Friday, September 30, 2011

Hauntings of Halloweens Past

It's Flashback Friday!
This is a "now just occasional" segment to share with you some of my past adventures...

With just a month until Halloween, join me won't you, as I travel back in time to show you my adventures of Halloween's past...

2010 was the first full year after I started making cupcakes and I made quite a few different Halloween Cupcakes that year!
Halloween 2010
I waited all year long to finally be able to make "The House That Boo Built" from the "What's New Cupcake?" book by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. I made this for Halloween 2010. There were 3 different sized cupcakes used in this cupcake haunted house, along with dark chocolate trees, crushed Oreo Cookie dirt, candy corn pumpkins, and candy bats just to name a few ingredients in this Cupcake Haunted House! 
With so many left over cupcakes of different sizes and leftover supplies, I handed them over to the kids to decorate however they wanted!
Leftover supplies from "The House That Boo Built"
Before Halloween, we took a trip to Disney World and found this yummy cupcake in the first bakery on Main Street! 
Halloween Cupcake from the Magic Kingdom at Disney World
 Of course, that inspired me to make my own when we got home. I couldn't get the frosting piped as nice as what they made at Disney World, but we have ghosts!
My Disney inspired Ghost Cupcake- 2010
Cupcakes with Sugar Candies-  2010
 
Funfetti Frosted Halloween Cookies- 2010
Cupcakes with Wilton Decorations- 2010

These were Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes made with a box of Spice Cake Mix mixed with 1 can of Pumpkin and topped with cream cheese icing. The sugar cookies on top were coated in candy melts.
Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes- 2010
These were super fast and easy to make, less than 45 minutes from batter to fully decorated. These were made with the Pillsbury Halloween Funfetti Cake Mix with the Pillsbury Easy Frost icing that you spray out of a can liked whipped cream! 
Funfetti Cupcake with Easy Frost Icing in a spray can- 2010
My daughter has always had a Halloween birthday party and every since a cake disaster in 1996, I had always ordered ALL birthday cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. When I found these Halloween Cupcake Trio Cupcakes from Pillsbury, I knew they would be perfect for my daughters party, but could I do it? Yes! My first baking success ever! I made 24 yellow and 24 devil's food cupcakes and decorated them all, this took what I thought then to be a long time. Everyone loved them and I was extremely proud that I didn't mess them up! So these are the cupcakes that started my obsession with cupcakes!
The Cupcakes that started it all - 2009
Here is a close up of the 3 designs! This was also my first time using Wilton food colors, I was amazed how brilliant the color was compared to those tiny little bottles that you use for Easter Eggs!
Halloween/Birthday Cupcakes 2009
  
But...those were not the first cupcakes that were made at home...
   
In 2007, my oldest daughter had her birthday party the week after Halloween, which I ordered a cake for, but she still wanted Halloween Birthday Cupcakes on her actual birthday. She was just 10 years old at the time she made these, but she had some experience in baking making Christmas Cookies with her dad every year. She knew that if she wanted homemade cupcakes, she would have to make them herself. She made the Pillsbury Funfetti batter, filled the liners, baked, frosted, and decorated these cupcakes all by herself! She has always been a pretty amazing girl! If it wasn't for her, I probably still wouldn't be baking.
Halloween/Birthday Cupcakes 2007
Now this year, for her Halloween Birthday, my oldest daughter wants a very amazing cake, it is going to be a HUGE challenge ADVENTURE! Of course, before that, I am sure that I will be making a few different Halloween Cupcakes this year too, as Halloween is one of my favorite times of year!
 
Happy Halloween!


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lucky Charms Cupcakes

Oh Yeah!
Are these just Charming? Easy? Fun?
This cupcake idea is straight from Betty Crocker- Lucky Charms Cupcakes! It is also in Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes, that I love! This is not a cereal that I buy often, probably less than once a year, so being I have a huge box of the cereal, how could I resist making these Charming Cupcakes!
  
And what kind of Fun Cupcakes am I making to go with them?
Betty Crocker Fun-da Middles of course!
I know, I am like a walking billboard for these things! This time I am using the Yellow Cupcake with Creaming Vanilla Filling.
  
The icing is homemade buttercream. The cupcakes are topped with a little green sugar and then, of course, the Lucky Charms! From reading the reviews on the Betty Crocker website, I already knew that the cereal will quickly go stale if not served immediately. I tried using meringue powder in the icing and a layer of green sugar on top of the icing to possibly help prevent this, but no luck. The cereal did stay crunchy for an hour or two, but after a couple hours the cereal and marshmallows did get soft. They still taste great, but it is just as easy to put a handful on Lucky Charms on top right before serving. They are definitely best with that nice crunch on the top! Luckily, a dozen of these cupcake go pretty fast!
It is almost 6 months away, but this would be a fun idea for St. Patrick's Day!
They are magically delicious!
  

This Cupcake is shared with:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banana Ghost Cupcakes

There are ghost popping up on websites and blogs everywhere right now, reminding me of a particular ghost cupcake that I had wanted to make. Scouring through my cupcake books, I just cannot find that ghost anywhere! I am hoping to replicate the cute little ghost as best as I can from memory (the one in the above picture in the center top came the closest). Where is Scooby-Doo when you need him? (To help me find the ghost!)
 For the cupcake, I used a Banana Cupcake recipe adapted from the Pink Princess Cupcakes Book that was suggested to use for the Teacup Treats, Pixie Princess, and Sunshine Princess designs. However, I didn't use it for any of those cupcakes and decided to use in on a non-princess cupcake!
 
 Banana Cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs (room temperature)
3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium sized bananas)
1 cup self rising flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
 
In mixer, cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs in one at a time mixing well after each. Add in vanilla extract and bananas. Add in flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg just until mixed. Fill 12 liners 2/3 full of cupcake batter. Bake in 350 degree preheated oven for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.
The cupcakes have a light flavor. I do appreciate a lighter, less sweet cupcake from time to time. These are another cupcake that would be perfect for after dinner, just the right amount of flavor. I could eat one of these right after the other!
They are topped with Cool-Whip that I squeezed through a piping bag and the eyes are Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch.
These are close to the ghost I remember, but something is different. I will probably find the recipe after Halloween! Maybe it wasn't a cupcake at all? A brownie maybe? Whenever I do find it, if it is on the internet, I will be sure to pin it to my Halloween & Fall Board on Pinterest! On my ghost hunt, I did find another fun...very fun cupcake to make soon!
Happy Haunting!

*Update 9/30/2011: Thanks to Liz at Hoosier Homemade, I have found my ghosts! They are in the "What's New Cupcake?" book. The ghost in the top picture on this post in the center does look like the ones in the book. The difference is in the book the ghost sits on top of Oreo dirt! Mystery Solved!

 These Cupcakes are Haunting People at:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #17- Teacup Treats

Teacup Treats
This is a cake in a cup...a real cupcake!

This is #17 of 28 different cupcake designs from the Pink Princess Cupcakes Book by Barbara Beery that I have made!
    
For this design you will need:
Oven-safe cups
your favorite cupcake recipe
Cool-Whip
Chocolate Jimmies
Raspberries
   
The Cupcake recipe that went with this design was a Banana Cupcake. I wasn't sure how well that would go with the raspberries and decided to create a Raspberry Zinger Tea Cupcake instead! This cupcake an easily be made with any recipe and any berries on top.
Hint: a batter that would make 12 cupcakes, will only make 4 of these Teacup Treats
     
Cupcake Ingredients:
(Makes Four Teacup Treats- baked in a 1-1/4 size capacity cup)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup strong brewed and cooled Raspberry Zinger Tea (Celestial Seasonings)
(To make the tea: Microwave 1/2 cup water until boiling and soak Raspberry Zinger Tea Bag for 10-15 minutes.)

Mix sugar, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla in mixer for about 1 minute. Add dry ingredients, continue mixing while slowing adding Raspberry Zinger Tea. Spray 4 oven-safe cups with cooking spray and fill cups 2/3 full of cake batter. The cups that I used were 1-1/4 cup capacity.
(I actually forgot to spray my cups, and amazingly, the cupcakes did not stick, not sure if it was the recipe I used or the particular cups, or if the spray may not be needed at all.)

Place cups on heavy duty cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 26-28 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. The cupcake will be very moist.
Cool cupcakes on pan on baking rack. Once cooled, top with Cool Whip, chocolate jimmies, and raspberries.
These made a great after dinner cupcake! They are sweet, but not too sweet and have wonderful flavor!

The Next Pink Princess Cupcake will be:
Fairy Princess Hat

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

These Cupcakes are shared at:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ghost & Monster Halloween Brownies

What do you do when you are feeling under the weather and still want to make a fun and cute dessert? Make these cute little Ghost and Monster...and Jack-o-Lantern Brownies!
A cold is like a fire, it starts with one twig or family member and quickly spreads. Although, I am on the mend, I really didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but still wanted to make something fun for the kids...and you my readers!
So, are you ready for how quick these are?
What you will need:
1 box of brownie mix and the ingredients needed to make them (I used Pillsbury Funfetti Brownie Mix)
1 can of vanilla or white frosting (you will need less than a 1/3 of the container for 8 of these)
Regular size marshmallows
various food colors
various candies
For candies I used what I had in the cabinet: Mini M&M'S, Candy Coated Sunflower Seeds, chocolate jimmies, and Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch Sprinkles.
Just use whatever you have in your cabinet, just have fun with it!

I mixed the brownie mix according to the directions, but I substituted the oil out and put in unsweetened applesauce. This makes the brownies look a little different on top and a little denser, but healthier and lower in calories. Since this is easily mixed by hand, the bowl can easily go in the dishwasher. No dishes to hand wash. I baked the brownies in a 9x13 pan with a foil sling sprayed with baking spray. No pan to wash.
I know, the picture isn't great, but you get the idea. Within about 15 minutes you can easily lift the brownies out of the pan in the foil sling and let continue to cool on baking rack. I actually was able to begin the next step while the brownie was still a little warm. Now since my pan curves up in the corners, the bottom of the brownie is thinner on each of the short sides, so I cut that part off for snacking later. With a round cookie cutter, I was able to cut out 8 brownies. If you your pan is even all the way to the sides you will be able to cut out 10 to 12. You could also just cut them and leave them squares if you want!
After the brownies are baked, cooled, and cut, the decorating part takes no more than 15 minutes!
Put the little round brownies on a piece of wax paper to work with making clean up a snap!
Sit a marshmallow on top of the brownie, no need to stick it down with anything, it will stick from the melted frosting in the next step.
You will need 2-3 teaspoons of frosting per color if you are making 3 colors. Melt the canned frosting in the microwave in a glass bowl for about 20 seconds. I used Betty Crocker Whipped Frosting that I had leftover, and it did separate in the microwave, but easily mixed back together when adding the coloring.
Spoon the melted frosting to cover the marshmallow and drip down the sides a little, that will adhere the marshmallow to the brownie. After 3 or 4 brownies are covered, go back to the first and the icing will still be tacky enough to stick on your candy pieces. If you wait too long the icing will dry and the candy won't stick. If the candy wants to slide down the icing, wait a couple more minutes. You will know it is perfect when the candy sticks on and doesn't slide anywhere. This is quite easy when the frosting is at the right tackiness!
I had so much fun making these little guys!
Have fun! Go crazy! Be creative!

If you are inspired by these Halloween brownies and decide to create your own, I would love for you to share photos of your creations on the Mrs. Fox's Sweets Facebook Page!
I can't wait to see what you come up with!



These Monsters are Shared at:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Green, Pink, & Purple Googly-Eyed Monster Cupcakes

I spent the day with monsters!
It is no secret I am a huge fan of the "Hello, Cupcake!" and "What's New, Cupcake?" people! So I was was super excited to find more of there designs at Taste of Home that are from 2010. It was just in the past month that  I first found Taste of Home, maybe I live under a rock or something! Of course I immediately pinned them!
 
  So how do you make these cute little Googly-Eyed Monsters? Well, no point in me telling you. Karen Tack and Alan Richardson have made a video tutorial (that's the "Hello, Cupcake!" people, just in case you too live under a rock or maybe you are just new to the Cupcake World!) Should the video below not play you can view it here:
 

 
Instead of using a plastic zipper bag, I used my reusable piping bags with a size 12 tip. I made the Neon Green and Pink Googly-Eyed Monsters using homemade buttercream icing.  Do you notice the Purple Monster looks a little different? I ran out of icing and didn't want to make more, so the Purple Monsters are made using Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Frosting. Same method, same size 12 tip, different look!
 
 These cupcakes ARE EASY! Probably the easiest cupcakes that I have made from the "Hello, Cupcake!" People.
 The original design doesn't have arms and my son thought they needed arms. After he said that, I began to think they needed arms too! Armed with a little chocolate and my piping bag with a size 3 tip, I freehandedly piped the arms and stuck them on. Now these Googly-Eyed Monsters can say "Boo!" or at least appear that they did! Once these little monsters had arms the green one reminded me of Mike from Monsters Inc!
 Oh and before these monsters say good-bye, there is one question that must be answered...
Do these Googly-Eyed Monsters have hearts?
No.....
They have Ooey-Gooey Centers!
Nothing is more fun than a monster cupcake, except a monster cupcake made with my new favorite box mix: Betty Crocker: Fun-da-Middles!
  
Also, I am very excited that Karen Tack and Alan Richardson have a new book coming out January 31, 2012 called:
"Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh My!"
You really don't know how excited I am about this! I just want to scream it to the world!
  
Check out all of the designs that I have made from these 2 amazing people:
Mrs. Fox's Sweets "Hello, Cupcake!" and "What's New, Cupcake?" Cupcakes


These Monsters are Shared at:
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Around My Family Table: Turning the Table Thursday
Talking Dollars and Cents: Sweet Temptations
Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
Bizzy Bakes: Bake with Bizzy
Happy Hour Projects: Freestyle Friday
Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap Up Party
A Well-Seasoned Life: Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Crumbs and Chaos: Seasonal Inspiration

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hello Kitty Cookies & Cookie Pops

Do you have a list? The list could be of anything you want to do. Well, I have a list that is just for baking, divided up into months and under each month I have listed what I want to do for that month. Some of the things can easily be carried over to the next month, but other things are for a particular occasion and must be done at a particular time. These Hello Kitty Cookie Pops are on that list and are something that I have wanted to make since spring and just keep carrying it over. I had them all planned in my head, bright pink with little pearls and the extra Wilton Hello Kitty Candies that I had bought at the same time I got the ones for my Hello Kitty Apples and Bananas Cupcakes that I had made back in April 2011. I couldn't put making these Hello Kitty Cookie Pops any longer! Besides, I have a little girl that loves Hello Kitty, and she has been asking for me for awhile to make something else Hello Kitty!
I do take my hat of to all of the "Cookie People" out there, the ones that are baking and decorating cookies to look like artwork almost daily and posting to their blogs. Y'all are amazing! Making cookies is a lot of work! I am not a "Cookie Person." They just take a long time! From making the dough, to rolling out the dough, to cutting out the cookies, then baking, cooling, making royal icing to the proper consistency, outlining, flooding, and waiting hours in between each color to dry! Hats off to you "Cookie People."
Anyway here I go, making cookies! I used the same recipe I always use: Martha Stewart's Essential Recipe No. 2: Sugar Cookies. For the cookies that I was putting a lollipop stick, I rolled a little thicker, thick enough to where the stick would not show through the cookie and the cookie would be stable. I baked the cookie with the stick right in it! I know not everyone wants to eat their cookie on a stick, but this is fun, especially for little ones! I made 6 cookies on sticks and had enough dough left for 8 regular 1/4 inch thick cut cookies.
I am only using one color of Royal Icing on this cookie to keep it simple. I halved the Wilton Royal Icing Recipe since I don't make cookies often and I didn't want to have too much icing left. I used 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoons of meringue powder and about 4 tablespoons of warm water. This mixed on low in my stand mixer for exactly 10 minutes. I then colored the icing using Wilton Rose. With the icing at that consistency, I piped the outline on my cookies with a size 3 tip. After all of the cookies were outlined, I added 2-3 more tablespoons of water to the remaining icing to bring it to the consistency of shampoo. For the first time, instead of flooding the cookie using a piping bag, I used my squeeze bottle. I am not sure where I saw it done at, but on a "Cookie Person's" blog they had a picture of a bunch of squeeze bottles with all different colors of royal icing lined up on their counter. I really like this method, it works so much better than using a piping bag! It is easy just to put the lid on and take a few minute break without it drying out!
After each cookie was flooded, I immediately dropped the little candy pearls into place on the wet icing. As soon as all of the cookies were flooded, I went back to cookie #1 and glued on the Hello Kitty candy with the thick royal icing that I still had in the piping bag, gently sitting the candy on top of the cookie so I wouldn't mess up the icing. I did press the first one too hard and with the icing still wet and just crusted barely over, it messed up the icing a little.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Primrose Cupcakes

The Last Primroses of Summer
Officially, this is the last week of summer.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011 is the first day of Autumn.
Soon, we will move on to seeing mostly Autumn colors and themes, then on to Winter, and many flowers will be scarce until the frost thaws next Spring. As an ode to the official end of Summer, here are Primrose Cupcakes.
Do these flowers look familiar? I pre-made many of these flowers and used them on my 18th Anniversary Cake. Okay, not the same exact flowers from the cake, but flowers from the same batch. The amazing thing about these little royal icing flowers is they can be saved in airtight containers for months!
Remember these? I really love these cupcakes. I recently reviewed the Fun da-middles Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Filling. They are so easy to make and I just love that the filling bakes right up in them, so I have bought them again!
These are the yellow cupcake with the creamy chocolate filling inside frosted with Homemade Chocolate Frosting!
  
Take a bite and enjoy the last official week of Summer!
 

These cupcakes are shared at:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pink Princess Cupcakes #16- Fairy-Tale Fortune

Fairy-Tale Fortune
I am now at #16 of 28 cupcakes made from the Pink Princess Cupcakes Book by Barbara Beery.
As most cupcakes designs start with a cupcake, so does this one! Once again, I used the Allergen-Free/Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Book, it is such a simple cupcake, simple ingredients and turns out well for me.
The frosting is a chocolate buttercream. (1/2 cup light margarine, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, a heaping 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and a large splash of milk to bring it all together)
For the fortune cookies, store bought of course, I dipped in Candiquik, colored pink with Wilton Pink Candy Coloring. Here we go...pink candy again! 2 blocks of  Vanilla Candiquik is enough to dip 12 fortune cookies. And yes, I have a little leftover! Working one at a time, after dipping, I shook the fortune cookie off and immediately sprinkled with chocolate jimmies and placed on waxed paper for a few minutes to set while I frosted the cupcakes.
Maybe it is because there is a little fortune in each one, but these cupcakes are fun to me!
My fortune said:
"Luck is on your side today."
Hmmmmmm? I wonder what that could mean?

Don't forget to check out all of the Pink Princess Cupcakes that I have made!

As for the next Pink Princess Cupcake that I will be making...
I haven't decided yet!


These cupcakes are shared at:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall M&M'S Cupcakes

This is one of my favorite times of year! I love the cool evening air and the leaves changing colors! Of course, it is also the time of year when fall colors hit the candy on the shelves too!
Of course fall colored candy inspires fall colored cupcakes!
These cupcakes are just too easy to make! There isn't even frosting on them!
Start with your favorite chocolate cupcakes. I used the Allergen-Free/Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Book, but any cupcake will do! Instead of frosting, I melted up some Chocolate Candiquik. I block of Chocolate Candiquik is needed per 6 cupcakes.  Spoon some of the chocolate on top of the cupcake, it is less messy than dipping. While the chocolate is still wet, hand place the M&M's on the cupcake!
(This method works best if your cupcakes are not totally filling the liner, that way there is room for drips and to hold up the M&M'S while the chocolate sets.)
 I used Fall Peanut Butter M&M'S! Mmmmmmm!
 
Happy Fall!

   These cupcakes are shared at:

These Cupcakes were featured at:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jack Skellington Cake Pops

Maybe these will be a little more recognizable, compared to yesterdays Pink Skulls.
The many faces of Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas!
I used the Duff Goldman Candy Writer, a first for me. I did have to put the lid back on the tube and put it back in the hot water in between each cake pop, if not it would get gloppy. Even with doing that, it sure beats the Food Writers that I have for drawing a face!
Oh and the flavor of these little guys...Spice cake.
Ingredients:
 1 box of spice cake mix 
1 cup Fage Greek Plain Yogurt
1 cup of water

Mix the 3 ingredients. Bake as directed on box. The cake turned out perfect, fabulous, fluffy and you can't even taste the yogurt. Definitely YUM! It also has less fat than using oil and eggs too! I cut the cake into 4 pieces, used one part, and froze the rest for future cake pops!
1/4 of the cake = 6 large cake pops
 

These Cake Pops are haunting people at:

These Cake Pops are featured at:
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