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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cake Balls

My girlfriend Jen came over for a lesson on how to make cake pops. She took home the cake pops and I was left with a few cake balls.

Mix it up Jenny!

A proud cake pop rookie, showing off her stuff!

Don't you just love our aprons?  Check out Sassy Apron at for the cutest handmade aprons.

We were having too much fun!

To make cake balls, follow the basic cake pop instructions.  I still inserted a stick into the ball, but removed the stick and placed the ball on a parchment lined cookie sheet to set. Add decorations immediately.

Simple and sweet!  Here is the final product.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Elmo Cookies

I did it! Thanks to Sweet Sugarbelle who made a video tutorial showing how to decorate sugar cookies without using a fancy tracing projector, I made these cute Elmo and number 2 cookies. 

In this post, I will walk you through the steps to making more challenging cookies, minus the fancy projector.  (In the future, however, I may invest in a Kopykake projector.)

Items you will need for this project:
-sugar cookies
-printed image(s) of Elmo and the number 2
-black edible ink pen
-royal icing
-#1 Wilton piping tip
-squeeze bottles

Bake sugar cookies and let cool. Print an image of Elmo onto cardstock and cut out around the face. (I found this image on Sugar Envy's Flicker photo stream.) Cut out mouth and poke holes around nose with a toothpick. Place printed image onto cookie and trace around Elmo's face with an edible ink pen to create the border. Since I was going to pipe the outline black, I used a black edible ink pen. Always try to match the color of ink to the colour you will pipe as the border.

Next, trace the mouth and the dots of the nose.
When the dots are connected and the eyes are joined, the face begins to take shape.

Next, pipe the drawn image with black royal icing using a number #1 Wilton Piping tip. (I used a #2 tip in the pictures. In retrospect, I think that a #1 tip would have been better.) Fill in the mouth with the same black icing. Repeat steps for remaining Elmo cookies. Let set and dry overnight.

The next day, flood the face with red royal icing. Use a toothpick to spread the icing into corners or hard to get to areas on the face. For the recipe that I use to make royal icing, click here.

Flood the nose with orange royal icing and the eyes with white royal icing. Let dry overnight. 

Use a black edible ink pen to draw and colour in the eyeballs.

Ta Da!

For the number 2 cookies above, print the number 2 image onto cardstock. Cut out, trace onto cookie and pipe with royal icing. Let dry overnight. Flood with coloured icing and let dry overnight.

The Lexie cookies were first outlined with black royal icing. The next day they were flooded with coloured royal icing and left to dry overnight. On the third day, the names were piped on top.
Happy Birthday Lexie!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Happy decorating,
Melissa ;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vanilla Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Whoo! Snack is back for the staff at my school!  For all of you non-teachers, Friday's are FAT at most schools...we like to call them "Fat Fridays" know, treat day. At morning recess, the staff meet in the staffroom to schmooze over food and treats! 

Since I was on treats this week, I chose to make Valentine's Day cupcakes for my colleagues to enjoy. This time I made simple vanilla cupcakes with three kinds of frosting: pink buttercream, white cream cheese frosting and delicious chocolate buttercream frosting, (see recipe below) all topped with heart sprinkles.  The same heart sprinkles that I used for the eyes of my Valentine's Day Cake Pops!

I was inspired by tags created by Bakerella, and by Melissa, from Domesticated Lady.

I know, I need to get a circle punch!  When I made Duff's Cake Pops with tags, Nancy suggested that I buy some circle punches.  Haven't gotten around to it yet Nancy! Scissors did the trick, yet again this time!

I glued the tags onto some red popsicle sticks that I bought at Dollarama.

How cute!

Love the "Valentine, I think you're...WILD" tags!

Ghirardelli Chocolate Buttercream Frosting 
(Warning...this is sinful!)

6 tbsp butter softened
2-2/3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

In bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, mix icing sugar with cocoa.  Blend sugar mixture with butter alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.  Beat until smooth.  Blend in vanilla.
(Frosts tops and sides of two, 9" layers.)

For other Valentine's Day ideas check out these posts:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Have you ever visited Ming's website called Ming Makes Cupcakes? My cousin Naomi sent me the link to her page a few months ago and I have finally tried a recipe form it. This Red Velvet recipe is one of her 33 delicious cupcake recipes. A perfect choice for Valentine's Day! On her site, it is Cupcake 4. However, she makes these cupcakes with a buttercream frosting, and I have used a cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
(Taken from Ming Makes Cupcakes)

1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tbsp red food coloring
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, egg, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.  While mixing at medium speed, gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture until just combined. Fill cupcake liners.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

The recipe was pretty easy to make.

Key food coloring.

Each cupcake formed such a nice dome shape.

Perfect for a thin layer of delicious cream cheese frosting.

That's how I like it!


But others prefer loads of icing!  These ones turned out so beautifully. They are made with the same cake, but contain many more calories due to the excess amount of cream cheese frosting!

So what kind of a cupcake lover are you? 
Do you love a cupcake with a thin layer of frosting and more cake, or, a cupcake loaded with frosting and just a bit of cake?