Thursday, January 31, 2013

Royal Red Heart Cupcake Toppers

I've got a couple of new stuff I've baked recently and am extremely happy with. For peanut butter lovers and chocolate lovers alike. Problem is, it is almost midnight as I write this, I have to wake up early tomorrow morning and my recipe book happens to be on the top shelf of a cabinet about 12 feet away. So I'll post the pictures and recipes some other time.
Instead, I want to share with you pictures of these vivid red cupcakes toppers I made out of royal icing.
It's almost February and a lot of people are already busy with orders for Valentine's! Personally, I don't treat Valentine's Day any differently, it's NOT a non-working holiday so it certainly feels like a regular day. Plus, the whole bouquet of flowers on V-Day? It doesn't really work for me.
But give me a box of chocolates or cupcakes...and I will instantly follow you like a lovesick puppy!
These photos show my first attempts at royal icing. I piped the hearts on acetate that I wiped a bit with shortening. I didnt realize the toppers would take so long to dry! I made the hearts for my sister-in-law's birthday dinner the following night and the royal icing was still very soft and terribly fragile. I should have let them dry for at least 2 days. Oh well.
I managed to get all the cupcakes decorated and that's what counts. I am tempted to do this again for Valentine's day to give to my relatives. Apart from the drying time, you finish so much in less than an hour!
You don't even have to wait for Valentine's Day to make these!
Because everyday should be Valentine's Day! (Cheesy, I know haha!)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creamy & Dreamy

I know I've mentioned that Cream Cheese doesn't seem to agree much with me, but after making so many red velvet cupcakes over the holidays I have finally found my go-to recipe for tasty cream cheese frosting that hasn't failed me so far.
I don't even have to put this in the chiller since it holds its shape after piping. That means I get to finish decorating my cupcakes sooner without compromising the taste of my frosting.
So I hope you try this out and if you've ever had problems with cream cheese frosting, you can now kiss them a sweet goodbye with this recipe!

What we'll need:
1 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
 3-4 cups icing sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream butter, shortening and cream cheese. Once well combined add the vanilla extract and salt. Add the icing sugar gradually. You don't have to use up all 4 cups of icing sugar, if you like the consistency of the frosting with 3 cups you can stop there. 
My cousin likes a sweeter frosting so when I made her cupcakes I used 5 cups of icing sugar and added 1/2 teaspoon milk. 
But that's basically it! Cream cheese frosting that's stiff and rich and oh so delicious! 
Now I never have to worry about making cream cheese frosting! In fact, I now come up with all sorts of excuses to make this kind of frosting!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Garage Sale Treasures

Everyday on my way home from work I would pass by this street a couple of blocks from where I live. Its your usual street lined with houses and cars parked out front, not really a busy street and not super interesting. Except for this one house. A brown house with a high gate and a small stall in front with a sign that read "Garage Sale". I normally go straight home after work so I could be with the baby but this time around I decided to check it out, especially since I keep seeing these colorful bowls and jars on display.
Look at the treasures I found!
They were all in really good shape too. A little bit of cleaning and they looked practically new! The set of green bowls even had the price tag attached to it.
The red baking dishes really made me happy because when I peeked underneath...
What a find! A Paula Deen baking dish!
And another excellent find at this garage sale was this...
It's an 8-inch cake stand with a cover and a christmas village design. Absolutely lovely! I was ecstatic over my finds!
Do you want to know what the best part about the garage sale was? I bought 5pcs soup bowls, 2pcs baking dish, and a cake stand with a cover and everything cost me only 15 dollars!

You can imagine how HUGE my smile was when I got home!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

I know the toppers are for Christmas but hey, it's still under the 'holiday' theme so please let it slide.
I feel like 2012 just breezed by me. Having a baby puts everything on fast-forward and last year, no matter what I did, it was like I couldn't catch my breath.
There are so many things I am truly thankful for - a husband who supports me, a healthy and happy baby, work that fulfills me and family and friends who make me feel like the luckiest woman on Earth.
May 2013 whisper wonderful moments in your ear, may every experience promise joy and hope and love for you and your family. May every glorious second last forever.
Wishing you the best this new year!