Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Cookies: 2008 Edition

So here's the new and (much) improved version of the cookies I made a year ago... it's hard to believe how quickly the year has passed! Check out last year's cookies for comparison :) Last year was the year of the Crazy Eye. This year? Cartoon eyes, of course! Much more whimsical this year, eh? Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Definitely. Now I know why those fancy cookie bouquet shops charge so much per cookie...these things are so darned labor-intensive! It's hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose, I'd say that I'm kinda lovin' the expression on the bat's face. I almost regret not giving the candy corn any features. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cupcake order, Part II

It's been a crazy busy baking weekend. Did I mention that the lady who ordered the zoo cupcakes also ordered a batch of Disney's Cars themed cupcakes for her son to bring to school on his birthday? No? Well she did, and here they are in all their cream cheese-topped, vanilla cakey glory. 'Lightning McQueen' cupcake liners? Red and blue sprinkles? You got 'em.

We originally planned to do red velvet cupcakes to match the color scheme, but I don't think too many moms would be happy if their sons and daughters came home with red get the point. They ARE 4 years old, after all. And even though I've never seen the movie Cars, I'd like to mention that I think "Lightning McQueen" is quite possibly the coolest character name ever. Like, ev-er. See ya next time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My cousin's getting married!

White almond sour cream (WASC) cake. Do a quick Internet search on it, and you'll quickly discover that it's a very popular choice for wedding cakes. Is it the pristine white interior, the firm yet light texture, or the classic almond flavor that's captured the hearts of people throughout the country? Or is it the fact that it's practically no-fail since it relies on a commercial cake mix as its base? The world may never know.  Past experience with this formula (I used the chocolate variation for the wedding cake I made last year for K. and J.) caused me to turn to it yet again for my cousin's bridal shower this weekend.

The term "bridal shower" for me conjures up images of dainty, genteel ladies eating dainty little desserts (think petits fours), so cupcakes seemed more appropriate for the occasion than a full-blown cake. I was informed that the wedding colors were brown, pink, and olive green and that it would be New Orleans-themed (i.e., fleur de lis everywhere) so I did my best to incorporate those into the cupcakes. Here they are in pink:

and green: That's not exactly olive green but I figured a minty green would more appealing as an icing color. 

I was also asked to make a larger cake that would serve as the centerpiece for the dessert table and would be a "family only" cake that we'd tear into after the guests have come and gone. Following the theme, I covered the cake in white chocolate fleur de lis and cream cheese icing. What's inside, you ask? Red velvet, of course! And yes, that's a couch...all this was completed at the eleventh hour and I was already 30 minutes late in leaving the house for delivery!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Did someone say, "Zoo Party?!?!"

Never one to turn down an excuse to try out fun new ideas, I jumped at the chance to make zoo-themed cupcakes for the sweet son of a co-worker. (I think he's 4???) I'm just now realizing this, but this was my first official (paid) cupcake order. The amount of planning and labor that went into these cuties was, as usual, far more than I expected. In the end, however, I was quite pleased with the outcome and of course it was a labor of love :)

My sister D. played a huge role in making sure this order would be finished in time, and many thanks go out to her! She actually spent her time off painting the tigers, hippos, elephants, and zebras with food colors and a tiny, tiny brush! The animals are made of animal crackers (you know--the ones that come in a big plastic bear-shaped tub) covered with a colored glaze made of powdered sugar, milk, and corn syrup. I would have liked to include some other animals, but I figured the ones I chose had the most distinctive shapes (zebra, lion, tiger, and elephant were a given since they also appeared on the green jungle print cupcake liners). These are so fun I almost want to throw my own zoo party just so I can make them again!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pretty days...

...just beg for pink cupcakes! And October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, don't cha know. Think pink!