Monthly Archives: March 2012

Rio (Parrot) Birthday

For a little guy’s 2nd birthday, the theme was Rio the movie. I’ve never seen it, but it’s about a blue parrot. Looks pretty cute, I need to add it to my Netflix queue.

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I made Rio cookies, along with 2’s on little circles, and packaged them up similar to the bridges I did recently.

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I also made parrot colored cupcakes… I used the same technique for these as the rainbow cupcakes I made here and here.

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Funfetti Waffles

I saw these a long time ago. Sounds all good and everything, but I am not so much a fan of pancakes.

Now waffles, I love. Ask anyone who knows me well. I even make them when we’re up camping every summer.

On a whim I decided to give funfetti a try in my waffles.

I don’t do from scratch. Surprise, surprise…

Funfetti Waffles – adapted from Bisquick

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2 cups Bisquick mix

1 1/3 cups milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 egg

1/2 cup funfetti dry cake mix

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1. Mix all ingredients together except funfetti mix. Make sure batter is well mixed then add funfetti mix and stir only until combined.

2. Cook waffles as usual. Top with butter and syrup as usual. Eat, as usual.

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These have just a slight cake flavor, but not overpowering and not too too sweet. I will definitely be making these again!

Brother approved.

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Lemonade Cupcakes

These babies are GOOD. Personally I think the best cupcakes I have ever made.

I like lemon. I love lemonade. It’s pretty standard that I order it wherever I go.

I saw these cute little mini cakes on Kristan’s [hilarious] blog Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. I knew lemonade was going to be somewhere in my near future.

I decided to go regular lemonade on this, because it’s my favorite. And sometimes you don’t want to mess with a good thing.

Lemonade Cupcakes adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

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1 box vanilla or white cake mix (I like to use Betty Crocker. She’s my gal.)

1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

3 eggs

1/3 cup water

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Mix 1 cup of the lemonade concentrate with the rest of the ingredients. 30 seconds on slow, scrape the bowl, then 2 minutes on medium.

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2. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 the way.

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3. Let batter sit in cupcake liners for about 10 minutes undisturbed. I always do this now when I make cupcakes. The tops bake more evenly (instead of looking like giant nipples when they come out of the oven.)

4. Bake at 350* for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Let cool completely before frosting.

Lemonade Frosting – adapted from my own buttercream recipe

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1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened or cut up into small pieces

1 lb powdered sugar

1 tbsp meringue powder

2 tbsp lemonade concentrate (you have plenty leftover from above)

5 tsp milk

1. Mix all ingredients together. It will be thick and weird at first, but trust me just keep mixing. Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated (we don’t want a snowstorm here) turn the mixer up to medium/high. It will get smooth.

2. Pipe on, or spread it on – it doesn’t matter. Whatever is faster for you so that you can pop one in your mouth as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to share!!!

The cupcakes below are the same recipe, but I colored the frostings for my cake decorating class.

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Red Velvet Cake Balls

We’re back with my BabyCakes! These are what I refer to as cake balls, not to be confused with cake pops.

Here are the first ones I made a while back… along with some tips and some mistakes. (Number one tip being use a piping bag/zip top bag to fill the reservoirs.)

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These were for a 15 year old’s birthday party, and the request was for red velvet. My manual that came with the babycakes had a recipe for red velvet, so I used that.

(I have never made, or even EATEN red velvet until I made these. Not bad, not bad… maybe that’s why the world is currently obsessed?)

The recipe made about 40 cake balls.

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For the icing, I wasn’t sure what to use. For the lemon cake balls, I used my regular cookie icing. It was light and soft, and perfectly complimented the lemon.

For these, I wanted something heavier/thicker, but still somewhat soft. (As opposed to hard chocolate shell or something like that. In the end I had a combination of the two. I mixed together candy melts with a tiny bit of milk, then melted it in the microwave. The mixture was thin, so I added a bit of powdered sugar to make it more like icing. It was actually easier to dip these balls into than regular candy melts.

I don’t know exact measurements, but I would say I used about 1/4 cup candy melts and a teaspoon or so of milk. I melted for 20 seconds, then stirred until it was completely combined. I added about a spoonful of powdered sugar, but more can be added to get a good consistency. Too thin, add powdered sugar… too thick, add a few drops of milk. Pretty sure you can’t really screw this up.

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The end result was colored (from the candy melts – no food coloring needed), vanilla flavored, dried well so that they could be handled, and was soft to bite into. Like a frosting shell. I will definitely be making this again for cake balls!

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Here is the inside! Pure fluffy cake…

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psst! – Kendra, see my little clippy on the piping bag up there? These things are heaven. Don’t leak and easy peezy to get on and off.

 

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My 100th Post!

This is my 100th post!

I want to share  a few things I learned along this journey so far… and I am still learning, that’s for sure…

The first few relate just to cookies, because that is where I have evolved the most.

1. Flooding. When I started decorating cookies (like when I was a kid doing it with my mom), we used paint brushes to paint on the icing. Then I discovered these cool little squeeze bottles that Pampered Chef sold (I am a Pampered Chef snob btw) and it made my life so much easier! I would squeeze the icing onto the cookie, then spread it around with a little cheese spreader knife. After covering the cookie, I would add details and outline the cookie with buttercream in a piping bag. Then one day I discovered this post. Pretty much by accident. It changed my life. The Easter cookies above are from the first time I tried outlining then flooding with icing. I have done it on every cookie ever since.

2. Cookies and Cookie Dough can be frozen. This changed my life too. I now make double batches of cookie dough, and when I know I won’t be using it all right away, it goes straight into the freezer. If I have a lot of cookies, or if I need to make them far in advance, I bake them and then freeze them. They don’t even need to thaw before I start decorating, they’re just good to go right away.

 

3. Have a plan before getting started. (Which also goes along with the next one.) This is important when it comes to a couple things. One is color. Reds, whites, and blacks tend to bleed. You have to plan out which colors you do in which order and be able to let certain things set up so that your colors don’t bleed together. The second thing planning helps with is “background.” Like in the lingerie cookies above. I had to decide what kind of design I was going to do before I knew if I could add wet-on-wet dots to the cookies first or not.

4. Stick to just a few designs. I used to do each and every cookie different. Spontaneous. (Like the Easter ones above.) Now I usually plan every detail out and have all the same design, or just a few simple designs. Like the cars above that I made 300 of. It saves time and frustration. I always tease one of my best friends because we were decorating cookies one night and we got so tired she finally threw everything aside and said “That’s it! I can’t decorate another cookie!” Granted, I had baked WAY too many, but it was just hilarious to me. Point is, it’s exhausting trying to think of that many different designs and ideas one right after another. A few simple designs all planned out, and it goes faster and is more relaxing.

        

5. You don’t need a special cookie cutter for everything. Although it can be fun, cookie cutters can add up! Not to mention the space they take up. The best cutter I ever purchased was my 4″ comfort grip Wilton circle. I use that baby for everything. Above are just a few examples. I always have a dozen circles in my freezer ready to go in case of an emergency.

6. You don’t have to be a great photographer to get great photos. Want to know the secret to a great photo? Light! Okay so it’s not really a secret.. but it took me a while to get there. I work a full-time day job, so most of what I do is done in the evenings after work… which means no natural light. My old house had terrible light in the kitchen. My new place has better light in the kitchen, but the dining room is kind of dark. I take most of my photos in my kitchen if it’s night time. I try to take photos during the day (like on weekends) whenever I can. Above is what I consider one of my best photos. Oh and no need to buy a fancy camera either – I take all of my photos with my iPhone 4S. It has a great camera.

7. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Okay so I am still working on this one. Most people never see the flaws that I do on my cookies and other treats. A cookie decorator would, but that’s okay because they know what it’s like to start from nothing and learn as you go, and they know what it’s like to be self-conscious about a cookie flaw. The people that don’t decorate cookies, which is most of the population, only see perfection. So sometimes you just have to let the little stuff go. It’s going to just be eaten anyway.

8. Google is your friend. When someone tells me their theme or event and I don’t know what that is or I can’t think of any ideas, I go to google. Even if I have an idea but am just unsure, google is there for you. That’s not to say that I copy what other have done, but I can see where their minds were and what they were going for, and it usually gives me my own ideas. A perfect example are the over-the-hill cookies above. I had no idea what kind of cookie to do, but when I did a google search I saw all kinds of tombstones. Perfect! I came up with my design and a couple funny sayings and voila! Perfect over-the-hill cookies.

9. It’s okay to say “no.” I am still having a hard time with this one. Someone asks me to make something, and I have a hard time saying no, so I take on way too much. I have learned that I need to pace myself and not take on too much at one time. I get caught up thinking that they’re all the same, or it’s an easy design so I can handle it… Along with that I am learning to take my time. I have jillions of ideas, but only so much time to try them out. One day at a time…

10. It’s okay to do things your own way! This one is especially true for me. Most decorators use Royal Icing. The minority uses Glaze. I don’t use either one. I break the rules of icing and frosting and I do what works for me. I get inspired by other decorators’ skills, but at the end of the day, I simply go my own route with my own way of decorating. Very soon I will be doing a step-by-step of how I like to do things. Mostly because I know I’m weird. But also because it is delicious and I wish you all could try my cookies! What I do works for me and I don’t plan on changing!

My little blog is just that – little. I’m just getting started and am nowhere near any of the “big dogs,” but I am still proud of where I am nonetheless.

By far my most popular post is Unicorn Poop. Maybe it’s the name, maybe it’s the bright colors.. I don’t know, but I like it!

Thanks to everyone who follows and keeps me motivated to keep on going and learning and creating!

If you’re a new follower, I would love to hear from you! I recently updated my facebook page, so if you aren’t with me on there, check it out! I am also on Instagram (cookiecarrie) and Twitter (@cookiecarrie). ❤

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Cake Decorating 101

I am taking a cake decorating class! I don’t know why I waited so long to do it. Thank you Kendra at The Royal Cookie for the motivation to sign up!

My girlfriend’s birthday was last week and I was SOO busy I was not able to make her something. My first cake decorating class cake is for her!

(Sorry there are some steps missing here, I was busy learning and not taking enough pics. I will take more next time!)

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cakes leveled…

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quick frost…

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smoothed out the frosting (forgot to take a pic)… then applied a piping gel pattern transfer…

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decorated my design and added her name…

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and did a quick star border around the base!

More to come as I attend more classes!

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So many cookies…

I have been busy busy making sugar cookies lately. Like really busy.

Just thought I would share some pics rather than go into tons of detail about everything… enjoy!

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Above are pictures of bridges and hard hats I made. I work at a bridge building company and some boy scouts came to visit to learn about engineering. These were their take-home treats! The hard hats are trimmed baseball hat cookies.

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Above are some monkeys I did for a little boy’s first birthday party. Brown food coloring and I are not friends. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

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The circles and onesies were for a baby shower. Too many boys I tell ya, we need some girls!

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The California’s were for my husband to take to work. He works for a company that makes camping and tour reservations for national and state parks. California parks just opened yesterday for reservations so he thought these would be a good addition to their potluck. He also works as an intern for the state of CA a couple days a week, so he brought a couple in for his coworkers there.

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These were for a surprise “baby is coming soon” party we had for a male coworker. They don’t know the sex yet and s/he is due in March, so we went with green!

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Made these bunco cookies for my grandma. The little guys are so fun!

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These cookies were for Cody’s Catholic confirmation. The silver crosses were iced first, sprayed with Wilton luster spray, then the rest of the cookie was iced.. Very carefully, haha.

There will be more cookies and other treats coming soon…

PS. I have been so busy that I didn’t have time to do St. Patty’s Day cookies. 😦

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Twitter

At the (very annoying) urging of a coworker, I have joined Twitter.

Apparently I was not “cool” or “with the times” because I didn’t have an account.

I have held out for so long because I just don’t see the point. With facebook, instagram, and pinterest, I already feel like I know what’s going on all the time. Why do I need another form of social media?

Someone please explain to me please.

If you also tweet, feel free to follow me! @cookiecarrie

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The Lorax Cookies (and Roundup!)

Ever since the first commercial I saw for the Lorax, I have been BEYOND excited for the release! My husband agreed (after much persuasion) to take me to see it on opening night (he wasn’t very excited about that). It ended up being a very late showing and I was too tired, so we waited until Sunday instead. It did not disappoint!

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These cookies took me a while to get to because I was waiting on my mustache cookie cutter to come in the mail. Then I was busy. Like really busy. So (finally) here are my Lorax decorated cookies!

I baked the mustaches separate and iced both cookies. I set the mustache in place on the circle so that I could mark the eye placement with toothpicks. I piped the eyes, then glued the mustache on with some frosting. Then I realized his eyes were way too small so I piped them bigger.

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To finish it off I colored the eyes with food color markers, added eyelids and a nose, and piped on the big bushy eyebrows!

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So many others have joined in the Lorax treat fun, so I wanted to do a little Lorax roundup of the things I have seen out there. Some of these ladies are SERIOUSLY talented, so if you have time you should check out their blogs/websites!

Truffula Tree Push Pops by Emily of So Domesticated. How cute are these?!

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie by Ginny’s Cookies. Looks delicious!

Lorax Cupcakes by Hoosier Homemade. Love the bar-ba-loots!

Marshmallows by Meaghan of The Decorated Cookie. Have you ever tried drawing on a squishy marshmallow? It’s not easy! Meaghan can work these mallows like it’s nothin’. Love the 3 tiered trees!

Lorax Sugar Cookies (book version) by Paula of Vanilla Bean Baker. Look how perfect these are!

Lorax Decorated Cookies (movie poster version) by Marian of Sweetopia. I love the straws for the trees, it’s absolutely perfect! (and perfectly fluffy!)

Truffula Tree Decorated Cookies by Ellie’s Bites Decorated Cookies. So simple yet so perfect!

Lorax Cake Pops by Angie of Bakerella. I almost cried when I saw these. They are so perfect and I love them all so much! Wish I could handle a cake pop like this brilliant woman!

Truffula Tree Cupcakes by Courtney of Pizzazzerie. Perfection! She also has lots of fun party ideas whether for Dr. Seuss or anything else!

Thank you to everyone who let me link up their Lorax treats and share their pictures!

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New pans!

Found these babies at Target. My wonderland. Also the most dangerous place for me to go aside from Michaels. I haven’t been to Hobby Lobby yet, but I hear it will be amazing.

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They are mini springform pans! Each one is 4″ across.

Still trying to decide what to make first with these! Any suggestions?

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