Thursday, May 28, 2009


For Josh's birthday, I couldn't resist making some take home favors for the parents. Just vanilla cupcakes with a light chocolate frosting.

I made these again later in the week, and filled them with strawberry cream. I will definitely be adding those to my regular circulation, and I think I will call them neopolitan cupcakes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Backyardigans Cupcake Cake

So I've started dappling in cupcake cakes. Because they are so cute, practical, and stick with the whole cupcake theme. Plus I think they give you a little more artistic freedom than a regular sheet cake because of the different shapes you can make with the cupcakes.

Josh loves the Backyardigans, so obviously, we decided on a Backyardigans themed birthday, and a long with it, a cake. The cake consists of vanilla cupcakes filled with strawberry cream, or whipped chocolate ganache, and a vanilla cream cheese frosting. The characters are all in their "backyard", and the green is the closest to grass you can get with a piping bag. The dark green blobs are shrubs. I wanted to make them a little taller, but to get them that dark required a lot of coloring, and the amount of powdered sugar to get them stiff enough to stand taller was never ending, so I settled for these.
All in all, I was pretty happy with it!
Front View:

Top View:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup

I'm on blog back up due to a stomach flu that hit our house two weeks ago, and then all the preparation for Josh's birthday, and that fact that baking takes time. So expect a slew of posts in the next couple of days.

For Josh's real birthday I had planned on making him peanut butter cup cupcakes. In case you haven't realized yet, my family and my small group girls are who I do most of my experimenting and perfecting on.
I made homemade peanut butter cups to go inside the cupcakes

They turned out fabulous on their own, but I had made them for a purpose, so inside the chocolate cupcakes they went. Then I topped the chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. And chocolate sprinkles. They were everything I hoped they would be.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies, my favorite recipe

I love cookies. I think it is something about the salty/sweet combination that really does me in. In a perfect world, chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. Yet the perfect chocolate chip cookie is rather elusive. Not to mention, depending on the season, time of day, or what kind of day I am having, what constitutes the perfect CCC changes. Some days I want nothing but soft goodness, other days I like a little crisp on the outside, and some days I like chewy.

All this considered, I think I have found my perfect CCC recipe. It may not be yours, and I won't take offense if it's not, but I do think this recipe has a little of all the types in ones. It's worth a go anyhow. Jacques Torres is kind of a big deal, so he must be able to lend something to the world of CCC's. So here is the recipe, courtesy of Jacques: (I usually half this recipe, or freeze the other half, and I use regular all purpose flour without any issues, and Ghiradelli semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips)

Makes twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies

1 pound unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds Jacques Torres House (60 percent cocoa) Chocolate or other best-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.

Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

The result:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Experiments in frosting

I tried a few new things with cupkates last week. One of them was a new kind of wrapper:

I think they turned out very cute. However, I am not sure I will be using them again. First off, they are very difficult to proportion correctly. If you fill it up the typical 2/3, they overflow, and when you do it only 1/2 full, they don't come all the way to the top. Not to mention you can add the exact same amount of batter to two cups and they will rise to different levels. For someone who values uniformity in her cupkates, this was a big negative.

Then there is the eating factor. As in, no one knows how. You can't really pull them off, so do you just squeeze it in your mouth? Try to take a bite without pulling the paper down? I too have been left guessing as to the proper technique.

So like a lot of pretty things, these just aren't practical.

I also tried a different icing technique:

I like how the flowers turned out, especially considering I didn't have the right tip for them. I hope once I get the right tip I can perfect this look. I think it would look really cute with a brightly colored frosting also.

And finally, here is a quick picture I grabbed of some cupkates I took for my small group girls:

Notice the one on the bottom and the right, these are chocolate cupkates with orange cream cheese frosting. I had more of that icing on hand than any others this week, and the combination sounded good, so I thought I would give it a try. I was very pleased with the result! I'm not even the biggest orange fan, but these just really seemed to lighten up the chocolate a bit. A chocolate cake with orange cream cheese filling, covered in ganache sound heavenly. I think I'll have to work on a cupkate version of that...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Assorted minis and my Card

Here are the products of yesterdays job:

All the little cupcakes

Chocolate with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

(which did not like the heat as much as I would have hoped!)

Red Velvet with Cream cheese frosting :

Sunshine CupKates:

(lemon cupkate with orange cream cheese frosting)

Nestled in their box all ready to go:

The lady who I did the cupkatering for sent me and email with the following:

"The party was horribly attended and yet, we only had 12-18 of them left…everybody oogled over how perfect they were and how cute they were and their total yumminess! "

I also got my business cards in, and am rather happy with how they turned out. Although the next ones will have the new logo on it, but this has all come together rather hastily, so again, pleased with the results!

I also did some experimenting with icing techniques that I want to post some pictures of soon. Stay tuned for those!