Author Archives: Carrie

Beach Cookies

  Crab Feed cookies! I try to do something different every year. Here are some past years’ cookies:

Crab Claw Cookies – 2014

Sea Creature Cookies – 2013

Under the Sea Cookies – 2012

This year I fell in love with some beach cookies I saw on Pinterest. I combined a few different ideas to make these. I love how they turned out!

I used my outline buttercream and squeezed some random squiggles on the beach. 

Then using a flat tipped paint brush (new or food only of course), dabbed the frosting all around to create a textured surface. 

   
For the waves a used a “brush embroidery” technique I’ve been wanting to try. Typically this is done with royal icing so I wasn’t sure it would work with my buttercream, but it worked great! 

Piped a small right zigzag across the edge of the beach, then using another flat tipped paint brush, brushed away half of the line of frosting. This created a perfect lapping wave look!

 

Once the beach was dry, I piped a tiny little crab on each one. They might look pinchy but I think they are just too cute!!
   
These might be my favorite crab feed cookies to date!

  

   

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2016 Monthly Challenge: Funnel Cakes

I don’t make New Years resolutions. Not because I don’t keep them, I just believe that if you want to make a change it should happen when you want it to happen!

That being said, I’ve set myself a goal for 2016. Which is kind of like a resolution I guess. I have had so many new “techniques” I’ve wanted to try but never have. Some because I just don’t typically have those ingredients. Some because they seem too hard or scary. 😜 But since life is crazy with 2 little ones, I’ve challenged myself to do only 1 a month. 

I realized Friday that January was quickly coming to an end and immediately started brainstorming on what I could make that night without a trip to the store. 

I picked Funnel Cakes! I very rarely get them since they’re only available at fairs or amusement parks. I’d never even seen a homemade funnel cake recipe, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard right?

Searching Pinterest I quickly found a few and they were more or less all the same. I ended up going with this recipe because I liked her technique with the cookie cutter. So here we go!

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Funnel Cakes – adapted from here

makes about 15 4.5″ cakes

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 1/3 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cup flour

Oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Directions:

1. Set up your fry station. Pour about 1/2 inch of oil into a pan. Place a brown paper bag on a cookie sheet next to the stove. Have a plate handy to hold the cookie cutter when not in use. Clip a thermometer onto the pan with the tip in the oil (make sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan). 

2. Beat egg, milk, and vanilla. With mixer running, add salt, baking powder, then powdered sugar. Slowly add flour last. 
3. Scrape the bowl then pour mixture into a squeeze bottle. I used one like this and had to fill 3 times total. I got 5 cakes out of each full bottle. 

4. When the oil reaches 350* it’s time to go! Use the tongs to place the cookie cutter in the center of the pan. 

  
5. Squeeze the batter into the center of the cutter. If you make a circle first then fill it in in a squiggly/crisscross pattern it will stay together better. Keep going until there’s a good amount of batter coverage. (Took me a few times to get it right.)

  
6. Once the batter is solid you can remove the cookie cutter and let it float. Flip it and let the other side get golden brown, then remove from the oil to the brown paper bag to drain.   

   
  
  
The entire cooking process takes about 1-2 minutes. It’s very fast. That’s why you want to have everything set up ahead of time, because if you have to stop to do anything, the cake will burn. 

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If you want to top the funnel cakes in powdered sugar it has to be done right away or the powdered sugar won’t stick. 

  
You can also top with chocolate syrup, fruit, or ice cream!

 

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Raspberry Champagne Cupcakes

Champagne is for celebrations. With these cupcakes I’m celebrating ME!

(I made these cupcakes for my 3 year work-iversary!)

I followed this recipe by Courtney at Pizzazzerie.

I used this amazing raspberry champagne I bought a while back from a local winery. I’d been saving it for something special and this was perfect!

I also added a little pink food coloring to give them more of a raspberry-feel.

These were SO yummy! You can definitely taste the champagne in the frosting, but it was also in the cupcake itself. Both the cupcake and the frosting were so light and fluffy.

If you have something special to celebrate, or if you just want to celebrate nothing at all – make some champagne cupcakes! Either way they will brighten your day. :)

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Easy Baseball Cookies

Recently I switched up my icing recipe. (I use this recipe now which happens to be vegan.)

It dries smoother and slightly harder than my previous recipe, without being too crunchy or losing any flavor.

When making these baseball cookies for a friend’s son’s birthday, I decided to try using edible markers – something I couldn’t really do with my old icing. It worked PERFECTLY!

I used a round cookie cutter to get the perfect curve for the stitching…

…and marked the cutter where it met the edge of the cookie. This way the curve was the same size on every single cookie.   Then I just added the stitching, making sure each curve had the same number of stitches. The spacing doesn’t even need to be perfect for the balls to all look great!

I also made some bats to go along with the baseballs.

These were SO easy and stunning and took no time at all!  I will definitely use the markers again for balls instead of piping all of those lines.
My mind is racing with everything else I can do with the markers now!

**Not that you can tell from the pictures, but these cookies are actually gluten free and vegan! I used this recipe for the cookies and these recipes for the buttercream and icing. I just substituted rice flour and rice milk, and used all vanilla extract instead of using almond.

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Life Lately

I’ve been quite absent from my poor little blog.

These boys keep me so busy!

    
   
I have some fun things to share and others coming soon, so hopefully I can start posting more frequently!

In the meantime you can stay more up-to-date with me on Instagram!

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Pun Cookies

So this one time, I baked number 2 cookies for a 3 year old. Luckily I realized before I finished decorating them. Unluckily there wasn’t enough time for me to start over and make 3s. (I owe that mama big time!!)

No one wants a wasted cookie. So I ended up filling them in and adorning with sprinkles and puns so that I could take them to work to be eaten. 

   
    
    
    
    
 

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Peanut Butter Rice Krsipie Roll

 A coworker requested peanut butter krispie treats. With chocolate. I played with the idea before when I made these, but I wanted to do it in a fun different way. 

I followed the recipe on the cereal box (1/4 cup butter, 1 bag mini mallows, 6 cups cereal), and added 1 cup of creamy peanut butter to the pot with the butter and mallows. 

  
Once it was all melted I poured it on top of the cereal and stirred it all up. It was actually easier to stir than normal because of all that peanut butter. 

 I pressed it into a sheet pan with greased up hands, then topped it with chocolate chips. 
I put the pan under the broiler for maaaybe like a minute or 2. Just enough to soften the chocolate.   

Then I spread the chocolate with a spreader…

 
Definitely doesn’t need to be perfect here. 

   
Cuz then I rolled it up into a log!

 
Carter likes to watch in the kitchen from atop his kitchen stool my dad built him. 

   
Once I had it all rolled up I wrapped it in wax paper so that it would stay together, and let it cool/harden overnight. 

 
The next morning I sliced it up! 

   
Gorgeousness golden peanut buttery krispies with a perfect chocolate swirl. 

 
I brought these to work with me and they were a hit!

  
These are seriously so good. Personally it was a tad to much chocolate for me, but everyone else disagreed and said they were perfect!

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Dia de Los Muertos Cookies

I was recently asked to make some Day of the Dead skulls for a wedding. I’ve been wanting to try making them for a long time so I was super stoked for the opportunity and creative freedom given to me!

I made a ton of colors of buttercream to decorate the tops of the cookies. 

  

The base cookie I just wanted to be white. My new vanilla extract was a little too dark and left them very “off white” even after adding white food coloring. It actually looked more like real bone so it worked out!

To make the cookies I used my flip flop cutter. Which, interestingly, I have never actually made flip flops with. I did however bend it into these beer pong cups a long time ago. 😜 I just had my husband re-bend and rework the cutter until it was a perfect skull. 

I wanted these to all have completely unique and different looks to them, but they also needed to be uniform in their “skullness.” So I created a template and marked the mouth, nose, and eyes with a poker. It just left tiny holes that would be hidden once covered with frosting. 

  

I had so much fun making these. I googled sugar skulls, dis de los muertos, and everything like it tso that I could pull ideas from all over. I even had a Fancy Flours catalog on hand with a nice selection to be inspired by. 

Here are just a few of the finished skulls:

  

And here they all together on the tray:

  

I also did some monogram cookies. The event called for more cookies than I knew I could handle if they were all skulls so I did half of them like this monogram to pair well with the rest of the cookies. 

I just did these freehand based on a sketch I did on paper. 

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I love how they look together and I hope the couple enjoyed them!

 

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StitchFix (Post Baby #2)

Dang it StitchFix, why do you have to be so good?! I truely wanted to keep everything in this box! Unfortunately I couldn’t afford it all so I had a tough decision to make!

   

These jeans were comfy! Just the right amount of stretch to hug me well. Especially surprising since I received this box less than 2 months after having a baby! I didn’t keep these because I just didn’t really feel like I needed another pair of jeans at this time. 

  

I want to cry looking at this sweater. I loved it so much, but didn’t keep it. Tough decisions I tell you. It was warm and soft, but cute enough I could’ve worn it to work. The front was wrap style so I seriously wanted to just cuddle into it like a blanket. 

As you can see, taking these pictures can be difficult with a toddler…

  

My husband said this shirt wasn’t “me.” It was super soft fabric and so comfy. Hides the tummy well too. I liked it but he didn’t. Husband’s opinions matter. Sometimes. I sent it back. 

  

I loooove this top. The detail on the top is amazing. Perfect for work or a night out or anything. And black pairs with everything. I wanted to cry a little as I packed it back into the bag. It wasn’t as practical as the next piece and I could only keep 1. *tear*  

 

This is the top I decided to keep. It looks plain, but that’s one of the reasons I kept it. Practical. Soft and stretchy and long. Long enough for leggings. And black goes with everything! Also, it’s about to be fall and the longer sleeves will allow me to wear it for longer. 

As always, loved my fix!

Have you tried StitchFix yet?! You totally should!

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Caramel Brownies

Dude guys. I made caramel. If you haven’t seen my caramel post, check it out here

So then I made some brownies. Just boxed brownies cuz I was in a hurry. Then I dumped a bunch of that caramel into the batter. Mixed it up well, then poured it into these cute little baking cups. I bought these a while back and never got a chance to use them. I thought they were perfect for individual sized brownies!

Since the caramel was IN the brownie batter and they were not standard sized, I had no idea how much to fill them or how long to cook them so I kind of had to just wing it. 

I went about 1/2 way up, and baked at 325 for 38 minutes (I started at 30 and checked them, then added a little time as necessary). When the toothpick came out clean I pulled them out to cool. I definitely didn’t want to over bake them and dry them out.   
  

Gorgeous. 

  

Topped each with a little dollop of vanilla ice cream and a dribble of warm caramel… 

 
Perfection. 

I made these for a wine tasting party we had. They paired nicely and they were perfect little proportions!

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