Tag Archives: Baking and Confections

Little Lamb Cake Balls from Sugarlicious and a Giveaway!

If you like making fun and creative treats, you’ll have to check out the new book Sugarlicious: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion (softcover). I’m excited to tell you that I have a copy of this book to give away, too! I’ll let you know how you can enter the drawing to win the book at the end of this post. But first, I’ll tell you a little more about Sugarlicious and share a cute recipe from it called Little Lamb Cake Balls.

Author and professional cookie decorator Meaghan Mountford (she also has a blog called The Decorated Cookie) includes 50 easy-to-follow recipes for any party or occasion in her book, which is also filled with colorful photos and illustrated step-by-step directions (all photos shown in this post are from Sugarlicious). Some of the fun treats you can make include Milkshake Cake Pops, Pink Princess Cupcakes, Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops, and these cute Barnyard Animal Snack Cakes

There are some fun Easter treats I found in Sugarlicious, too–Bunny Cookie Pops and Easter Egg Painted Cookies

And I thought these Little Lamb Cake Balls were perfect for Easter, too…

Here’s the recipe if you want to try them out!

LITTLE LAMB CAKE BALLS (from Sugarlicious)

Makes 48 to 60 cake balls

  • Cake Balls*
  • black edible writer
  • Jordan almonds
  • shredded coconut
  • white candy melts**
  • mini pretzel sticks
  • wax paper
  1. Follow the recipe for cake balls (see below) to bake your cake, prepare your cake balls and chill.
  2. Make 2 black dots for eyes with the edible writer on the Jordan almonds and set aside.
  3. Pour coconut on a plate and set aside. Melt candy melts according to the instructions. For each lamb, break 2 pretzel sticks in half so each pretzel piece is about 1 3/4 inches long. Dip the ends of the 4 pretzel pieces in the melted candy melts; then insert them into the base of a chilled cake ball. For best results, return the cake ball to the freezer for 5 minutes to help set. Holding 2 of the pretzel legs, dip the cake ball in the melts and immediately roll in coconut.  Stand the cake ball on the pretzel legs on a piece of wax paper.
  4. Use a dab of melted candy melts to adhere the Jordan almond head to the lamb.  Let dry.

*To make cake balls, bake a 9×13″ sheet cake using the recipe from Sugarlicious on page 25, your favorite recipe, or a box of store-bought cake mix. Let the cake cool completely and crumble into a large bowl. Stir in 1 1/3 cups of buttercream frosting or use 3/4 of a container of store-bought frosting and mix well, pressing the cake and frosting together with the back of a spoon or, preferably, mixing them with your hands until you have a texture that is wet, smooth and able to be formed.

Between the palms of your hands, roll the mixture into balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place them on a baking tray lined with wax paper. Freeze for fifteen minutes, no longer. Move the tray of cake balls to the refrigerator to keep them firm but not frozen. Work with a few cake balls at a time, while keeping the remainder in the fridge.

**For helpful tips and instructions on melting chocolate and candy melts, see the Techniques section in Sugarlicious on page 34).

NOTE: Store-bought cake mix will make about 48 cake pops; the recipe in Sugarlicious makes  about 60; amounts for other recipes may vary.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED–Winner is Ann W, comment #13!

THE GIVEAWAY!

Here’s how you can enter to win a copy of Sugarlicious:

First entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite Easter treat.

Bonus entries: Leave an additional comment telling me you are a new Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest  follower, or new subscriber. If you’re already subscribing or following, leave a comment telling me you’re already following and how. If you want to follow more than one way, you can leave a comment for each way you are following.

Be sure to leave all  your comment entries on this post–the random drawing winner will be chosen only from the comments on this post!

 The giveaway is open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada. The giveaway will end on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at midnight (CST). Winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced the following evening.

Linked to Sweets for a Saturday.

Eat Your Peas and Carrots!

My foodie friend Jane made some really cute cupcakes a few weeks ago. She made Peas and Carrots Cupcakes and Popcorn Cupcakes–I’ll show you the Popcorn Cupcakes in a little bit.

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The “peas” are green Skittles® and the “carrots” are orange Starburst® candies–just cut an orange square candy piece into fourths to get four cubes that look a lot like carrot chunks! Frost your cupcakes with white or green tinted icing, then add the candies on top, pressing them into the frosting.

Jane also showed me a photo of some other fun cupcakes decorated like food…I’ve seen photos of cupcakes like these on the web, and they’re called TV Dinner Cupcakes. This photo is from a lifestyle and design blog called BlackEiffel.

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Here are instructions for the TV dinner cupcakes from MarthaStewart.com…the instructions are also in the cookbook Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack.

TV DINNER CUPCAKES  (makes a total of 6 cupcakes)

You’ll need 6 vanilla cupcakes, baked in silver foil liners.

FOR DRUMSTICKS (makes 3):

  • 1/4 cup white chocolate melting wafers, melted
  • 1 cup Vanilla Frosting (homemade or canned)
  • 3 plain store-bought doughnut holes
  • 1 cup cornflake crumbs
Place the bone template (from the book Hello, Cupcake) on a baking sheet (or draw your own shape of half a bone–you’ll have to estimate the size). Cover with parchment paper; set aside. Place melted chocolate into a resealable plastic bag and snip a 1/8-inch corner from the bag. Following the bone template, pipe an outline onto the parchment paper. Fill the bone in with chocolate and lightly tap pan to smooth top of chocolate. Repeat process 3 times. Refrigerate until firm, about 5 minutes.
Spread vanilla frosting on top of 3 cupcakes, mounding it slightly. Place 1 doughnut hole on top of each cupcake. Spread frosting over the doughnut hole until it is smooth and covered. Place cornflake crumbs in a medium bowl. Gently press frosted cupcakes in crumbs to cover completely. Place cupcakes in a 6-cup disposable aluminum cupcake baking tray. Using a sharp knife, make a small slit in the top of each crumbed doughnut hole. Carefully peel 1 chocolate bone from the parchment paper and insert the pointed end into one of the slits. Repeat with remaining 2 bones and cupcakes.
FOR MASHED POTATOES (makes 1):
  • 1 yellow fruit chew, such as Laffy Taffys® or Starbursts®, cut into a 1-inch square
  • 3 tablespoons Vanilla Frosting (homemade or canned)
  • 1/2 tablespoon store-bought caramel sauce, heated
Spread vanilla frosting on 1 cupcake, mounding it slightly. Use a small spoon to create a well in the center of the frosting. Place cupcake in aluminum baking tray. Place yellow fruit chew in the well at an angle. Drizzle caramel sauce on top of cupcake so that it fills the well and spills over like gravy.
FOR PEAS AND CARROTS (makes 1):
  • 3 orange fruit chews, such as Starbursts®, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Frosting (homemade or canned)
  • Green gel food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons green candies, like Skittles® or M&M’s®
Color vanilla frosting with green food coloring and spread on top of 1 cupcake. Arrange orange fruit chews and green candies on top of cupcake, pressing them into the frosting. Place cupcake in aluminum baking tray.
FOR CHOCOLATE PUDDING (makes 1):

Place chocolate frosting in a resealable plastic bag; press out all the excess air and seal to enclose. Snip a 1/4-inch corner from the bag. Pipe chocolate frosting into a spiral swirl onto the remaining cupcake. Top with sprinkles and place in aluminum baking tray. Serve.

Now here are the Popcorn Cupcakes Jane made–aren’t they cute? She followed instructions on how to make them at eHow.
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Here are the steps…Jane said they were easy to make! All you need are cupcakes, frosting, and miniature marshmallows.

POPCORN CUPCAKES

  1. Bake a regular batch of cupcakes, using a cupcake pan lined with paper or aluminum cupcake liners. Although white or light-colored cupcakes are easier to cover with icing, the cupcakes can be any flavor you like. Allow the cupcakes to cool (Jane used a cake mix to make her cupcakes).
  2. Frost the cupcakes with white frosting. Use homemade frosting, or simplify the process with boxed or canned frosting (Jane used canned frosting on her cupcakes).
  3. Cut an ‘X’ shape into the top of each miniature marshmallow, using a clean pair of scissors. Leave the bottom of the marshmallow intact. Cut enough miniature marshmallows to cover the top of each cupcake (about 30 to 40 miniature marshmallows).
  4. Press the miniature marshmallows into the frosting on the top of the cupcakes. Pile the marshmallows so the cupcake looks like a bag filled with popcorn.
  5. Place a small amount of water in a cup. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to create a buttery color. Use a pastry brush or a clean paintbrush to coat the miniature marshmallows with the butter-colored water.
  6. Create bands from red construction paper, or use red and white striped gift wrapping paper. The bands should be large enough to wrap around the base of the cupcake — about 8 inches by 1 and 1/4 inches. Alternatively, create a band on your computer, then duplicate it several times. Note: Jane used a pre-made band she found at Scribd.com
  7. Wrap a paper band around the base of each cupcake, securing each band with a piece of clear tape.

Hope you have fun trying these out!

Linked to Foodie Friday, I’m Lovin’ It Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, Make it Yours Day, Show and Tell, Strut Your Stuff.

Elizabeth’s Sugar Cookies

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Brian is one of my co-workers and friends, and his wife Elizabeth is a really great baker and cook. She made these sugar cookies for an open house we had at work, and they were so cute and delicious! The cookies had a great texture, and the icing was just right…not too heavy, not too light. I asked Brian if Elizabeth would want to share her recipe on LRElizSugCook1my blog, and I’m so glad she did! Here’s the recipe if you want to try making them. They’re a great sugar cookie to make at Christmas or any other holiday…or just whenever you’re craving a good sugar cookie! She found the recipes for the cookies and icing over at Allrecipes.com.  Thanks, Elizabeth, for sharing your source for these yummy recipes!

THE BEST ROLLED SUGAR COOKIES (from Allrecipes; makes 5 dozen)

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely before adding icing.

SUGAR COOKIE ICING (from Allrecipes; this recipe frosts 1 dozen cookies, so you’ll need to multiply this by 5 for 5 dozen cookies)

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • assorted food coloring
  • confectioners’ sugar for decorating (or your favorite sprinkles)
  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip completely cooled cookies in icing, or paint them with a brush.

Here are some photos Brian took of Elizabeth’s cookie-making process…

The cookies look great even without any frosting…

Here are some cookies that have just been dipped in the icing and are being dusted with some confectioners’ sugar…

Sprinkle the confectioners’ sugar on as light or heavy as you want…here’s how they look when the icing has set a little more…

The stockings just get partially dusted with the sugar…

And when you’re done…a nice big batch of iced cookies…as cute or cuter as you could find in a bakery!

If you’d like to see other projects Brian and his family have been up to, you’ll have to check out Brian’s blog. He’s made some really fun and creative family movies…click here to see one of my favorites!

Sharing at Cookie Plan Monday.

Triple Chocolate Pound Cake

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It’s been awhile since I’ve baked something chocolate, so I decided to do something really chocolate. After experimenting in the kitchen a bit, I came up with this recipe. I call it the Triple Chocolate Pound Cake because it has chocolate batter, rich chocolate buttercream frosting, and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips in the batter and also sprinkled on top of the cake. If you are craving something chocolate, this will hit the spot!

NOTE: I’m adding an updated version to this recipe–I’m simply calling it Version I…this version is less dense and more cake-like, but it is still very rich and chocolaty. If you’re wanting to make a bundt cake, use this version (you’ll need to double the recipe). It’s not that different from the original (Version II)…just a few tweaks here and there. You can frost it with the same Rich Chocolate Buttercream (see below) or, if you’re making a bundt cake, drizzle with a thinner chocolate glaze.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE–VERSION I  by NancyCreative

Makes 1 9×5″ loaf; double the recipe for a bundt cake.

One reader, Teresa, also tried this as a layer cake… she doubled the recipe, which filled two 8″ round pans, plus an extra 6″ round. Baking time for the layers would be between 30 and 45 minutes.

  • 1/2 cup  (1 stick) butter, softened (the more softened, the better–leave the stick of butter out overnight to soften if you can)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Half & Half (light cream)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips (Nestle® Mini Morsels)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sour cream, sugar, and half and half, blending ingredients well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add half the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and blend well; then add the remaining flour mixture and blend everything well. Fold in the mini-chocolate chips, stirring to distribute the chips evenly in the batter.

Pour or spoon batter into prepared loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 70 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (your toothpick may not come out totally clean because of the melty chocolate chips in the loaf; be careful not to overbake or loaf may be a little dry). Cool in loaf pan 10-15 minutes; then remove from pan and cool completely (that is, if you’re planning on frosting it…it’s great unfrosted, too, right out of the oven when the chocolate chips are warm and melty!)

When loaf is completely cool, frost with Rich Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (see recipe at the end of post).

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE–VERSION II  by NancyCreative

(More dense and rich; bakes about 10 minutes longer)

Makes 1 9×5″ loaf.

This version is more dense than Version I, so it doesn’t rise as much. I’ve tried this version two ways–with sour cream and cream cheese. If you want a slightly less dense cake, use sour cream instead of cream cheese. This recipe makes one 9×5 inch loaf of rich, dense, chocolate goodness.

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream OR 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Half & Half (light cream)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

In large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sour cream (or cream cheese); then add sugar, blending well, and then half and half, blending everthing well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder, blending well. Add this flour mixture, a half at a time, to the butter-sugar mixture, blending everything well. Then fold in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, stirring to distribute chips evenly in the batter.

Spoon batter into the prepared 9×5-inch loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 80 to 85 minutes (if your oven tends to run hot, your baking time might be a little less), or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (because of all those chocolate chips, the toothpick may not come out entirely clean). Cool in pan about 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, you can make the frosting…

RICH CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened (it works best if your butter is very soft)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1/4– 1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, for garnish

Cream the softened butter and powdered sugar. Then add in the cocoa powder and blend well. Add 1 Tbsp. half & half and mix well (if you’d rather have a thinner consistency, just add more half & half). When pound cake is completely cool, spoon all of the frosting on top of the cake and spread out to cover the top–you’ll have a nice thick layer of frosting! Then garnish with the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, sprinkling down the center of the cake.

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The cake has a great chocolate aroma and it’s hard to resist having a piece once you slice into it! 🙂

Linked to Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Potluck Sunday, Just Something I Whipped Up, Motivate Me Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Market Yourself Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Hodgepodge Friday, Foodie Friday, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, Feature Yourself Friday, Strut Your Stuff, Favorite Things Friday, Show Off Your Stuff, Friday Favorites, Sweets for a Saturday.

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