Happy Birthday To… Me :) 24… yikes!
I wanted to celebrate with some cake of course, but wasn’t so keen on making an entire cake. I’ve seen cakes baked in jar’s, so I thought why not a mini-birthday cake for one (maybe I’ll share with Adam..) Simple chocolate cake with vanilla swiss-meringue buttercream, depending on jar size, bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes. And bonus, it’s portable! You can make this for someone special on their birthday :)
Make a wish…
… until next year!
.. Stay tuned this afternoon for another, outrageous, birthday treat I created.
In keeping with the festive spirit I thought I’d bake some Halloween Cupcakes!..more specifically Devil’s Food Cupcakes. I thought it was fitting with the occasion of goblins, and witches and devils. Oh my! These little cakes were quite delicious.. some didn’t live to see another day. Such a shame. MmMm. Thanks Jordan for the great photo’s once again =)
It’s funny I searched and searched for these cupcake cups, or snack cups, because I thought they looked so cute and would be great for cupcakes. Now that i’ve used them I think i’ll stick to regular cupcake liners. These were too small, even thought I bought the large. And the batter just doesn’t rise enough for me. I like the tops to be a little more round. But either way, they were fun to decorate.
1 box Devils Food Cake mix ( Ok, i was a little lazy and I was at school all day. PLuS! I’m going to see Madonna Tonight!! So the mix had to do )
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar (approximately 1 lb.) sifted
- 2 Tablespoons milk
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer.Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use.
Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re whip before using
Decorate as desired!
With Halloween just around the corner I thought I’d make some Halloween sugar cookies! Last weekend I made the trip to my favorite baking supply store – Scoop&Save. I only go there once in a while because its pretty far away, about 40 mins to drive there. So i stocked on some decorations and cookie cutters, royal icing mix & piping tips etc. I wish I lived closer so I could go all the time.. although it’s probably best that I don’t! I found this recipe in Baking: From My House to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I made my pumpkin tarts from it as well. I really like the recipes in there, and my favorite thing is all the pictures! I really hate cookbooks that don’t have pictures.. as many people know. haha. I always make sure when I get a cookbook that it has a good amount of pictures accompanying the recipes. I’m glad I got this book for my birthday! I thought about joining Tuesdays With Dorie but being a student/working it’s a little hard to commit to baking every other Tuesday. So I’ll just got through the book on my own and experiment! Ps. I went to see Celine Dion Tuesday night..soo good! Now all I have stuck in my head are her songs..Which means Im definitely listening to her while I bake. . .ohh Celine!
So here’s the recipe:
*Just to let you know, these take at least 2 hours to chill prior to baking..which I only found out once I had my oven pre-heating and got to the end of my mixing & finished reading the bottom of the page..Oh well! I just had to wait a little longer before eating baking and decorating!
Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies
From Baking: From My House to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until smooth.
Beat in the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and pale. Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute or two; beat in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated — because this dough is best when worked least, you might want to stop the mixer before all the flour is
thoroughly blended into the dough and finish the job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and malleable.
Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. If you want to make roll-out cookies, shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. If you want to make slice-and-bake cookies, shape each half into a chubby sausage (the diameter is up to you — I usually like cookies that are about 2 inches in diameter) and wrap in plastic. Whether you’re going to roll or slice the dough, it must be chilled for at least 2 hours. (Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)
Getting Ready To Bake:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
If you are making roll-out cookies, working with one packet of dough at a time, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to a thickness of 1/4 inch, lifting the plastic or paper and turning the dough over often so that it rolls evenly.
In case your wondering..that’s Jordan’s hairy arm..not mine! haha
Lift off the top sheet of plastic or paper and cut out the cookies — I like a 2-inch round cookie cutter for these. Pull away the excess dough, saving the scraps for rerolling, and carefully lift the rounds onto the baking sheets with a spatula, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cookies. (This is a soft dough and you might have trouble peeling away the excess or lifting the cutouts; if so, cover the dough, chill it for about 15 minutes and try again.) After you’ve rolled and cut the second packet of dough, you can form the scraps intoa disk, then chill, roll, cut and bake.
The First Few!
If you are making slice-and-bake cookies, use a sharp thin knife to slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, and place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between the cookies. 6. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the midpoint. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much, if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and dust the cookies with sugar or cinnamon sugar, if you’d like. Let them rest for 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
One of these things is not like the other…
Storing: The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week. Wrapped well, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.