Sunday, April 22, 2018

yin and yang kung fu cupcakes

My two older kids are learning Kung-Fu, and last summer (or was it the summer before that? I'm really behind!) for the annual picnic I signed up to make cupcakes. When it came time to actually make the cupcakes, I had no idea what to do! Piped Kung-Fu frosting figures on the cupcakes? Chinese characters? And then when I looked at their Kung-Fu uniform, it came to me. Yin and Yang cupcakes. (It was printed on the sleeves!)

So I started by baking up my favorite chocolate cupcakes (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), as well as my favorite cream cheese frosting. I added dark cocoa powder to half of the frosting, and left the other half white, and then used a disposable piping bag fitted with a small round tip to pipe my Yin and Yang design.

I added the dots (chocolate dot on the white site, white dot on the chocolate side) to complete it.

The cupcakes were a hit, although when one of the Si-fu saw them he asked, puzzled, "Yin and Yang?" I just smiled, but I wanted to say "Yes! It's on your uniforms! I didn't know how else to decorate cupcakes for a Kung-Fu picnic!"

Anyway, all the cupcakes were eaten, so that's a good sign. Ha ha! The End.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

minecraft cookies

To go along with the Minecraft cake that I made for Matthew's 10th birthday, I also made these Minecraft cookies to include with the party favors, as well as to pass out to his class the day of his birthday at school.

For the cookies, I made my favorite sugar cookie recipe (from my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), chilled it, and rolled it out to 1/8 inch thick. Then I used a set of nested square cookie cutters to cut out shapes (I originally got mine at Williams Sonoma, but they don't carry them anymore so these cutters are pretty close), Then I baked them at 350F for 10-12 minutes until the edges were golden brown.

For the icing, I made a batch of royal icing (recipe also in my book!), and tinted the majority of it green (I used a combination of leaf green and forest green to achieve the perfect Minecraft green color!). Using stiff green icing and a small round tip fitted into a disposable pastry bag, I outlined each cookie, and then filled it in with runny green icing.

After letting the icing dry for several hours, I used stiff black icing (colored using Super Black) to pipe the creeper face on to each cookie, and then filled it in with runny black icing.

Then I let the cookies dry complete, and they were done!

I wrapped each cookie in individual cellophane favor bags and tied them with raffia, and Matthew passed them out to his classmates at school.

I also included the cookies in each favor bag at his video game birthday party at home.

Hope you had a happy birthday, my Matthew!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

minecraft cake

Man, where does the time go? My son Matthew turned 10 a few months ago. TEN. YEARS. OLD. I still can't believe he's hit double digits!

Well I make his birthday cake every year, and this year he wanted a Minecraft cake. He's obsessed with Minecraft! So we decided to have a Minecraft party. He invited a few of his best friends over and played Minecraft all day (among other video games), and we had a make-your-own burger station, and we had Minecraft birthday cake. Very chill and very fun!

A few days before the party, I prepped some fondant minecraft squares that I was going to decorate the cake with. I used regular white fondant and tinted it several colors (bright green, army green, brown, and black). Then I rolled it out and used a small square cutter to cut out little squares. (You could also use a ruler and a knife or a pizza cutter to get even squares).

For the cake itself, he wanted vanilla and filled with whipped cream and fresh berries. So I did a combo of raspberries and blueberries (although I forgot to take a picture of the blueberry layer!), nestled in whipped cream, in between layers of homemade vanilla cake (baked in two 8-inch cake pans, and sliced in half horizontally to give me four cake layers - you can find my favorite vanilla cake recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!). 

Then I whipped up a batch of buttercream frosting, tinted it green, and covered the cake in two coats of frosting. First a crumb coat, which I let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, and then a second final coat, which I smoothed out with a long metal spatula. Then I put the cake back in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, I used black icing to pipe his name on the side of the cake.

Afterwards, I attached my pre-made fondant squares, which were supposed to look like the pixels in the Minecraft game. Just a tiny bit of frosting on the back of each square help to hold them in place.

I added a few squares to the top of the cake as well.

The final touch was adding gold number candles (which I found at Party City, and saved me the trouble of making a gold "10" out of fondant, which I was fully prepared to do until I found these candles!)

And then it was done! Minecraft cake!

Happy 10th Birthday, my Matthew!