Blog Surfing

It was a quiet night here in cookieville. I baked up some more sugar cookies this afternoon (which I’ll be decorating later this week), but after the kiddos went to bed I was ready to crawl in myself. Some days are just like that. Rather than picking up my Kindle and starting a new book I decided to blog surf. I came across an awesome video by Sweet Dani B showing the different marbleizing techniques to decorate Easter eggs. You could really use the techniques she showcased for endless decorating ideas. I especially liked the dot marbleizing technique that turned out to look like hearts (cue audience: “awwww!”) Thinking I’m going to have to give it a try on some Valentine’s Day cookies. Maybe I’ll head to Michael’s or Walmart  and see if they have any heart shaped cutters this weekend.

Enjoy!

To Extract or to Emulsion…That is the Question

I can’t get the evaporated almond extract out of my mind. I’m fixating on it. I kept wondering why the flavoring wouldn’t evaporate out of the cookies in the oven like it did when left out on the counter…both environments it’s exposed to dry air. Hmmm. Seriously I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I decided it had already sucked enough brain power out of me thinking about it so I decided to settle the burning question with some research.

What I found was, extract does “bake out” of the cookies because of the high heat, leaving you with a less flavorful cookie. This is due to the alcohol in the extract.  Apparently, the way to go is to use emulsions. Baking emulsions are alcohol-free and pack a more potent flavor due to the fact that the flavor is incapsulated by a gum type stabilizer and thus protected during the baking process. Again…wish I would have remembered those chemistry classes better!

Decided to buy some from LorAnn Oils and give it a try. It better be good considering the shipping was $3 more than the 4oz bottle of almond emulsion! It if works I might need to shop around and/or see if I can’t find a place locally where I don’t have to bend over for shipping ;)

Almond Power

Baked up some cookies a couple days ago and was at it again today. I’m prepping for an upcoming “order” and figured I would be more efficient if I had the cookies all baked and the icing all made up before the day before I needed the cookies to be completed. I know…call me crazy ;) Anyway, measured out all the ingredients for my cookies last night and every time my husband and I walked near the bowl of almond extract we melted! My god that stuff smells heavenly!

Finally found time to make the cookies this afternoon. Unfortunately, the almond extract evaporated. OK…I took chemistry in college and should have known that a liquid with alcohol would evaporate into almost nothing if left open to air. Guess this batch of cookies are gonna be vanilla flavored ;)

Wanted to show my tools of the trade. One of the blogs I follow showed using a angled spatula to transfer the cookies from where you roll them out to the cookie sheet. I am super excited to have picked up this tip! It works brilliantly!

100 Hits

Until now, I have only told 5 people about this blog. My parents, my husband, my mother-in-law and one of my good friends. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of what I was making, but I knew I had a LOT of room for improvement. This morning I received a comment from a complete stranger saying how she thought my latest cake was sweet…made me feel like a hundred bucks! It was just the boost of confidence I needed. Thank you A Kitty and Her Cakes!

I told myself when I started a couple weeks ago that I would post it to FB and let the world know what I was up to as soon as I got 100 hits. Well folks…I’m there! I’m proud to unveil my new blog about cake, cookie and cupcake decorating and my journey through unchartered territory as I teach myself how to do it all :)  If you’re looking for perfect sweets…ya ain’t gonna get it here! But if you’re looking for a little humor and some tipping, dripping and ripping desserts…this blog is your cup of tea! Hope you enjoy!

Multi-Tasking

So my youngest daughter is almost 4 months old and has been a swaddler from day one. She recently discovered that she can roll…and I mean roll…all the way across the floor. So sadly, we must say goodbye to the swaddle blankets. What that means for you non-parents or those who never swaddled is that we’re screwed for naps. Ugh. So today began the attempt to get her down for naps with just a sleep sack. First nap she did good. Second nap she went right down so I wondered…what shall I do with my time?

What do you think I did?  Of course I did!  I made sugar :)

I made sugar cookies to be precise. The recipe I use calls for letting the dough rest for a little bit before rolling out so I mixed up the dough and ran upstairs to take a shower. While I was waiting for the shower to heat up I cleaned the toilet! You see…Moms everywhere learn a very special skill that in my opinion is invaluable. We learn to multitask. Couldn’t live without it!

My First Fan Mail

Well lookie here…look what surprised me at my front door this afternoon!!

My first cake decorating book (if you don’t count the ones I nabbed from my Mom that she used back in the day). And one from my wish list!

So exciting! You can see my oldest daughter thinks it’s fabulous too and wants to get her little paws on it. What’s even more exciting…I don’t know who it’s from! No invoice. No card. No indication who it’s from.

So…I put my slueth hat on and have deduced that I only have 3 followers, 1 of which is me ;) so that leaves my amazing Mom and Dad. Hmmm…wonder if they conspired together to gift me with this surprise.

I think I owe the two of them a phone call to confirm :)

Final Assignment

We had our final session for our Wilton Cake Decorating Basics class. Oh yeah…I even got a certificate! Need to find the perfect frame ;)

Anyway, brought my cake to class and it was all about ribbon roses. We made ribbon roses after ribbon roses. Ok, well I made that many so I could pile them on my cake. We also learned writing but I wasn’t brave enough to ruin my cake with writing so I opted outta that one. Brought all my tiny pink rosettes that I made yesterday and lined the bottom border.

I have to say, I was finally proud of my cake! Oh yeah! My husband even liked it and said I’d come a long way since my fish cake (which he thought was a turnip…seriously??).

Roses Roses Roses

Getting stuff put together for my last class of the basic cake decorating class I’m taking. Kinda sad, but excited to take the next class “Wilton Flowers and Cake Design” which starts in February.

For our last class we need to bring a bunch of flowers to decorate the cake with (in addition we’ll be learning to make roses in class!) so I piped up some more rosettes. The red ones I made the other night tasted horrible, so pink was the color of the day! Hopefully they set up and travel well tomorrow.

I don’t know why I care so much what these practice cakes taste like…my hubby and I have 1 slice each after class and then throw the rest of the cake away. Guess I still want that one piece to taste like heaven ;)

Coloring Red Frosting

Ok so did some digging last night and found that the bitter nasty taste and the gallons of red coloring are normal. Apparently coloring white frosting red isn’t as easy as it seems. Here are some tips I found:

  • Americolor seems to work better than Wilton’s coloring
  • Color your frosting pink and then color it red
  • Use red (no taste) coloring
  • Color your frosting a day in advance. After 24 hours that pink will turn red

I have some Americolor downstairs that I use for my cookie decorating…will have to give it a try this weekend when I whip up some more rosettes!

Red Rosettes

Decided to whip up some frosting tonight and give my rosettes a practice. For our fourth and final session of this cake class, I need to bring a fully frosted cake to class with some pre-made flowers to use for decorating. I rocked the rosettes last week so I thought I’d make some more for the cake. That was the plan. I thought I’d make a white cake with red roses along with red and pink rosettes. That was the plan. Figured I’d make some of the rosettes tonight. That was the…yes…the plan. However, the frosting I tinted red turned out some really funky orangish color. Kinda looked like sock eye salmon. Not pretty. Tasted a little funky too. To be honest it was AWEFUL! I had put soooo much coloring into the frosting that it changed the flavoring. How the hell are you supposed to make red frosting? Must look that up. Anyway, practice was good. First half turned out nice. Second half the frosting was too warm from my hand so it wasn’t as nice. Won’t be saving any of the rosettes for class, but it was still fun to play around :)

Lessons Learned:

  • Figure out how to color frosting red
  • If you’re going to be man-handling your piping bag a bunch, only fill it half way so that the frosting doesn’t get too warm

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