Just a Girl Trying to Find Her Place in This World

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Tag Archives: Icing

“Pour Some Sugar on [Your Painter’s Pallet]…”

So, as promised, let’s rewind about two weeks now…

Once upon a time, in a cozy little downtown Hamilton art gallery called “Sketch” (let’s laugh at the irony fellow Hamiltonians), a select few McMaster University 3rd and 4th year students presented the art show, “Asterix.” Now, I just happen to be a lucky enough person to have two friends in this particular art show, one of which is one of my best friends. (The same best friend who made me the beautiful Taylor Swift picture you can find here) Now, being the person that I am, who’s currently hooked on an extreme baking spree, I decided that my baking adventure for the week would be cookies for the art show. Now, I’m not a huge fan of making cookies, they seem like simple, time consuming work and  just aren’t as gratifying to me when they’re done as a good cupcake is.

But that’s just me.

So to make my cupcake adventure more appealing to myself, I decided I’m gonna try some grand design that will look pretty and make me feel better…

SPAINTERS PALLET COOKIES

Of course, I made this decision, NOT thinking that I’d then be taking said “masterpieces” to an art show, full of art students, who take art critique as a class…. That didn’t set in until AFTER I finished the cookies.

Now, the sugar cookie recipe itself is quite simple really;

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (IF you want, you can seperate the eggs and save the egg whites for the icing, but you don’t have to)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350

2.  Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl

3. Add eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth.

4. In a seperate bowl, combing flour and baking powder and blend together. Slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well. Form dough into a ball and place in fridge to chill slightly.

5. Sprinkle your working surface with flour so the dough doesn’t stick, as well as the rolling pin. When dough has a slight chill to it, roll it out to about 1/8 inch. Use a circle cookie cutter (or just a glass) to cut circles out of dough.

6. Next, get two small circles (you could use a thimble, or a lid off a small container (I personally used the lid off the new bottle of nail polish remover I bought – after washing it thouroughly of course!) any small circle will work, I also used two at once as I found it easier, but that isn’t necessary) Use the thimble to cut out a 2/3 circle from the side of your cookie, DON’T life the thimble to remove the dough, drag it sideways, this helps shape the cookie.

7. Use the thimble again to cut out a circle beside the newly shaped indent.

8. Bake in oven (on a lined cookie sheet) for about 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely as sugar cookies burn easily. Remove from oven and allow them to cook completely.

Icing/Decorations:

2 eggs
2 cups of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Food colouring of choice
Pretzel sticks

1. Seprate the egg whites from the yolk (you don’t need the yolk)

2. Mix in 1 cup of icing sugar per egg, if the icing is not at a consistency you want, feel free to add a bit more icing sugar to thicken it)

3. Bland the vanilla into the mixture.

4. With your white icing, cover each cookie (It will seem thin, don’t worry) WORK FAST before the icing starts to harden, and place a pretzel stick across the ‘finger hole’ of each cookie to represent the ‘paint brush’.

5. Divide your remaining icing (you made need to make a second batch depending on how many cookies you have) into 3-4 parts. Add food colouring to each part until you get the colour you want (in this case, dark colours work well)

6. Put your coloured icing into piping bags (or ziploc baggies – put about 3 or 4 layers of scotch tape on one corner and snip a small hole off the corner) and drop one drop of each colour on each of your cookies. Get creative, remember, it’s a painters palet, they don’t all look exactly the same, and painters aren’t too specific about where they put the paint.

I left the cookies out overnight (because I always bake at like 8 or 9 at night) on cookie trays and plates to make sure the icing hardened completely before stacking them. Then just store them in an airtight container until ready to use them.

Turns out, all my panic over the artists criticizing my work (because let’s face it, I know nothing about art) actually was just simple worry… people loved them! And I really did enjoy making them.

Just for any interested, here’s a few pictures from the art show as well:

Some of the best people you will ever meet...

Shona makes pretty art...

More pretty art, with Shona

Emily makes pretty art too...

Shona's art...

More art

 

“This Little Piggy Went to the Market, This Little Piggy Stayed Home…”


And this little piggy became lunch!

So surprise!

Did I ever have a blast today! Not only did it (finally) snow here.

Not only did I get a GREAT TurboJam workout in.

Not only did someone tell me that they can see I’ve lost weight!

Not only did the Toronto Maple Leafs break their recent losing streak and win 4-1 tonight!

But I made these BEAUTIFUL cupcakes, that even my mom said were really good…. and she’s my worst critic. Tells it as it is.

The recipe was relatively easy too… All from scratch… and made with fresh strawberries… none of that geletin stuff.

So just for all you amazing people… Strawberry Piggy Cupcakes (which you can of course, just make strawberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting, and not decorate it… you know… if you’re boring and have no inner child)

Strawberry Cupcake Recipe:

3 cups Self-Rising Flour (Or make your own by adding baking soda and baking powder to all purpose flour, like this)
2 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cups Pureed Strawberries Strained (That’s about 3 cups chopped strawberries before you puree them)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
4 Large Eggs, Beaten
Red F00d Colouring

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F and line cupcake tray with cupcake papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, oil, vanilla, lemon zest and eggs (beat first).

3. Puree strawberries in blender, strain them, then add to the mix. Add 2-4 drops of red food colouring (if you’d like) to darken the red tone.

4. Divide evenly into cupcake papers and bake for 15-24 minutes (I’ll admit… I suck at timing things) or until a toothpick can be inserted into the tallest cupcake and come out clean.

5. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them at all.

Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 cup Solid Vegetable Shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter, Softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups Powdered Sugar (Confectioners sugar, icing sugar)
2 tablespoons of milk
Food Colouring

Directions:

1. In a large bowl,  cream shortening and butter with an electric mixer. Add vanilla.

2. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating on medium speed. The icing will appear dry at this point.

3. Add milk and continue beating on medium speed. If more milk is needed, continue to add it… I put in about 5 tablespoons I think.

4. Add food colouring and mix until well blended.

5. Spread icing on cupcakes

Again, if you have managed to suffocate your inner child, feel free to stop here… OR you can be creative and go on.

Piggy Faces

1. Cut a large marshmallow in half and place on frosted cupcake

2. Add two mini chocolate chips as eyes.

3. Cut a pink wafer cookie (you know, the ones with icing layered in them) into a triangle… you’ll get about 8 or 10 triangles out of each cookie, depending on how big you make them. (This is supposed to be the hardest part, but I found if you use a sharp knife, and leave the cookies at room temperature, it works really well) stick them in the icing as ears.

4. Put a tablespoon of icing in a piping bag (or in a sandwich baggie – put scotch tape on the corner to make it stronger, then snip off the end) and make two nostril dots on the marshmallow.

5. Enjoy!

 

“You’re my Cuppy-Cake, Gum Drop, Snoogums, Boogums, You’re… the Apple of my Eye…”

Oh my Gosh guys!

I have officially made it a full week without buying any Tim Horton’s! I am beyond impressed with myself…. I didn’t even really need to think twice today when I walked past the Tim Horton’s on campus! One week! I feel like I deserve a badge or something to commemorate the moment or something… I haven’t even been drinking that much homemade tea to make up for it…

I’ve also decided to add something else to my bucket list. “Take a Cake Decorating Class”. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I actually enjoy baking… and then when I was watching Two Broke Girls today (love the show) they took a decorating class for their cupcake business. Now, I was joking around with my 12 year old cousin last week when she showed me the 40 cupcakes she decorated in 15 minutes, these are them…

Anywho, I was joking around with her that I should drop out of school, open a bakery, and hire her on to do the decorating…. but then I remembered she’s 12 and I should probably encourage her to stay in school so her mom and dad don’t get mad at me.

But the point is,  it did get me thinking. I could never do something that cool, unless maybe if I took a class. Maybe I’ll see if she wants to go with me. I’m looking into classes though around the city and hopefully I’ll find a good decorating class (for a good student affordable price) that I can go to. It’d be nice to have someone go with me though, so I’ll have to look into that too. Scheduling multiple people is so frustrating though.

Anywho, I hope you enjoy the mouth watering picture of cupcakes, and I’d like to thank everyone who liked yesterdays blog. I had a record breaking number of views yesterday, and my friend was ecstatic that so many people ‘liked’ the post her drawing was featured in. I don’t see why, it’s an amazing sketch.

Ta-ta for now!

“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…”

I’m ba-a-a-ack!

Hey y’all!

Before I start, I just want to let y’all know, I say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays, and I respect that you might not celebrate Christmas, and in that case I hope you had a great holiday, whatever it was…. but I celebrated Christmas, so I’m not going to call it ‘the holiday’ throughout my post. It was Christmas for me. And Christmas it shall stay. I really have no intention of offending anyone – there’s just been so much hoopla on facebook lately though about Happy Holidays VS Merry Christmas, I wanted to make that clear that I don’t mean to offend anyone by saying it…. and on that note:

Merry (Belated) Christmas everyone!

So I know it’s been a while since my last post, but Christmas this year got a lot more hectic than I thought it would, and well, these things happen. I honestly thought I’d have time to update more often, and planned out titles and everything for the days leading up to Christmas… but alas, I was overruled. (I even stopped watching Christmas movies in full – I fell asleep watching the claymation ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’ on Christmas Eve!)  Hopefully I can make it up to you with this delicious cinnamon bun recipe I tried out today. Y’all are gonna love it. I’ll get to that in a little bit though.

First off! How was everyone’s Christmas/Holiday season?? Like I said ours was hectic and busy, I worked, I had three dinners to go to (bless my family with all the food we enjoy – there are too many of us to all show up at once, but being right around the corner from my grandma, my mom and I are always there for all three) I think I’m still pretty stuffed from the dinners… deep fried turkey, baked ham, cabbage rolls, perogies, stuffing, mashed potatoes, kielbasa, vegetables, meatballs, lasagna…. and let’s not even start on the desserts! I did get a nice recipe however I’ll need to try. 😉 Then there was the pancake breakfast I had with my ‘sisters’ on the Friday…. So much food, such a short week.

Also, guess what!? On December 27, 2011, we got our first snowfall of the season! And it was gone by this morning. But it was beautiful yesterday – even while I helped bring in the shopping carts from the parking lot at work… I wanted to have a snowball fight with someone, but nobody was around…. Maybe I’ll get to put out a new Ice Wreath soon though! It’s definitely getting cold enough 🙂 I’m excited to get more…. though not too much. Humans are so picky aren’t we? In winter, it’s too cold, we can’t wait for summer, then summer comes, and it’s too hot, then we want snow, but when it comes, we don’t want to shovel it so we hate it…. Mother Nature really is just in a lose-lose-lose situation….

Anywho, New Year’s is coming up (I promise I won’t leave my blog unattended that long again) so I’m starting to think about some good new year goals and resolutions, any ideas? I’m going to go over my December goal list again this week and see what I accomplished, but not tonight, I’m still way too tired (does anyone else get this tired after Christmas? Like, no matter how much I sleep, I can’t seem to catch up, this is worst than exams – granted I didn’t work during exams either) I’ll get my New Years list up shortly though… first I want to plan out some schedules to maybe help me stick to it better.

Now however, as promised, here is the recipe I found for:

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls:

Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Filling

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F

2. For the filling, in a small bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to form a crumbly mixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mixture over the bottom of a 9×9 pan (I only did a bit at first, then after I put the filling on the dough, I sprinkled what I had left into the pan)

4. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

5. Cut in softened butter (sometimes your hands are the best tools – sometimes 15 seconds in the microwave works too).

6. Stir in milk to form a soft dough. (Your hands can come in handy here… I found it easier to kneed the dough as I added the milk…)

7. Roll out dough on a lightly floured into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

8. Spread the remaining filling on the rolled out dough.

9. Roll up the rectangle, with a sharp knife slice into 18 small rolls (12 if you want them a little bigger) (I found that my dough was a little soft to cut nicely, (or my knife was a little dull maybe) but it was easier if I wrapped the rolled up dough in seran wrap and stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes – just until I did the dishes and tidied up the rest of the mess)

10. Bake for 20-25 min.

11. For glaze, combine powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and stir until smooth. (I do this by eye, but typically it’s two parts icing sugar/powdered sugar per every one part milk… but you can add more or less of each as needed)

Once rolls are finished, drizzle on glaze and serve warm.

And there ya have it! It was quite easy, and no waiting for yeast to rise or anything! The only thing I might try differently next time is the icing… this icing is good, but it’s more of a sugar cookie base icing, I feel like cinnamon rolls need a different type of icing… maybe one with cream cheese in it next time. 🙂 Until then though, I’m quite proud how these turned out… I guess my dog kicking me out of my bed at 8:30 in the morning so that she could take it over payed off afterall!

Enjoy!

How Could You Dance if No-One Was Watching…

Hey y’all, sooooooooooo two days behind, not bad. I wasn’t feeling the greatest Sunday anywho so, you wouldn’t have gotten much out of a post then anyways. Today you get another baking blog though 😀 It was just one of those nights last night. So hopefully it makes up for the lackage.

Also, yesterday, I bought a classic collection dvd with all the Christmas classics on it – Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (the claymation one) and Santa Clause is coming to Town, Frosty, Frosty Returns, Little Drummer Boy… all those classic Christmas movies that kids these days don’t appreciate. But then my friend yelled at me, so I took it back today (and all the people in line couldn’t believe I didn’t want a dvd that epic). So I may go back tomorrow with the gift card I have and buy it (Save 20 bucks – It costs 28) You have no idea how excited I am to actually go out and get the dvd again and watch some Christmas classics! So thrilling!

On a somewhat unrelated note (ok completely unrelated) my friend recently got me hooked on the band ‘The Naked and Famous’ – I’m falling in love with so many of their songs. Today’s blog title is from their song “Girls Like You”

So anywho, yesterday was a crazy day at school, so last night I pulled out the baking pans and made Rainbow Sprite Cupcakes 🙂

The recipe includes:

1 ½ cups of butter
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs
3 cups of flour
1 cup of sprite (that’s almost a can)

1. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until they form a crumbly base. (Use an electric beater; this will take a couple of minutes to do)
2. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract to the mix.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the mix, blending the mix until it is smooth. (So time consuming, but again, much easier with an electric beater)
4. Alternate adding the flour and sprite to the batter. (I started with the flour, because there was more, then some of the sprite, then more flour, more sprite, etc. Etc…. it took me about 4 turns to do this – don’t add the sprite until the flour is blended in well with the batter each time.)
5. Preheat oven to 350. (Usually this is step one, but you really don’t need to do it just yet, the rainbow will take some time – if you don’t want to make the rainbow cupcakes, and just leave them as regular cupcakes, you can stop here)
6. Divide the batter into equal parts and add food colouring. (I poured some of the batter into my small measuring cup, mixed my first colour, and then dumped the batter into a plastic cup, then washed the small measuring cup and repeated until I had all four colours I wanted)

Food Colouring

7. Pick one colour, drop a spoonful of it into the bottom of each cupcake tin. (try not to drop them all into the center… put some off to the side) Repeat with each colour until the cupcake paper is full with batter. (You can do the same colour more than once, it looks cooler that way. Also, try to drizzle the colour into the cupcake paper, it looks a lot neater)
8. Once all cupcakes are filled, bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the edges turn a golden colour (they will don’t worry)

Add the colours one at a time

While the cupcakes are baking, you can make your own icing too. Simply mix a tablespoon of butter with a bit of icing sugar and a bit of milk (add more milk for a thinner icing, and more icing sugar for a thicker icing) Add food colouring if desired.

Rainbow Sprite Cupcakes

So that’s basically it today, cupcakes turned out great, everyone seemed to like them… I even took mini containers of icing for them to dip the cupcakes in 😀 So much fun.