Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mini Fruit Pie Perogie Thingies

So I got all fancy and tried to take a nice picture.  This is what you get, so be impressed, please.
   I want you all to know that I may have to coin that phrase now, "Mini fruit pie perogie thingies" is going to be the name of my new cook book.  Or not, either way you heard it here first.

  So this is one of those, I wanted something fast, and I didn't get what I wanted at the store and I wanted to use an old tool I had, and I wanted it to be easy.  ( That's what she said.)
This was my set up, before the cherry pie filling hit the fan.  Or you know, got all over my stuff.

  Anyway,  I had plans to make some box mix cupcakes and I wanted to make another fast item to post about, and to take to work.  So I decided to revisit the fruit pies that I made with Pork Chop and his friend.  So I hit the store on the way home looking for pie filling and pie crust.  And this store is going in my bad books, I am always finding pass due stuff, but this time topped them all.  All the apple pie filling cans were covered in a thick layer of dust. That should have been my first clue, then I checked the dates.  I am so anal about best before dates, it drives Hubby nuts.  Anyway, they all expired in May of 2011.  It is June 2012 people.  I told a few people working their and the answer was "oh the people are all young here."

What does that even mean?

I have this rolling pin, Hubby really wanted it. I think we may have used it twice, so now it is three times.  We have a kitchen gadget issue obviously.

  So I sent an email to head office, I mean someone could get sick if they eat the old stuff right?  I mean one time it was week past due cottage cheese. But as of this post, no reply so what do I know right?

  Okay back to the pies.  So I ended up with cherry and pumpkin pie filling.  I grabbed three packs of the ready made pie crust and headed home.

I am sure if you wanted you could take the scraps and roll them back out, but you know how I am about extra work right? 

  I wanted to make small perogie size pies, because then you can eat like 4 and it is still not as bad as a big slice of pie.  Sort of.  So I had these perogie makers I got back in college.  And I actually used them in class, twice I think.  They were like $1 in china town, so it was worth it.  I like how easy they are to use and how small they make stuff.

See how clean this is, that was about to change, but not until after I took pictures.

  So to start I wanted to try pumpkin pie until I actually read the label, after I got home, and it said you needed to add an egg and evaporated milk.  I didn't have that milk, and I figured that even if I did it would make the filling too watery to work in my little perogie maker thing.  So I opted to just do cherry.

  As I was setting this all up, Pork Chop asked what I was doing, so I told him "Making baby pies like we did with So and So."  And he looked at me and said something like "I hope they are not ugly like mine" And I felt bad because he only remembered how his looked compared to his friends, not the fun of making them. So being the good mom I was I said "Yours were great!"  And he gave me "the look" and I just kept smiling like crazy, and so he walked away, and I think he was actually shaking his head.

I figured three cherries and just a tiny bit of the sauce was more than enough.  Then brushing the edges with egg wash helps them stick together.

 Anyway,I started by laying out the pie crusts, you get two in a pack.  I rolled it out just a bit to make it a little thinner.  Then I cut out the circles using the perogie maker.  I got 10 large and 6 mini ones out of each package of crust.

  Then I layed one crust in the maker, and pushed it in a little to make a dent.  Then I put a tiny bit of filling, too much and they explode.  Don't ask me how I know this.  Then I brushed the edges with egg wash.  I just mixed an egg with some water.  Then close and press the perogie maker and it seals it all together.  I placed them all on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brushed them with more egg wash.

After this one everything was covered in cherry pie filling.  I got a little carried away with it and wanted to put more in.  This was one of those times when less is more.  Which really makes no sense at all.

  I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 9 minutes, just until the crust was browning.

  Then I used the mini circles to make chocolate peanut butter pies.  I needed something tiny and did not just want  chocolate so I used these itty bitty peanut butter cups I had.  I had to be careful, 3 of them was the max that would fit in the pie.  I sealed and egg washed them like the big pies, and they took about 7 minutes to bake.

This was my first try, I tied to put in 4 of those tiny candies and it made the stupid pie crust break, so only 3 would fit.

   Now I did bring a few to work, but I actually put a bunch in a plastic container and froze them.  I figure I can pop them in the toaster oven for a quick treat and that would be perfect.

  Pork Chop really wanted to try them, but didn't actually as far as I know.  But I loved them, and I swear one day I will do pumpkin.  This is a little pricey as the pie filling and crust are not that cheap, but if you are not lazy like me you could actually do it all from scratch.  And you know that will never happen in my home right?

Again, the professional picture I took.  I know, I just keep telling myself you come here for the humor and not the pictures.

 Also I think that pie is the new pop tart, you know, only without lots of icing.  So they are a healthier option for us.

  See what I did right there?  I just justified you being able to eat these for breakfast.

  Your welcome!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

My Edible Printer

This is what the icing sheet looks like just printed, it is hard to tell but the icing sheet is smaller and the backing is about 1 inch larger.

 I love baking gadgets, all kinds of gadgets.  I am the person that sees something and thinks "I need that!"  And I totally get it and use it once. Or pack it away for about 10 years. So when I was thinking about getting an edible printer I had a hard time justifying it.  I mean how often would I use it?  As it turns out, not too often, but often enough that I don't regret having it one little bit!

  So to start, I used to make simple image birthday cakes back in the day and the place I was at had an edible printer.  I was so in love with how easy it was to make any cake personal, no skill required.  Which is good, since I have hardly any skills.  So anyway, I always thought it would be hundreds of dollars to get my own, so never really thought about it.  Until I mentioned it to the lady and she told me you just use a regular printer.  I was in shock!!

My first attempt at a printed cookie, I was so lazy and tired I just pipped a boarder and put coloured sugar on it.

 So being the smarty smart smart that I am I went to google to see what this was all about, and that is how I found Kopy Kake.  Basically this company makes ink cartridges for regular old Espon and Canon printers.  I was so excited, until I realized the cost of some printers.  Kopy Kake has a handy list showing the model numbers of the printers that they make cartridges for.  I would check out our flyer's every week to see if any of the super on sale printers were on the list.  It took a few months, but finally Wal Mart had one, which was not only a printer, but a scanner, on sale for $35.  $35 people!  I was so excited, and Hubby went and got it for me.  Now he had told me to buy one before; that was until I told him that it could only be used for food, so that sort of put a damper on things.  He wanted a new printer, but any printer I got could only be used with the food cartridges, so he was out of luck.

This was for the elevator guys, and my first time using disco dust.  After this one I just used sugar, I didn't want them to be pooping glitter for weeks. And I cannot believe I just wrote the word pooping on my blog again, my blog about food.

 So I had my little printer, and I wanted the ink and paper. The cost of the cartridges is a bit much to start.  To get them here they are about $30 each and you need 4.  So I went on the Kopy Kake site and shipping was insane, but with a simple email they were able to offer cheaper, but slower shipping.  I was thrilled, and my Mom got them for me as an early Christmas gift, yay mom!  Then I bought the icing sheets at the local  baking supply store, they are less than $1 each, so that is great.

 So I had it all, I just needed something to make with it.  So my first job was to ask my co workers for some personal pictures, and I made my first attempt at printed cookies.  They came out okay, I was not used to the colours and the boarders were horrible, but you know a first try non the less.

These were my first cupcake toppers, just roll out some fondant/ sugar paste and glue the images to it with water.  Let dry and there you go, amazing stuff people!
This is the large image I used for Pork Chops little cake, that he didn't eat.  
See these are the cupcake toppers, how cool is that?  Well better than the lame lego chocolate men I made, which totally are Star War's because I put "S W" on them.  But jerky Hubby kept telling people they were "South West" workers, which makes no sense, they are not even in the stupid movie.  Jerk!
This was my second attempt at printer cookies and disco dust, much better I must say.
My first attempt at printer cake pops, not too bad, not amazing either.
And the cupcakes I made for Pork Chops Hockey banquet, which was really just kids sitting around a table eating a slice of pizza and talking really loud.  Good times!
So there is a lot of pictures to show you some of the things I have made so far.

 I love my printer, and Pork Chop loves to eat the paper.  He even had a friend over when I was using it and his friend would not believe you were supposed to eat the paper.

  The alternative to the printer is to check at your local bakery and see if they will sell you some printed sheets, but I have heard they charge about $10 each page.  And if you are going to use them a bunch getting the stuff yourself is much cheaper. Skip To My Lou
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fishing Cupcakes, Not Belated Fathers Day Cupcakes

I should have made the line shorter on all of them.  Also this is the only picture I got as the rest were boxed up without the fishing poles.

  So I made these for fathers day, but of coarse I did not make them until the last minute.  So I am going to call them fishing cupcakes and post about them now.  See how smart I am, or lazy, who can really say right?

Just imagine a glue gun in this picture.  Also imagine that I ate like 20 fish.  I had to make sure they tasted right.

  These were actually for Hubby's work, they were having a fathers day event, and asked if I could make them some of these.  They send me a picture and I googled and saw how these were made.  Sort of, I really just looked at the pictures and did my own thing.  I then went back afterwards and figured I did okay.  They worked and that is all that counts.

This is me snapping the skewers and then trimming the splinters.  I made sure the splinter end did not go in the cupcake.

  Firstly I needed 3 dozen of these suckers, and by suckers I mean cupcakes.  Keep up here people.

  Anyway I started by baking my cupcakes, nothing fancy, it was a box mix.  I know, but it was last minute really and they knew it would be box mix.

  I blame Hubby.

  What else is new?

  So to make the fishing poles I got some Swedish fish, some skewers and some stuff I had at home.  I wanted to use a thick thread, but all I had was either thin thread or cross stitch floss.  So I used the floss, I just separated the 6 strands out to two strands and it worked fine.  I had a huge needle and I just washed it and used that.  Now I never really thought about it, but those stupid fish are sticky inside.  So that was a pain.

I put them all in a cup to finish drying as I worked, also you can see all the cupcakes.  

  To start I snapped the skewers to the length I wanted, I hear you can get them shorter but our dollar store only had these ones and I was in a rush.  So I would snap them then use scissors to trim off most of the splinters.  Then I started to tie on the string, but it was a huge pain in the butt and I figured they may not stay.  So I got out my glue gun and put a little dab on the stick and then wrapped the floss around it.  They set really quickly.

I didn't measure the thread it was all a bit different for each one, which really should not matter.
 Then on to the fish.  First I washed my needle in soap and water, thinking that if anyone ate the fish they would want it clean.  Which I hope they don't because there was some fluff on them from the thread, but you know I tried.  So I would thread the end of the thread and force the needle through the fish head.  And that right there is how you know I am mean, I aimed for the eye.  It was the center of the fish head.

  I know, I should not even be allowed to have a kid; let alone a gummy fish.

I found I had to stop and wash the needle in hot water after a few fish or it got so  sticky the treat would stick to it.

 Anyway, once I did that I tied it off and put them all laying in a box, I wanted them to not get tangled.  The people at Hubby's work were going to put the fishing poles in the cupcakes when they got them, as they were too tall for the boxes.

Ta da!

  I made an extra or two for them, then I made a few for Pork Chop and his little friend.
All boxed up to go, they were so cute, but seriously a pain to make. If I only had to make like 12 I would, but this many not on your life.  Unless you buy me a pony.
  Pork Chop had a play date with his friend, not the one who demands crafts, this is a different one.  So I made my simple butter cream, tinted it blue and asked them if they wanted to decorate their own cupcakes.  They both said no.  Which is nice, because it meant less sprinkles on the floor.  The floor which I actually vacuumed this week to get ride of the last round of sprinkles.

  My friends little guy ate his fish then his cupcake, then he wanted another.  I had packed some for him to take home and left one out for Pork Chop.  So I told him it was for Pork Chop and of course my kid says's "I don't want it" so he ate it.  And then he was looking at more.

  I need a kid like that, seriously he ate two and would have eaten more.

So this was the one I sent home with Pork Chops little friend.  I just used a large star tip and pipped a swirl.  It was a nice thick crusting butter cream and when you put the pole in on an angle, it had no problem standing up.

  Anyway, these are not fathers day cupcakes, like I said, they are for fishing.  Which I will never do again after the time my dad tried to get me to put a piece of worm on a hook.

  Also, he had this fish he had stuffed, it was not huge, maybe 1-1 1/2 feet and I was scared of it.  It sat in the basement, getting dusty.  I have issues with stuff like that.  I like my fish in gummy form.  Just so you

know. Somewhat Simple

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Cake Balls

Okay I took so many pictures of these things, then I thought to myself.  "Self do people really put sauce and sprinkles and cherries on their ice cream cones?"  And the answer was, "I don't know."  So for what it's worth, all ice cream cones should be this cute.
 *** DISCLAIMER***  I may have been in a very crazy mood when I wrote this, or drunk.  But as we all know I don't drink, but maybe I should because some of these comments may be a little racey for some.  Which is sort of weird considering this is a blog about baking, but you know if the mood strikes you, you go with it.

And Mom, if you are reading this, Lynda did it.

  That is all.

  I have been promising cake balls to Pork Chop for  a while.  Which really makes no sense as he is not going to eat them I bet.  But I made these because he seems to love ice cream cones.  Not actual ice cream cones, but the cone cone.  Does that make any sense at all?  No, well what else is new with that child.
These were the adorable mini cones, which you sort of had to scrape the seam off the bottom or else they fell over.  Stupid cone seams!

  Anyway, he loves to eat the cones, and I had seen these last year, I think I actually bought them last year, don't tell.  I buy things and think "these will make some great treats!" Then I forget about them, or pass them by and they expire, but you know, I am getting better.  So anyway, I made ice cream cone cake balls before using the actual pointy cones, but they were a pain, and hard to serve and what not.  So these, the flat bottom ones were perfect!  I figured I would be the first ever to use them, and I don't know if they even make them like this in other parts of the world.

  I choose to believe that they are just here in my little area, no where else.  And if they are, I don't want to know.  It would depress me and make me want to go shopping or something.  So you know, I have issues.

  Also I read the box, they still had a good year before they expired, score!

I took them all out, because how dumb would it have been to take one out at a time.  And I wanted you to see the stupid cone seam that I hate.  It's evil.  
  So to start I asked Hubby to bake me a box mix cake, as I was working the night before I wanted to make these.  Now I could have done it, but it saves me a lot of time and it makes it like we are doing this together.  I know, that sounds dumb.  The real reason is it makes him have to do it and the dishes so I am just being lazy.  Who would have thought that of me?

  And just so you know, he left the mixing bowl in the sink for me, day old hard cake batter does not save you time.

 Touche Hubby, touche.

See how crazy I am, I set everything up and took a blurry picture and you can even see my drink in there.  I go no where in my house without my drink.  Well almost no where; don't ask.
  Anyway, once the cake was baked, he covered it for me and the next day I got to work.  Now this day we had the funeral for my Uncle, and I thought baking would be the best therapy.  I actually wanted to go to all the kitchen stores I know and blow all the money I don't really have, so this was the better option.

Stubby finger action shot.

I want to say something clever but dirty here about only dipping half of your ball, but I got nothing.  Sorry.

At this point, if you didn't deal with those cone seams, you may start pulling your hair out.  Or eat the ones that fell over.  However you deal with your problems is up to you.

I have nothing to say about this picture, but I took it, so you need to see it.

  So I crumbled up my cake and added just enough frosting to get it to hold together then I used a mini ice cream scoop to make my cake balls.  I wanted to not roll them, but I thought that if I did not roll them they may not stick inside the cone as well.  So I rolled them.  Then popped them in the freezer while I tided up and got everything ready.

  And I don't know if you ever notice how I point out I tidy up now and then, but if I write it, it has to be true.

  Now I hate working with white chocolate so decided all my ice cream was going to be chocolate. And chocolate is the only kind of ice cream you should ever eat really. So I melted my candy wafers in the microwave and set out a sheet of wax paper.  I took out a few cake balls at a time then dipped the bottom half of them in the chocolate then set them in the cones and left them to dry.

I think I may need to hire a hand model.

Could you imagine the ad? "Wanted, one hand model to dip my balls while I take pictures."  That could get interesting.
 Once I had done that for all of them I was ready to do the full dip. By this time the first coating of chocolate should have hardened and stuck the ball to the cone.  Then I just took the cone and dipped it to make sure the whole cake ball was covered then let the extra drip off before setting them right side up on the paper again.  Now if you get drips down the cone, that is fine, it will just look like melting ice cream.
Almost done, and they could just be finished at this, but I needed to use sprinkles, so I could not leave them like this.
  Once that was done I got a small amount of white candy melts and melted them with some paraffin crystals. I wanted to make them pink, like strawberry sauce or something, so I used the candy colouring I had.  It is oil based so I can use it to colour the candy melts without it making the chocolate seize up.

  Also in real life, no fruit should ever touch my desert, ever.  So even though it looks like strawberry sauce, it better not be.  Or else.

Ok so here is the set up, I have found that coffee filters are great at catching sprinkles without making them bounce out and on the floor like if you use a bowl or plate.  That is until you try to pour them back into the container and drop the filter.  Not that that happened or anything.  Stupid sprinkles.

So I pipped on the pink then I decorated, but I figured out after this one if you shake the thing after you put the chocolate on it settles and looks nicer.

See how cute?  And that my friends is why chocolate is better than fruit.  I know that makes no real sense but I had to say it anyway.
   Then once it was melted I put it in a squeeze bottle and got my sprinkles and such set up.  To try and cut down on the mess I put one cone in a coffee filter and poured some pink chocolate on top then gave it a few seconds to drip down then added my sprinkles.  I find that if you use a coffee filter the sprinkles don't bounce out of the filter like they do with a bowl.  Then I topped it off with a red mini jaw breaker.  You can use anything though, like a big or mini M&M or a sixlet.  Whatever you want really
My little cone army.  Do they have cone army's?  Well they totally should.

We will call him Sargent Pinky.  No idea why, I feel like today I am in one of those moods, so you should probably just disregard all the comments so far.

And this, well that was the one I ate.  Because Pork Chop looked at it and said "No thanks."  And then I killed him and ate it myself.
  Then I let them set up and packed them away to take to work.  I think they were adorable and I so would make these in the full size cone, but that may kill you with the sugar amounts.  So just eat like 5 of these and you are good!
I didn't really kill him, that would mean they would take away my cake balls.  And I also want to call this picture "Cone in a box"  Which is funny if you know what I am talking about, and if not, you so do but just don't want to admit it.  And no Mom, there is no way I am explaining this to you.

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