Sunday, January 30, 2011

Golden Anniversary!

It was my honor to make the 50th anniversary cake for my aunt's mother and father-in-law.  They chose to have the cake represent the many different places they lived in over their 50 years together - its an amazing list! From NYC to Telaviv, they made their way around the world raising their family in the US Army family!

The cake was yellow cake with chocolate buttercream filling and frosting. The fondant was marbelized with edible gold luster dust to look like an old map - similar to the maps shown in Indiana Jones movies when he's flying to different locations and the red line across the map shows his travel path! :) Love those movies :)

Each star has a location of where Nancy and Bud and their family lived throughout their marriage - there's a few stars that have two locations (i.e. Vietnam and Florida) when the couple was living apart due to deployments...truly, the hardships that families in the armed forces endure are so difficult and I give them all a huge thank you for what they all do in the name of the protection of our country!

Happy Anniversary to Nancy and Bud!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On a Personal Note: Baking with my Loves

I haven't posted in awhile - the holidays kept me super busy with awesome family gatherings, work events and CAKES of course! :) I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are gearing up for the next few months of winter until lovely spring arrives!

All of the holiday gatherings and cake orders in December gave me ample time to have some fun in the kitchen with my two little cuties! They love setting up their kids table, each getting their own giant mixing bowl and a whisk, a little water in the bowl and there's a nice solid half hour and splashing and mixing and minimal cleanup at the end! :) Ummm, actually it's really helpful for cleaning the kitchen floor - haha!

No matter where they are in the house, they always snap to attention when the oven timer goes off, making sure I know the cake is done (I know they think they might be getting a piece!)  I love that special time with them in the kitchen - they crack me up with their antics, their smiles and laughter...the makings of the best kind of memories!

And BOY do they love playing with water from the faucet...the could spend hours there if I'd let them!

Since we're having a bit of a snow day today here in NYC, I'm thinking it might be a cookie baking day when they wake up from their nap! :) Happy Baking and Memory Making everyone!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter "One"derland 1st Birthday Cake

Today I had the pleasure of delivering a cake for a 1 year old birthday party for Annabelle! This sweet little munchkin's mom planned an adorably themed party - Winter "One"derland!  I was so excited to do this cake because I did the cake for the baby shower and the christening as well as her dad's 30th Birthday Guinness cupcakes - being a behind-the-scenes part of this family's celebrations has been so awesome and such an honor!

For Annabelle's 1st birthday the cake was two tiers and all vanilla (cake, filling and frosting).  With snowy white fondant as the base color, and pink and silver accents, the finished product looked like a winter wonderland!

Each snowflake was hand-cut - the silver ones were handpainted with edible luster dust mixed with vanilla extract.  The fondant animals were so fun to make - I think I like the penguin best! :) Probably because it's the first time I've ever made a penguin! :) I plan to post a few tutorials on making fondant figures in the coming weeks for anyone who might be interested!

Sweet little Annabelle dressed in pink winter gear sits on top of her cake next to a fondant Frosty!

Wishing Annabelle and her family all the best as they celebrate her 1st birthday!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Heart Shaped Valentine Smore's (Tutorial #1)

Last night around 4am, one of my sons woke up and had a tough time falling back to sleep (and so did I!) After several attempts to get him to stop trying to jump off the bed and head to the play room, he finally dozed back off and my thoughts strayed to all the Martha Stewart Dreamers and Doers who were in NYC this week for the conference. I was so sad I didn't make the cutoff to attend this amazing event, but just knowing all those creative and motivated minds were nearby, gave me a burst of energy and creativity! This idea popped into my head about a sweet treat for Valentine's Day. Heart-shaped Chocolate-dipped Smore's!

Tonight, I tested out a few ways of making them and have a tutorial listed below. They are SUPER easy to make! 

I put my favorite one (see picture above) on a lollipop stick (I feel turning any dessert into a pop makes it even more special!) but you can make them any way you please to fit the occasion you're making them for. Whether you line them up on a fancy dessert table or whether you place a few in your child's lunchbox to send a little lunchtime love, this sweet treat will make anyone's day!

1) Gather your supplies! You'll need graham crackers, marshmallows (or marshmallow fluff), melting chocolate and a heart shaped cookie cutter. Optional: lollipop sticks and sprinkles!

2) Take 2 square graham crackers and microwave them for 35 seconds - they should come out slightly softened.

3) Use your heart shaped cutter to gently cut out a heart from each square. (Save excess to grind into  crumbs and use for dusting over melted chocolate, to put as a topping on ice cream or save for a pie or cheesecake crust!)

Already, they look so cute!

4) Place a few mini marshmallows on one graham cracker heart and microwave for 10-15 seconds.

My original plan was to use marshmallow Fluff and pipe it onto the graham cracker but I didn't have any on hand. Melting these mini's worked just perfectly!

5) Place the second piece of graham cracker on top of the melted marshmallows (yummm) and SQUISH down till you see all that yummy marshmallow goodness ooze out the sides...

For a neater look (especially if you plan to fully dip the smore, cut off the excess marshmallow (don't feel guilty about eating it as you cut it off!) :)

From here you can decorate as you wish! I started out with a little chocolate drizzle:

Next I tried a little half-dipped action:

Finally, I popped the smore on a lollipop stick!

I went all out Valentine's Day and melted some red and white chocolate together to make a light pink and dipped away!  Some red and white sprinkles added a little extra color to it....and the taste??? Let's just say...I'd check this off as a Heavenly Bite!!!!!!!

I hope you enjoyed this quick little tutorial - it's the first of what I'd like to be many this yeaR! I'd love to hear if you make these little treats for your upcoming Valentine's celebration - send pictures too and I'll post them!  Thanks so much for stopping by!



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