Monday, May 30, 2011

Baking Monday – Burgers and Fries

Thanks to Bakerella for today's inspiration! I made these tiny treats for today's picnic.

Brownie burgers with cupcake buns. My circle cutter is on the bigger side, so we've got jumbo burgers today. How much food color does it take to make buttercream frosting look like ketchup? A LOT. A crazy lot. This was still pretty pink but I just could not add any more food color. I think everyone will get the idea.

The fries were fun. Sugar cookies poof up quite a bit while cooking, so the fries must be cut super duper skinny, or else cut them in half while still warm to get that fast food fry look. And sprinkle them with sugar!

These were time-consuming, but not difficult. I used Bakerella's template for the fry wrappers, but unfortunately my color printer is not hooked up right now, they'd be way cuter in red, white and blue.

Enjoy the day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I Got in the Mail Today

Our friendly UPS delivery person brought some goodies for me today.

Two Origins Gloomaway bath bars. They are the best. I am very happy.

(I also got a new pedometer today, which is a little too boring to warrant a picture, but I am equally as excited about that. My last one disappeared on Friday, and I've really been missing that electronic motivation to keep moving.)

And some treats from Country Kitchen:

New icing colors!!! I am hoping that these will help with my bleeding problem. I'm a little too excited about these.

Oooh, so pretty!!! Looking forward to making things sparkly.

I've been wanting to try this for awhile - it smells like lemon / cherry / almond mixed together, am curious to see how it tastes in a baked good.

I can't wait to experiment!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Theo's First Communion

We celebrated Theo's First Communion this weekend!

Even though Dora and Theo are almost two years apart, because of how their birthdays fall, they are only a year apart in school. Which means back-to-back Communion prep years for our family.

(Camera shy Clark wouldn't agree to a photo appearance.) Saturday was also Dora's last day to sing with the Children's Choir until the fall. This was her third year of choir and she's wowed us again with her commitment, enthusiasm, and talent.

I thought this year would be a struggle with Theo, but he really surprised us. He worked hard, took the material seriously, and genuinely knew his stuff.

The rain stayed away and the sun made its first appearance in a week - it was a great day!

Theo's cookies - I solved the bleeding color problem by doing monotone icing this time, and they turned out pretty well.

Theo's request for the party: a giant chocolate chip cookie, his favorite.

Jeff and I decided to get him a swiss army knife as a gift. He loved it, and Grandpa got to give him a little how-to and safety lesson the next day. We had the knife engraved with his name, and he also got a beautiful children's Bible with his name stamped on the cover from his godparents. He thought that was SO cool: "It has my NAME on it. How did it get MY NAME on it?"

We're so blessed to have such a nice day to celebrate and friends and family who travelled in for the occasion. Theo said that he had trouble falling asleep the night before, because he was so excited. He had a giant, goofy grin on his face during the applause at the end of the ceremony ... so proud!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baking Update

Baking Monday is on hiatus again until August, as the pool season has ended. The good news is, event season is upon us, and I'll have lots of showers, communions, graduations, birthdays, and national holidays to bake for in the months ahead, so stay tuned!

Easter cookies! Still having icing problems, am going to try switching to water instead of milk and see if that helps. I loved the colors on these. That carrot cutter is one of my favorites.

These cookies were for our Relay for Life team's bake sale fundraiser. Love these colors, too!

Our chapter of Mothers & More had a member appreciation party at a salon last night - I made these brownies for dessert. The bad news is that they are off the chart calorie-wise (if you're into keeping track of that kind of thing) but good news is that they are soooo rich that half of one makes for a fine chocolate fix. The recipe is from this cookbook, which I love because it has a lot of easy recipes for things you might not normally make from scratch, like brownies and dinner rolls. Plus, the little stories in between chapters makes it a pretty good read, too. (And apparently, can be purchased from Amazon right now for $1.42! Score!) These are super duper fudgy and, as the recipe says ... don't even think about adding nuts. (Thank you, recipe, you've won my heart!)

Chocolate Brownies

1.5 sticks butter
8 squares of baking chocolate (1 oz each)
2.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1.75 cups flour

• In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally
• Remove pot from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients, in order, mixing well after each addition.
• Pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes (they will be slightly underbaked)
• Let cool completely before cutting

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baking Monday - Star Wars Cookies

With three Star Wars fans in the house, it was only a matter of time until I got these cutters. Happily, our good friends Stephanie and Chris sensed the force was strong in our family and gave me a set for Christmas this year.

I decided to make Almond Butter Cookies, because these are so yummy on their own and the cutter details are so nice, they don't need to be mucked up with icing.

Isn't this dough beautiful? I love these colors! Because of the butter and vanilla, the dough is kind of a creamy white, which made some lovely muted shades. I used Wilton Leaf Green for Yoda, Sky Blue for Boba Fett, and Black for Darth (which Dora said looked more purple than black, but I like it.)

These cutters are excellent quality, I really enjoyed working with them. The only sticky part was on the Stormtrooper's eyebrow (eyebrow?) - had to make sure there was no dough stuck in there. I think I may rock Theo's world and use one for his pbj tomorrow.

With the leftover dough, I made a few that were kind of tye-dye.

These turned out so cool! I love them!

And the swirly ones are fun, too.

- Insert geeky quote here - I'm not one of the three fans in the house. But I am in love with these cookies!