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Rubber Duckie, you’re the one…

6 May
You make bath time lots of fun…

Hi folks. Sorry I’ve been so sporadic with posts lately — it’s shower & wedding season, which means I’m busy with custom cake orders. Which is a good problem to have, especially if you like cake decorating as much as I do. 🙂

I thought I’d share some photos of a recent order to keep in touch until I have time to write up the recipe posts I’ve been sitting on lately. This is a Rubber Duckie bath tub cake I created last weekend for a baby shower. Everything on the whole cake is edible. If it’s not frosted, it’s made out of marshmallow fondant. (You can find my recipe and tutorial on using marshmallow creme fondant by clicking here.)

Thanks for hanging in there until I get back in the blogging swing again! You know I miss it. And without further ado, here are some more pics of the rubber duckies. If you have any questions on how I made something (or want to order a cake!), please leave me a comment and I’ll get right back to you. 🙂

Duckie Magellan. (Fondant duckie, buttercream water swirls, sprinkle-and-food-coloring eyes, cupcake sprinkle “hair” feathers. The boat is sporting the ONLY non-edible thing in the whole cake — it is held up on the inside by a wooden toothpick. Sue me.) 🙂
This one has a towel wrapped around her head. How girly. 🙂
Front view of the towel duckie.
Feathers-up diving duckie. Some of these pics were obviously before I went back and added the bubbles. BTW, that’s a life preserver in the bottom left corner. 🙂
Another pre-bubble shot. I really think the bubbles pulled it all together in the end. But you can get a good view of the fondant boat with this one.
Close-up of my fondant faucet works. Dark gray fondant was dry-painted with light silver-colored edible petal dust. That’s a red washcloth in the foreground.
Cupcakes. The ones topped with life preservers are homemade strawberry cupcakes and the duckie-topped ones are sour cream fudge cupcakes.
Duckie sugar cookies. I love these. They tasted great.
Cookie close-up.
The back side with little rolled towels and tile floor between drippy frosting “suds” and bubbles.
…And one more picture of the final product. My client let me know later that the cake had gone over so well they ran out early! I love getting feedback like that.

Cheap Recipe: Coca-Cola Fudge Cake (a la Cracker Barrel)

31 Jan

For a text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

An American Institution. With powdered sugar on top. 🙂

Coca-Cola has bragged for decades that their soft drink makes this chocolate cake the moistest of its kind. Actually, I’m betting it’s the half pound of butter in the batter, but who cares? It’s still delicious, and a bit of an American institution. And who doesn’t go for a chocolate bundt cake?

Actually, I spent years afraid of making chocolate cakes — particularly the long-baking bundt variety — because I was always afraid of burning them. It’s hard to tell when the edges are scorching against such a dark (rich!) background, but there’s an easy trick to making a perfectly baked chocolate cake. Read on! Continue reading

Easy Tutorial: Homemade Rolled Marshmallow Fondant Icing

7 Jan

To read more about making your own marshmallow fondant, I recommend clicking here for Peggy Weaver’s informative site.

Space: The Fondant Frontier…

For years, I thought all smoothly rolled, fondant-iced cakes had to taste bad. That’s because the only fondant icing I’d ever encountered was that horribly expensive, boxed, pre-rolled stuff that Wilton makes out of glycerin. Technically edible, yes, but who on earth would want to?

This was before I discovered how easy it is to make your own rolled fondant icing using marshmallow creme as a base. And the best part is: it’s delicious. No more peeling the fondant off the cake slice before eating it. My world has officially been rocked!

In case you’re unfamiliar with rolled fondant icing, think of wedding cakes. Have you ever wondered how professional bakers achieve that impossibly smooth frosted surface? The answer is: they didn’t actually frost it. They used rolled fondant. And now you can, too! Continue reading

Easy Recipe: Chocolate Truffles

6 Jan

Grace’s big sister here, resisting the temptation to tag this post “breakfast.”

Truffles: the epitome of Christmas candy awesomeness.

I tend to be an extremely lazy cook, but I make an exception in December, when I break out the Complete Wilton Book of Candy (which I value only slightly less than the Bible, and perhaps slightly more than my copy of the Mother Earth News Almanac) and start making candy to give away to people I love and/or wish to impress. Continue reading

Cheap Recipe: Black Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

5 Jan

For a text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

I made this cheesecake (out of season) for less than five bucks, once and for all confirming my belief that there is a God and that he is good and loves us.

The trick to making a cheap cheesecake (or, in this case, a cheap, gloriously rich, decadent and twirly homage to raspberry cheesecake) lies in the shrewd purchase of certain components. However, I’m happy to tell you that with a few simple tips, a fancy and delicious cheesecake can be made for around five dollars, if you know what to use and where to look. Click on the link directly below for my money-saving suggestions and hints for making homemade cheesecake on the cheaps, or continue reading for the recipe.

[Click here for a few quick notes from Gracie on Saving Money While Making Homemade Cheesecakes]

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Continue reading

Holiday Recipe: Meringue Mushrooms

21 Dec

For a text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

So you’re looking for a fun guy? Hey — I’m a fungi! (Lame. Sorry.)

The experience of biting into a perfectly created meringue mushroom is similar, I think, to biting into the center of a Pepperidge Farms Milano cookie, except on the best day of a Milano’s life, because instead of dampish shortcake, you have this wonderful crunchy meringue as your segway to the perfectly hardened chocolate morsel in the middle. (Divine.) Continue reading

Seasonal Recipe: Pumpkin Gingersnap Cakies

29 Nov

These little cookie-cake hybrids go well with a glass of milk.

Grace’s hippie sister here, indulging a craving and using up odds and ends as fall starts leaning toward winter.

After Thanksgiving dinner, I discovered I had two things on my hands: two-thirds of a can of leftover pumpkin and an outrageous craving for gingersnaps. I set out to make pumpkin gingersnaps. I fell short of my goal, but the finished product was so tasty that I decided to take the Pee-Wee Herman approach (“I meant to do that! Ha ha!”) and post the recipe for anyone else who might enjoy a simple little treat that’s somewhere between cookies and spice cake. Continue reading

Sugar-Free Recipe: Russian Tea Cookies

23 Nov

These little shortbread cookies are nice with a big mug of herbal tea.

Grace’s sister here, getting into the spirit of Thanksgiving by appreciating one of my favorite blessings: my awesome boss, who goes along with most of my crazy ideas and laughs at all my irreverent jokes.

My boss loves cookies, but he happens to be a Type I diabetic, so he can’t just pork down half a package of sugar wafers when he’s having a rotten day. (I have no idea how he maintains his sanity without the assistance of pink sugar wafers. I think he might be magic.)

Aaaaaaaanyway, my all-time favorite cookies are those little round shortbread cookies that are made with chopped nuts and rolled in powdered sugar. At the late, great Cristaudo’s Bakery in Carbondale, Ill., they were referred to as “Russian tea cookies.” Here in Oklahoma, people call them “Mexican wedding cakes,” and I’ve also heard them referred to as “snowball cookies.” Continue reading

Halloween in Review (Continued): Ghost Cookie Cups

19 Nov

Okay, so this is Day 2 of posting things I’ve been up to in the last month. Today’s project is very easy to pull off in an afternoon and made for a great classroom treat for my younger son, Oliver, and his preschool friends. Because he is just shy of a year old, Eyeball-on-a-Stick didn’t seem like a great idea for the kids in his room, so I devised a softer, more new-teeth-friendly party treat: Ghost Cookie Cups.

These are a pretty straightforward design, with lots of little built-in escape routes for saving time & energy. In all honesty, by the time I got around to making these, I’d already made a million candy eyeballs and a batch of cupcakes, and I still had to stitch together an entire costume for Ollie, who was dressing as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to complement his older brother’s Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray’s character in Ghostbusters). I was beat.

Thanks to premade chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge and a tub of cream cheese frosting in the cabinet, these were banged out in the few minutes here-and-there when I needed a break from cursing loudly at my sewing machine. 🙂 Continue reading

Halloween Eyeballs: A Retrospective…

18 Nov

Well, howdy again!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post, but i have truly been up to my…well…eyeballs in projects for the kids. This included making…well…eyeballs…for my son’s Halloween class party. (But lots of other fun projects, too, some of which I am finally getting around to posting…so stay tuned.) Meanwhile, I give you today’s incredibly-out-of-date feature presentation:

Eyeball-on-a-Stick

   

Continue reading