Sunday, October 30, 2011

LSU Pierrot top

If you ignore the bayou bengals, this top is precious! And with the matching legwarmers if leggings are too annoying for a mom who has to change about 100 diapers a day. The Pierrot pattern belongs to Rae Hoekstra of I made this one is for a precious baby girl whose daddy loves LSU... I'm thinking he'll have a new favorite outfit for baby girl.

Pumpkin patch cake pops

This week I made pumpkin cake pops for a co-worker for her two-year-old's pumpkin patch birthday party. In the end, they were adorable, but they caused more problems than any cake pop I've ever made.

I'm not sure if it was the brand of candy melts (I will never use Wilton again) or all the food coloring I had to add to get to bright orange or the freezer method or a combination of all those. I dipped all 45 cake pops, and they were so cute! And then one by one, each one cracked and fell off the stick! I mean, I've had a couple crack before, but not every single one!

So for round two, I used Make n Mold chocolate, which seemed a little thinner (I've heard Merckens is the best.), and I didn't freeze my shaped pops. I refrigerated the pops and made sure my melted chocolate was slightly cooled before dipping. The second batch of pumpkin pops turned out wonderfully!

Since the cake pops were party favors, I wrapped each indivdually.
Isn't that a precious kids party idea?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's fall y'all

And have I got two great fall recipes for you! The first recipe is a miniature mix of a cupcake, a cheesecake and a cookie, loaded with delicious pumkin, chocolate and caramel. The second is a two-step... get this... cupcake inside a cupcake! And it's packed with every imaginable flavor of fall.

Cheesecake Pumpkin Cookie Cups
slightly adapted from Something Swanky

Here's what you need:
The Cookies
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips or 1/2 c. caramel chips+1/2 c. white chocolate chips

  • Combine all the ingredients, except chocolate chips and/or caramel chips. Fold in chips.
  • Drop the mixture into mini muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full. (I prefer no liners with these. Be sure you spray with cooking spray if you don't use liners.)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Don't overcook! It's difficult to tell when these are done due to the dark tint of the batter. You may have to sacrifice one in the beginning. Cut it open to see how long your oven takes to cook these. Doughy=moist=yummy!
  • Using the back of a spoon (or your clean thumb), press the tops of the cookies will still in the tins to create a shallow bowl. This step really isn't necessary except to create a space for more cheesecake frosting. I didn't press hard because I didn't want to make the cookie seem packy.
  • Remove from tins and cool on a wire rack.
Cheesecake Buttercream
8 oz. regular cream cheese
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. confectioners sugar (more or less for desired consistency)
  • Mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth (ish).
  • Alternate adding the remaining wet ingredients with the powedered sugar. I don't like a terribly sweet frosting, so I add as little sugar as necessary to thicken the frosting.
  • After the cookie cups have cooled, pipe the frosting on top.
  • Top with caramel topping, chopped nuts or chocolate curls. Cinnamon also looks nice on top.
  • Enjoy!
Now for the cupcake that has quite possibly become my favorite that I've ever made...

Everything Fall Cupcakes
an apple cobbler, caramel frosted mini cupcake
inside a pumpkin spiced rum and maple cupcake with
cinnamon cream cheese frosting

I have only a few changes (*described below*) to her recipe, so I will let you find it at Stef's blog. Since I took these to the office, I baked about 70 (I tripled Stef's apple cobbler cupcake recipe and quadrupled the pumpkin cupcake recipe.) Stef outlines the baking process as follows:
  1. Bake mini apple cobbler cupcakes. To make the minis, chop the apple pieces *I used a combination of apples from sour green to sweet red and chopped them quite small* a bit smaller than in the big cupcakes and cut the baking time down to fifteen minutes *I only baked them for about 12 minutes*.  You'll end up with way more than you need if you follow the recipe exactly.  If you don't want a ton of extras (why wouldn't you want extras, though?), cut the recipe in half. 
  2. Frost the mini cupcakes with brown sugar frosting.
  3. Freeze the frosted cupcakes.
  4. Prepare the batter for pumpkin maple rum cupcakes.
  5. Fill normal-sized cupcake liners half full with the batter.
  6. Remove the liners from the frozen frosted apple cobbler cupcakes.
  7. Place a frozen cupcake into the center of each prepared pumpkin cupcake.  This should push the pumpkin batter two-thirds of the way up the liner.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until the cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
  9. Frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. *I added 3/4 tsp of pumpkin spice and almost twice as much cinnamon to the frosting. Add to your taste preference.*
  10. Top with dried cranberries. *Gold sanding suger under the cranberries is also very pretty!*

My Everything Fall Cupcake

When human wisdom fails...

We can argue with human wisdom until the end of time and still lack the right answers. However, the word of God can be trusted. If you live in Mississippi, you can probably find this very relevant in the midst of a controversial upcoming ballot:

Psalm 139:13-16
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fea...rfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."