Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Responder Holiday Cookie Trays

Thank-you C. Brown for the wonderful picture! 
Baptist Bakers at Work
The bakers in our church, First Baptist Church of Belle, contributed dozens of cookies for First Responder holiday cookie trays. Yesterday, three of us were able to assemble fourteen, large trays. Yes, fourteen trays loaded with a variety of home baked treats for some of the least recognized folks in our communities, First Responders.

Our town is centrally located in a Tri-County area and our trays are being delivered to First Responders in four communities. Yesterday, I assisted with delivery and it was heart-warming to see the surprise and happiness on the faces of our local EMT's, 9-1-1 dispatchers, and police officers.

I challenge you to hold a "Make a Tray Day" and give a tray of home baked cookies to the EMT's, police, 9-1-1 dispatchers, and fire fighters in your community. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gingerbread Snowmen, Snowflakes, and Stars

Snowflake snowmen, star snowmen, and gingerbread snowmen are the theme for my 2015 Christmas gift plates. 

I have been waiting since January to create these adorable snowman cookies. 

Why January you say? In January, I saw a plate of star shaped and snowflake shaped snowman cookies on Pinterest. Seriously, I fell in love with a plate of snowman cookies.

To create my Christmas plate of cute cookies,
I made a double batch of holiday sugar cookie dough, a double batch of homemade gingerbread cookie dough, and one batch of old-fashioned royal icing that was somewhere between piping and flow consistency for decorating. Old-fashioned royal icing means I used real egg whites and lemon juice. 

At the end of my baking and decorating, I had 10 plates with 1 dozen cookies on each plate.

Plus, I made stocking stuffer snack bags for our grandchildren, nephews, and nieces. Each stocking stuffer snack bag holds one gingerbread snowman and one sugar cookie snowman.

Sallee B's Go To Recipes
Roll out sugar cookie recipe      Click Here
Gingerbread cookie recipe        Click Here
Royal icing recipe                      Click Here

Note: I did not use molasses in the gingerbread cookie recipe. As a substitute, I used butter pecan pancake syrup. The dough will be a little softer and has to be chilled at least two hours. 

The picture below shows the cookie cutters that I chose. 
Cookie cutter sizes starting at the top left: 
  • 3 inch gingerbread cookie cutter
  • 3 inch five point star cookie cutter
  • 3 inch Christmas tree cookie cutter
  • 1.5 inch snowflake cookie cutter
  • 2.5 inch star cookie cutter
Decorating with Zip Top Bags
I did not use any decorator tips on this baking project. I did fill 1 pastry bag with white royal icing and two snack size, zip top bags with  orange and black royal icing. With a small pair of scissors, I snipped the end of each bag. Make sure you barely snip the corner, or tip, of each bag because if you snip too much off, the royal icing will make a gloppy, wide line. Not telling you how I know this.

Frosting the Sugar Cookie Snowman Stars, Sugar Cookie Snowflakes, and Gingerbread Snowmen
  1. Outline the cookie with white icing
  2. Pipe a few lines onto the cookie, inside the outline, to partially cover it.
  3. With a short, thin bladed knife, carefully spread the icing to cover the cookie inside the outline. Add more icing if necessary I used a dollar store paring knife. 
  4. Let frosted cookies dry until the icing is hard. Royal icing dries FAST.
  5. Use a dot of black icing to form eyes, mouth, and buttons. I used five dots for each snowman's mouth. 
  6. Add an orange dot and line for the nose. Mine are vaguely triangular. I made a dot, then added a small line to shape each nose. 
  7. Let dry until frosting is hard. 
Decorating the Sugar Cookie Stars and Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees
  1. Pour desired sprinkles into a soup bowl
  2. Outline a cookie with royal icing. Add icing lines anyplace you want sprinkles to adhere.
  3. Hold the cookie over the soup bowl and drop sprinkles onto the wet icing.
  4. Repeat until all of the cookies are outlined with sprinkles. 
I spread a thin coat of icing on the top of a few stars and then applied sprinkles onto the cookies. Personally, I like the sprinkle outlined cookies better than the cookies with a solid coating of sprinkles. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

You Rock! Christmas Treat Bag

Last year, my sister Nan sent me a jar of what looked like gravel. Bill and I eyed the jar of rocks trying to figure out why my sis would send me a jar of rocks. 

Finally, I picked up several nuggets of "rock" and smelled them. 
"Chocolate" is what my nose told my brain. Trusting my sense of smell, I popped the "rocks" into my mouth and let them sit in my mouth for a short while. Yep, my nose was right and what my sis had sent me was a jar of  candy coated, chocolate rocks. 

This year, I found a great deal on one pound bags of gluten free, Choco Rocks and decided to make You Rock! Christmas treat bags for the elementary students that I work with. Personally, I think this is a very cute way to send a positive message to students. Candy slogans appeal to the kid in me, too. 
Note: I used 1/3 cup of Choco Rocks for each treat bag and a one pound bag will fill about 7 snack size, treat bags.  

To make your own treat bags you will need the following materials:
  • snack size, zip top bags
  • 3x5 index cards
  • Christmas gift labels
  • bows
  • Choco Rocks
  • red and green permanent markers
  • stapler
To Assemble
  1. Fill out the 3x5 index cards. 
  2. Add a square gift label and bow to each card.
  3. Put 1/3 cup of Choco Rocks into each gift bag and zip closed.
  4. Staple each decorated index card to the top of each zip bag.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sparkling Gooey Lemon Cookies

I am from Missouri, home of the Gooey Butter Cake. 
Of course, it didn't take long for a cookie version of Gooey Butter Cake cookies to arrive on the food scene. Yellow cake mix, butter, and cream cheese make these cookies addictively good. Plus, they only use five ingredients. How sweet is that? 

Sparkling Gooey Lemon Cookies are a variation of the Gooey Butter Cake cookies. The main difference is using a lemon cake mix in place of the yellow cake mix. I LOVE these lemony, rich, and decadent cookies that are drizzled with a tangy sweet lemon frosting and a slight crunch from the sparkling white decorating sugar. As always, these cookies have been husband tested and approved. 

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies  

Preparation Time: 15 minutes to make dough and about 30 minutes to chill the dough

1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup, or 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1.4 teaspoon vanilla
1 medium egg1/4 
1 box lemon cake mix

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with spoon until well blended. 
  • Stir in vanilla and egg. Add cake mix; stir until well combined 
  • Chill dough for about 30 minutes, or until the dough can be handled easily
  • Shape 1 level Tablespoon of dough into a ball; roll in powdered sugar to coat.
  • Repeat above step until your cookie sheet is full
  • Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. I use parchment paper to line my cookie sheets. Then it is simple to transfer an entire tray of hot cookies unto the cooling rack.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. 
  • Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.
Easy Lemon Drizzle Frosting
This is where I LOVE having my cookies on parchment paper. Just slide the sheet of cookie laden parchment paper from the baking sheet to the cooling rack and from the cooling rack to the table top, or work surface. Then, the cookies can be drizzled with frosting and sprinkles while they are still on the parchment paper. This makes for a quick and easy cleanup once the frosting has set.

1 cup of powdered sugar
1-1/2 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, or bottled lemon juice
sparkling white decorating sugar.

  • Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. 
  • Drizzle frosting back and forth across cooled cookies and then use sparkling white decorating sugar. 
Easy isn't it? Homemade happiness on a plate was never so easy! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

SalleeB's Christmas Wreath Cupcakes

Christmas 2015 is almost here!
Frosting, two frosting tips, and sprinkles are all you need to create these gorgeous, holiday cupcakes. Listed below are the seven steps to turning a baked cupcake into a festive, Christmas dessert.
2. Frost with a base coat of butter cream frosting   Click here for frosting recipe
3. With a #32 open star tip, pipe leaf green frosting stars around the outside edge of each cupcake with a #32 open star tip. 
4. Pipe a few frosting stars that slightly overlap the first row to give each wreath a fuller, more natural shape.
5. Carefully sprinkle the white center of each cupcake with sparkling white sugar.

6. Pipe red frosting ornaments with a #7 piping tip.

7. Carefully sprinkle each wreath with your choice of Christmas sprinkles.

Enjoy eating some homemade happiness on a plate! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Baking Cupcakes in a Half Sheet Cake Pan

In October, I told my fellow Christmas committee members I would bring a half sheet cake to the Christmas party. 

Now, flash forward to the Friday before the party in December. 

  • I worked at my pay-the-bills job all day Friday. 
  • I stopped at the grocery store and bought three cake mixes for the half sheet cake. 
  • Upon arriving at home, I started loading Christmas party items into my car. 
  • Making thirty centerpieces for the party tables was my next task. 
  • At midnight, I finished the centerpieces. 
This was my "I got myself into trouble" moment; the fruit of procrastination. 

No way was a half sheet cake going to get made. While tucking myself into bed beside my snoring husband, I decided I would make Christmas wreath cupcakes five hours later. 

At 5:00 A.M. ,the half sheet cake pan was sitting where I had left it at midnight, on the stove top. Somewhere between preheating the oven and placing the aluminum foil cupcake liners on the counter, I had a great idea, or at least I think it is a great idea. I could put the sturdy, aluminum foil liners into the sheet cake pan. No messing with taking cupcakes out of the cupcake pan! Yah!
What a time saver! 
First, I baked two dozen cupcakes in 17 minutes. Next, the cupcakes cooled in the same pan for 20 minutes. While the cupcakes cooled, I whipped up a batch of buttercream frosting. Finally, I began decorating the wreath cupcakes with a base coat of white frosting. Not one cupcake had to be pried out of a cupcake tin, or ended up upside down on a tray! 
As I applied the final touch, sprinkles, the excess was caught in the bottom of the cake pan. Due to the cake pan sides, not one sprinkle ended up on the table top. Wow, another benefit from using the half sheet cake pan!

In my opinion, using the heavier aluminum foil cupcake liners and baking the filled cupcakes in my half sheet cake pan is as easy as making a one dish casserole!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Remodeling and Quick Food

Bathroom remodel in progress. The blue armoire is currently sitting in the kitchen.
Bill is remodeling the bathroom. 
He started about a week ago and has new wall board on the outside wall, replaced the sub floor under the toilet stool, and redid the plumbing to the toilet stool.

My kitchen now has an armoire in it because of the bathroom remodel. In addition to the armoire, boxes of bathroom products, a laundry basket, and the tools of remodeling are ensconced in the kitchen. Now you know why we are eating quick food!

My idea of quick food? 
Pan-seared T-bone steaks, broiled burgers topped with Colby Jack cheese, and breakfast for dinner. Are you with me? Yum!

To see how I cook pan-seared steaks         Click Here    for the recipe

Broiled burgers are fast - I'm talking less than ten minutes of cooking time fast.How does that sound for fast food? A broiled burger with a side salad is way better than the drive-thru window at the fast food burger joint. 

Four Quarter Pound Burgers

  • Put one pound of ground chuck into a quart bowl. 
  • Add two tablespoons of your favorite steak sauce, one egg, and add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Mix until all the ingredients are blended.
  • Measure the burger mix with a half cup measuring cup. 
  • Place the burger balls onto an aluminum foil lined broiler pan. I just use the bottom by it self. A baking tray with sides will work too. 
  • You should have four burger balls to shape into a round patty.

For broiling instructions      Click Here

  • When the burgers are almost done, top with shredded Colby Jack cheese and broil for about 25 seconds more. 

Breakfast for Dinner

  1. Strawberry Bacon Sliders                                   Click Here     for the recipe
  2. No Fuss Brown Butter Blueberry Pancakes      Click Here      for the recipe
  3. Fall Spiced Blueberry Pancakes                        Click Here      for the recipe

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cherry Spice Cake

Cool weather and fall leaves have arrived. Sadly, Bill and I have accepted the fact that summer is over. With the arrival of fall's cool weather, my desire to create fruit and spice laden desserts has returned. 

One pan and five ingredients - cherries, coconut, crushed pineapple, spice cake, and butter. Layered desserts do not get any easier than this recipe.

It is simple enough for kid bakers because you literally just dump the ingredients into a pan.

Bake the cake until the spicy aroma, golden brown topping, and bubbling fruit announce that the cherry spice cake is done. By then, the whole house will be filled with the scent of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Yum! 

  • 1 - 18.5 oz package of ultra-moist, spice cake mix
  • 1- 7 oz. package of flake coconut, sweetened
  • 1 - 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1- 21 oz. can of cherry pie filling
  • 2 sticks of salted butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Set out a 13 x 9 inch baking pan
  • Layer the ingredients into the baking pan in the following order:

 1. undrained crushed pineapple
 2. cherry pie filling
 3. dry, spice cake mix
  •  Pour the melted butter evenly over the spice cake layer.
  • Sprinkle the flaked coconut over the top of the cake.
  • Put the cake into the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
Golden Brown Deliciousness!
  • Let cool 30 minutes before serving warm, or let cool overnight in the refrigerator.
Warm cherry spice cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is simply amazing. However, I prefer eating the cake cold. The buttery,toasted coconut flavor of the topping is more pronounced after the cake cools completely.

Enjoy creating some homemade happiness on a plate!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Too Busy to Cook!

Lately, casseroles and skillet meals have been the star of the Bonham menu. During my recent illness, I did drag myself into the kitchen and make homemade chicken soup with thick, chewy noodles. Sadly, I didn't take any pics - just dumped ingredients into the crock pot and went back to bed. 

Happily, my new position at work is beginning to feel like I might know what I am doing. Been there? Happily, this is my off week for breakfast duty; more time to prepare for the day and upcoming week is appreciated.  

Additionally, I am leading a four week bible study at church. Since I am the leader, I feel obligated to do massive amounts of study. Did I mention I am an overachiever? Yep, once a commitment is made, my focus becomes laser beam narrow. 

Did I forget to mention that I teach the 5th/6th grade Sunday school class too? And, a volunteer for the Christmas committee in our chapter of Christian Motorcyclists Association? And, getting ready for the Sunday School Christmas play?

Food preparation has taken a back seat to other pursuits. I became painfully aware of this when I went to the dollar store Sunday morning and bought four bags of sugar-free, chocolate candy for the Pastor Appreciation Dinner. Lower your eyebrows! I did put each type of candy into an individual glass bowl. Presentation was pretty! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Southwest Cheesy Dogs with Sriracha Mayo

Did you grow up snacking on  pigs in a blanket? My mom fed us this kid fare regularly and we loved it. However, plain biscuit dough wrapped around a hot dog chunk no longer thrills me, but this updated version with chili powder and mozzarella cheese does!


  • 2 - 7.5 oz.tubes of biscuit dough
  • 1- 12 oz. package of hot dogs
  • 3 Tbsp. of Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • Small amount of shredded mozzarella
  • Small amount of chili powder


  • Heat your oven to the temperature called for on the tubes of biscuit dough
  • Cut the hot dogs in half crosswise. You will end up with about 16 hot dog pieces.
  • Open the tubes of biscuit dough.
  • Press each piece of dough into a flat round and wrap it around a hot dog half. 
  • Place the dough wrapped hot dogs into a small baking pan. Note: There will be about 4 extra biscuits. I cooked mine in the pan with the cheesy dogs and sprinkled cheese and chili powder on them. They will be done in about 12-15 minute. 
  • When all of the hot dog pieces are wrapped in dough, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then chili powder.
  • Place in the oven and back until biscuits are golden brown, about 25 - 30 minutes. 
  • While the hot dogs are baking, blend the Sriracha chili sauce and mayo in a serving container.
Let the cheesy dogs cool about 5-8 minutes before dividing them onto a plate. That melted cheese is hot! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SalleeB is Ill and Not Posting This Week

I am recuperating from a respiratory illness and will not be posting this week. Prayers for my recovery would be welcome.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Salted Caramel Praline Grahams

At heart, Bill and I are still just kids who love graham crackers. 
When I saw this recipe on the back of a graham cracker box, I KNEW I would be making Salted Caramel Praline Grahams.

Sweet, salty, crunchy,and caramel richness topped with chopped pecans. A perfect snack for grownup kids.

Be aware that once you eat one of these, you cannot stop eating them!

Five ingredients and twenty minutes is all you need to make this great tasting crunchy snack.

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of packed, brown sugar
  • about 1/2 of a 14 oz. box of cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • coarse or fine sea salt
  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Using a baking sheet with sides, line it with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Lay out a single layer of graham crackers in the prepared baking sheet. You may have to break, or cut some of them to fit. 
  • Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat
  • Stir in the pecans and brown sugar
  • Bring the butter-sugar-pecan mixture to a boil, over medium high heat. 
  • Boil for two minutes
  • Pour the hot mixture over the cinnamon graham cracker and spread it evenly over the crackers.
  • Sprinkle with the desired amount of coarse, or fine sea salt that you want over the crackers. I used fine sea salt and just sprinkled it across the top of the caramel. 
  • Bake for ten minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Let cool completely before cutting and removing from the pan.
  • Store in a container with a tight fitting lid if you have any left after cutting them and eating one, or two, or the whole pan!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sallee's Six - Sweet September Snacks

1. Chocolate Chow Mein 
  • Microwave 1/4 cup each of peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips until melted. 
  • Put 3 cups of chow mein noodles, 3 cups of Chex mix cereal, 1/2 cup peanuts, and 1/2 cup raisins into a large bowl. 
  • Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir lightly until the cereal and noodles are evenly coated. 
  • Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and toss lightly until the powdered sugar is evenly distributed. 
  • Store in an airtight container.
2. Apple Moons
  • Slice an apple into wedges. 
  • Spread each wedge with peanut butter and then press granola on top. 
3. Ricotta Apple Pockets
  • Roll out pizza dough 1/4 inch thick. 
  • Cut the dough into three inch rounds. 
  • Fill with ricotta cheese, diced apple, and a pinch of cinnamon sugar
  • Brush the dough edges with beaten egg, fold the round in half, and press the edges to seal.
  • Poke a hole in the top of each round, then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. 
4. Chex Pumpkin Pie Crunch                            Click Here for the recipe
5. Chex Funfetti Cake Batter Buddies                  Click Here for the recipe
6. Chocolate Coconut Graham Crackers             Click Here for the recipe

Monday, September 21, 2015

SalleeShares: The MasterChef Grand Finale

I am going to tell you a secret. Are you ready? Here it is - I do not watch MasterChef until the final six chefs are left. Yep, I prefer to not watch until the top six chefs are consistently bringing their A game and have found their culinary voice. Season 6 has had an unusually high calibre of home cook competing. 

Due to the outstanding cooking abilities of the home cooks, Season 6 has been exciting. Judges Gordon Ramsey, Graham Elliot, and Christina Tosi have consistently remarked that each home cook is cooking at a professional restaurant level. Wow, fine dining from home cooks is exciting. However, the top 3 were fairly easy to pick out.

The final three contestants - Derek Peltz, Claudia Sandoval, and Stephen Lee - were simply amazing to watch as they cooked for a VIP crowd of thirty in the MasterChef Restaurant. The VIP's were the culinary teams behind Gordon Ramsey, Graham Elliot, and Christina Tosi. Can you imagine cooking for professional sou chefs, pastry chefs, and restaurant managers? With a quarter of a million dollars and a cookbook deal at stake, the three finalists cooked their hearts out. 

Stephen was edged out by Claudia by the smallest seasoning margin. However, Gordon Ramsey told Stephen to get together his food truck business plan and he would personally invest. You know that the cooking level is amazing to have a world famous chef offering to invest in your food truck dream. Maybe Stephen needs to consider going onto the Great American Food Truck Race?

Claudia and Derek faced off in a three course meal consisting of an appetizer, an entree, and dessert. Family members were present at the final cook-off. Claudia asked her mom and grandma to pray for her and I do believe God was involved in Claudia's cooking as she stuck to her Latino cooking heritage and brought it to a fine dining level. Graham Elliot said she was cooking with "la vida loca", an ultimate accolade for a home cook.  

Derek and Claudia consistently presented beautiful plates that contained heavenly, well seasoned, offering to the three judges. Ultimately, Claudia won by the narrowest of margins. 

Congratulations Claudia Sandoval! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Waffle Iron Brownies

Yesterday was a no-baking day. Just because I didn't feel like baking. Ever have a day like that? After our no-bake supper of pasta-n-crab salad, the hubby asked if there was anything for dessert. 

The hubby loves dessert and I didn't want to disappoint him. I looked through the pantry shelves and found a family-size box of brownie mix. Hmmm...I have made cookies with the waffle maker, how about brownies? 

So that is what I did. Following the directions for cake-like brownies, I mixed up a bowl of brownie batter while the waffle iron was heating up. 

Using canola oil pan spray, I sprayed the top and bottom waffle grids. 

How much batter? I decided to use about 1/2 cup of batter. Just enough to make a thick waffle, but not overflow the waffle iron. 

My next decision was cooking time. A waffle takes about five minutes. A brownie needs to be softer than a waffle. I decided to put batter in the waffle maker and check it every minute. Two minutes later, I carefully removed the brownie waffle by quarters.

It is necessary to remove the soft brownie waffle by quarters with a spatula and a fork. However, the soft quarters of the brownie waffle quickly firmed up as they sat on the cooling rack. 

I think I made about five or six waffles this way. Honestly, I forgot to count because I was concentrating on removing the waffle quarters to the cooling rack. Laser focused!

Two waffle quarters,  sandwiched and topped with extra creamy whipped topping, was the dessert I served Bill. However, my mind is already full of all the fillings - toppings I can use to layer with brownie waffle quarters - cherry pie filling, chocolate, vanilla, or banana pudding, and chocolate mousse are some the fillings I want to try next!

Store the waffles in single layers with parchment or waxed paper in between. The moist waffles will stick to each other. I hope I have inspired you to grab your waffle iron and a box of brownie mix!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Princess Party Cupcake

My church has a dedicated lady who sponsors an annual Kindergarten to 4th grade princess party. When I asked her how I could help this year, she asked if I could make pink, frilly, jumbo cupcakes. My reply? You know I said,"Sure, I can do that. How many do you need?" 
Her answer was twenty cupcakes. 

My first step to planning any cupcake is to look at pictures of cupcakes that have been created by other bakers.  In about 20 minutes, I knew exactly how I wanted the princess cupcakes to look. 

Pink,ruffled, ombre layers, sparkling with clear sanding sugar, and topped with a white fondant crown sitting in a silver foil liner. 

Yes, that was my vision for the perfect Princess Party Cupcake. 

The Day Before Baking
Make white fondant crowns and let them air dry on parchment paper. 
 Click Here for the pictorial directions for making the crowns over at Cuppycakes & more. 

Creating Princess Cupcakes Step 1 -  Bake 24 jumbo cupcakes using 2 boxes of Party Rainbow Chip cake mix. Follow the package directions for mixing and baking temperature. Bake for about 18 minutes.
Step 2 -  While the cupcakes are cooling, make butter cream frosting and tint one third dark pink. Put the dark pink frosting into a piping bag that has been fitted with a Wilton #125 petal tip. 
Click Here for my Silky Smooth Butter Cream Frosting Recipe
Step 3 - Place a cooled cupcake onto a lazy susan and pipe a ruffle around the outside edge of each cupcake. 
Note: I tried holding and turning a cupcake while piping on the first ruffle. It was difficult to achieve a uniform ruffle. The difference between the first, hand-held ruffle and the second, lazy susan ruffle in the picture below is noticeable. 
Step 4 - Squeeze the unused dark pink frosting from the pastry bag into a small bowl. 
Add additional white frosting and stir. I do not measure the white frosting when I do this. I just add white frosting and stir until I have a paler pink that I am happy with. 
Load the same pastry bag with the paler pink frosting. 
Before piping the second ruffle, squeeze the pastry bag and clear the remaining dark pink frosting from the piping tip. Repeat step 3 with all of the cupcakes. 
NOTE: You will achieve a stripe effect on your second ruffle from using the same pastry bag.

Repeat Step 4 for your third ruffle. I used the same pale pink for the third and fourth ruffles. Apply sanding sugar to each cupcake after piping the third and fourth ruffles. 

Step 5 - Top each cupcake with a white fondant crown.

For how I made the crowns, Click Here for the pictorial over at Cuppycakes & more. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

SalleeShares: Using Petal Tips for First Time

 Butter cream drop flowers and star tip roses have been my go-to decorating technique. 
However, petal tips intrigue me and I decided to expand my decorating skills. After watching a Global Sugar Art video on YouTube, I decided to attempt decorating cupcakes using Wilton's #104 and #125 petal tips. 

Sallee's Six Steps
1. Cake mix cupcakes - 2 dozen from a box. I prepared the cupcakes following the package directions.
2. Make a large batch of Sallee's Silky Smooth Butter Cream Frosting while the cupcakes are baking . Click Here for the recipe.
3. Apply a base coat of butter cream frosting to the top of each cupcake, being careful to create a smooth, level top.
4. I used the #104 tip to create a green ruffle effect around the outer edge of each cupcake.
5. Refrigerate the cupcakes for about 15 minutes to let the green frosting firm up.
6. Pipe petals onto 12 cupcakes. Using a Wilton #2D tip, I made teal hydrangeas in the center of the other 12 cupcakes
 Note: I have hot hands, which means I am putting my frosting bags and cupcakes into the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes after each step.

Watch the Global Sugar Art video, too!  Click Here

List of the Frosting Tips

  • Wilton #104 - green ruffled border
  • Wilton #125 - pink flower
  • Wilton # 2D - blue hydrangeas
  • #3 piping tip - yellow dots for flower centers

Monday, August 24, 2015

Butter Cream Flower Birthday Cake with Cupcakes

My newest cake creation!  You can make a cake like this too! All you need are two boxes of cake mix, white and colored butter cream frosting, five decorating tips, and some pastry bags. I am a self-taught decorator. I watch video tutorials and then try out the techniques. 

These two-tone hydrangeas make me particularly happy. I am a fan of Rosie Cake-Diva on YouTube and followed her tutorial to create the hydrangea flowers on the cake and cupcakes. Click Here for her tutorial.

The piped lettering is with a Wilton #5 tip.
Tip: Pipe on your lettering before you start adding decorations.Mistakes are much easier to repair.  
Matching cupcakes created with a #67 leaf tip, #177 drop flower tip, and a Wilton 2D tip.
An upside down look at flowers decorating the cake top!
Wilton gel coloring in leaf green, sky blue, and violet
Leaves - #67 leaf tip
Flower and flower center -  #177 drop flower tip
Wilton gel coloring in leaf green and violet; McCormick liquid yellow food coloring
Leaves - #67 leaf tip
Flowers -  Wilton #224 drop flower tip
Flower center - Wilton #5 tip
Wilton gel coloring in pink and burgundy
Leaves - #67 leaf tip
Hydrangea - Wilton 2D tip
Corner detail
Blue border was made with the #177 drop flower tip. 

The Cake and Cupcakes

I used two white cake mixes for the 13 x 9 x 2 inch cake and 2 dozen cupcakes. I followed the package directions for mixing,baking,and cooling. However, I use whole eggs, not egg whites.

Then, I put the cupcakes and cake into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to get nice and cold before frosting.
Frosting the Cake
  • Frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting. This is called a crumb coat. 
  • Return the cake to the refrigerator to firm up the frosting. 
  • After the crumb coat is firmed up and hardened, Frost the cake top and sides.
  •  Again, return the cake to the refrigerator until the frosting has formed a "crust", or feels firm to a light touch. 
  • Your cake is now ready to have the lettering piped on.
  • Pipe on your flowers.
Frosting the Cupcakes
  • I did not use a base coat of frosting on the cool cupcakes.
  • I piped on the green garland first, then piped the flowers

Silky Smooth Ivory Butter Cream Frosting

Yield: frosting for one 13 x 9 x 2 inch cake and 2 dozen cupcakes.

Update 2/25/2016  Butter prices have almost doubled in the last year, $2.25 to $4.15. This recipe will work well if you use 1 cup of shortening and 1 stick of salted butter. 

2 sticks of salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup of water
2 lb. bag of confectioners sugar

  • Place room temp. butter and vegetable shortening into a mixing bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer on low speed, cream the butter and vegetable shortening together for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add about 1/4 of the confectioners sugar and the vanilla extract.
  • Beat with the mixer on low speed until well blended.
  • Add another 1/3 of the remaining confectioners sugar and continue to mix at low speed until the frosting is well blended.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and half of the remaining confectioners sugar.
  • Beat until well blended.
  • Add remaining confectioners sugar.
  • Continue to mix with the electric mixer on low speed.
  • If coloring the frosting, add food coloring now.
  • Blend food coloring into the frosting until the desired color is achieved.
Cake Frosting
  • Put 2 cups of butter cream frosting into a bowl.
  • Add 1 tsp of water. 
  • Stir until well blended
You now you have cake frosting! How easy is that? 

Small Batch Variation
 Reduce ingredients by half:
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup of vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of water
1 lb. of confectioners sugar

Follow the same directions as the large batch recipe.