Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Every year I make homemade goodies to give as Christmas gifts. Previously, I have made an overabundance of cookies and candies. This year I decided to scale it down a bit and leave it to two. This year it is Snickerdoodle cookies and Bailey's Irish Cream truffles. The recipes came from a cooking message board that I frequent (Thanks katie102006!). Both turned out delicious, even though the truffles aren't as pretty as I thought they would be. The boxes I found with the candy stuff at Michael's and they turned out to be the perfect size :-)


This is one of the toughest cakes I have ever made. Mom was asked to make a cake for a very good friend's daughter. We had found the picture in a book and thought it looked easy enough. Looks can be deceiving. Due to some family issues, I had to make the cake. The base color of the cake is all airbrushed on and everything else is piped. The airbrushing was pretty rough because while wet, if touched even slightly, the color will come right off and leave a completely white spot. All in all, it turned out very cute.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


For our office Thanksgiving, I wanted to take another shot at the cupcakes. This time I made devils food cupcakes (half of them with marshmallow fluff filling) with white icing and orange and yellow sprinkles. Because of time constraints, I bought the tubs of icing from the grocery store. I wasn't completely satisfied with the consistency of this icing, but it worked for what I needed it for. This time the swirl turned out much better! After a long day at work, baking was just what I needed to calm down and forget my frustrations.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I love cupcakes! Treasured Cakes' first paying customer wanted a half dozen pink cupcakes for a batchelorette party. Strawberry cupcakes with hot pink icing :-)

This was my first attempt at decorating cupcakes without just slapping the frosting on so it took a few tries. For the bride to be's cupcakes, I did white icing with a little veil. They all had pretty sparkles on them too!

Check out the Treasured Cakes website and blog!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Course 3 Graduation!

For the last class of course 3, we were to make a two-tiered wedding cake with 38 fondant roses, and 40 fondant leaves. While the roses are beautiful and not too difficult to make, they are VERY tedious and took Mom and I a total of 9 hours for us to each make our designated number of roses. While icing my cakes, I noticed that there was something wrong with the consistency of the buttercream icing. It wouldn't smooth over and it never hardened any like it's supposed to. Thirty minutes before time for me to leave for class, Mom suggested covering my cake in fondant when we got to class to make it look smooth. It worked! It really did end up looking like a wonderful wedding cake.

13th Birthday Cake for Lexi!

This past weekend was a tough one. I spent the weekend at Mom's and we made 14 layers of cake, 76 fondant roses, and 80 fondant leaves. For my niece Alexis' birthday, Mom and I decided we'd try something new and also use what we've learned in our past courses. We decided to make a two-tiered stacked cake. Hot pink and neon green were the birthday girl's choice of colors and it turned out adorable! Each tier is two layers and in total it stood about 10 in. high. We had a blast, but it was a challenge and we learned new things as we went. My favorite part was getting to take a hammer to the cake ;-) In order for the cake to be stable, we had to drive 5 wooden dowels through the cake.

Course 3 Lesson 3

For this lesson, we made royal icing flowers on a lily nail. They're beautiful when done correctly, but they're tough. Royal icing is not my forte...

Monday, October 15, 2007


Fondant may taste like crap, but it's beautiful on cakes and TONS of fun to work with!! Tonight in our cake class we learned how to work with and cover a cake with fondant. The first thing we did in class was cover our cake. While the fondant sat on the cake, we learned how to make a rose out of fondant. These roses are beautiful and WAY better than doing roses with buttercream frosting. After the rose we learned how to make the bow for our cake and then got to decorate. I love this cake and have always admired the way that fondant looks on cakes. However, it may be better to remove the fondant before eating the cake....there is buttercream frosting underneath it ;-)

Here is my rose

And, the final cake...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wilton Cakes Course 3 Lesson 1

Today I got to start Course 3 of the Wilton cake classes. This is the course I have been waiting for because it focuses on fondant and tiered cakes. In Lesson 1 we basically just practiced more borders, garlands, and various other techniques with buttercream icing. The only one I got a picture of those was the ruffle garland. Next week we will be making a cake that looks like a present!

**P.S. - Mom and I have started a cake decorating business!!! (name of it to be revealed later) Right now we are taking orders for cakes for birthdays, showers, etc! (you name it, we can probably do it, lol) Let us know if you'd like to order a cake :-)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pumpkin Roll!

This is my last week at my current job, and lots of people asked me to make one last treat before I left. I saw this pumpkin roll on another blog (don't remember which one) and thought I would give it a try. It can actually be found on the back of the Libby's Pumpkin Puree can. This was a lot easier to make than it looks, and it turned out SO GOOD!!

1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I can't wait for fall!!!

And since I can't wait, I decided to make Pumpkin Bread :-) Fall is one of my favorite times of the year and I always look forward to all of the pumpkin flavored edibles. Starbucks just came out with their Pumpkin Latte and Pumpkin Frappacino and after having a couple of those in the past weeks, I decided that fall wasn't coming fast enough itself so I would try to force it in my own kitchen. This recipe was recommended to me by a friend at work and she assured me that it was easy enough to do considering I had never made ANY type of bread before. This recipe was actually pulled off of

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread (

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans. (Mine only made two, but I have bigger loaf pans.)

- In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared loaf pans.

- Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Class #2 of Course #2

After having a week off of class, I was ready to go back and learn new things! For this class we had to have royal icing instead of buttercream icing. Royal icing is much easier to make than buttercream and also much easier to clean up! This week we learned how to also work with color flow icing. This turns hard like candy but keeps a shiny, puffy look to it. For our flowers this week we did apple blossoms, violet leaves and violets.

Here is what it looks like with all of my stuff spread out in class:

Here are my color flow birds (mine are the ones on the top left, mom's are on the bottom right):

Here are my violet leaves, violets and apple blossoms:

Monday, September 3, 2007

Wilton Cakes Course 2

Tonight I started Course 2 of the Wilton Cake Decorating class. This time around, we only have to make one cake and not until the last class (which makes things tons easier for me) but we still have to make all of the icing. For this class we focused on learning two flowers: the rosebud and the chrysanthemum. The rosebud wasn't too bad but the mum was a real pain. By the way, the picture of the cake on the box is the cake we will be making in our final class for this course...

Here is a picture of my finished chrysanthemum:

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Grand Finale of Level 1

So, for our final cake of Level 1 Wilton Cake Decorating, we had to FINALLY finish the famous Wilton Rose. This rose has been taunting me for weeks and actually had me a little worried. I've wanted so badly to do well at this, that I thought that this would be my failure. This class was a lot of fun and after finally finishing a rose, I felt a great feeling of accomplishment :-) I LOVE the way this cake turned out! My teacher even told me I should consider being an instructor after finishing all of the levels!!

A few people have asked me what I do with all of these cakes after I decorate them. Most of them get taken to work and one of them has stayed at home for Blake. After playing with buttercream icing for hours on end, I have no desire to eat any of these cakes. Now, if only I could apply this principle to chocolate, pasta, etc...

On to the pics!

This was the first time I've iced a cake with ABSOLUTELY NO CRUMBS in the icing!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Practice Run

So my first "Kitchen" show is in September and the host and I decided on this brownie recipe. It comes from the Fall/Winter 2007 Pampered Chef Season's Best cookbook. I was told that before the show, I would need to practice the recipe 2 or 3 times so that when the time comes, I know what the heck I'm talking about. After running through the recipe once, I realised I might have to do this all 3 times. It's an easy recipe, but when you're trying to explain what you're doing and explain the products and do a new recipe, things tend to get mixed up and a little difficult. Regardless, I made it through the recipe and these brownies are like HEAVEN!!! Sweet, salty, chocolate, caramel....mmmmmmm...............
(pardon the bad lighting for the pics...)

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies (Fall/Winter '07 Pampered Chef Season's Best)

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
1 package (18-21 ounces) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup salted mixed nuts, divided
5 rolls (1.7 ounces each) milk chocolate-covered chew caramels, divided (40 pieces total) {I used ROLOS}

- Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly brush Large Bar Pan with oil using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Chop 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate morsels using Food Chopper. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar; mix well. Fold in chopped chocolate; pour batter into bar pan, spreading evenly using Small Mix 'N Scraper.

- Chop nuts using Food Chopper. Combine half of the nuts and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over brownie batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

- Meanwhile, using Utility Knife, cut 16 caramels into quarters. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate morsels in prep bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after each 20 second interval. Spoon melted chocolate into resealable bag; set aside.

- Remove bar pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack. Immediately press remaining 24 caramels evenly into brownie in four rows of six caramels each. Sprinkle quarted caramels and remaining nuts over brownies. Trim corner of chocolate-filled bag with Utility Knife; drizzle chocolate evenly over brownies. Cut into squares; serve warm.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cake #2 for Class!

This cake was a little tough! We had to ice the cake two different colors (white on top, yellow on the sides) and it is WAY harder than it looks! After that, things got much easier. What do you think?

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Class Cake

I LOVE THIS CLASS!!! Mom and I had a blast and we got a really cute cake out of it. That's right, I made the cake, filled it, iced it and then decorated it. The thing I have a little trouble with is writing, but I think I've mastered the little stars.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ready for Cake Class

Mom and I signed up for the Wilton Cake Decorating class at Michael's. For our first class we basically just watched the instructor while she showed us how to make the cake and icing. She also showed us how to properly ice a cake. For our homework for class two, we had to have a two-layer cake iced and ready to be decorated along with 8 different types and colors of icing in Tupperware so that we can use that for practicing and the decorating. Here is my cake iced and ready to go:

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Coconut Macaroons

I was walking through the grocery store feeling a little bit frustrated because I had forgotten to pick out a new recipe to try this week so I picked up a package of Baker's Coconut and looked on the back. Low and behold, my recipe for this week! They turned out great!

Coconut Macaroons

1 pkg. (14 oz.) Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
2/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract

-Mix coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in large bowl. Stgir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended. Drop by tablespoons onto greased floured cookie sheets.

-Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets onto wire racks. Cool completely.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pampered Chef

Well, I finally did it. I have become an Independent Consultant with The Pampered Chef! A lot of people so far have said, "It was only a matter of time." And they were right. Today I got my kit in the mail (3 days early!) and while sitting in the middle of the living room, excitedly unpacking everything, I know I must have looked like a 9 year old child on Christmas morning (except with knives, pans, and lots of kitchen goodies). Here is everything I got in my kit minus the large black carrying tote I received to carry everything in:

P.S. If anyone would like to host a show, let me know!

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Favorite Cake to Date

One of my favorite kinds of cakes is Angel Food Cake so I thought I would attempt to make what I thought would be one of the more difficult recipes. In the end, it was pretty easy and turned out GREAT! Way better than the store bought and to top it off, I even made my own whipped cream! Even easier and tastes WAY better!!! Just call me Betty Crocker ;-) This recipe and the recipe for the whipped cream are from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Bridal Edition.

Angel Food Cake

1 1/2 cups egg whites (10 to 12 large)
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar

1. In a very large mixing bowl allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sift powdered sugar and flour together three times; set aside.

2. Add cream of tartar and vanilla to egg whites. Beat with an elecric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add granulated sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).

3. Sift one-fourth of the powdered sugar mixture over beaten egg whites; fold in gently. Repeat, folding in the remaining powdered sugar mixture by fourths. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Gently cut through batter with narrow metal spatula to remove air pockets.

4. Bake on the lowest rack in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert cake; cool thoroughly in pan. Loosen cake from pan; remove cake.

Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chill a medium mixing bowl and the beaters of an electric mixer.

2. In chilled bowl beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.


Meredith and I threw a baby shower for a friend of ours from work. With a blue and green theme and a need for some more sweets, I figured these cookies would be perfect. Who doesn't love sugar cookies?! This recipe was taken from a blog of a fellow "Nestie" ( and also from the "Now That's What's Cooking" blog.

Super Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Cream margarine and sugar well.

2. Add vanilla and eggs; combine well.

3. In separate bowl, sift the baking powder, salt and flour. Add to wet ingredients slowly until thoroughly combined.

4. Cookie dough must be chilled until firm, or overnight.

5. Remove dough from fridge and roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

7. With cookie cutters or rim of drinking glass, cut out cookies.

8. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on oven. Check often to prevent over cooking or burning. Cool on baking rack when done.

9. Meanwhile, prepare frosting


1 teaspoon real vanilla
1 stick real butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon cream or whole milk

10. Cream butter, milk and vanilla together.

11. Slowly add powdered sugar to butter until desired consistency. If you'd like, add liquid food coloring for festive cookies

12. When cookies are cooled, slather this heavenly frosting. For more texture and color, press the top of the cookie in sprinkles, colored sugar or just eat plain!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

More Cake!

Today I wanted to try a different kind of cake. So I ended up with a Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake from the Better Homes and Garden Bridal Edition cookbook.

Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup chocolate-flavored syrup
1 recipe Semisweet Chocolate Icing

- Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

-In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixeer on low to medium speed about 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low to medium speed 1 minute after each addition and scraping bowl frequently. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Reserve 2 cups batter. Pour remaining batter into prepared pan.

-In a small mixing bowl combine chocolate syrup and reserved 2 cups batter. Beat on low speed until well combined. Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan. Do not mix!

-Bake at 350 degrees about 50 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle cake with Semisweet Chocolate Icing.

Semisweet Chocolate Icing

1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light-colored corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

-In a small saucepan heat semisweet chocolate pieces, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla over low heat, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Use immediately.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My first cake made from scratch!!

I have officially made my very first cake completely from scratch. No boxed mixes and no icings from a store bought tub. My first cake choice? Red velvet with cream cheese icing. At first I thought this might be quite the difficult choice for my first cake, but with the help of my husband, this was a piece of cake ;-) As a matter of fact, it turned out so moist that I had a hard time icing it! This recipe was compliments of my "Joy of Cooking" cookbook that was a Christmas present from my mom.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing:

Preheat the oven to 350. Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees. Grease and flour two 9x2-inch or 8x2-inch round cake pans or line the bottoms with wax or parchment paper.

Whisk together until thoroughly blended:

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat in a large bowl until creamy:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

Gradually add and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes:

1 1/2 cups sugar

Whisk together, then gradually beat in, taking about 2 minutes:

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beating at low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with:

1 cup buttermilk

Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of red food coloring with the first addition of buttermilk.

Beat until smooth and scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Divide the batter between the pans and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes in 9-inch pan, 30-35 minutes in 8-inch pan. Cool completely and remove from pans. Fill and frost with double recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting. Sprinkle with shredded sweetened coconut.

Cream Cheese Frosting (use double recipe for this cake)

Beat in a medium bowl of electric mixer at low speed just until blended:

8 ounces cold cream cheese

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Add one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency:

1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted

If the frosting is too stiff, beat for a few seconds longer, do not overbeat.