Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Arsh's birthday cake!

Everything on the cake is edible except for a few toothpicks to keep the people in place. So what do you think?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Hubby!

To celebrate Altaf's birthday, we did a chocolate ganache cake with cookies and cream filling. The cake sides are covered in oreo crumbs. It was a happy birthday I hope!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Star Wars cake!

For one of our very good friend's son's birthday, we did a Star Wars themed dairy free cake. It took some time to find the right recipes but everyone thought it tasted great. Best of all, the birthday boy liked it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring is in the air!

I only have pictures of the finished products but I'll try to post the recipes and some things I learned while making these cupcakes and toppers soon. Till then, the pics of the baby chickies and duckies cupcakes made for 8 adorable little kids.
So pleased with the results!

(Yes a few are missing their feet here)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baking for Baby

A few months ago, I saw these beautiful monogrammed pink and white cookies on "Bake at 350" and they've been on my mind since then. My cousin's baby shower this past weekend gave me the perfect excuse to attempt these. I used white chocolate and white non pareils to create the B is for Baby monogram and then used regular NFSC sugar cookies and Sweetopia's royal icing recipe to do the rest. I think they came out well except for 2 problems...there wasn't enough contrast between the white polka dots and the baby pink so they don't stand out and secondly, I realized that I just can't draw a neat flower with icing. I might have to play with the icing consistency to give me a little more time to draw the outline.

Here's the melted white chocolate being piped/traced on to wax paper. I used a #2 icing tip. They were smothered in white nonpareils right after.

 Here are the finished monograms. No two are alike..sigh!

I also made a few these baby faced oreos but opted to make pink and white oreo truffles instead.

Also tried making these custom picks using a 1" circle and 1.75" flower punch. This was the first time I attempted to do these and they turned out great. Took a few hours of effort to draw the templates and glue the circles and picks but the results were worth the time. Best of all, we  had a great time celebrating with the mommy to be!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raspberry Crumb Bars

These very delicious bars (if I may say so) were made for the school Science day event breakfast. Surprisingly, I had a hard time finding a recipe that I liked just upon reading. Finally found one that looked promising. I did not have any fresh raspberries so I subbed frozen blueberries and they still turned out great in the end.

2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 sticks salted butter softened
1/2 cup rolled oats or quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup raspberry jam (I prefer jam here not jelly)
3/4 cup fresh raspberries or blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Dice the butter into pieces if its cold, or just dump it in if soft, and mix into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, food processor until the mixture resembles wet sand. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture, and press the remaining into a foil lined 13x9" pan. Bake on 375 F for 15 minutes.

While that's baking, mix the reserved topping with the oats and brown sugar.
Mix the jam, raspberries/blueberries and lemon/lime juice together and mash lightly.
Spread the jam mixture over the base, then top with the crumb mixture. I clump the mixture a bit before sprinkling it to give it some texture. Bake on 375 F for about 23 to 25 minutes. Let it cool completely before cutting into about 24 squares.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pinewood Derby Cupcakes

WASC mini-cupcakes with my regular American buttercream colored green and piped on with a grass tip. The cars were made with Wilton candy melts in red and yellow, using a car shaped plastic mold that I got from Mumbai when shopping with my very resourceful niece. I'll do a post on how to make the molded chocolate sometime soon. They're very simple to make, but can be time consuming if you need to make a lot of them. But they really dress up cookies and cupcakes, and the options with the molds available today are endless!

PS. The red and blue cupcake liners were a surprise. I got them for 99cents at Michaels. The brand is Celebrate it and as you can see the colors stayed true through the baking and they didn't separate from the cake either. Yay for that!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fruit and yogurt parfaits

Very easy to make layered fruit and yogurt parfaits.
The very delicious granola was home made from a friend's secret recipe :-)
The yogurt was Trader Joe's french vanilla yogurt. The fruits were fresh berries tossed with a sprinkle of sugar. I used little 5 oz cups since these were for a staff appreciation breakfast buffet.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Raspberry (Almond) Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Its a pity that I have not tried making these cookies before. They're so super simple to make and taste delicious. I've seen them on so many websites but I always pick a vanilla or chocolate flavored cookie over an almond flavored one. 
I was looking for a recipe without chocolate for a change and this one from the Land O'Lakes website seemed ideal.  I rate it 10/10 for ease of making and 9/10 in taste.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temp
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp almond extract ( I used 1 tsp only)
Dash of salt
2 cups flour
Jam of your choice (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 deg (I set it to 340 so that the cookies wouldn't flatten too much)
Cream the butter, almond extract and sugar for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl a few times.
Add salt, sifted flour and stir on lowest speed a few times until it comes together. Turn off the mixer and mix the rest by hand a few times to incorporate. Kneading or stirring too much will toughen the cookie.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Use your index finger (sorry not the thumb :) ) to make an indentation in the dough. I used a chapstick tube on a few cookies. Add about 1/4 tsp jam into the indentations. Do not overfill (jam will heat and run over) and do not underfill (jam will bake into a thin layer and cookies will look quite sad...this happened to a lot of the cookies).  It takes some trial and error on the 1st few cookies to get it right,

Bake for about 10 - 18 mins depending on the size of the cookies. Start checking on them at 10 mins and take them out when the edges are golden and the tops are still pale brown. Overbaking can make the cookies too crisp.

While the cookies are cooling, mix about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of confectioner's/10x/icing sugar with about 2-3 tbsp of water and a couple of drops of almond extract until it is a smooth pourable glaze. Keep adding water in drops if you feel it is too thick. Add some more sugar if it ends up too thin. Spoon it into a ziploc bag and zip shut. Snip off the very end of one corner and drizzle the glaze over the cookies.