Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Spring!

Our Wisteria had lovely blooms on it for about 2 weeks.
Happy Spring!  I realize there are some parts of the country that have recently gotten snow, so they might not be feeling too Spring-y......but here in So Cal we've gone head first into summer weather!  It's been in the mid-80's the last few's beautiful, I gotta say.......

I've been so busy with the monkeys this year (between school, birthdays, activities, holidays), that I realized I completely forgot to blog about Easter.  The first Easter we got to host for our family!  Easter in our family involves all of the cousins (9 kiddos in all) and it's a sugar-fueled day of fun.

Adding into the fun, was the fact that the day after Easter was the hubby's birthday, and the day after that was my nephew James' 7th birthday.  So, on top of doing an Easter dessert, I needed to do something that could also double as a birthday cake.  I had seen a couple of people do Peeps cakes on Pinterest, so I took that idea and ran with it.

I made a white cake (any recipe, or white box cake mix will do), and tinted the 3 layers to match the colors of the Peeps that I found (pink, yellow, and purple).  For frosting I used my go-to Dulce de Leche buttercream frosting from Bakers Royale.

Once the cake was frosted I added my Peeps to the sides of the cake and topped the whole thing off with a bag of Easter colored M&Ms.  Completely over the top and loaded with sugar, but so much fun.  And check out the adorable Happy Birthday candles I found at Target......perfect for having the two guys blowing out the candles!

But it's the inside of the cake that surprises everyone.......

It's colored to match the Peeps on the outside!

I also decided to make an edible centerpiece for the dining room table.....check out my little lambs!

These are straight off the cover of Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pies, Oh, My!  They were a cute and fun little addition to the table (their bodies are pound cake, the head is a Milano cookie), but kind of time consuming considering all of the other things I was making for the day.  If you'd like to give these bad boys a try, here are the instructions.

Well, that's it for to go make some dessert for a dinner party we're going to tonight (adults only....yeah!).  Enjoy!

All of the cousins on Easter!
My little monkeys
The birthday boys!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Belated St. Paddy's Day

St. Paddy's Day has come and gone yet of my favorite baking times of the year.  No one looks at you weird for throwing in booze into delicious baked fact, people request it!  So as I was figuring out what recipes I was going to try this year our whole house started getting sick.

It started with pink eye....something I still find absolutely disgusting, and had never experienced until having kids.  Mom and both monkeys got it.....eye drops all around.  Then a mysterious virus for Mom that felt like strep throat but wasn't testing as it.  Then a 6 day flu for our oldest monkey with fevers spiking around 104.5 the first few days.  Finally a strep diagnosis and antibiotics for Mom after struggling with it for about 10 days.  And now another round of pink eye.  Ick!  I'm surrounded by germs!!

All of that to say that I really didn't get around to trying any other fun St. Paddy's Day recipes.  Boo.  Guess it's time to move onto Easter.

But before we do, I did manage to squeeze one super simple St. Paddy's Day recipe in after dinner yesterday.  It's Irish Coffee Pudding from Sprinkles Bakes, and it was a huge hit with the hubby!!  This one couldn't be simpler......just throw it together on the stovetop and chill for a couple of hours, then top with whipped cream.  A little coffee, a little whiskey......what could be wrong?

Check out Sprinkles Bakes for the recipe.....and Enjoy!

My little monkeys!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

There's something about boozy desserts.  I gotta admit, I have a blast baking with in some ways this is the most wonderful time of the year!  What a better excuse to do some boozy baking than St. Paddy's Day!  Luckily I've got quite a few friends who share in my love of boozy desserts, so these were pretty darn easy to pass around.

This year I've got a couple of new St. Paddy's Day recipes that I want to try, so first up.....Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes from Bakers Royale.  These bad boys are a chocolate cupcake with Guinness and coffee in makes for an incredibly chocolate-y cupcake.  Fill those bad boys with some Bailey's buttercream frosting, and top off all of that with a whiskey buttercream.  And not just any buttercream, but a Swiss meringue buttercream.  If you have not tried making Swiss meringue buttercream, you don't know what you're missing!  It makes for an amazingly smooth and light frosting.  I prefer this to pretty much every other kind of frosting.  It takes a little bit more work, cooking egg whites and sugar in a double boiler till you hit 150 degrees.....then whipping up in a stand mixer until cooled off and forming stiff peaks (basically marshmallow fluff), then you add all your butter and flavorings.  But

There's quite of bit of booze in these cupcakes (unless you ask the hubby, who says there's still not enough).  I've always been a fan of Bailey's in frosting.....but the whiskey buttercream was surprisingly delicious!  And powerful enough to make you happy :)

The only note I'll make to this recipe is to watch the bake time of your cupcakes.  The recipe states 35-40 minutes, but in my oven it was closer to 30.

So check out Bakers Royale for the recipe....and Enjoy!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cream Puffs

Cream puffs have always been high on my favorite desserts list.  What's not to like, right?  Delicious pastry filled with some sort of creamy center and occasionally dunked in chocolate.

I never had the guts to attempt them at home though.....the thought of making the dough, something called Pate a Choux just seemed to be slightly too daunting to me.  Until my dear friend Jackie stayed with us for a few days.  As one of my few friends who actually enjoys baking, she decided that the two of us together could tackle this recipe.  After going through my millions of cookbooks (and looking at Julia Child, Martha Stewart, etc), we decided on Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Profiteroles recipe.

Well, I'm happy to report that these are actually not that hard at all!  Just be sure that you read through the instructions thoroughly so that you had an idea of what you're doing, since this process is quite different from most things you'll make.  And once you get the dough together, it's time to put your piping skills to work.  We used the Pate a Choux dough to make cream puffs.....but you could just as easily bust out some eclairs (which I think I'll do next time around).  I think our were in the oven a minute or two too long.....I would rather seem them less browned on top.  However, once we filled these with whipped cream.....they disappeared awfully fast!  The Barefoot Contessa recipe actually slices these bad boys in half and puts a scoop of ice cream in there.  Or you could make some pastry cream to fill them.  So many choices!

The hubby's only comment was that he would have loved the tops dipped in chocolate.  Next time!  Check out the Food Network site for Barefoot Contessa's recipe....and Enjoy!

Thanks for the photo bomb sweetie!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


How did I forget to post this one?  I made these last year, and as a Mom of two little boy monkeys......well, these were a huge hit.  Ninjago.  If you have little boys in your family, you've heard of it (TV show....and a crazy amount of Lego toys).  If you don't have boys.....well then, you may have escaped this one ;)  Both of my boys have been crazy for this series since it first came out, so when a dear friend told me that she was throwing a Ninjago birthday party for her Kindergartener, I jumped at the chance to try to do some Oreo pops of these guys.

What you'll need:

lollipop sticks
yellow candy melts
black candy melts
candy melts for each of the colors of the ninjas you want to include, I used:
red candy melts
white candy melts
black candy melts
green candy melts
blue candy melts
plastic squeeze bottles or plastic bags

To do these, you'll start with the basic Oreo Pop technique that How Does She has detailed in a step-by-step.  One you've got your base color (Which ninja did you start with?  The blue and green ninjas are the most popular at our house!), you're going to add an rounded rectangle of yellow for the face, using yellow candy melts.  Next, it's time for the eyes and eyebrows, using black candy melts, or chocolate.  I found that using a little squeeze bottle was easiest to get perfect little dots for the eyes.

Lastly it's time for their head wraps.  You're going to drizzle more of the colored candy melt, just like you do for the Mummy Oreo Pops.  And voila!  You've got yourself a team of ninjas!

Have fun!  And Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy New Year?

Happy New Year everyone!  Yeah, I realize I'm almost a month late to that party......I have no idea how the month of January has managed to completely fly by!  Once school started back up after winter break, it feels like time just whizzed by, and now it's already time to start planning for Valentine's Day!

Well, here's a cake that could easily be changed up for Valentine's Day!  You've probably seen a cake completely doused in sprinkles somewhere on Pinterest.  I used the post I found at Raspberri Cupcakes for inspiration, and did an ombre layered cake inside.  The great thing about this is that you could use your favorite cake recipe (make sure it's a white cake if you're going to do the ombre effect).....heck you could even use a white box cake one will know!

I decided to make this as a belated birthday after asking what her favorite color was, I did the ombre layers in shades of blue.  Just find your favorite color....divide your cake batter into however many layers you're going to do.....and dye each bowl a slightly darker shade (of the same color) than the last bowl.

Once the cake layers have baked and cooled, top with your favorite frosting.  My favorite is the Dulce de Leche Buttercream frosting from Bakers Royale that I use on the Tres Leches Cupcakes.  The only problem that I had was that the frosting I used has a tan tint to it once the dulce de leche is added to could see that a bit where the sprikles weren't completely covering spots on the cake.  So I'd say to stick with a bright white would be a better backdrop to the sprinkles (although possible not as yummy!).

A bit of warning about the matter what you do, you WILL get sprinkles everywhere.  Even after a very thorough clean-up yesterday, I still found some sticking to the bottom of my feet this morning.  I went through about 3 of the small bottles of nonpareils to cover this bad boy.  After sprinkling the top liberally with the sprinkles I used my hands to get the sides, and at the end used a spatula to scoop up any remaining sprinkles and slap them on the side.

Surprise them with the inside!
The best park of this cake is that while everyone is ooing and aahing over the outside of the sprinkles (because come on.....who doesn't love sprinkles)'ll totally surprise them with the inside layers!  Love it, love it!  I'll definitely be doing this again and playing around with the inside (purple for me.....ooohhh, and what about rainbow??).

So get in your kitchen and have fun making a mess!  Check out Raspberri Cupcakes for pictures of her stunning Purple Ombre Sprinkles Cake as well as her cake recipe.....and Enjoy!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oreo-Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkles

Did you have a Merry Christmas?  As always, we had a crazy busy holiday.....but full of family, friends and fun!  

One of the desserts I brought to my in-laws on Christmas Eve were these Oreo-Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkle cookies from Sprinkles Bakes.  Any dessert containing Oreos is automatically placed on the "To Bake" list at our house.  But with the red velvet cookie outside, and the layer of powdered sugar outside.....these screamed Christmas to me.  

The cookie bakes up to what the hubby described at a cake/cookie.....which meant he loved it!  Be careful how much cookie dough you put around the Oreo though.  The first few I made turned out big enough to feed a neighborhood!  And remember to do a final roll in the powdered sugar right before you stick these bad boys in the'll give you an extra crinkle-y outside!

Check out Sprinkles Bakes for the recipe.....and Enjoy!!