Thursday, July 28, 2011

Donut Breakfast Muffins

{{Glazed Doughnut Muffins}}

For the Muffins:

  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  9. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  13. 1 cup milk

For the Glaze:

  1. 3 tablespoons butter; melted
  2. 1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
  3. 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 2 tablespoons hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla until just combined. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  3. Spoon batter into cups, filling the cups, and smooth tops. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes before glazing.
  4. To make the glaze, In a medium bowl mix together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.
  5. When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. Once hardened, dip a second time and allow to harden then serve.

Yields: 12 muffins

Note: Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

**I made the muffins in a mini muffin tin as opposed to a full size, as stated in the recipe. This made about 48 small, yummy almost-bite sized muffins. We all liked the flavor of the muffins, but thought they were a bit dry. The kids were skeptical as I baked them, but they were all humbled when they tried them and actually enjoyed them. My son even said I should probably make them again. I had baked them for about 12 minutes and this might have over cooked them since they were so small. Next time we will try to cook them for less, and if that doesn't work, then I will probably add a little applesauce with the oil. That should add more moisture and flavor instead of adding oil. When I try them again I will update this post.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

S'more Cookies

Oh my goodness! Who doesn't love S'mores?! I know that I do and my kids do and they are definitely the epitome of summer time cook outs and camp outs. I've been looking around and EVERYWHERE on the internet and I am running into about a million different variations of this summertime treat. I think everyone is trying to find a way to keep this delicious treat and the warm, happy feeling that it brings all year round. Let me tell you about some of the things I've seen. I've seen S'more cookies, S'more pops, S'more bars, S'more pie, S'more cake, really S'more EVERYTHING!

These cookies were super simple to make. I found them here on this website. Basically after lining a cookie tray with graham crackers, you drop chunks of cookie dough on top.... Bake them for a few minutes and then...
Add more chocolate! Let them cook a little bit longer and you end up with s'more goodness... in a cookie!

They are delightful! Chewy and rich. There is a slight cinnamony flavor that enhanced and complimented the chocolate and marshmallow combination. You gotta try these cookies!
{{S'mores Cookie}}

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x17 pan and one 9x13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.

Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.

Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)

Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.

Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.

Okay... one last yummy picture to look at! The kids absolutely loved these. They exclaimed... "Mommy you have to make these again!" Sounds like they are a winner!
Can I have s'more please?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fluffy Pink Cake

While I was making a Piglet cake for a birthday party, I had a leftover 8x8 chocolate cake and lots of pink frosting (Recipes for the chocolate cake and buttercream frosting found here). I wanted to make the cake into something cute and girly, but incredibly simple. What's better than big pink flowers?

I filled a large pastry bag with the light pink frosting and then added a huge flower tip (Tip #864)....

Starting on top first, I piped big huge stars all over the top of the cake. I almost left it like this... It's cute right?!

But I still had frosting left over and decided to just go for GOLD and cover the whole cake with yummy pink buttercream frosting.
All the girls that saw this cake, LOVED it! It turned out cute! Simple! and very EASY!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Piglet Cake

I made this piglet cake for my niece's first Birthday party. It is her smash cake.

First I made two cakes in 8x8 cake pans from this Chocolate Crazy Cake recipe. It is a waaaaay yummy and moist chocolate cake! It has never NOT turned out. Mmmmm.... Plus it is a good recipe to keep on file because it doesn't require eggs or milk. It is FABULOUS and of course CRAZY!

{{Crazy Cake}}

3 cups flour
6 tablespoons Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Whisk and combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then make three holes in the flour for the liquid ingredients.

2/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 cups water

Pour oil, vanilla and vinegar each into a separate hole. Then pour the water over and beat together until almost smooth. Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until tested done.

While the cake was baking, I cut out a piece of paper that measured 8x8 (since that was the size of pan that the cake was baking in). On that piece of paper I drew a rough draft of a Piglet. As simple as I could and labeled the colors that would be piped onto the cake (black for outlines, light pink, dark pink and a little teeny tiny bit of red on the tongue).

At first I thought I would just pipe the outline on the cake and leave the whole cake to be a full square, but decided instead to cut up the cake into the shape of piglet and cut him out of the cake for a more 3-D effect.

I simply laid the paper on the cake, and cut around it. I had two cakes that I was going to layer on top of each other, but decided that it would be too much cake for a sweet little one year old and just made the cake one layer, and I didn't even torte it or fill it. Simple, sweet, chocolate cake.
I stuck the cake into the freezer to chill it while I made the buttercream frosting.

{{Buttercream Icing}}

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all of the sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
(Yield: 3 cups of icing)

I doubled this recipe. I'm always nervous that I won't have enough frosting. So I made extra... there's always something to use frosting on... graham crackers, kids fingers love when it is piped on there, another cake, cupcakes, etc.

First I made a small amount black (about 1/2 cup) using the Wilton black icing color.
I covered a rectangle cake board with aluminum foil taped in place on the back. Placed the cake on top and then filled a pastry bag with the black frosting and topped it with Decorating Round tip #5. Using the drawing as a guide, I piped on the outline of the Piglet.
I put the cake back in the freezer to firm up the outline. Meanwhile, I took the pink decorator icing color and made the rest of the icing light pink.

I pulled out about 1 1/2 cups of frosting out and added more of the pink color to make it a dark pink.

Finally, I pulled out a teeny tiny bit of the dark pink and made it red using Real Red icing color.

I took that teeny tiny bit of red and put it into place on the tongue of the Piglet. Then it was time to start piping.... I used a small star tip (#13)for the pink frostings. I started with the light pink and slowly started to fill the areas. It was a slow process since I had chosen to use such a small tip. After filling the light pink areas on top, it was time to start filling the dark pink areas. Next it was time to fill the sides. Continuing with the color that was on top, I switched the tip to a larger star (tip #18) and made a zig zag motion up and down the side of the cake.
Finally using Round Tip #5 and the light pink frosting, I put the name and Birthday information. Then switching to dark pink frosting, I added dots to all of the letters, and added a squiggle line around the Piglet cake.

Then the cake was done! Ta Dah!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

M&M Cake Directions

The day before the party I made a three layers of a simple yellow cake mix in the Wilton 6 x 2 in. Round Pan and two layers in the Wilton 10 x 2 in. Round Pan. Cooled the cakes completely and then wrapped them in plastic wrap to be used the next day.

I made a sugar cookie and the cut out a giant number one with a knife and then baked it. After it came out, the cookie was puffy and rounded (you know the way sugar cookies do), so while it was still warm I cut the edges of the cookie to make sure it was straight and even. The next day I decorated the sugar cookie with a Wilton Open Star Tip (#19). I piped the stars around the edges and then added a mini M&M into the center of the star. Using Wilton Round Decorating Tip #3, I wrote Morgan's name on the cookie.

Finally I made the star burst picks. Using the Stampin' Up Star punch, I punched out stars from cardstock in a variety of bright bold colors. I glued two stars together and alternated the points. Then I hot glued one set of two stars to one side of a bamboo skewer and then two more stars to the other side to create these star bursts.

The morning of the party I made a chocolate frosting and put that between each layer of yellow cake.

Here's the recipe...

{{Chocolate Frosting}}

1 cube butter, melted
2 Tbsp Dutch Processed cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 Tbsp milk
1 pound powdered sugar

Melt butter and add cocoa powder; mix until smooth. Pour into mixing bowl and add salt, vanilla and milk. Then add powdered sugar and mix well.

*** As an aside... let's learn about Dutch processed cocoa powder. It is a more mellow flavored chocolate and has a darker chocolate color. It is unsweetend and will taste bitter if tasted alone. However, you can substitute a normal unsweetened cocoa powder.

It is a soft frosting, so you can add more powdered sugar to make a thicker consistency.

I was in a bit of a rush and didn't take pictures of the process as I was making the cake, so here is the written directions for now.

First I cut out a cardboard circle that fit the 10 inch layer and another to fit the 6 inch layer. Scoop a dollop of chocolate frosting onto the cardboard and place the first layer of cake on the board. Spread the chocolate frosting on as a filler, then place the second layer. There were 2-ten inch cakes and 3-six inch cakes. After filling the cake, it was time to frost the outside. The cakes were partially frozen to make for easier handling. I had put them into the freezer for about 2 hours and since I was going to be putting Kit Kat candy bars on the outside, I didn't I didn't worry about a crumb coating, I just frosted the cakes. The best part of the decorating process came next. Using the full size Kit Kat bars (not the snack size since they are shorter), break them into two part sections, and then press them into the side of the frosted cake. Use any sort of ribbon and tie it around the cake to finish off the "basket" look (plus the ribbon helps to keep the cake from falling apart in case the Kit Kats don't want to stay on the frosting). After doing this to both the large and small layers, I placed some dowels into the larger cake where the smaller cake was going to be placed. I decided that instead of having the smaller cake in the center of the cake, I would off set the cake towards the back of the larger round cake. I used about 6 dowels to support the weight of the second layer cake on top. After the dowels were in place, the small 6 inch cake was placed on top.

Now... open a bag of M&M's (I chose plain) and pour them onto the top of the large 10 inch cake, filling them to the top of the Kit Kat Basket.

I put the number 1 cookie on top and then the star bursts. Finally it was time to fill this cake basket with more M&M's. Ta dah! Ready to go!

Here was the smash cake for the baby. I used only one 6 inch yellow cake, frosted, and then using a sharp knife I cut the Kit Kats in half, pressed them into the frosting, tied the ribbon, put the candle on top and then poured in the M&M's. Don't you love how quick and easy it is! And so stinkin' cute! It was a hit amongst all the kids (and adults) at the party! They loved seeing all that CANDY!

Pirate Cake

Here is the bottom layer of the cake. I didn't pull out my camera soon enough to capture every step of the cake making process. The bottom while plate is a rotating turn table. then the pink and black layers are from IKEA. They are just think plastic sheets that I added under the cake for some color and decoration. The cake is a Chocolate Crazy Cake. Here is the recipe:

{{Crazy Cake}}
3 cups flour
6 tablespoons Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Whisk and combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then make three holes in the flour for the liquid ingredients.
2/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 cups water
Pour oil, vanilla and vinegar each into a separate hole. Then pour the water over and beat together until almost smooth. Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until tested done.

Then I made a Basic Buttercream frosting (below) to coat the cakes and tinted it pink using Wilton Pink Icing...

and then covered the frosted cakes with a homemade Marshmallow Fondant (below).
Basic Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk Makes: About 3 cups of icing.
(Medium Consistency): In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
Marshmallow Fondant
16 ounces mini marshmallows (buy the best quality and brand you can find if fondant will be eaten, if used just for decorating, a cheaper marshmallow can be used)
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted (important to sift because it will remove the lumps that won’t go away during mixing)
4 tablespoons water (if making the fondant to be eaten, replace 1-2 tablespoons of the water with vanilla)
shortening for greasing everything, bowl, spatula, mixing bowl, dough hook, countertop, etc.
1.Put the marshmallows and water in a large microwave-safe bowl that has been greased with shortening. Microwave on high for about 1 minute, until the marshmallows are all melted. The mixture will expand. Stir to incorporate. (After mixing the marshmallows smooth, this is a good time to add coloring if you want to have colored fondant.)
2.Grease the dough hook and bowl of your mixer really well with shortening.
3.Put about 3/4 of the powdered sugar to the mixer bowl and add all of the melted marshmallows.
4.Mix on low speed for a few minutes then check the consistency of the fondant. It will probably still be a little sticky at this point. If it is, add some of the remaining powdered sugar and mix again for a minute or so. Repeat this step until the fondant is firm and neither dry or sticky.
5.Turn out on to a clean, firm work surface that has been slightly greased by shortening and knead by hand just for a minute until there are no flecks of dry powdered sugar remaining. Wrap in cling wrap and let the fondant rest for at least an hour before using.
We rolled fondant balls in both pink and black to add to the base of the cakes. I had made a full batch of white marshmallow fondant and then dyed a small portion pink and an even smaller amount black. The balls are all supposed to be shaped irregularly, and then left the rest of the fondant white.
We rolled out and cut the fondant. Here is the pink fondant that we are cutting into strips using a pizza cutter.

First we cut 3/4 to 1 inch strips...
Then smaller 1/4 inch strips in between.
Here's the second layer, frosted with pink buttercream and then covered with white fondant. Then we used pre-made black frosting from a tube to write the number 9 and the trails for the "treasure map" portion of the cake. Pink fondant are the "X" marks the spot.

Finally we cut a circle of black fondant for the cake topper. I was going to make a skull out of fondant and then I had a new idea. I had a Stampin' Up rubber stamp set (Just Jawing) that I had been using for her invitations, party favors and other such things, I pressed the stamp image into the top of the cake and it left an impression. Stamps aren't just for making cards anymore!
I followed the impression with frosting and essentially drew the skull on top with cute heart eyes. Now it matched everything else at the party! YAY!
To finish it off we added one simple rose to the top of the skull. It is of course a girl skull for a GIRLS pirate party! I thought it was perfect. I wrote her name at the top and Happy Birthday on the bottom.


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