Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Almond Joy Cupcakes

Sometimes you feel like a nut...sometimes you don't!  Today, I did, so I made some almond joy cupcakes.  I saw a recipe on Pinterest that I wanted to give a try.  One I really like came from "Cookies and Cups."  Go HERE to check out the recipe!
I didn't follow her recipe exactly.  I used my chocolate cake recipe and altered it a little, substituting milk with coconut milk and vanilla flavoring with almond.  This is, after all, ALMOND joy!   The coconut buttercream was divine!  Dipping them in melted milk chocolate really seals the deal and makes you feel like you're eating an almond joy!

I took a couple to Andrews school and his teacher's response: "OM-Triple G! Those are good!"  The secretary said she liked them even better than the "burnin' loves."  The rest of them went to work with Drew.  He didn't bring any home if that tells you anything.  

I only ate 1...ok fine...2!  They were dangerously delicious, so I had to get rid of them A.S.A.P!  But I will be making another batch next week!

I decided to dress these little cuties up in a wrapper. *Note to self: Must get decorative scissors from Parents' house before making decorative cups next time!*

I was really pleased with how these turned out, but I think I'll experiment with the almond joy coffee creamer for the next batch, just to see which recipe I like better!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lullabies and Mudpies Sale

To all my local readers, don't forget to come out to Pace this weekend for the Lullabies and Mudpies consignment sale.  Sissy's Sweets will have a vendor booth set up.  On the menu: CUPCAKES!

Here's just a couple of our stars for the sale:
The Gracie:
chocolate cake filled with sweetened condensed milk, topped with chocolate frosting, caramel drizzle, and sea salt.  
 Ooey, gooey goodness
 The Funky Monkey
Banana nut cake with peanut butter buttercream

Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby Shower Cake

One of the teachers at Andrew's school is pregnant and the staff threw her a baby shower.  They asked me to do the cake.  My contact at the school found a design online that she liked, so I duplicated that.
It was a "mobile" type cake.  They didn't need all the extra cake from the top tier, so I covered a "dummy" cake.  (Styrofoam cake covered in tin foil.)
I apologize for the not-so-great photo.  I got a friend to snap a cell phone pic as proof that I did in fact make a cake.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cake Pop Tutorial

I've been asked several times lately about how to make a cake pop.  I've explained it briefly before in a post, but maybe this will be a little more clear.  I'm sorry there are no pictures for the first couple of steps.

First, bake a cake (any flavor) and crumb it to pieces in a bowl.  I know it's hard to destroy a freshly baked cake, but it's for a good cause- cake pops!  Next, add a little frosting of your choice. OR as I have mentioned before, I like to use coffee creamer; coffeemate italian sweet cream to be exact. *I don't know how much to add because I never measure.  I simply eyeball it.  But be careful not to add too much.  They'll fall apart if they're too soggy!*  Start with about a tablespoon.  You can always add more icing/creamer.  If they're too soggy your only choice is to bake more cake.  
When you have a good mixture, roll the cake into balls.  You can pretty much make them as big or as small as you'd like, but just be careful not to make them too large.  The heavier they are, the less likely they are to stay on the stick.  

Your next step is to melt some candy melts either with a double boiler or in the microwave on half power for 30 seconds at a time; stirring in between intervals.  
 Take a lollipop stick and dip it into the melted chocolate to help secure the pop to the stick. Then stick the cake ball onto the stick.
 Dip the pop straight down and straight up in the chocolate.
 Gently tap the cake pop on the edge while rotating to lose the excess chocolate.  
 Let them dry.  If you don't have the cute cake pop holder you can use a block of styrofoam.
Now, go make your cake pops!  Have fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Goodies

Happy Valentine's Day from Sissy's Sweets!
Today I made some cake pops and cupcakes for my son's school party.  I found this cute idea on cakepop gallery and thought I'd give it a whirl.  
Be My Valen-Swine!
Aren't they adorable!  Little valen-swine piggies are pretty cute, but super time consuming.  It took me an hour and a half to make all the fondant accents for their ears, arms, and snouts.  And that was just for 7...SEVEN...of them!  So the other 17 cake pops are just plain PINK!  
Because the cake pops took so long, my pink velvet cupcakes were not as elaborate as  had planned.  I was running out of time so they got a light dusting of pink sanding sugar and a fondant heart.    The kids requested "vanilla icing" so I made a whipped vanilla that normally goes on my red velvet cake.  

  *FYI: If you're still wondering how to make cakepops,  a "tutorial" is coming soon!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vanilla Beans

I recently ordered some Vanilla Beans off of ebay.  They were shipped from France and made it here in about a week.  I was excited to put them to use, so I whipped up some vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting.  (The recipe is the same one I shared earlier, The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake, by the cupcake  project.  For my frosting, I wanted a whipped cream type of frosting, so I started out making whipped cream and adding vanilla bean.  However, once I made it, I thought, I'd experiment with something a little different.  The result:  EPIC FAIL!  (See, it's not all baking perfection over here!)
 So, I tossed that batch and started over.  The second go around, I just stuck with a vanilla buttercream. The vanilla bean makes a world of difference.  YUM!  So here are some plain Jane vanilla bean cupcakes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Have you ever had Mexican hot chocolate?  If not, you're missing out.  It's thick, rich, and has a hint of "spice" that makes you even warmer for drinking it.
In a moment of hunger, I decided to do a little cookie experiment.  I started with a normal chocolate chip cookie recipe (when in doubt, use the one on the Nestle chocolate chips package).  I added about 1/3 cup of cocoa to the flour mixture.  I also added about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of allspice, and a little dash of nutmeg to the party.  Instead of semi-sweet chips, I used dark chocolate ones instead.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.
These little babies totally hit the spot!  There's just something about adding cinnamon to chocolate!  Yum-O!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cocoa Rubbed Pork Chops

Ok, so it has NOTHING to do with baking, but cocoa is one of the ingredients!  Doesn't that count for something?
I was searching online for a new recipe for pork chops and I ran across "Cocoa rubbed pork chops."  Of course I was intrigued...it had COCOA in it!

First you make your rub:
2 T brown sugar
2 t onion powder
1 T cocoa
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t red pepper flakes (Sans this ingredient for the little ones)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
4 pork chops
2 T vegetable oil

 Heat oil in skillet.  Dredge chops in your rub until they're nice and covered.  Cook them for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink.  Super easy, and super delicious!  (I almost forgot to take an after shot.  As you can see, I was already digging into this one!)
So, even though it's NOT a dessert, it does contain cocoa and brown sugar, and that's good enough for me!