Monday, June 27, 2016

Graduation Cake for a Future Doctor!

My friend's daughter got accepted into medical school! She's going to be an Ob-Gyn, so my friend asked for a themed graduation cake.

I was fighting humidity again...I'm going to stop doing graduation cakes because I can't deal with the melting fondant. :-(

Anyhoo, strawberry cake with hand-sculpted fondant decorations.

That's all for now.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

OK, people. I would just like to say that I recently found a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and these cookies are the real deal.

I didn't have particularly high hopes. I didn't even take any pictures of the process. I mean, a chocolate chip cookie is a chocolate chip cookie, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

I have made these approximately 8 times since discovering them on Smitten Kitchen last month. (And yet, somehow, I still only have the one photo.)

Anyhoo, I tinkered with the recipe a little bit, just because that's who I am these days. The one thing I need to stress is that you should use a chocolate bar, cut into chunks. Chocolate chips work, but the cookies are better with chunks. So far I've used Ghiradelli, Hershey Special Dark, and a Spanish baking bar I received from a friend. If I could easily get the Spanish chocolate, I would use it again, but since I can't, I've been using the Hershey bar. It's bigger than the other and cheaper. And just as good.

I made these with gluten-free flour once, too; I added a scant half teaspoon of xanthan gum. They were delightful. Nobody could tell they were gluten-free.

And you don't have to use the raw sugar, but it gives the cookies a little something extra.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs raw sugar
165 grams dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/2 tsp sea salt
220 grams all-purpose flour
8 oz chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 360 F. (Yes, that says 360. It is not a typo.)

Mix butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the flour, salt and soda in a small bowl. Set aside.

Add the egg to the butter and sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the vanilla. Pour in the flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the chocolate chunks by hand.

Scoop cookies by 1 1/2 Tbs scoops onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 - 14 minutes. Makes about 24 cookies.

Well, that's all for now.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Teal, Yellow, and Gray Baby Shower Cookies

A friend had a baby shower and I got to bring cookies and cupcakes! We were very excited for her, as this baby has been a long time coming.

Unfortunately, I got ZERO good photos of the cookies. And I mean ZERO-er than normal.

Made some onesies...

Some bottles, rattles and bibs...

 A plaque or two...

And then I also made some cupcakes! I used my usual go-to chocolate cake, plus some white to go with them. Half the chocolate cupcakes were filled with dulce du leche (the ones with the dollops on top) and half of the white cupcakes were filled with lemon curd (also with the dollops on top). They were pretty darn tasty. Again, not a good photo, but you get the idea. They're cupcakes. :-)

The little one arrived a few weeks ago and mom and dad couldn't be happier!

Well, that's all for now.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Honda Odyssey Cookies

So this was kind of weird. A friend of my mom's asked me to make some Honda Odyssey cookies for her. Basically she was looking for an excuse to have a celebration, and she decided to throw her minivan a birthday party.

So, I present to you a 2004 Honda Odyssey in royal icing! On a candy corn cookie!

I ended up doing royal icing transfers for the vans. They weren't great, but they were recognizable, at least. And I'm happy to say that after about 30 RI transfers, I can spot an Odyssey from 100 paces. Or more.

Well, that's all for now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Valentine Love Birds

The girl saw the Valentine Love Birds floating around the interwebs and decided she needed them for her class Valentine's Day party. (Yes, I do realize it's almost summer.)

Her teacher is (was) gluten-free, so I made them with gluten-free ingredients. They tasted pretty good. And they were cute.

I kept asking the girl if she wanted the birds to be pink and blue, instead of the original white and blue, but she insisted they be exactly like the photos. I don't know if I got them exactly, but they're pretty close. And I got to use my new(ish) petal dust palette on the cheeks.

Well, that's all for now.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mother's Day Flower Cookies

Now that it's almost Father's Day, it seems like a good time to post some Mother's Day cookies.

Lemon cookies with lemon royal icing. Three dozen, if memory serves, in some fun spring colors.

Well, that's all for now. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Penguin on an Angry Polar Bear Birthday Cake

The boy is mildly obsessed with penguins, what can I say? About half the time he wants a penguin on his birthday cake. And since he's my boy, I humor him.

So we saw the penguin cake on Pinterest and copied it, only he wanted it blue instead of black. I still don't know why. Then he couldn't think of anything to put on the bottom cake. And the party was getting close. So I suggested an angry polar bear face. He agreed, although he had his doubts, and I think it came out ok. It was definitely unique!

We had a combined party for both kids this year and the girl wanted a cat cake. First she wanted a cheetah, because she loves cheetahs, but then she saw a cat cake on Pinterest (I know, I know) and changed her mind. Which was good for me because it was the easiest cake ever.

And here they are together:

Not a bad day's work if I do say so myself. The penguin was coconut cake, the polar bear was lemon chiffon (it was amazing, I'll post the recipe sometime), and the cat was eggless chocolate cake. And it was actually very good. It's an old depression-era recipe. I'll post that one sometime, too, in case you know a vegan or someone with an egg allergy that still wants to have cake.

Well, that's all for now.