Monday, December 15, 2014

Snowflake Decorated Sugar Cookies

Happy Holidays everyone! Figured I had better get it in while I have a moment :)

For me, one of my favorite things to make over the holidays are these snowflake cookies. They are my zen. After a hectic day of knocking out caramels and other holiday treats, I can sit down and literally get lost in these. They are one of those things that don't require much concentration, no boiling temperatures to watch or beer boiling over when I take my eyes off the stove. It takes just a moment to make the cookie dough and royal icing; and as long as I set my oven timer I am golden.

These have a little citrus zest in the dough and a lemon vanilla royal icing. I've had this shape for a couple of years and can't wait to snatch up a new one at this year's after Christmas sales!

Here is the all white version:
White Snowflake Decorated Sugar Cookie

Lightest blue. This color was my favorite this year. I used Alan Tetreault's Sky Blue, just a little. The color looks like a slightly translucent robin's egg color. The camera doesn't do it justice. Absolutely lovely.
Blue Snowflake Decorated Sugar Cookie

And then a couple darker blue variations:
Blue Snowflake Decorated Sugar Cookie

Blue Snowflake Decorated Sugar Cookie

In case I don't "see" you all before the Holiday, have a happy and blessed one!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Oh what to bring to the Thanksgiving potluck

Most Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are spent with friends.  So many folks here have little family here so we all band together and enjoy our big family of misfits :)

This Thanksgiving we were invited and were late to RSVP.  By the time we finally decided that yes, this is what we are doing (Matt is the only one in family that has a hard time committing), everything I had thought to bring was signed up for. So I decided to make pie my way.

I don't have a lot of Thanksgiving cookie cutters and this idea from Sweet Sugar Belle was perfect! I used my standard cut out cookie recipe and omitted citrus and added pumpkin pie spice.

Here is a close up of the pumpkin pie decorated cookies:

To use up some of the bits of dough I added some fall color cookies. I really loved the colors that I ended up with.

They were a hit and disappeared fast.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Fun!

Halloween is my favorite month :)  Not only do I love the festivities, but it is a time where things slow down enough for me to have time to play with my food.  Below is a little of the fun that is going on in my kitchen.

I'll start with the eyes, so they can watch over the rest of this post.

For the meringue eyeballs, use your favorite meringue recipe and method. There are so many theories as to how long to bake and what temp. You don't want these to brown much or the colors will go funky on that so keep that in mind. Simply pipe into round or oval mounds, next to each other, two at a time. After they cooled, I used royal icing for the pupils. Piping another color of meringue on top or using candies works well too.

For the above Halloween pancakes use a fairly thin batter. If you have an electric skillet that you can regulate the temp well that is best. Keep the temp around 200F to keep them from browning.  You don't want these to be too think or they will take forever to cook or not even cook completely at all.  Use piping bags or bottles to free hand designs or use greased metal cookie cutters to hold the shapes.  

What is Halloween without candy corn?  These were for the concession stand at my son's football game.  They are ridiculously simple.  Use a round pan and build from the outside edge towards the center. You can make 3 batches or do as I do and eyeball it. Once they set up use a skewer to poke in a hole and then add your stick or sturdy straw.

Have a great rest of Halloween month everyone!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Wedding Cake Round-up

What a rocking summer here in my kitch!  I'm finally at a point that I can catch up on cake posts. Gotta get it in fast before holiday baking begins.  Over the next few weeks I'll try to get these on the blog.  There will be a few halloween posts thrown in too.  It's gonna be an interesting mix :)

Each of the cakes this year were so different from each other. I have a hard time deciding which one shall go first. Let's start with one of my favorite type of style, rustic elegance.

Rustic buttercream twig wedding cake flowers fondant alaska seward the moon muse elegant

My clients were had a few rustic twig and vine style cakes, which are cool, but not as original.  After perusing the net and some sketching I suggested this one. Lucky for me, the bride loved the idea as well.

It was inspired by several spackle styles and one cake with wooden flowers.  The shape of the wooden flowers was so different compared to most cakes I have seen, almost poppy like but not quite. These of course aren't wood :)  As a finishing touch plum luster dust was brushed on the flowers to give them depth.

The top layer is red velvet with cream cheese swiss merigue filling. The bottom layer is vanilla almond cake with from scratch fresh raspberry curd.  The final coat over the entire cake was an vanilla almond swiss meringue buttercream.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Sea Turtle Shaped Cake!

Holy moly folks! Thanks for all the awesome shares on this week's turtle cake.  264 likes, 66 comments, 56 shares, and over 2,900 people reached in 24 hours! Thanks to everyone that shared this. I certainly didn't expect that from a quick short notice project.  Ha, shows what I know :)

This cutie was made for a birthday girl who came into town with the Eisenhower War College this week. According to the person that ordered it, this woman goes bananas for turtles; love it!  She requested that the cake be butter cream and not fondant. So this sweet little bugger was a chocolate stout cake with Swiss meringue butter cream and from scratch dark modeling chocolate as the "shell". Since this was for a grown woman, I didn't want it to have a uber fake cartoon appearance.  After a quick google, isn't google grand, I settled on this design based off of several other similar cakes. The most amazing non fondant sea turtle cake that I found came from Love to Cake in the UK. Be sure to click the link and check out her off the charts work. I loved the naturalness (is that a word?) of the one that she did and set out to do something similar.

So from "hey I need a cake" to delivery a little less than 24 hours later, this fella was born.  I would have liked to spend more time shaping the feet as they still appear a bit bulbous for my tastes. Hopefully someone else wants one and I get another opportunity!

Thanks again everyone!

Monday, March 3, 2014

It Is a Beautiful Day for a Wedding!

A couple of years ago my laptop crashed. I had a back up so whew! My new computer is a mac and my old a pc, and since I was busy at the time I never restored all my files.  This week I went digging through my back ups and rediscovered a ton of cakes.  I'll be posting these newly found files over the next couple of weeks.

This cute little green cake was made for casual outdoor wedding. The couple met over a couple of cups of chai tea so I brought that memory into the cake. Under the fondant was a chocolate chai tea cake with swiss meringue buttercream. They wanted a rustic but classy touch so I added simple fondant flowers and stems.

Stay tuned for more trips down memory lane :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Because Everyone Needs a Zebra Print Octopus Cake

The Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians commissioned me to make a cake for their conference held at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.  
Their logo has a zebra on it and they since they were spending their week at ASLC they decided on a zebra print octopus :)
This creature took me about 22 hours to make. I wanted to look as realistic and in proportion as possible.  To do that and not have a 6 foot cake base, I designed the arms to swirl around each other so that they would fit on a 2.5 foot board.
All of my cakes are from scratch so it was easy to make it a zebra print on the inside too. Everything you see is cake and fondant except for a couple of the places where the arms are in the air. Since they need to stand up, those were made with rice krispie, covered in chocolate, and then the fondant. And as usual, it was all hand carved. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Because Love is Love

This fun one had my studio full of color.

I have been wanting to play with vertical layers for awhile now. It is one of those things that ups the wow factor as it appears like any other cake and then bazinga, look at that, there is a rainbow in the cake. This idea came from I am a baker. Instead of making a pan full of batter and cutting the rings, I used concentric cake pans to only make a single ring so I wouldn't waste a ton of batter.

The cake is a vanilla almond with apricot jam between the layers and swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

For the icing I played with both rosettes and a scallop spatula technique.

Overall, a whole lot of fun compacted into one Valentines Day cake!