Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big Bird Cupcakes

It's BIG BIRD!
This is #3 on my Sesame Street Adventure!
These guys took a little more time than the others, but I love working with fondant and they were a lot of fun to make!

Here is what you need:
Cupcakes
fondant in yellow, red, blue, pink, white, and black (or color white fondant)
icing colored yellow
Tip 67

A couple days ahead of time shape Big Bird's beak with yellow fondant, add inside of mouth using red and tongue using pink. If parts don't adhere well to each other, use a decorator brush with just a drop of water. For the eyes, I cut white fondant circles using Wilton's smallest fondant circle cutter, but the opposite end of your decorating tip can be used as well. I also made circles in blue and pink for the eyes and just cut the parts that I needed. The black pupil was cut using the opening on a size 12 tip. All eye parts were "glued" together using a brush with just a drop of water. Allow the beaks and eyes to stiffen up a day or two, if not they will lose shape when they are placed on the icing.
For the feathers I used buttercream colored yellow and tip 67. They were piped using a squeeze and release motion. Place on your facial features and you are finished!
*Be sure not to use too much water when adhering fondant parts together or your colors will bleed and the fondant will break down.
Again, my inspiration was a tiny stuffed animal!
Look for a new Sesame Street Character next Tuesday!
   
Other Characters that I have made:


Monday, January 30, 2012

Shiny Heart Cookies

I just love things that sparkle! Okay, maybe these have more of a shine than sparkle, that's because they weren't made using my regular royal icing recipe, they were made using the Cookie Icing Recipe from Cookie Crazie! The recipe creates a softer than royal icing, yet still stackable cookie icing. 
I have to admit, I did rush on these cookies. I only had an hour to decorate 32 cookies from start to finish, if I was ever going to get these done! Drying in between colors just wasn't an option. I used stripes, polka dots, and toothpick dragging for the swirl look. They were all made using They were made using tips 1 and 2.
After they were finished there was something so familiar. Apparently these 3 colors call to me, they are the same colors I used for my Christmas Tree Cookies and Snowflake Cookies last month, except for those were made using royal icing. Anyways.....
That's All Folks!


Featured at: Crumbs and Chaos

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Valentine's Brownies

Don't you hate it when you have a good idea, something simple, and then everything goes wrong?!
This is only the 2nd time since finishing my decorating class last summer that I have even attempted royal icing roses. They did take a bit for me to grasp the technique in class and without practicing much since then, I just kinda lost it! I can still make all of the other flowers just fine, it's just this rose! My teacher said that it took her a year to finally be happy with her roses, so I still have 6 months to perfect them, right? Anyway, I had leftover icing from cookies and making roses and other flowers seemed like a good way to use it up. Out of the 5 roses I made, I am happy with only one. To help my self esteem, I finished off the icing making 3 dozen super easy Apple Blossom flowers. Extra royal icing flowers last pretty much forever and are always nice to have on hand to throw on cookies, cupcakes, anything really to add some cuteness!
Back to this project....The canvas for my roses would be brownies, something simlar to what I made when I made the Ghost & Monster Halloween Brownies in the fall, except with roses. I used the same box brownie mix that I always use, except I sprinkled heart sprinkles on the batter before baking. My daughter said "easy peasy" as I had mixed the batter, "we should make easy things more." I baked the brownies as always and for some reason they were too moist! I put them back in the oven. No help. I ended up refrigerating them to firm them up enough to cut the heart shapes out with cookie cutters. They were still not a crisp clean cut like I had hoped, the brownie was simple too soft.
Despite all of my mishaps with these brownies, I continued on and placed my not-so-perfect roses on top with just a dab of icing. They all disappeared super fast with no complaints! Don't worry, if you don't have your rose down yet either, Wilton makes perfect little roses that you can place on top of these brownies! Now I still have 3 dozen Apple Blossom flowers to use up!
The moral of the story: Not everything turns out perfect or even remotely as planned, but even not-so-perfect sweets taste yummy!





Friday, January 27, 2012

Hearts On Sticks Cookies

I couldn't resist titling this post "Hearts on Sticks!" Sounds creepy, I know, but that is what they are right?
Something about putting anything on a stick just makes it more fun! Cake Pops, Cotton Candy, Apples, and of course COOKIES! To make these, just prepare and out sugar cookie dough as you would for any cut out cookie. Gently twist in a lollipop stick and bake according to recipe directions. I have also seen wooden cookie sticks available, but I just stick with paper sticks since they can be used for candy, cake pops, and cookie pops.
 I guess it is the pinstripes but something about these reminds me of baseball!

 
Featured at: Cupcake Apothecary

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dove Wedding Cookies

I have a large bin of cookie cutters that was passed down from my mother in law. While looking to see if I could find a cookie cutter for my Love Birds Cookies, I found this dove cookie cutter and just had to use it!
I wanted the cookies to be elegant, so stuck with white and added pearl dust for a little sparkle. I am a sucker for sparkle! Of course the photograph doesn't show the brilliance of the sparkle as well as I had hoped, especially with all the dark and rainy days that we have been having.
I did try a couple other designs, other than the swirls, but in the end the I liked the swirls on the wings the best.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party #8

Hi there! Welcome to Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party! I am so happy you have stopped by and thank you all who have come back to party another week!
If the Love Bug hasn't got to you yet, it will soon! Love and hearts are filling the air with less than 3 weeks until Valentine's Day! There are many beautiful Valentine's treats are popping up everywhere! I can't wait to see what you all link up this week!

 Let's just move on to the features from Week 7!
  
The #1 Most Viewed Sweet:
 Another Day at Swank! Cake by Trilogy Edibles
Not, mine, it's Karen's, but I wanted to share the whole picture with you! This cake is gorgeous from the design to the colors! I am still in awe!

The #2 Most Viewed Sweet:
Steampunk Valentine Cookies by The Enchanted Oven
How cool are these? So detailed, so hip! Lisa is rocking that Enchanted Oven!
    
This Weeks Favorites:
 White Chocolate "Reeses" PB Hearts by Peas and Crayons
These are really neat and fun, not to mention sound delicious!

Strawberry Sweetheart Shakes by The Artsy Girl Connection
Whether served up to sweethearts or enjoyed by the kiddos, Marilyn has made this shake into a delicious work of art!
 
Congratulations to all of you! Here is your Button!

Code on "Grab a Button" Page
Now moving on to this weeks party:
Link up your sweets, whatever dessert YOU have made this week!
Nothing new? Link that up too! Dig thought your archives and find a sweet treat that you want to share! I just ask that you keep it all kid friendly! I reserve the right to delete any post that I find inappropriate!
Code on Sidebar ---->
Ready to join in? Here are a few quick things to do:
1. Please Follow Mrs. Fox's Sweets publicly via GFC, I am your hostess after all! I do try to follow all of you back but if somehow you slipped through, let me know!
2. Share my button or a link to this party on your blog somewhere to spread the word! You can find the Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party Button on the "Grab a Button" page and also in the right sidebar!
3. Link to your sweet posts only, not directly to your blog. Giveaways are fine too, as long as they are somehow related to sweets! (ex. cookies, supplies, cookbooks, cupcake necklace, you get the idea!)
4. Mix and mingle, Visit at least one of the other guests at my sweet party and give them a sweet comment! Visit all of your favorites!
Each week I will feature the most viewed sweet and my favorite sweet! These sweets will be featured at the next weeks party! By joining this party, you give Mrs. Fox's Sweet's permission to use your sweet photo in a featured post. Featured sweets may also be shared at Mrs. Fox's Sweets on Facebook, Stumbled, and/or Pinned!



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

It's COOKIE MONSTER!
Now that I have begun on making the Sesame Street Characters, I can't stop! This week I have made Cookie Monster!
I had really started to get bored of cupcakes until I started by making the Elmo Cupcakes last week! Now, I am on a quest to make all of the characters that we have stuffed animals of, maybe more!
These lovable little guys are just as easy as Elmo to make!
 
All you need is:
Cupcakes
Sandwich type cookies cut in half
Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies (I used Mini Chips Ahoy!)
White Necco Candy
Black Candy Writer
Icing colored blue (I used Wilton Royal Blue)
Tip 233
Heat the candy writer and make the black dots on the white Necco candies, let set. Color icing blue. Ice cupcakes using piping bag fitted with tip 233 and using a squeeze and release motion cover the cupcake. Add the eyes and mouth. With a dab of icing, stick on the mini chocolate chip cookies! That's all! That's it!
Cookie Monster love cookies....and cupcakes!
Look for a new Sesame Street Character next Tuesday!
 
Other Characters that I have made:
 
(Note: I did not have a problem with the blue dye bleeding into the Neccos like I did with the red dye)

I always share my cupcakes at:
Hoosier Homemade - Making Your House a Home

Monday, January 23, 2012

Love Birds Cookies

These are my latest cookies! I saw birds with beanies, scarves, and an Eiffle Tower on a plate and that is what inspired this idea! However, my birds turned out a little less plump.
My first plan was to find a bird or paisley shaped cookie cutter that would work and just make the birds with the hats and scarves, but all I could find was doves and ducks.
I tried to roughly sketched a design to see if it was even possible for me to make it look decent and it did look better in the rough sketch, but the space was limited the cookie so I changed it up a bit. No pattern, no predrawing on the cookie, I just winged it! Before the details were added these cookies didn't look very promising!
Then I thought 2 birds together in love would be cute!
and here is the whole collection!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dairy Free Fruit Smoothie

How I start my day
Contrary to what people may believe, not everything I eat is filled with fat and sugar! I have also been asked "How do you stay so thin with all of those sweets?" Well, my answer, "everything in moderation!" I eat healthy about 90% of the time and bad about 10% of the time! I just like to make my meals count and save for the sweets! I do like to make healthier substitutions too when it doesn't compromise flavor in my sweets too. When I am decorating cupcakes or cookies, I am busy, so no time for mindless eating. Most of all, I try to be a good example for my children and for breakfast, my daughter and I have a fruit smoothie! I have found starting my day this way gives me more energy that last longer than just my pot of coffee! I still have the coffee too though and I try and stay active!
I used to have a large smoothie/frozen beverage machine and made banana smoothies for the kids all the time, using milk or yogurt and I just didn't like them that way. My old machine was also a pain to clean, it felt like a huge commitment just to make a smoothie. When that machine went kaput we finally replaced it with this Bella Rocket! I love the name! It came from Target and was only $20, so if it doesn't last forever, I am not out much! I am not trying to be an advertisement, but if you are looking for something like this, this one works fine! Moving on...
Here is how I like my smoothies:
Dairy Free Fruit Smoothie
1 ripe banana
a handful of blueberries
3 to 4 strawberries
a splash of carrot juice or when we have oranges I like using the fresh squeezed juice from one orange
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)
(this recipe makes about 1/2 container about 6 to 8 oz if I guess, recipe is doubled in the picture)

I also like to add 4 or 5 grapes, but I don't have any right now. The fruits in our grocery store haven't looked the best and with prices up in the winter, I am using frozen berries (thawed). I fill a freezer bag and keep enough in the refrigerator for a couple of days worth of smoothies. I like to buy a bunch of bananas, let them go brown, peel them, and then put 2 or 3 in a freezer bag and squish them up, freeze them, and save them for smoothies. As long as the fruit is semi-soft, it won't need cut up. Fresh fruit does need cut up into about 1 inch size pieces. I put the grapes in whole. I don't always make it exact, I just kinda throw in what sounds good at the time! That's it! I put the fruit and a splash of juice in the container and let it go for about 30 to 45 seconds. With fresh fruit, I sometimes have to add a little more juice and sometimes I have to take the container off and shake it around to get the larger pieces to the bottom. I do like to add a little bit of almond extract to mine to give it that something extra!
So this is how I start my sweet day, with a naturally sweet fruit smoothie!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Microwave Peanut Brittle

I cannot remember the last time I had peanut brittle, it has probably been a few decades! I actually think it was a cheap box from the dollar store when I was a just a kid, but I remember loving it! Around Christmas, I began seeing quite a few recipes for peanut brittle and Pinned a couple. I can't believe that as I am composing this post, I have Pinned 1100 things, mostly sweets too! Anyway, I decided to make this Peanut Brittle that I Pinned. You can also find the recipe at Plain Chicken. It was a recipe from her Mom and things passed down are always the best! Steph gave me the okay to share it with you too!
This recipe seriously take less than 10 minutes to prepare and make! After that, it just has to sit for 1 hour before enjoying! I did measure out all of the ingredients beforehand and prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper. It is very helpful to have everything ready since this recipe goes quick, quick, quick!
Here is what you need:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn light corn syrup
1 cup of peanuts (I used Planters Roasted Peanuts)
1 tablespoon margarine (original recipe called for butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
 
First combine the sugar with the light corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Immediately, stir in margarine, vanilla, and peanuts. Return to microwave and cook an additional 1-1/2 minutes on high. Remove from microwave (bowl will be HOT) and stir in 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Quickly spread on parchment paper. Let cool for 1 hour before enjoying!
(Note: Microwave cooking time may vary depending on your microwave, but mine was right on with the original recipe time!)
The hardest part of the whole recipe was spreading the molten hot peanut brittle while scraping it out of the heavy bowl. It would have helped if I would have thought ahead and had the pan in a location to where it wouldn't slide so much!
In the end this peanut brittle was absolutely delicious! My son described it as a peanut butter cookie without the cookie and I thought that described it very well! I just couldn't stop eating it! We buy peanuts in a large 52 ounce container and I always have sugar, so I will definitely be making this again and often! I highly recommend trying this recipe! Quick & easy doesn't need a special occasion!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Valentine's Pretzels

If you don't know by now, we are all big fans of dipped pretzels around here! I made them for the 4th of July and then again for Halloween. Anytime I see someone post them, I have to comment how great they are! Something about that salty sweet combo that makes these the perfect quick and easy treat!
For directions on how to make dipped pretzels, view my Halloween Dipped Pretzels post!
If you haven't tried them yet, what are you waiting for?


Featured at:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hello Kitty Cookies

Hello Mother. Hello Father. HELLO KITTY!
Do you remember that commercial from Target, like a bazillion years ago? It always pops into my head when I am making something with Hello Kitty! I couldn't even find it on YouTube, that is how long ago it was! Maybe late 90's? One thing that is for certain, Hello Kitty never goes out of style!
Exactly 6 month ago from today, I posted my Hello Kitty Chocolate Face Cookies. (not planned either, purely coincidental!) The 2 Hello Kitty Cookie Cutters came as a set from Party City.
 I remember thinking at that time that I would probably never make the full body Hello Kitty Cookie, it just looked too overwhelming and would take too much time. Well, here it is! I finally made it!
 They still don't all look identical. I just like to say that each one has her own little personality!
   
Recipes used for these cookies:

I link up at these fun parties! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party #7

Hi there! Welcome to Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party! I am so happy you have stopped by and thank you all who have come back to party another week!
This week has flown by like I don't know what! Seems like it went faster than Christmas! I have been working on my cookies here and there, just an hour or two at a time. I am finding that to be very relaxing in the day to day chaos called life! I am sure you don't want to hear me vent about things like why is that car riding my bumper? I am going the speed limit. Don't they know I am in front and winning and that I have all the power to go even slower now? Why is Blogger acting up as I am trying to compose a post?
Let's just move on to the features from Week 6!
  
The #1 Most Viewed Link:
 Owl Cookies from Sugar By Julie
Owls are adorable and apparently you all liked them as much as I did!

The Very Close #2 Most Viewed Sweet:
Light Strawberry Champagne Cake by Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo
This sexy cake is light and perfect for sharing with your Valentine!

This Weeks Favorites:
 Sweet Romance Valentines by The Enchanted Oven
So detailed and gorgeous!
 
Frosty Faces by The Seven Year Cottage
Too adorable to eat....okay I would still eat them!

Also too adorable to eat, yet I still would!
   
Congratulations to all of you! Here is your Button!

Code on "Grab a Button" Page
Now moving on to this weeks party:
Link up your sweets, whatever dessert YOU have made this week!
Nothing new? Link that up too! Dig thought your archives and find a sweet treat that you want to share! I just ask that you keep it all kid friendly! I reserve the right to delete any post that I find inappropriate!
Code on Sidebar ---->
Ready to join in? Here are a few quick things to do:
1. Please Follow Mrs. Fox's Sweets publicly via GFC, I am your hostess after all!
2. Share my button or a link to this party on your blog somewhere to spread the word! You can find the Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party Button on the "Grab a Button" page and also in the right sidebar!
3. Link to your sweet posts only, not directly to your blog. Giveaways are fine too, as long as they are somehow related to sweets! (ex. cookies, supplies, cookbooks, cupcake necklace, you get the idea!)
4. Mix and mingle, Visit at least one of the other guests at my sweet party and give them a sweet comment! Visit your favorites!
Each week I will feature the most viewed sweet and my favorite sweet! These sweets will be featured at the next weeks party! By joining this party, you give Mrs. Fox's Sweet's permission to use your sweet photo in a featured post. Featured sweets may also be shared at Mrs. Fox's Sweets on Facebook, Stumbled, and/or Pinned!






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