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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

Half brownie, half chocolate chip can you go wrong?

As soon as one of my students brought these squares to school as a treat for her birthday, I immediately needed the recipe. Since I couldn't wait, I decided to create my own recipe. This is possibly the simplest recipe that I have ever is also very delicious and very addictive!

What you will need to make these chewy, yummy, sweet, Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies:

-1/2 log of Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough (or homemade cookie dough which would be even better!)
-1 store bought brownie mix (eggs, oil, water, or homemade brownie mixture)
-8" x 8" square baking pan
-mini muffin tins 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 x 8" baking pan with cooking spray. Split a log of Pillsbury cookie dough in half (as only half is needed for this recipe).  Refrigerate or freeze other half.  Break 1/2 log of cookie dough into small pieces and place 3/4 into the pan as seen above. Reserve 1/4 of the pieces for later. Don't worry about the size or shape of the dough because everything will blend together in the oven.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all required ingredients to make brownies. Or, if preferred, add eggs, water and oil to a store bought brownie mix. Pour brownie mix into pan over cookie dough.

  Top with remaining cookie dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Cut into squares and serve in mini muffin tins. 

I dare you to try not to eat any along the way.  Don't tell Rich...I ate about six. They were so good!

They also freeze well. Store in an air-tight container.  Remove from freezer 2-3 hours before serving. 

Enjoy...I certainly did!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Colorful Cupcakes

Yummy and delicious cupcakes...

Begin with your favourite chocolate and vanilla cupcake recipes.

Make buttercream icing and add desired food gel/colors.

Pipe onto cupcakes.

Smell the freshness of the butter, sugar and chocolate.

Don't they look so colorful and delicious?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Montreal Canadiens Rice Krispy Jerseys

This was another one of the desserts that I made for Rich's birthday. Montreal Canadiens jerseys made out of rice krispy treats as the base, rolled fondant for the jerseys and the blue stripes, and buttercream icing for the names and numbers of the team members. 

Planning ahead is always important. Of course the site that I chose, although for the most part was accurate, included Koivu as a member of the team. I was quickly reminded by Rich's friends that he is no longer a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Whoops!  Let's just call him an honorary member for this post! At least I spelled all of the names correctly and got all of the numbers correct!

First things first, I made the delicious, ooey, gooey rice krispy treats! I used a greased cookie sheet to lay out the mixture. When making rice krispy treats cover the treats with saran wrap and use a rolling pin to flatten the treats over the saran. This spreads out the rice krispies and allows for the tops to be evened out, without sticking to the rolling pin. The flat surface makes it much easier to write on and lay the fondant overtop.

Use a greased cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes.  I was amazed by all of the ideas I found on the Rice Krispies website. However, it was next to impossible to find a t-shirt or a jersey cookie cutter in this city.  Therefore, I used a onesie cutter and cut off the bottom part to make a t-shirt.

One batch of the recipe made about 15 jerseys.

 Roll out the fondant and follow the same method to cut out the shirts.

It is customary to use buttercream icing as glue for the fondant to stick to the jerseys.  However, since they are so sweet and sticky to begin with, I skipped that step and stuck the shirts directly onto the rice krispy jerseys.

Next, use a paint brush to paint the back of each blue stripe with water to stick to the shirt.

Since I had leftover buttercream icing from the cake I used it to pipe the names and numbers onto the jerseys.  However, royal icing might have been more effective for this purpose.

Aren't these adorable?

Go Habs!

You rock!

Obviously the boys agree!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Montreal Canadiens Cake

I did it!  My first real experience working with fondant!  To tell you the truth, it's not quite as simple as it looks, or as simple as I thought it would be. For a rookie though, I think I passed the test. This cake was the hit of Rich's birthday get together. 

Since my fiancĂ© is somewhat obsessed with the Habs, I decided to make it the theme of the night.

However, when I went to Party Packagers (an awesome party supply store in Toronto) looking for Habs decorations like plates, napkins and tablecloths, there were none. Here's where the teacher in me really came out. I was left with no choice but to be creative and make my own decorations, so I printed the Canadiens logo and some Habs jerseys and taped them onto the table cloth!  I think it looked pretty cute!

Okay...onto cake making and decorating with fondant.  Remember, this was my first time making a fancy cake using fondant. For all of you experienced cake makers and decorators, please bring on the criticism and suggestions!  All I really know is what I have learned from watching Cake Boss, as well as the few pointers suggested to me by a very helpful woman who works at Creative Cutters where I bought the sugar paste, color tints and the cake board. 
First things first...I needed a picture of what I wanted to accomplish.  My friend Liz sent me a picture of the amazing Montreal Canadiens jersey cake that she made (which was way better than mine) and that gave me some ideas. I then went online and ended up having a picture of the jersey up on my computer screen as I was working.

I began by baking two cakes; one vanilla and the other chocolate. Once the cakes had cooled completely, I piped a minimal amount of buttercream icing onto the cake board so the chocolate layer would stick to the board. I placed the chocolate layer in the center of the board.  I then piped more icing on top of the chocolate cake and placed the vanilla layer on top of it. It became quite clear to me that the cake was a little uneven, so "a carvin" I went.  I sort of eye balled it since I did not have a level, trying my best to even out both sides of the cake.   

Next step was to dirty ice the entire cake with buttercream icing.  The buttercream acts as glue for the fondant to stick to the cake and keep the cake moist. I first piped it onto the cake and then used an offset spatula to spread it out.

Since the fondant I bought was white, I had to color it red and blue. These are the tinted colored powders I used to tint and paint the fondant. 

Although not perfect, I managed to roll out the white fondant thin enough to cover the cake.  Notice the creases above.  They made me so sad. But...I found a solution!  I managed to cover them up with the sleeves of the jersey. He! He!

As anticipated, when I mixed the red color tint with the white fondant, it became pink. YIKES! I didn't know what I was going to do until I remembered what the lady at Creative Cutters suggested. She told me that by mixing the tinted powder with a small amount of Gin or Vodka, paint would be created. It worked! To make the C, and the red stripe as bold as they looked, I painted the cut out pieces of pink fondant red with the "paint" and let them dry before adhering them to the cake.

Here's how I made the logo. I printed the size I needed on regular paper and placed it on top of the rolled out fondant.  Next, I cut out the areas that I would need to trace. 

I used an exacto knife to trace along the edges of the stencil. Using a paintbrush dipped in water, I painted the back of each piece of fondant in order for it to stick to the cake.

I very carefully placed each piece into position. 
Finally, with the leftover buttercream icing, I piped a birthday message.
Go Habs Go!
I must admit...this took me quite some time to put together, but it was worth it.

I was very happy with the final product.

I think that Rich was too!  I couldn't believe that I kept it a surprise from him.  (I made the cake at my mom's after work all week!)

Happy Birthday Richie!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cookies for Ashley's Bridal Shower

This cookie order was similar to the cookies that I made for my toast when I got engaged, but these cookies were made for Ashley's Bridal Shower. 

Today is also the day of Ashley's wedding.  Congrats Ashley!


Bride and maid of honor...


A cute addition to any party.