Sunday, February 28, 2016

teapot tea party cookies with brush embroidery flowers


Sometime last year, my friend Monica asked me to make teapot cookie favors for her daughter's afternoon tea themed birthday party, and after collaborating back and forth over text, we decided to go with pink and blue teapot cookies with brush embroidery flowers!

I started by making my favorite sugar cookies (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!) and cutting out the cookies with a teapot cookie cutter. After baking them and letting them cool, I whipped up a batch of royal icing (recipe also in my book!). Using gel-based food coloring, I tinted a portion of the icing pink (using Americolor soft pink), another portion blue (using Americolor sky blue), and left the last portion white. Then with stiff pink icing in a disposable piping bag and a small round tip, I outlined half of the cookies in pink ...

... and then filled them in with runny pink icing.

Then I did the same with the other half of the cookies except with blue icing. Once the icing had dried for several hours, I was ready to pipe on the details, including the brush embroidery. This is a technique where you pipe an outline with stiff icing, and then use a (slightly damp) food-safe brush to drag the edges of the outline towards the center, giving a cool painted effect.

Here's how it looked with just the outline of the flower and accompanying leaf:

And here's how it looked after I used a brush to drag the edges towards the center. I also added a few dots of stiff white icing in the center of each flower.

After letting the brush embroidery and details dry, they were done!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

circus carnival cake with handmade fondant lion topper

Sometime last year, I received a request for a circus carnival cake for a baby's first birthday. Doan, the baby's mother wanted a lion topper on the cake, and a colorful circus themed border on the cake. So based on the sample pictures that she had sent me, I came up with this cake!

For the lion topper, I decided to do something in the same style as the giraffe topper that I had made for this giraffe baby shower cake. So first I tinted my fondant using golden yellow gel-based food coloring, and then shaped out the various lion parts that I would be needing - a torso, back legs, front legs, and a head.

Then I added ears, a white snout, used a black edible food marker to add eyes and a nose, and then used a flower shaped cookie cutter to make the lion's mane out of orangey-brown tinted fondant.

After attaching all the parts (with a toothpick in the center of the lion to hold the head in place), I added a cute little tail.

And a cute little fondant lion was born!

For the cake, I baked 1.5 batches of vanilla cake (recipe in my book!) into two 10-inch round cake pans, and  I sliced each cake layer in half horizontally to give me four cake layers. Then I filled each cake layer with freshly whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

After all the layers were assembled, I let the cake chill in the fridge while I whipped up two batches of cream cheese buttercream. I set a bit of the frosting aside (to be tinted various colors) and then tinted the majority of the frosting with Americolor royal blue. Then I used the blue frosting to do a crumb coat and a second coat over the tops and sides of the cakes, smoothing it out each time with an offset spatula (and chilling in between coats).

Then it was time to decorate! For the colorful beaded border I used a Wilton #12 tip, which I also used to pipe large polka dots all over the sides of the cake (and later smoothed them out with an offset spatula). The final touch was to add the birthday boy's name in big red letters using a Wilton #3 tip.

And then it was time to add the fondant lion, which I attached using a bit of frosting on the bottom of the fondant figure.

Happy happy birthday, Roland! Hope you enjoyed your cake! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

seashell, starfish, and seahorse cookies

Last September, my cousin's husband's cousin (cousin-in-law?) Su asked me to make sea-themed cookies for her sister's baby shower. The invitations had a pretty sea coral theme, so we decided to go with seashells, seahorses, and starfish in turquoise and coral colors.

I baked up a few batches of my favorite sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), and used various cookie cutters that I had bought on Amazon! (You can find them here for the star fish, here for the sea shell, and here for the sea horse!)

For the seashells, I used stiff white royal icing (recipe also in my book!) to outline the shells, and once they were dry I filled them in with runny white icing.

Then once that had dried for several hours, I went back with stiff white icing and a small round tip to pipe the shell details.

I also prepared piping bags of turquoise and coral colored icing. For the turquoise I used Americolor sky blue, and for the coral I used two parts soft pink, one part lemon yellow, and one part red.

Next came the starfish. I again outlined each one, this time with stiff turquoise icing, and then filled them in with runny turquoise icing.

Once dry, I added dot details to each starfish, using stiff turquoise icing.

I also made some of them in coral.

And it was pretty much the same process for the seahorses as well - outline with stiff icing, fill with runny icing, let dry, and then use stiff icing to add the details.

I love how they turned out, and I especially love this color combination!

Happy baby shower, Jueun! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

snowflake cutout apple pie for christmas

In addition to the cookie christmas tree and reindeer cookies that I made this past Christmas, I also made this apple pie for dessert! It's been a recent tradition of mine to make apple pie for Christmas, including this Christmas wreath apple pie, or this Christmas Tree apple pie (there's even a Hello Kitty apple pie in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), so this year I decided to do snowflake cutouts for my pie!

I started with a batch of my favorite pie crust (recipe in my book!), divided it in half, and rolled out my bottom crust to fit into the bottom of my 9-inch pie dish. Then I poured in my apple filling (apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and a pinch of salt), and then used a snowflake cookie cutter to make a snowflake decorated top crust!

After a quick egg wash and a sprinkling with sanding sugar, I popped it into a 415F oven for 15 minutes, and then lowered it to 350F for 45-50 minutes, until the crust had become golden brown.

I'm already thinking of more shapes to make for future Christmases to come!