles, and the Pastel Jimmies that came with the frosting. That's it!
 
Next week's Pink Princess Cupcake:
Ice Cream Sundae
 
Be sure to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!



These Cupcakes are shared at:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hello Kitty Chocolate Cookies

Hello, Kitty!
The latest buzz in bloggerville is chocolate cut out cookies and that really had me craving a change from regular sugar cookies! Not that I don't love regular sugar cookies, I do change them up with peppermint, coconut, almond, and of course vanilla extracts, but after reading about chocolate cut outs...that is what I long for! 
I love the recipe I always use for regular sugar cookies, Martha Stewart's Essential Recipe No. 2: Sugar Cookies, so I just changed it to chocolate by changing the amount of all purpose flour from 3 to 2-1/2 cups and adding 1/2 cup cocoa powder. That's it! This recipe made 22 cookies, probably about 24 or 25 truthfully. The dough was yummy too and you can make little shapes out of it and trick the kids...oh yeah I did...haha!
The cookies came out perfect! They stayed true to size and taste GREAT!
So this is how far I got before I decided to take a picture. Pink bow...check. White outline...check. Flooding...almost done...check. After the cookies were all flooded I put them away for the night to dry.
I am still learning to decorate cookies and still need a lot of practice to make perfect! There are so many wonderful blogs out there for cookie decorating, so I try and absorb a little from each! I got some tips on decorating these cookies at Sweet Sugarbelle's. She has a push pin trick that helps with getting the eyes and nose in the right place! I have really learned a lot from her blog and she has a lot of pictorials to help.
  
  The Next Day
Pipe on the black bow outline, eyes, whiskers, and yellow nose. Let dry.
I am very pleased with how these turned out, probably my best looking cookies yet!
Packed and ready to go!
...and need I tell you what to do next...
EAT THEM! YUM!
They taste fabulous too!
My kids say the taste reminds them of a chocolate Pop-Tart...yep that's it...YUM!
Good-Bye, Kitty!


My other Hello Kitty Sweets:
 
 These Cookies are shared at:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #3- Pink Princess

Pink Princess
This is #3 of 28 different Princess Cupcake ideas that I am making from the book Pink Princess Cupcakes by Barbara Beery. To view the other Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made click HERE!
   The Princess Wands are made Candiquik Vanilla Coating piped onto waxed paper and then immediately sprinkled with pink sanding sugar. Set the wands the refrigerator to set. Be sure to make a few extra in case of breakage!
 The cupcake is a vanilla cupcake with the batter colored pink before baking. I am trying the recipe in the book for these. The vanilla cupcake recipe is pretty good so I will probably use it again. The cupcakes rose with nice size domes. The icing is Buttercream colored pink. Sprinkle each cupcake with Princess-like sprinkles. Poke a started hole in the cupcake with a bamboo skewer for the wand and then insert the wand. That's it!
 
Next Week's Pink Princess Cupcakes:
Lollipop
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just Cupcakes- Harry Potter Cupcakes

A second look...
Yes, the hope for these 4 Harry Potter Cupcake designs are what brought me to Just Cupcakes this time. These Harry Potter Cupcakes were advertised on the Just Cupcakes Facebook page: "We will have our Harry Potter cupcakes in the shop on Thursday, Friday and Saturday - while they last :-) If you'd like to place an order, please call either shop or order online."
It didn't not say that the cupcakes were by order only....am I just not getting this part?
You may remember this place as a runner up on Cupcake Wars
After a long drive, we arrived at the destination early and at opening to make sure they weren't sold out, to find that the Harry Potter Cupcakes are by order only and would be available Saturday only without an order. After expressing my disappointment and making a different cupcake selection, as we were leaving, the manager did come out with the 4 cupcakes that I had originally came for and apologised for the misunderstanding and the cupcakes were swapped out. I still left somewhat disappointed in the whole experience. When something is advertised it needs to be clear if something is for order only.
 This time the cupcakes did have ample icing compared to my last review of Just Cupcakes. Since my last review, I have also heard from another little elf that visited this cupcakery saying... "they're just not that great." You can read more similar reviews at Yelp.com...so it isn't just my elves and I!
While the cupcakes taste fine and are decorated nicely, they are nothing that makes you want to "Wow!" and I knew that already. At $3 a cupcake, people want that "wow factor." The wow factor I wanted...was the Harry Potter designs and they are cute and that is why I still decided to share them with you!

*Update- since this post Just Cupcakes has continued to respond to people on Facebook saying the Harry Potter Cupcakes are available in store with no mention to an order needed*

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes

If you want Butterbeer...
You have to go here...
If you want Cauldron Cakes...
You have to go here...
But, if you want to make Butterbeer Cupcakes...
You have come to the right place!

I have tried a "Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcake" before, but it didn't scream "Butterbeer" at all. So, I have turned to the internet for inspiration in making my own "Harry Butterbeer Cupcake" and I found a recipe that sounds like it will do the trick and doesn't need remade at all! The recipe is from Amybites: Sunday Sweets: Butterbeer Cupcakes.

Butterbeer Cupcakes
recipe source: amybites.com

Makes 18
 For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda
  
*For the ganache: 1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream

For the buttercream frosting: 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
Splash of milk or cream (as needed)

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream your butter until light and fluffy. Add your sugars and beat until well-combined. Beat in your eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then beat in your vanilla and butter flavoring.

Alternate adding your buttermilk, cream soda, and dry ingredients in batches until all are well incorporated. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.

*For butterscotch filling: In a double boiler (heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove), combine butterscotch chips and heavy cream and stir until completely combined and smooth. Cool to room temperature. Fill a squeeze bottle with ganache and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow.

For buttercream frosting: Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Add milk or cream by the Tablespoon as needed. Frost cupcakes and top with a drizzle of butterscotch ganache.
 
(*I actually skipped making the ganache and used butterscotch found in the ice cream section at my local grocer.)
---------------------------------------------------
I decided to make homemade dark chocolate frogs for the top of my Harry Potter Cupcakes.
Chocolate frogs began appearing in the first movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" on the Hogwarts Express. Each came in a fancy box with there own trading card and the frog would hop around and act like an actual frog!   
    These cupcakes were a hit with everyone!
The cupcake was moist and the butterscotch inside was awesome! The frosting drizzled with butterscotch tasted great too!
I actually knit this Slytherin scarf around the time of the 4th movie, according to the actual movie specifications, so this thing was 9ft long, I believe! I intended to make all of the scarves, but this one took so long, I never got around to it!
  In case you are wondering...
I had an amazing time at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
    
  Now everyone...grab your cupcake and enjoy the finale:
    

Be sure to visit:
  
These cupcakes are shared at:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mickey Mouse Cookies

M-I-C-K-E-Y  M-O-U-S-E
It has been almost a year since I purchased this Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutter at Disney World!
  I hadn't even taken the tag off yet! It isn't that I haven't wanted to make a Mickey Mouse Cookie, I just wasn't sure how to decorate it. I am surely not experienced enough in cookie decorating to draw a face on it yet. Well, I could draw a face, but it wouldn't resemble Mickey Mouse! Black and Red scare me because of the bitterness. I am really not sure how to make a Mickey worthy cookie! It is National Sugar Cookie Day (July 9th), well it was, when I started making the cookies, so this is a perfect time to use that cutter!
 
I am going for simple here. I started with a black outline. I colored my icing with Americolor Super Black. This was my first time using Americolor and I like it! It isn't as bitter as the other black coloring I have tried! Maybe there will be a black and red Mickey Mouse cookie in the future after all! I was afraid of the black bleeding, so I allowed the black to fully dry over night. After fully dried, I flooded the cookie in white and put on Mickey Mouse sprinkles!
So that's it, my first Mickey Mouse Cookie!
This was my very first Mickey Mouse and my daughters 1st Mickey Mouse too!
I am sure this will just be one of many Mickey Mouse cookies that I will make now that I am slowly getting the hang of cookie decorating!


These Cookies are shared at:
Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #2- Frosty Ice Cream Sandwich

Frosty Ice Cream Sandwich
This is #2 of 28 different Princess design ideas that I am making from the Pink Princess Cupcake Book. To view the other Pink Princess Cupcakes from the book that I have made, click HERE!
 
This Pink Princess Cupcake idea is very simple to make.
Start with your favorite chocolate cupcakes, or the recipe from the book. This is a great time to use the cupcake liners that are leftover from other occasions, you know the ones! Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, peel off the wrappers and cut the cupcake in half like you would a burger bun. If the cupcake is too soft to do this you may want to put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before cutting.
 
While the cupcake is cooling, prepare the ice cream circles: Carefully remove the ice cream from the carton in one. Slice the ice cream into about 1/2 inch slices and use a circle cookie cutter similar to the size of your cupcake to make the ice cream circles for the centers of your cupcakes. You can also just smash the ice cream into the cookie cutter, that works well too! Depending on the weather and how temperamental your ice cream is, you will probably need to put your ice cream circles back in the freezer to firm them up again for 1-2 hours.
I found this sprinkle set at Party City to help me along my Princess adventure!
 To assemble the cupcakes, place one ice cream circle in between your cupcake "bun" and roll the side in pink jimmies, sprinkles, or whatever else looks fun and princess-like! Insert through the top a plastic wand, cute princess pick, or nothing at all. My wands did turn out to be too long, but I didn't want to cut them since my princess would be playing with them later. Ideally the star on the wand would only be about 1/2 to 3/4 inch above the cake. These cupcakes could be personalized for a boy as well using different picks, a toy sword, or just different colored sprinkles.
  
Next week's Pink Princess Cupcake:
Pink Princess
 
Be Sure to Check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes!
 

 
These cupcakes are shared at:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chocolate & Vanilla Cupcakes

Yummy!
Sometimes you just want simple goodness!
 
These cupcakes were started with my favorite Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book: "Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes" in the printing I own of the book, but in our libraries copy of the book they are called "Allergen-Free Chocolate Cupcakes." I didn't start making this recipe because of an allergy and I am not vegan. I started making this recipe because that particular day I didn't have eggs! I have used this recipe many times since, including one of my Oreo Cupcakes.
You can find the recipe right on the Martha Stewart website and it is called "Divvies Chocolate Cupcakes," and it is credited to Divvies Bakery founder Lori Sandler. Whatever you choose to call this cupcake, it is just plain GOOD! 
I always substitute the oil in the recipe for unsweetened applesauce, but today I decided just to see what it taste like using the oil. Right off, you can't see the design on the cupcake liners, which when applesauce is used, you can. The cupcakes were very moist though...perfect!
By the way, the cute liners are Paula Deen!
  
For the frosting, I used a Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I usually use Wilton Clear Vanilla, but for this cupcake I wanted the best vanilla that I could find, without too much looking of course! It is definitely better than imitation or even cheap real vanilla!
Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Frosting
16oz box confectioners sugar
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup shortening
2 tablespoons milk (water, if you want to go dairy free)
2 teaspoons Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
2-3 tablespoons all purpose flour (for thickening to desired consistency)
Each cupcake is topped with a fondant heart brushed with pearl dust, made a few days in advance to dry.
 
These cupcakes were all I had hoped for...and more!
Sometimes I even surprise myself!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Busch Gardens Cupcakes

At Busch Gardens, Williamsburg
from the M. Sweets Confectionary in Banbury Cross (across from the large clock)
As always when I am out and about, I am looking for cupcakes! There is one place that usually always has cupcake at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, it is the M. Sweets Confectionary in Banbury Cross. At the price of just $2.99 for a jumbo cupcake you get a lot of bang for your buck!
"Candy makers to the king and queen in everyone"
is the slogan describing this confectionary on the Busch Gardens Website.
I chose this one to make mine! Chocolate and Chocolate with Reese's Pieces on top!
Maybe it was the near hundred degree temperatures talking, but this cupcake tasted wonderful! The cupcake was moist, the chocolate rich, and who doesn't like Reese's Pieces? YUM!
If you aren't feeling up to a jumbo sized cupcakes, there are many other sweets to temp your taste buds from dipped pretzels to dipped cookies and strawberries!
Here are some cupcakes from 2010 at Busch Gardens. The ones on the left are from the M. Sweets Confectionary at Banbury Cross and the Cookie Monster on the right is from Das Festhaus in Germany.
They always have a Chocolate Cookie Monster and Vanilla Elmo at Das Festhaus, and while they are kinda cute they seemed rather dry when we had one. Cookie Monsters and Elmos are standard sized cupcakes and the same price as the jumbos at the confectionary.

While at Busch Gardens, I would recommend getting your cupcake fix at the M. Sweets Confectionary!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #1- Pink Lemonade

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Ice Cream Cupcakes
Recently my dear husband bought for me Pink Princess Cupcakes by Barbara Beery and Princess Cupcakes Kit with booklet by Laura Starr. I love every single recipe and idea in the book and the liner kit goes great with it!
Soooooo.....I have decided to work my way through the book making each of the recipes. There are a total of 28 recipes. I haven't decided yet if I will make one idea a week, maybe sometimes I will want to make 2! I am sure there will be a week that I skip too. If I do one a week that will be 28 weeks of cupcakes! I should have all the ideas in the book completed sometime near the end of January 2012. I had thought about making them in order, but a few involve ice cream and are over halfway through the book and I probably won't want ice cream in the winter, so some ideas will be out of order. I also figured the author of the book probably wouldn't appreciate me publishing every single wonderful recipe of hers, so the recipes won't be included...sorry! However, I will include pictures of some of the steps as I make each idea and pictures of the final product, so either you can buy the book for the full recipes or improvise!
Here we go! The first recipe/idea from the book I am making is.....

Pink Lemonade
This recipe makes 48 mini cupcakes. (For me it made 56 mini cupcakes-so you probably would want to cut this recipe in half) For these cupcakes, I will be my Babycakes Mini Cupcake Maker. I have had the mini cupcake maker almost a year and only used it a few times since I don't make mini cupcakes that often.
The first step in making these cupcakes is to thaw out 1 quart of ice cream for about 20 minutes and then mix in a packet of sweetened pink lemonade. I have a huge container of Country Time Pink Lemonade, so I used 4 scoops, that sounded good to me! After 20 minutes the ice cream was still pretty firm, but I was able to mix in the pink lemonade powder. (I worked with this half at a time.) Now that needs to refreeze for at least 2 hours.
For the cupcake recipe, you have the option of a vanilla cupcake or a strawberry cupcake. For either you mix in additional pink lemonade powder. I am going to go with the strawberry cupcake recipe made with fresh strawberries! The recipe used 6 whole eggs and self-rising flour. I haven't made a ton of different "from scratch" recipes, but this seemed like a lot of eggs. I have never made cupcakes with self-rising flour either, but all of the cupcakes in the book use self-rising flour. I did follow the instructions for everything except the 1-1/4 cups of butter, which I substituted with unsweetened applesauce. I also omitted the extracts, I figured there would be enough flavor with the pink lemonade powder, which I used 3 scoops for the cupcake batter.
I filled the liners and they took about 7-1/2 minutes in the cupcake maker to fully bake. I had to do this 7 times...I didn't think this out really well, so it took me a little over an hour to get all 56 baked. I only have one mini cupcake pan as well so either way it would have taken me a long time! The book recommends lightly spraying the wrappers with cooking spray...I didn't.
They came out bubbling hot! This was the first batch. The cupcake ended up being perfect size, a little extra room is needed to accommodate the ice cream, as it will want to slide off. With the second batch in the cupcake maker, I had to try one of these! It was super hard to get the wrapper off, so the next batch, I sprayed lightly with cooking spray. The 3rd batch, the liners wouldnt stay on, so I learned just to spray the bottom of the liner a tiny drop.
With all the cupcakes baked and the ice cream ready, let the fun begin!
I don't have a mini ice cream scoop yet (never needed mini sized), so the ice cream is in tablespoon sized blobs! The ice cream wanted to melt quickly, so put that on right as your are about to serve.
They turned out cute for a little princess tea party!
There are about 50 of these mini strawberry pink lemonade cupcakes still left to eat!
PS- These even taste better the second day and were a lot easier to peel after being stored overnight at room temperature in my Wilton cupcake carrier. 
 
 
Next week's Pink Princess Cupcake:
Frosty Ice Cream Sandwich
 
Be Sure to Check out all of my Pink Princess Cupcakes!
  

These cupcakes are shared at:
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