Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting & Petit Four Icing

Whew, so glad this weekend is over. Not sure what I’m going to do with myself now that the baby shower and birthday party have come and gone. 😛

The baby shower was fun and of course there were lots of cute gifts. The mother and father-to-be are UT grads, so there were a few Longhorn gifts thrown in there. They’ll just put that longhorn on anything! 🙂 She even received a stuffed football that unzips and out pops Bevo!

petit fours

Everyone loved the cupcakes, cookies and petit fours. Hopefully I was able to put the bug in a couple of the ladies ears about calling me for any events they may have coming up. I’d love to be able to get my name out there.

petit fours

I made the icing for the petit fours on Thursday night and covered them. I split the icing up into two batches and tinted one of them pink using a drop or two of red food coloring. I just used a small round cookie cutter to cut the rounds out of the sheet cake I made (in a 12×17 sheet pan using 1 1/2 portions of the Perfect Party Cake). Make sure the cake is cold and/or frozen.  It is much easier to cut out.  I told hubby, when we open our own bakery, these suckers aren’t gonna be cheap.  They are definitely time consuming. 

When I went to “decorate” them on Friday night, I tried out some polka dots, but I couldn’t quite get them right so I ended up doing some quick squigglies.  The baby room colors are pink and green, so the pink ones were squiggled with white or green frosting (from a can and tinted) and the white ones were squiggled with pink frosting. 

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

The cupcakes I made were topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I made the frosting on Friday night and topped them Saturday morning before the shower.  I found the Sprinkles’ frosting recipe on Martha Stewart and just doubled that (I should have just made about 1 1/2, because I still have alot left over), but replaced cream cheese for half of the butter.  It was so yummy.  I probably could have just taken a spoon to it, but I refrained.  😛  I didn’t read carefully and ended up putting the strawberry puree in before the confectioners’s sugar.  Oops.  The consistency wasn’t quite right, but in the end it turned out fine because it covered the cupcakes really well.  It just wasn’t pipe-able.  😛

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

Petit Fours Icing
Yield: Approximately 3-4 dozen
Source: I can’t remember where this one came from
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
9 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (about 2 pounds)
½ cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1-2 drops red food coloring

Combine ingredients in top of double boiler and heat over boiling water just to lukewarm. (do not overheat icing or it will become dull.) Remove from heat, leaving icing over hot water to keep it thin. If desired, tint parts of icing delicate pastel colors with food color. If necessary, add hot water, just a few drops at a time, until of spreading consistency.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: Approximately 4-5 dozen cupcakes
Adapted from Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
¾ – 1 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
½ pound unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
½ pound cream cheese
Pinch of coarse salt
7-8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 6 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended.

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Pink Lady (Strawberry) Cupcakes

A good friend of mine is having a baby girl in October. I am so excited for her! They have been trying for awhile now and it’s finally happening. Plus, GB will have a girlfriend to play with.  I think her husband may have been secretly wishing for a boy, but he is still very excited. 😛 He even picked out this cute Ralph Lauren dress for her, to match daddy. He pretty much wears a polo shirt every day.

I’m co-hosting the shower that’s happening on Saturday (22nd) and will be making all the sweet goodies. 36 invites were sent out! I don’t think I’ve made this many sweets by myself at one time. It may not seem like alot, but have you seen my kitchen? Not alot of room to move. Plus, did I tell you?  I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old? 😉 I definitely had to do a little planning to make sure I could get it all done.

pink lady (strawberry) cupcakes

So, the plan for the shower is 3 dozen strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting, 3 dozen mini petit fours and 3 dozen sparkly pink sugar cookies. I made the sheet cake for the petit fours using  1 ½ portions of the Perfect Party Cake recipe.  This is currently in the freezer waiting to be cut into rounds and covered with a pourable fondant, then decorated with pink dots.  I made the pink lady cupcakes this weekend and they are also in the freezer, waiting to be topped with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I’m going to make the sugar cookie dough this week, bake them off, then freeze them until Saturday. 

You don’t want to see what my freezer looks like.  I open that door, very carefully these days.  Luckily, I’m using the extra refrigerator in our garage.  Otherwise, I’m not sure where I would have put them.

pink lady (strawberry) cupcakes

The moisture from the cupcakes always seems to seep through the liners and makes them somewhat indistinguishable after they come out of the oven, so I baked my cupcakes with plain white liners. When they’re ready to go, I”ll put them in these cute cupcake liners:
cupcake liner
and the petit fours will go in these cute cups:
bubble stripe liner

I really wanted these:
pink polka liner
and these:
pink stripe liner
but couldn’t find them around here and didn’t want to have to order them online. Oh well.

Luckily the mother-to-be knows I’m not an artist, so no baby booties, or cute little fondant figures or any of that stuff is required. Plus, she’s not very picky either. I did want to make sure there was something I knew she enjoyed, which is how we ended up with the strawberry cupcakes. I scoured my cookbooks and the Net to see if I could find a good recipe. I came across Smitten Kitchen’s Pink Lady Cake post, read it and some of the comments, then decided this was the one.

The method was a bit different than what I’m used to, so I adjusted it to the way I am used to. The cupcakes still turned out nice and fluffy and moist. And the awesome thing about it all? This recipe made exactly 36 cupcakes! Woohoo! Ok, 35, but that’s because I had to taste one of them. I couldn’t just send these along without making sure they were fabulous, right? Oh, and listen to Deb when she tells you NOT TO TASTE THE BATTER! I probably could have made 37 cupcakes had it not been for the batter that somehow mysteriously ended up on my fingers that just had to be licked off!

I also took her suggestion and added just a couple of drops of food coloring to give them a nice bright pink color. I’m was trying to stick to a theme you know: pink, girly and cute!

Pink Lady Cupcakes
Yield: 36
Source: Sky High, as seen on Smitten Kitchen
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 ½ cups cake flour
5 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food coloring
¾ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
1 ½ cups pureed frozen strawberries (you could substitute fresh)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or line 3 cupcake tins; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites, milk and food coloring; set aside.

Put the butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the strawberry puree until incorporated – it will look a little curdled.

Add about one-third of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Add half of the remaining flour mixture, then ½ of the egg mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture. Make sure to incorporate the ingredients between each mixture and scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl. Pour the batter into the cupcake tins.

Bake the cupcakes for 20-23 minutes or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for 10 to 15 minutes. Finish cooling on wire racks. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

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In addition to the shower this weekend, my son’s birthday party is on Sunday (23rd)! Yes, I know, it’s late.  My mother says in Korea you can have the party early, but not late, so I’m apparently breaking some sort of rule.  Oops.

I will be posting those cupcakes (cookies & cream) later…much later…cuz I made 2 dozen yesterday and they are sitting in the freezer…and no photos were taken. 😛 Besides, I need to make about 2 dozen more. The parents will want some too, right?

Happy Third Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my little guy.  It was three years ago today that you came into this world!

090811.2 3rd bday cake

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090811.12 3rd bday cake

 

I just used some frozen cookie dough from this batch of chocolate chip cookies and put them in a small pyrex dish; baked it for 20-25 minutes and voila: Mini Cookie Cake.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I think summer is my favorite season for fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries and especially watermelon. I could probably eat an entire watermelon on my own.  Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. There’s a watermelon festival every year where hubby grew up and the last time we went they gave out free watermelon. I barely made it through the ginormous piece they gave us. But man was it good. Cold and crisp and juicy. Mmmm. I just totally gave myself an awesome idea for a drink! I’ll let you know if it pans out. 😉

You’d think this post was going to be about watermelons, but alas, it is about blueberries. I know, I know, I’ve already given you blueberry pancakes, blueberry sauce, blueberry banana oatmeal pancakes, dos berry muffins and blueberry crumblies. But, I can’t help it. I am a lover of the blueberry.

I perused through my meager collection of cookbooks and landed on Dorie’s Blueberry Crumb Cake in the Baking book. You know, maybe I should just join Tuesdays with Dorie. I’m slowly making my way through this book anyway. Ok, so I’ve only made two other things from the book, but somehow I keep drifting back to it.

Anyway, despite the fact that I did not follow the instructions properly, the cake itself was pretty good. It did end up being a little dry, but I think I overbaked it.  It was a lot better with a scoop of ice cream on top.  😛

blueberry crumb cake 

The thing is, I was trying to give hubby some alone time by having MC bake with me.  He loves to stir things up (quite literally), scoop things out, turn on my stand mixer, you know, normal things an almost three year old would love to do.  Hubby had a LONG day, the day before.  The boys (Hubby, MC, BIL, BIL’s son – 4 and Nephew – 12) all went to Hurricane Harbor.  Long story short, Hubby has decided that no one gets to go until they are at least five years old and the children can not outnumber the adults.  I’m so glad I stayed home with GB. 

Things didn’t quite work out in the kitchen.  I really want my children to cook and bake with me in the kitchen, so I’m trying to learn to relinquish a little control and order, but it’s not easy.  I ended up scolding MC for something and he ran off to daddy.  Granted, this is currently a normal occurrence – one parent scolds him and he runs to or cries for the other one.  What I’m trying to say here is, I didn’t read the instructions as carefully as I normally do and my crumb cake didn’t have any “crumbs” on top.  I was supposed to refrigerate it with the nuts, but I forgot to put the nuts in, so they ended up getting sprinkled on top, and I forgot to refrigerate it until I was halfway through assembling the batter.  The “crumbs” never firmed up and didn’t get cold like they should have, which is why my “crumb cake” just turned into a cake with a crunchy top.

blueberry crumb cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Yield: 9 squares
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours
Printable Recipe

Crumb Ingredients:
5 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup pecans, chopped

Cake Ingredients:
1 pint (2 cups) blueberries (preferably fresh, or frozen, not thawed)
2 cups + 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet; set aside.

Put all crumb ingredients, except the nuts, in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture forms clumps and curds and holds together when pressed. Scrape the topping into a bowl, stir in the nuts and press a piece of plastic against the surface. Refrigerate until needed.

Using your fingertips, toss the blueberries and 2 teaspoons of flour together in a small bowl, just to coat the berries; set aside.

Whisk together the remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the sugar and butter and beat on medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one and beat for about 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). You will have a thick creamy batter. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the berries.

Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and smooth the top gently with the spatula. Pull the crumb mix from the refrigerator and break it into pieces. Scatter the crumbs over the batter, pressing them down ever so slightly.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool until it is warm or reaches room temperature.

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Red, White & Blue Cupcakes For U(SA)

…and for ME!  Happy Almost Birthday to me! Two more days, till I turn double 3.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I told hubby that I was going to make my own birthday (cup)cake this year.  He asked me if I wanted him to make the cake.  I said, uh, no, that’s ok.  🙂  We’ve got a good thing going, let’s not change it…you know, I cook, he does the yard work.  Heehee. 

Anywho, ever since I saw the rainbow cakes making their way around the blogosphere, I wanted to give them a try.  I thought, what better time to try, than for Independence Day, with a red, white & blue theme.  I just needed to find the right cake recipe. 

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I’ve read alot of good things about Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake and I have her Baking book, so I took a peek.  She uses lemon as a flavor component; not something I wanted in my birthday (cup)cake.  Don’t get me wrong, I like lemon, but I wanted just a classic white birthday cake flavor.  I decided to go ahead and use her recipe and sub in some vanilla.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I was very pleased with the texture of these cupcakes.  It’s exactly what I think of when I think birthday cake.  The colors turned out pretty good too.  Just beware, you have to use a lot of red just to get this particular shade. What kinda sucked was that my colors didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped or expected.  I spooned in the red, the white then the blue batter.  As you can see the blue fell into the midle of the cupcake.  Oh well.  It still tasted good.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

This frosting is one of my favs…and I don’t usually like frosting (I’m a whipped cream frosting kind of girl).  One thing to keep in mind; about halfway through the red & blue started fading so I had to re-stripe the bag.  It probably would have been wiser of me to use a new bag, but I’m lazy and stingy frugal.  😉  The colors started blending together a bit after the second striping, so I’d definitely recommend starting fresh with a new bag. 

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes with Red, White Chocolate & Blue Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Cake adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours (Perfect Party Cake)
Frosting from
The Essential Baker
Printable Recipe

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups milk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ pound butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Red & blue icing colors

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.

Sift (or whisk) together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg whites.

In the mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light in color; about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the milk/egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the remaining flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk/egg mixture and beat until homogeneous (as Dorie puts it). Then add the rest of the flour mixture and beat the batter until it’s mixed thoroughly.

Separate the batter into 3 small bowls. Set aside one of the bowls of batter (white). In another one, mix in some red icing color until you get the color you want. In the last bowl, mix in some blue icing color until you get the color you want. (Use the “mixing color in icing” technique.)

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners in whatever order you choose. I put red on the bottom, white in the middle, then blue on top (my blue fell into the middle of the cupcake anyway). You could even swirl them for a tie-dye effect.

Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces white chocolate
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Red & blue icing colors

Directions:
Melt white chocolate in the microwave. Heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals and stir in-between each round.

Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add the sugar in 3 stages. Stop occasionally and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat together until thoroughly blended. Add the melted white chocolate and blend together completely.

To get the red, white & blue colors use the “brush striping” technique.

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Aren’t you glad to see a post about something other than cookies??? Five of the last 10 posts were cookie related! Step away from the cookies, Susan! 🙂

Hope everyone has a fun, but safe 4th of July!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Thanks to the 11 of you who voted in my poll. 🙂 I ended up making a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake that turned out fabulous. I even did something I probably shouldn’t have done and used a new-to-me Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. It’s out of a cookbook I’ve had for almost two years now (The Secrets of Baking) and finally got around to trying the cookie recipe.

chocolate chip cookie cake

Whenever we go to the in-laws I always bring them leftover goodies, or make something to specifically take to them. Everyone in the family has a sweet tooth and love the fact that I bring anything at all. For Father’s Day I wanted to do something kind of special and different so the cookie cake won out. My original thought was something you see at the mall, like at Great American Cookies.  But I didn’t have a pan big enough and didn’t want to go out and buy something just for this.  So I went with a “layered” cookie cake. 

chocolate chip cookie cake

The recipe from The Secrets of Baking was the perfect size to make two rounds.  I divided the dough among the two pans and flattened them out with my hands.  I baked them for just a little bit longer than the original called for and they came out great.

chocolate chip cookie cake

It doesn’t matter which way you layer the cookies.  Just make sure the top one is “top” up, so you can tell it looks like a big chocolate chip cookie.  I just used store bought chocolate frosting and smeared a thin layer in between the two cookies.  I wanted to pipe a line around the outside between the two cookies, but the frosting was too loose, so I ended up just frosting the entire thing. The top looked a bit bare, so I piped some stars around the edges too. You could always make your own.  I almost went with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting, but I barely had time or energy to get this cake made!

chocolate chip cookie cake
my nephew’s finger – he really wanted the frosting

I ended up taking this cake, the Strawberry Cheese Pie and some homemade hamburger buns (I’ll post about these in the future, after I’ve perfected them) with us.  Everyone loved them. 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Adapted from The Secrets of Baking
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ pound cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
8 ounces chocolate chips/chunks

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans; set aside.

In a medium bowl sift or whisk the flour and baking soda; set aside.

Cream butter until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Cream the mixture until smooth.

Add egg and beat on low until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat.

Add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips or chunks.

Divide the dough between the two cake pans. Pat into the cake pans and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes.

Allow cookie cakes to cool completely before decorating.

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Fall Spice Cake

Happy Halloween!

I know what you’re thinking.  This is the most she’s posted in awhile.  😉  Let’s just say I’ve been able to make it through the day without a nap (no, these naps were not daily occurences, just on my days off), got my grocery shopping done early this week and was able to try out the spice cake I saw Giada make on Giada at Home

I’m not sure how I feel about the show itself, but what I do know is, as I was watching it I kept thinking, “Didn’t she just have a baby a few months ago?  She just had a baby?!” (Very cute baby, btw). Then it was, “HONEY, COME HERE AND CHECK OUT THIS ZOTCH THAT JUST HAD A BABY!”  LOL.  I remember when she was pregnant and thinknig to myself, “She sure doesn’t look pregnant.”  *SIGH*  We’re not going to talk about my swollen face and sausage toes.  Ok, it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s inevitable.

So back to this cake. Giada made hers in a loaf pan, but I went with a fluted tube pan, aka bundt pan (did you know that “bundt pan” is a registered trademark?), because I thought it would look nicer.  I decided to add in some pumpkin puree that I needed to use up (it didn’t really give it much of a pumpkin flavor, but it may have helped keep the cake moist).  I also didn’t have any allspice and didn’t want to buy any just for one cake, so I substituted some cloves.  I figured it’d go well with the rest of the spices and the the pumpkin.  I used some whole wheat flour in place of some the all purpose flour.  My mission in life is to try and incorporate whole wheat flour into my baked goods.  😉

The cake came out very moist and the blend of spices was delicious and made me feel all warm and autumny.  (Yes, autumny is a word here in Sueshe-land.)  Sorry I don’t have any pictures for you.  By the time I got around to wanting to take some photos, the cake was almost gone – well, we ate some and I sent some home with the in-laws.  But, I do have some pictures of the cupcakes MC took to school today.  🙂

spiderweb cupcakes

spiderweb cupcakes

Fall Spice Cake
Adapted from Halloween Spice Cake courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a fluted tube pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

In a large bowl, beat the sugars, oil, applesauce, pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract to blend.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake for 10 minutes.

Unmold the cake and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into slices for serving.