Archive | June, 2012

Surprise, Erin!!

8 Jun

Surprise!!!

My sister-in-law-to-be turned 30 this week and we celebrated last weekend when my brother threw her a fun (almost too much fun) surprise party.

I volunteered the cake, of course, and I think it was one of my best concoctions recently.

Michael asked for a basic vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, so I took it up a notch with a not so basic filling.

I googled yellow cake recipes and found this one. I loved the idea that the writer wanted to perfect the cake recipe while pregnant, so I gave it a whirl. It was definitely moist and delicious. I will comment that the recipe made more than 1 9×13, so I ended up with a bit taller layers than I would’ve liked, but it still was great.

The frosting was my go-to, with added cocoa powder and melted milk chocolate chips. I used about half the bag trying to get a deeper color but I supposed had I used dark chocolate I would’ve had a color close to what I wanted, but again, flavor trumped the mis-step.

I filled these super layers with chocolate pudding and mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, they look cute in their chocolate sandwich.

I made another batch of frosting and dyed it a perfect lime green (per Michael’s request), and topped the cake with a champagne bottle made of rice krispie treats!

For the bottle I did a lot of research on shaping treats. I found that using oil instead of butter would help the shape keep their shape, which makes sense because you kind of want less gooeyness than usual. I would never use oil in treats for dessert, they were not nearly as good as the normal ones, but the bottle held its shape really well – yes!

I decorated with the number “30” and Erin’s initial “E” and birth year “1982.”

The cake was a huge success, Erin even thought her mom ordered it. Everyone gobbled it up! Happy 30th Birthday, Erin! (and happy one year til your wedding!)

Speedy Summer Sweets

7 Jun

Oh I love alliteration in my headlines.

This summer, well so far in May and June which has felt very summery, I’ve been going back to my dessert roots.

When I first started making desserts for my friends and family, mostly my dad, I wasn’t really baking, just creatively combining ingredients. This non-baking desserts is perfect for two things – warm weather and dessert-ing with children.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I tackled two of this speedy summer sweets.

Although we have a fire pit in the backyard, we don’t use it very often, so I decided to make s’mores on the oven. Be careful if you do this because stoves can be tricky – make sure you don’t over burn your marshies!

On Memorial Day my sister and family came over and Madeline and I mixed together some red, white and blue snacks. We made vanilla instant pudding (with red sprinkles stirred in) and layered frozen strawberries, the pudding and fresh blueberries in sugar ice cream cones. I wish I had one of those ice cream cone stands for this project, but otherwise they were really cute and a healthy way to celebrate the patriotic holiday.

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