Archive | December 2010

My first year Christmas baking

As a new baker and REALLY new at decorating cookies (just 3 months), I was really happy with the way everything turned out.  (It’s fun to see  how everyone’s favorite is different).  As a newbie at all this, I have had to seek out people who really know what they are doing, since I clearly do not fall into that category.  So most of these have been inspired by the amazing talent that I have recently discovered, such as Bake at 350, Sweetopia, Bakerella, Tidy Mom, I am Baker and so many more!  Thank you all so much for sharing your talents with those of us who are less…gifted.  *raising hand*

For no reason other than curiosity, I decided to try a new icing recipe.  The one I had been using was good, but after seeing other’s cookies, I decided to try something new.  I used the recipe listed on Bake at 350.   I have to admit, I like hers better.  I like the shine, and it was smoother to work with.  And it made a nicer flood icing.  So Bridget, you’ve got a convert!

I had to try the ornaments. The marbling was such fun! Thank you for the inspiration, Bridget.

The Santas were a bit of a challenge for me. Somehow I ended up with no Santa-shaped cutter.  Not clue how that happened.  I tried a candy corn cutter, but he ended up looking like a gnome.  Didn’t have an ice cream cone, so I just went with the circle.  That meant I had to freehand the Santa face.  Not one of my skills to date, but I think they turned out ok.  A little extra for the “puff”.

I love the reindeer.  I think they are one of my favorites.  With a little added bling for the nose.

Played around with some Christmas tree designs.  The lights are my favorite.  They were inspired by a picture I saw on Twitter.  I wish I could remember who it was, but her cookies were fabulous!  If it’s you, please leave a comment (assuming anyone actually reads this, of course) so I can give proper credit.

I also really like the gingerbread people.  They were fun.

And I can’t have Christmas stuff without candy canes!  I was going to make the icing peppermint flavored, but alas. Maybe next year.

The snowmen are another favorite.  I couldn’t decide whether to sanding sugar or not, so I did half and half.  Somehow I had no green, so that guy got rainbow sparkles!

Then there are the snowflakes.  While I think overall they look ok, they definitely show my lack-o-piping skills.  I’m still working on the straight lines (thanks for the tip, THE Tough Cookie!). The sugar helps mask it a little, but I left the blue plain, so they show it the most.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far.  I had a great time making them, and I look forward to getting better (and faster!).

Merry Christmas!

Let it snow!

“Just a plain chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing” was my client’s request.  Really?  No peppermint?  No dark chocolate shavings on top?  Do people really want plain cakes any more?

Well, I just couldn’t go there.  So, a few dots and a royal icing snowflake later, here it is:

Who’d know there are 3 layers of (plain) dark chocolate cake under all that white icing?

Now just to bring my client to the dark side when it comes to her design requests.

I’ve finally done it.

So, here is my first post.  I always read about everyone reminiscing about their first post.  How they didn’t know what to write about, how lame it was, or how they didn’t know how to even get started.  I always just thought that didn’t fit, considering how well they were writing now.  Well, now I get it.  So I’ll start it with the best thing I know to talk about: baking.

I started my holiday baking today.  Finally.  This was my first round – cupcakes.  I was experimenting with baking them with Hershey’s kisses inside them.  I used Candy Cane, Mint Truffle and Caramel.  Found out that they sink.  All the way to the bottom.  And they leave holes in the bottom of the cupcake when you take them out of the wrapper because the kiss sticks to the bottom.  I think next time I’ll bake them with the kiss upside down, see if that helps.  But, at least they tasted good.

For the icing, I used peppermint buttercream for the candy cane swirled look.  I also played around with marshmallow buttercream.  I’ve never made it before, but it’s pretty magical, so I foresee myself making it again in the near future.  Like next week, when I make these cupcakes for real for my girls’ school Christmas parties.

And because my husband doesn’t like peppermint (yes, I married him anyways), I made some with caramel kisses and chocolate drizzle.

But for me, the peppermint swirls are my favorite.  My daughter also wants a candy cane stuck in the middle of them.  Who am I to argue?

So there is my first post.  Thanks for reading it, mom.