Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Better Late Than Never

Well I have fallen off of my news years resolution to blog at least once a week.  I have over scheduled myself to make sure I stayed busy and that the time flew by (which it has)!!  It is hard to believe that my hubby has been gone a month already and I can only hope that the rest of his time gone goes by just as quick.

Valentine's Day came and went fairly quickly and instead of basking in self pity of not having my Valentine here to celebrate with me, I chose to turn Valentines Day into a celebration of my other Valentine, my daughter, Emma.  We spent a fairly quiet evening at Chuck e Cheese with Grammie and our good friend Lenzi.  Of course cupcakes had to be involved and I chose to make a raspberry and white chocolate cupcake (recipe from the book The Cupcake Diaries which I review a few weeks back) with a dark chocolate dipped raspberry on top.  They were pretty good, but I am glad I made mini size because boy were they sweet!

I also dabbled in making some chocolate covered Oreo's for my hubby's valentines day care package.  I don't know why, but they seemed intimidating, maybe because in the past I haven't had much luck with melting chocolate.  Much to my surprise, they were the easiest thing to make, looked amazing and tasted even better.  Todd shared them with his buddies over there and they got rave reviews!!

The best part of this post is a recent project I took up after seeing it on Pinterest (of course).  I have decided that I wanted to put together a ladies tea party the day before mother's day to celebrate good friends, great mothers and awesome ladies and of course there will be cupcakes as well as other sweets involved.  I knew I wasn't going to find a store bought cupcake stand that would serve this event any purpose so of course I decided to make one myself.  After spending this past Saturday going from estate sale to estate sale and rummaging through what seemed like a dozen different thrift stores (I think it really may have been a dozen) I found WONDERFUL vintage plates in different sizes as well as two pale pink candle sticks and a tea cup and saucer that were already glued together and perfect for the top of the cupcake stand.  After doing some research, I found that using an adhesive called E6000 would work perfect for this project.

I made sure I cleaned and dried the plates, candle sticks and cup/saucer thoroughly (per adhesive instructions).  First I glued one candle stick to the largest, bottom plate and the other candle stick to the medium, middle plate. I used a measuring tape to measure around each plate to make sure the candle sticks were centered and I let those dry over night to assure the best bonding.  In the morning, I glued the middle plate to the candle stick of the bottom plate and then topped it off by gluing the cup/saucer to the candle stick on the middle plate. Again, I used a measuring tap and measured all around the plates to make sure they were centered and let the glue bond for a couple days.

I am so thrilled at how GORGEOUS the cupcake stand turned out and not only will it be perfect for the tea party, it is one of a kind and only cost about $6.50 to make.  Doesn't get much better than that!!  I am in the market to make another 2-tiered stand to accompany the 3-tier!

Next undertaking is going to be an Angry Bird's cupcake cake & cupcakes for my nephews birthday in a couple weeks! 

Until then, my cupcake friends!

Lacey Cakes

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Week in Review

This past week has been a busy one for me.  As promised I have come up with every avenue possible to have an excuse to bake and decorate cupcakes.  Any birthday, holiday, tv event, get together, etc, I am now known to bring cupcakes.  People expect nothing less :)

Last Wednesday, I went out on a much needed girls night at Sublime Ale House to celebrate a friends belated birthday, of course cupcakes were a must.  For the first time, I tried a batch of mini cupcakes using the Guinness recipe I posted last week, but instead of Irish Cream ganache, I used Malibu rum for a slight coconut flavor and regular vanilla buttercream for the frosting.  I finally decided to try out my buttons and ribbons mold by Wilton that I got a while back at Michaels.  The cupcakes turned out great and tasted much so that we had the waiters coming back for seconds.

On Sunday, of course the Super Bowl wouldn't be complete without some cupcakes.  Since I didn't really have a preference for either team, I decided to go with a neutral football themed cupcakes.  I tried a new white cupcake recipe with vanilla bean buttercream...AMAZING (recipe to follow).

Lastly, today marked my very first PAID cupcake order out the door.  I was proud, nervous and excited and very happy when the customer loved the cupcakes.  I cannot wait to see how this venture of mine pans out.  At least I know it is something I love and I hope my passion is shown through on the cupcakes!

Until next time, I will leave you with this great white cupcake recipe that i found from Good Life Eats:

Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Cupcakes

Makes approximately 18-20 cupcakes (about 48 minis)


For the Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 large egg whites, room temperature
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (to maintain the bright white color)
1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk


For the Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the racks in the center position. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside. *see below for mini directions

In a large bowl combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, sour cream, and egg whites. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer (I got a better dome with the hand mixer). Add the butter, sugar and vanilla to the bowl and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light. Scrape the sides as necessary.

Add the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture while beating on medium speed, again scraping the sides as needed. Beat in half of the sour cream mixture. Alternately add the remaining flour mixture and sour cream until all the wet and dry ingredients have added, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth.
Use a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), evenly divide the batter between 18 lined muffin tins filling each about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 15-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and vanilla bean seeds. Beat until fluffy. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the confectioners' sugar while continuing to beat.

Once well blended, add in the vanilla and 4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk. Mix on low speed until well combined and moist. If desired, an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until your desired consistency is reached. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

*for mini cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.


Lacey Cakes