Sunday, January 8, 2017

Rosette Birthday Cake

Cake mix strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. 10" bottom layer and 4.5" top layer
Cake Pan Hack
Use a removeable, 1.5 quart crockpot to bake a 4.5 inch cake layer. Grease and flour the inside of the small crockpot insert, pour in about an inch and a half of batter, and bake for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
Wilton 1 tip created large rosettes. Small open star tip for small red flowers. Small leaf tip for the leaves. #5 writing tip for writing. 

Bottom and top layers are split and filled with cream cheese frosting.

Princess coach was made using the mold shown below and melted vanilla bark. The gold is from Wilton color mist, an edible spray. 
Melted vanilla bark held a round toothpick onto the back of the molded candy carriage. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season!

Cocoa Drop Cookies

Holiday cocoa drop cookies dipped into vanilla almond bark and sprinkled with .....Christmas sprinkles!
Bill ate one of these cookies and he LOVED the vanilla bark side!
He's my official taste tester and fellow lover of sweets. In fact, he would be happy if I dipped the WHOLE cookie in almond bark. 

However, I love the contrast between the dark chocolate of the cookie and the white of the almond bark side.

Personally, I like using almond bark in place of chocolate because it is so easy to use. 
Just pop two or three squares of almond bark and 1 tsp solid vegetable shortening into a small deep bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts and stir until the bark is melted and smooth. 
You are ready to dip cookies!

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies
Time: 1 hour chill time          8-10 minute bake time for each cookie sheet of cookies.

  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 2/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Place sugar, butter, egg, water, and vanilla into a medium size bowl and mix until blended.
  • Stir in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until mixed well.
  • Cover bowl tightly and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on to an ungreased, or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
  • Bake until almost no indentation remains when touched, with is about 8-10 minutes. 
  • Immediately remove from the cookie sheet and cool.
Dipping the Baked Cookies
  • Once the cookies are cool, melt 3-4 squares of vanilla almond and 1- 2 tsp. of solid vegetable shortening in a small, deep bowl, following the package directions. I wing it and put the ingredients in the bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts and stir in between the bursts until the almond bark and shortening are melted. 
  • Dip each cookie into the bark, shake off excess bark, and add sprinkles. My method consists of pouring the sprinkles into a soup bowl and holding the dipped cookie over the bowl as I sprinkle the decorations on each cookie. This is a great job for the kids! 
  • Set dipped cookies onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
  • When the cookie sheet is full of dipped cookies, put the cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes to set the vanilla bark.
  •  Remove cookie sheet from the freezer and cookies are ready to start packaging.
Enjoy eating some homemade happiness on a plate! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Applesauce Drop Cookies with Easy Caramel-Coffee Frosting

Christmas Applesauce Drop Cookies dressed up with a vanilla almond bark swirl and gold food spray.

My annual Christmas baking began on December 21 this year.
I just had a little trouble getting into the baking mood after making and decorating a half sheet cake for our CMA Christmas party. How about you? There always seems to be so much to do between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. 

Additionally, I made 4 dozen cutout snowmen cookies for the Christmas cookie exchange at work. I love baking, but sometimes I just need to make the baking easy on myself by making drop cookies to accompany the decorated, holiday sugar cookies. 

Yield: about 3-4 dozen cookies 
  • Heaping teaspoonful of dough makes 3 dozen
  • Slightly rounded teaspoonful of dough makes 4 dozen
Time: 1 hour chill time       8-10 minutes bake time

Cookie Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Caramel-Coffee Frosting  See the recipe and ingredients below
  • Put brown sugar, shortening, applesauce, and egg into a medium sized bowl and mix well with a whisk, or a hand mixer.
  • Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir by hand until blended well.
Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. I make the cookie dough the evening before I want to bake.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Measure dough out with a teaspoon and scoop out a rounded teaspoonful. Use a second spoon to aid in dropping the dough onto your cookie sheet.
  • Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 2 inches onto an ungreased, or parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until almost no indentation remains when you touch the cookie top. Also, cookies will harden somewhat as they cool.
  • Immediately remove from the cookie sheet and cool. 
Cookie Baking Tip
Lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper makes transferring hot cookies VERY easy. 

You just slide the entire sheet of cookies out of the pan and onto the cooling rack. 
No trying to slide a spatula under hot cookies! Yeah!
Caramel-Coffee Frosting

  • 1/4 cup salted butter 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. caramel flavoring
  • 2 Tablespoons cold coffee
  • Heat butter in a 1.5 quart sauce pan over low heat. 
  • Remove pan from the heat when the butter is melted.
  • Stir in powdered sugar and caramel flavoring
  • Stir in coffee until frosting is smooth and spreadable
  • Cover tightly until ready to use the frosting
This frosting dries quite quickly, so keep a damp paper towel over the frosting and cover tightly if you need to stop frosting your cooled cookies. 

Perfect Drop Cookies Every Time Tips
  1. Keep the cookie dough refrigerated in between batches
  2. Put cold cookie dough onto a cool cookie sheet each time. Baking times are figured from the time you put a batch of cold dough onto a cool cookie sheet. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Snowman Cookie Exchange Winner

My adorable snowman cookies won 1st in the Best Decorated category in the annual Christmas cookie exchange at work. 

Sugar Cookie recipe   Click Here  Use a 3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter
Royal Icing recipe      Click Here  Use clear vanilla extract to get snow white icing. 

Icing Colors
  • Apply the white royal icing with a butter knife and allow to dry for about 20 minutes.
  • Tint a small amount of icing black with Americolor Gel Super Black.
  • Tint a small amount of icing orange with 1 drop Americolor Gel Super Red, and 2 drops Americolor Gel Yellow.
  • Put tinted icing into a small decorator bag. Carefully snip the very end of the bag off. Pipe onto the cookies.