Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Burthday Ah-Murica!

I love love love the Red, White, and Blue! I love cakes! So here is an ALL AMERICAN cake!

First, I made two batches of cake mix, one full, one halved. You can do box, or scratch, what ever you want!

I then colored each batch, one red and one blue! I recommend these food colors, they are stronger so you can use less, but I still used almost ALL of the container, just FYI. Wilton brand, you can get them at Hobby Lobby or Micheal's, even Walmart!

The red batter I mixed in two 9-in cake pans, and the blue in a deep 6-in pan. I also had enough for a tiny one too, I made for my son, buts that's for another post!

Cook until done (about 30 min) and let cool 100%. You will be cutting the cakes into thin layers, and frosting warm layers is a pain in the butt!

Next I cut the blue cake flat, and the red cake into a total of six layers (three for each cake). I have an Ultimate Cake cutter, so I don't have to worry about uneven slices, but you can use a knife if you don't have a cake cutter).

You are going to do the first three red layers as cake, WHITE frosting, cake, frosting, cake, frosting.
With the next three, cut the middle out of the layers (I used the blue cake as my size guide) and layer the rings the same way as the bottom three. They will probably break, but that's OK, you have enough frosting to 'glue' them back together.
After you have all the red layers down, put the blue cake where you cut the hole in the top three layers.
Use the white frosting in a pastry bag to fill the gaps and hole in the cake, anywhere they may be. The cake will probably get crumbs in the frosting, but it's OK, it'll still look good when your done.

I had to cut the blue cake down some to make it fit, all the frosting between layers made it to big. I just eyeballed the sizing for that.

I didn't really do anything fancy on the outside, just some sprinkles and marshmallows, because I wanted to surprise everyone with the inside of my cake! It looks AWESOME and I can't wait to make this again for the family this 4th of July!
Try it, it is actually very easy to make, a little time consuming, I did it in about 3.5 hours from start (baking) to finish (before clean up).
Happy soon to be birthday America!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

French Breakfast Puffs

French Breakfast Puffs, oh Lordie. Truth be told, there’s really nothing French about them. You start by baking a delectable, moist, tinged-with-nutmeg muffin, and they’re good enough on their own. But what happens then is really quite shocking. And quite delicious. Using your hands, you literally plunge the muffins into an obscene amount of melted butter, taking your own sweet time to ensure ample absorption. Then, as if that weren’t evil enough, you roll the buttery muffin in a cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating it with delicious sweetness. The result is a flavorful muffin with a buttery-cinnamony-sugary-crusty-decadent outer layer and 750 more fat cells on your bottom. But who’s counting? Not me, that’s who. Bahahaha.

Let’s make ‘em, shall we? They’re positively delightful.

First though (Gotcha!) Let me take you around my kitchen. My ity bity, teeny tiny kitchen.
The woes of Apt living.
Ok, my second lie. But a kitchen is nothing without a cook right?
Here she is. Look at this sweet lady in that seriously AWESOME apron.
It's dirty, but all aprons should be, a sign they are well used and well loved!

 Booty much?
I look seriously tall because I am using Christopher's potty as a step stool. :D
 Speaking of Christopher, this is what he does when Momma puts her apron on.
Puzzles and Paper.
Smart AND artistic.
 Momma's a dork, but no one loves her like Christopher!

Ok, for reals, kitchen time....

 See that? You know how big a dish washer is. That's how wide my kitchen is.
No wonder I hate when people try to 'help' me.
I can never move around anything.
The only benefit?
I can toss my dirty dishes in the sink from anywhere!
Okay, this is my Pot and Pan spot.
I have so many pots and pans and no room.
If I organized them (trust me, I've tried.) they take up more room than this.
I need about four extra cabinets just for this stuff.
And another four more for this:
My additional cake baking/decorating stuff.
It sits way up there, feeling neglected, even though I bust it out quite a bit.
This sign is supposed to help me when I am at work and it's just
my Husband and Brother-in-law.
It doesn't.
But I think it tries.

That's what my kitchen is.
Someday I will have a wonderful kitchen.
One that two, maybe even THREE people can stand in.
With a cabinet for everything.
Ahh, what a dream.

My current situation will suffice for now though.
It still makes delicious food.

Ready for the Puffs? About time!
First, get your counter cleared and all the ingredients out (the recipe is on the bottom of this blog).
The Cast of Characters:
Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Nutmeg, Sugar, Shortening, Egg, Milk, Sugar, Cinnamon, and…oh, yes…BUTTER.
Begin by stirring together 3 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt…
And 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Set aside. Get excited.
Next is the shortening and sugar. Cream them together.
But not with a spoon, that will cause sugar to fly out of the bowl and on the floor.
Which is sad, I like to be barefoot in my kitchen, and I DON'T like to step on sugar.
So make sure you have a good pair of flip flops handy to stop said annoyance.
(Hey nice toes!)
Anywho, a fork works great for that.
After it's mixed, add you eggs and mix again.
Add flour mixture and 1 cup of milk alternately, 1/3rd amount at a time to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
Pry your muffin pan out from under all your iron skillets like I did, then lightly grease the muffin cups, either with butter, or spray, doesn't matter, but man, spray is about a billion times faster. :D
Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full, then bake in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.
I not only did full sized, but mini-sized. I love mini stuff, so I make minis every chance I get, better for sharing!
 I did not have enough batter to fill the mini pan, so in those empty ones, I put a little water.
It helps the pan cook evenly I promise!
 Mmmmm. Hello, my darlings. Now, these are nice little muffins on their own, if you like simple little breakfast muffins. But I’m not stoppin’ here.

In a glass container, melt 2 sticks of regular butter. In another container, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with 3 teaspoons of cinnamon.

Now it’s time for assembly! First, ask God for forgiveness. Then, roll a muffin around in the melted butter.
Take your time, making sure you roll the muffin around to adequately coat every last inch.
Don’t rush this step; give each muffin a good 20-30 seconds in the butter. You want the butter to begin to seep into the top layer of the muffin.
After the muffin has been adequately bathed in butter, begin rolling the muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Roll ‘em, sprinkle ‘em, shake ‘em around—just do what you have to do to get that cinnamon to stick. Again, don’t rush this step. It’ll take a little time for the cinnamon sugar to soak into the butter layer, and that’s what makes the delightfully light crust. You will use all of your sugar mix, I promise.
And try to resist licking fingers!

Oh so delish! And you can eat 'em now, or bag 'em up!
I have these wonderful labels, so I make a plain ol' Ziploc look creative.
The people I work with will love 'em in the morning!

Warning: You MUST eat these warm. Must, must, must. Must. Have I mentioned you must eat them warm?

French Breakfast Puffs (from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, by Ree Drummond)

 |   |   |  (maybe more)

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ⅔ cups Shortening (Crisco)
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Milk

  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 sticks Butter

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a different bowl, cream together 1 cup sugar and shortening. Then add eggs and mix again. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
In a bowl, melt 2 sticks butter. In a separate bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Paintball Cake

My cousin (in-law...) Ethan just turned 12! Woot, go him! One more to being a full blown TEEN, AHHHHH!

I just so happen to be off and available to make a cake for him, so I literally, whipped it up the night before. It's not the most brilliant cake or anything, but I think I did pretty darn good. And the best way to get better is to keep doing it. I printed up a picture of a paintball mask clip art and used it as reference for what I drew and use as my template for the fondant, and rolled little balls with fondant to put in the middle of my splatters to create the just shot look. Ethan liked it, it was his favorite activity and the mask was his favorite color! And he was the only customer I wanted to please!


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