Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things I have made before and great blogs I follow

  Well I finally got down to getting my first post going, then I could not get the pictures up because Hubby was updating his I phone.  So I did get these pictures going and decided to just go with it.  I hope you like it and I promise to get more stuff up soon. 

I love to try new things, so before I started this blog I found lots of inspiration and ideas.  So I wanted to list the blogs I use the most, and show some pictures of things I have made.  If I can remember where I got an idea or recipe I will post the blog and as you know no links yet.  I really will try to figure links out soon. 
  So for this post, and I bet for a few more, I just went through my computer and attached pictures to the post.  So it will be all over the place and what not.  Sorry but for now this is how I will roll, it will get better I promise:)

  So the blogs I read almost every day are

University of Cookie ( this also has links to a bunch of blogs once I will list here and more)
I am Baker
Cookies and Cups
Glorious Treats
Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle
Lila Lola
Sweetopia ( a local girl)
Tidy Mom

  And I bet there are more but I will add those as I go along.

  So here are a few of my favorites, the pictures are bad people, I am no photographer, but when I win the lottery, look out they will be amazing!

  My first real love of course are cake balls, these were inspired by Bakerella. I really think they are the new cupcake, and that half of the world just doesn't know it yet.  Trust me they are great.  I made these for my son's SK graduation, all the kids wore over sized white dress shirts as their gowns and they made paper hats.  So they all got one and I thought they were cute.  The hats were a graduation hat chocolate mold I found and since I am lazy the eyes are pre made royal icing eye balls I got at the bakers warehouse.
    These were simple pops I made for a girl at Christmas, she wanted something Christmasy; is that even a word?  Anyway I dipped the pops and stuck them into Styrofoam and then molded some chocolate snow flakes from a mold I got at the store.  I will not do that again the mold was so small that most of the snow flakes broke when I tried to get them out. What a pain.
  I made these for the lady at my Dentists office.  I have known her since I was a baby.  I made her a gift of brownie balls.  I made them up myself.  A la Bakerella, I just used brownie instead of cake and they are so rich and have a really different taste and texture.  I love them.  So she asked for them dipped in white chocolate with a heart.  I used a chocolate mold for the hearts so they would all be the same.  They were for her daughters baby shower I think.

  These are just some plain cake balls.  If I am making them and not for anything special, this is how I do them, with a drizzle of coloured or white chocolate.  I use a bottle to dribble the chocolate.  Looks very professional no?  (don't tell me if they don't, I don't think I could handle that)

  At Christmas I make my friends at work each a box of cake balls or whatever.  This is one of 8 trays of brownie balls.  I had the hubby help scoop out the balls, and brownie balls are really hard to scoop.  So he complained and whined and tried to act all tough.  Who said men are stronger?  Not me that is for sure.  I think it was worse because he doesn't even eat the things.  Oh well, I bet he would like them if he tried them.

  So here is a selection of what I made.  The one with the little gingerbread sprinkle is just a cake ball, but I added Irish cream flavouring to it.  I use Lorainne oils, they are strong and not too costly.  Just add the oil to the crumbled cake before you add the icing, as it will make the cake moist and you will need less icing.  The white ones are Oreo truffles.  Now I read about those on lots of blogs and such, so I will credit My Little Cupcake for this as they have the best and most in depth info about it.  Basically you take a package of oreos and crush them then mix them with a brick of cream cheese.  Not my favorite, but the girls at work wanted to try them. 

  Also I want to point out the cuteness of my cupcake stand.  I found this one, and saw lots on line and I became addicted.  So now I have like 1000 tiny cupcake stands, okay well maybe only 6 but still, who needs six?  Me, I do, to take pictures, yeah that's it. ( see that right there is how I justify it, if Hubby ever asks "why do you need another one?" I think ahead people!)

  This is another Bakerella idea.  She first made cupcake shaped cake pops using a cookie cutter and a whole bunch of steps.  And you have to remember I am lazy.  It's something you will come to expect from me, don't worry.  Anyway this was her answer to the lazy girl like me.  She used a chocolate mold, the one shaped like a peanut butter cup and filled it half with chocolate then put a cake ball in the middle.  She pushed down until the chocolate filled the mold then cooled.  Once cooled she popped them out and dipped the tops in a different colour and added a mini m&m and there you go.  Super cute and easy!
  Okay so here is one of my first cookies.  I learned most of my stuff from Amanda at I am Baker.  She makes the most amazing things people.  To justify the time and money to Hubby I decided I wanted to make a cookie for each kid on my son's hockey team.  Yeah I didn't think that through before I did it.  Anyway I made the cookies and flooded them with red icing.  I use Americolor soft food gel in super red, it gives a strong colour and you don't need to use a whole bottle.  I then let that dry and then wrote each kids name on it with their nickname and their jersey number. Then I piped a black boarder and sort of rolled the edged in sanding sugar.  They were called the Red Devils and those were their jersey colours.  I was not thrilled with how they turned out but what can you do right? I packed them all up to give out at the Christmas party.  But guess who got the worst flu ever?  Yep me, so I had Hubby give the cookies and he gave them out.  And I saw one of the dads this year and he said his kid refused to eat it and has it still sitting on his book shelf so he can look at it.  I think that is really sweet, but what a waste of sugar people.  I think that kids is amazing, and I love that he liked it enough to not eat it, but if it was me, it would have been gone before we got to the car.
  These are red velvet cupcakes.  I found recipes all over the place on line for them to use a cake mix, because you need to make it easy or I probably won't do it.  I will link to a recipe on another post, or comment to me and I can dig it up for you.  But it is easy and tastes not too bad.  Not a super dark cake like you see on TV, but not bad.  I made regular butter cream, because Hubby won't eat cream cheese, and I want him to eat something I made.  I made these with my son and he loves sprinkles almost as much as I do.  So these are mine.

  And these are his, all packed up to go to daycare.  There is not one millimeter of blank icing I swear, but he loves it, the kids love it and I get a reason to buy more sprinkles.  It's a win, win, win situation.  That is 1/3 more win, so I would say that is awesome.
  Here is my first attempt a cupcakes in a jar.  I saw this on Glorious Treats.  That girl makes some great stuff!  But of course I did not pay attention and bought the wrong size jars, which I did not figure out until I started to put them together.  So these are red velvet with cream cheese icing.  And you know what, they tasted really good and my friends at work were very kind and ate them without complaint.  Some of them even thanked me.  Weird I know.
  So this is how I did it with a cheap plastic spoon and ribbon.  Glorious Treats does it all nice, here it is ghetto style baby.  I then decided I needed to buy more jars in the right size right away.  That was over 6 months ago and they are sitting in the basement, but I swear I will use them soon.  Just don't remind Hubby I think he may have forgotten that they are there, or at least I hope so.  Dang it, I hope he never reads this.  If you are reading this hunny, I promise they are going to be used soon, I have a blog now, so I have a purpose for them:) 

  See I can justify anything.  ( ignore that hunny)
  Okay now these are my favorites.  I saw a blog where the lady made itty bitty little cookies and dipped them in coloured sugar.  I feel horrible that I cannot remember the blog, but hers were perfect little bites.  Mine, not so much.  They were cute, but all off sized, because I was lazy and did not chill them properly before baking.  Oh well, they taste great.  For this I just bake a cookie then use glaze ( I use the recipes from I am Baker) and I put a glob of glaze then right away press the cookie into whatever sprinkle I have.  I have a lot of sprinkles, so it was a great way to justify the variety I had and try a whole bunch.  I love how easy they are and how colourful they turned out.
  I wanted to give them as gifts and a great way to use up the extra jars that were the wrong size ( no hunny I did not just admit I got the wrong thing, I bought them for this all along!)  I  gave them to my friends at work and  a few gave the jars back for refills, those sneaky little buggers!  I would love to have made nice labels for the tops of the jars, or even those cute sticker labels they sell near the jar section would have been cute.  But again, I was lazy and you know how that goes.  I just hope that the sugar high they get makes them think the jar is amazing as is.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not, it is a crap shoot you know.
  I then decided I wanted to do conversation heart cookies.  There are tonnes of those on the net, but mine looked nothing like them.  My piping and flooding was all wonky so I did the old "pipe a boarder and roll in sprinkles"  this accomplishes two things.
 1. It makes the cookie look nice.
2. Allows me to use up some sprinkles thus allowing me to buy more.

I am smart like that, multi tasking and all.  Anyway these are the g rated ones I did for my son and his daycare lady.  The ones for Hubby were not as g rated, but seeing as my cookies are one of the rare things he will eat, he didn't even read them.  So all that sexy talk for nothing, oh well.  I used Americolor edible markers to write on them.  You just need to make sure the glaze is fully set and you do not press too hard.
  Okay now these are something I read about on my fave message board, Two Peas in a Bucket.  They are called turtle pretzels, or something like that.  Who knows, I just knew they sounded good.  So I went to the dollar store and stocked up on rolos.  What you do is take pretzels, I used mini and put them on a baking sheet, put a rolo on top and put them in the oven at 250 for about 8 minutes.  Watch them as I managed to burn a sheet or two.  Then you can either just leave them as is and eat them or put half a pecan on them.  I did both, I liked the pecan, and since Hubby won't eat these I figured it's a  reason to go nuts!  I have no idea how that sounded, but you know what I mean.  I drizzled white chocolate on them because they are kind of ugly.  But the people at work liked them a lot!

  Here is a whole bunch of Bakerella chocolate mold cupcake cake balls.  Try saying that 5 times fast.  It's okay, I'll wait......Okay now these are the same as before I just added sprinkles, sprinkles make everything better.

  Oh and Bakerella also did these super cute ice cream cone cake balls.  She used cut down cones, but here we get these mini ones.  Take that USA!  ( and if you do have them too, don't tell me, it would hurt my Canadian ego)  I just dipped the cone top in chocolate to hold the ball, let it set then dipped the whole thing and put it upside down on the wax paper to make it look like it fell.  I also did ones standing up, I just put them in Styrofoam.  Super cute.

  For my son at Valentines I made these cookies.  They are chocolate chip roll out cookies.  People these are amazing.  And for the love of all that is holy I cannot remember where I got the recipe.  I will have to dig and get back to you.  They were the best ones ever!   I got my son to write his name on them all with the edible marker and I bought the "be mine" icing hearts at the bakers warehouse.  And again a piping of glaze then rolled in tiny little heart sprinkles.  I need to get more of those this Valentines season.  I had an issue with the glaze not fully setting.  Not sure if it was due to how moist the cookie was, but we can try again.
  Oh I got this idea from my friend Staci.  She did them for her son's class and parties.  I thought, seriously what could be easier?  So this is my version.  And I did find lots of these on line afterwards, I am always behind the trend.  I just used lollipop sticks, dipped the end in chocolate then into a marshmallow then dip in chocolate, sprinkle with what ever sprinkles and let set.  Huge hit and cheap and easy.
  And of course my son wanted in on the action.  A few things you should know; he is obsessed with Luigi from Super Mario and wears his costume all the time.  My kitchen is super tiny, I work mostly on my dining room table.  And lastly I bought fabric to take pictures of my stuff against, that is how my pictures look so professional.  I will give you a moment to stop laughing...are you done?  Okay then, so that is my kid, as Luigi, in my tiny kitchen with my "professional" photo shoot.  Awesome!

  I made these for my friends kid, he was obsessed with Thomas and Friends.  This is not the first time I had made cake pop flat thingies.  I have no idea what to call them, but whatever.  I had not seen the flat cake ball things on line before I made my other ones.  So my idea was to use a cookie cutter, while holding in down on wax paper I filled it with cake ball mix and pressed it out then froze it and then put a stick in and dipped.  Not too long after my first attempt my friend asked about Thomas pops.  So I googled and found a picture of these, and I thought I can do that.  I went lazy again and used pre made eye balls, but whatever, they were cute.  I also found something similar in the Wilton cake pop book, but mine are better, so there!
  One of my favorite easy things to make is cup cakes.  So fast and they look great.  These are for my day care ladies kid.  She loves blue, so we did cupcakes with blue butter cream, I used blue sprinkles and some edible glitter to girly it up a bit.  Then I put a blue Sixlet on it to look like a cherry.  I read about Sixlets on Bakerella.  Do you know they make them right here in Toronto?  Neither did I.  Did you know you cannot buy them in Toronto unless you order 10 pounds of them?  Yeah well,  now you do.  So to find them I looked at Target and Walmart in the states.  I could not find them so I spent a small fortune ordering 2 pounds.  Then of course on my next trip to the states there they were, so I got some, and have not used them since.  Sigh, don't tell Hubby.
  I box them up in these cute boxes from the bakers warehouse, they are a little costly but perfect and the kids loved them.

  Okay this is one of my all time favorites.  Growing up I used to live off of Pep candy bars.  It was a huge peppermint patty and it was amazing.  I found this on I am Baker.  She made them all cute and stuff, she originally got the idea and recipe from another blogger.  They are so easy,

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
and icing sugar until firm

You mix it all together and add icing sugar until it is like play doh and you shape it into balls or whatever, freeze for 30 minutes ( I think if you do it longer it will cause the chocolate to crack) then dip in chocolate.  I could live off of these things, even though I get sick when I eat too much sugar.  I have made them all sorts of ways, big, small, thin or thick.  I like them really thick with a thin coating of chocolate.  Oh man, I may need to make some tonight!
  When I bake my son always wants to help.  I feel horrible when I have a lot to do and cannot take the time to let him always help.  So when I can I let him do whatever he can.  Here I am putting him to work bashing some crackers for an experiment.  I tried to make s'more balls.  They were not that great so we will try again then post.  Look at how cute he is, and how messy my kitchen is.  My dining room table is the clean spot people, and I end up cleaning more before I bake then after.  I need to win the lottery.
That's all for now.  As I go back and look over all my pictures I will see what else I have made:)

1 comment:

Disneypal said...

Congrats on starting your blog. I look forward to seeing more. Looks like you had a lot of fun making the cake pops !!