Monday, February 29, 2016

Macarons

I got some gift cards this Christmas season, so where to spend them other than the only place I really shop online... AMAZON! I've been wanting some new baking tools, and had my eyes on some silicon baking mats that would make baking so much easier.

I was looking for rather specific silicon mats; I wanted the ones with the macaron circle outline on them. I purchased 2 of these and could not wait for them to be delivered! They fit my half sheet pans (which I purchased at Chef Central for $9.99 each) perfectly!


So, I had my new pans, my new silicon mats, a fresh bag of almond flour, and sugar. All I needed was some aged eggs and food coloring and I was all set to whip up some macarons. I separated the egg whites from the yolks the night before and kept them on my kitchen counter till the next morning (it's been pretty chilly here and I was going to bake the next morning). You can also keep them in the fridge and bring them out to sit to room temp before baking. 

Here's my first batch... I tinted them a pretty lavender purple color, and added some sprinkles to make them pop. I'm pretty sure I messed up during the macaronage (mixing) process. My batter was too thick. The final product resulted in not-so-pretty discs. Surprisingly, the texture was pretty good: crisp outer shell, chewy insides, and not hollow. I filled them with a peanut butter frosting and jelly center. Here's how they came out anyways.

- the macaronage process -
(this is where I think I messed up... could have mixed longer)

- they look thick and don't have a nice shine -

- all matched up with peanut butter frosting and jelly filling -

- not pretty to look at, but the texture was pretty good -

The second batch I made, I tinted pink and added neon nonpareils. Here, I'm pretty sure I did OK with the whole mixing process. However, I miscalculated the baking time and left them in there too short, resulting in semi-cooked meringues. I had to throw them back in the oven to bake a bit longer, but I think this was the cause of my hollow shells.. I filled these with buttercream and rolled in sprinkles. 

- mixing away -

- shiny and glossy and perfectly round -

- was SO sure they were perfect! -

- I will get this right one day........ -

Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Year, New You

I realize that it's been 6 months since my last post. What can I say, life got in the way! It's a new year, so working on a new me. Happy New Year, everyone!

I recently worked on a baby shower cake for one of my cousin's dear friend. I love babies!!! And the excitement they bring to everyone around them is so wonderful. Here's to a new year filled with lots of new babies and baking projects!

- nutella chocolate elephant cutouts -
recipe from Bridget's cookie book 

- my army of elephants -

- individually packed with personalized tags -

- chocolate cake covered in buttercream -

- elephant fondant cake topper -
isn't he cute?

- all ready to go! -


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Happy Birthday, America!

I know it's been a while since my last post. I honestly have not been able to bake as often as I would love to as the school year got crazy and was coming to a close. I did want to share with you my little cupcakes that I made for the Fourth of July.

I used Wilton Star Sprinkles and red/blue sparkling sugars to create these festive little treats!




- the close up -


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Valentine's Day

I really do love this time of year... when everywhere you go you're punched in the face with pink and red and hearts. Pink being my favorite color, I couldn't be more thrilled!

I saw a post on Pinterest months back of mini brownies topped with marshmallow hearts. I made it my mission to find these marshmallows this year! After some searching, I eventually found them at the local Walmart. They are so small and cute, I wish they had them all year round! I made my own adorable valentine's day brownies and they came out looking like their original inspiration (I'm sure you've seen these cuties on Pinterest!). The white chocolate drizzle really makes these perfect!




Some other treats I made with the heart-theme! These are cake balls and chocolate covered pretzels. I love these teeny tiny heart sprinkles. I got mine at Williams-Sonoma, but I've seen Wilton brand ones as well!



Saturday, January 31, 2015

Christine's Bridal Shower

My best friend from college is getting married... MARRIED!!! In T-minus 2 months, she will be walking down the aisle and getting herself a husband. Her bridal shower was a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to share the dessert table that I created in honor of my amazing friend, Christine. Her other bridesmaids and I stayed up late putting last-minute things together, and we were able to throw a beautiful shower for our beautiful friend.

Here are some pictures of the day!

I particularly LOVE how this little cake came out! We went with a romantic-and-slightly-rustic theme, so this naked cake was perfect. This is a 3-layer 6" yellow cake with lemon buttercream and raspberry preserves in between each layer. Fresh, vibrant flowers topped off the cake, and my friend, CraftySong made the beautiful, glittery cake topper.
- Yellow Cake with Lemon Buttercream and Raspberry Filling


When you don't particularly enjoy the taste of royal icing, have leftover buttercream, and are running out of time, this is how you can decorate your cut-out sugar cookies! I had leftover buttercream from the cake and didn't have the time to whip up a batch of royal icing in different colors, so I let the sprinkles do the talking... For the engagement ring cookies, I mixed gold disco dust with drops of vodka to create a paint, and painted on the gold band.
-heart-shaped sugar cookies with buttercream and pink sanding sugar-

-engagement ring-shaped sugar cookies with buttercream and sparkling sugar-


No party is complete without cupcakes! I made some chocolate cupcakes and topped them with vanilla buttercream and gold sparkling sugar. How cute are these gold and white striped baking cups? Them scalloped tops though... I found these at my local TJ Maxx for $3 for a pack of 24! They don't even need to be baked in a baking pan; you can just pop them on a baking sheet! Be careful not to crowd the pan though, as the heat needs to travel around each cup for the cakes to bake evenly thoroughly.
-chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream-

 


I had a lot of fun making these rice krispies treats. I always loved eating these when I was younger. My mom would never buy us the pre-made ones, saying that they were too sweet and had lots of things added to them. She would make it for us at home and cut down on the amount of marshmallows.... (no fun!). I used the recipe on the box and used the full amount of marshmallows! To make them even more decadent and pretty, I cut them out using a heart-shaped cookie cutter and dipped half of them in peach-colored melting chocolate. I personalized them by adding a white fondant circle with the initials of the happy couple painted onto them using the gold disco dust + vodka paint.



-mason jar floral arrangements-

-i love polaroids-

-guestbook with personalized pages-

 -77 days!!!-

-pinwheel backdrop-

-activity for guests-


-table shower games-

-a blurry picture of our masterpiece-



love you, bestie! <3

 
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