Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mini Rose Cupcakes

Placeholder on frosted roses on mini apple cupcakes. I am attempting to do a rose frosting on my none egg buttercream frosting. So I quickly baked a batch of mini cupcakes and sprinkled finely chopped apples on top of each cupcake before cupcakes go into the oven.

I am using a tip #104 to frost the roses, I am pretty satisfied for my first try working on these roses. Buttercream recipe is from this link ...

Here are the pictures.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sugar Cookies iced with Royal Icing

  I am always looking for a new challenge when it comes to my baking. Something worth doing is rarely easy, but this new style of icing that I am learning was more difficult than I expected.
Using royal icing on sugar cookies is my newest challenge. When I first saw the elaborate designs other people were using and creating, it inspired me to try.
   I know that I am hard on myself and always want my cookies to be nearly perfect the first time. I am always that way. So I wasn't surprised that I wasn't happy with my first few attempts at this new "for me" icing. I would take pictures of my first attempts at the royal frosting on my sugar cookie recipe and think that my designs are so sloppy compared to the photos I had seen on other baker's blogs. I knew I could do better so it was back to the kitchen for another attempt at my better version of this tasty treat.
   I am using a tried and true sugar cookie recipe that I have perfected over the past holiday seasons. Everyone says not a cookie will go stale if I use this recipe, so I am confident in it's goodness. The royal icing recipe is a winner but I needed to perfect a few techniques before it was really my own. Flooding the cookie takes practice both the technique on the flooding and the consistency of the icing; Practice, practice... it is like learning how to ride a bicycle... sort of. And I did what I normally do, try and try again and then try some more until I feel the icing and the cookie are a good fit for each other.

My sugar cookie itself, seems just right for this style and texture of icing. The cookies are flat and broad and smooth, making a surface nice for an iced base to lay down my more intricate designs that I place on top of the flooded base.

You can find my sugar cookies recipe here
And link to the recipe on... Royal Icing

Here are the pictures of my finished cookies !

Variety of Frosting including Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I have been experimenting different kind of frosting. This is an interesting recipe and I am very curious to find out how this turns out. Unfortunately it took me a few tries, probably 4 or 5 times, and failed 2 or 3 times. This time when I failed, I didn't put much thought into it. I thought I try again and it was a success. On the 3rd attempt, I failed miserably, so I tried again immediately after and I failed that too. I was very disappointed. And I had to have some frosting that evening, so I had to use the store bought frosting. I just thought how could I failed so many times and had success once so I went online to find out what caused my failure. Ok, before I go any further, let me explain first what is needed on this recipe. One of the key ingredient is egg white. The other ingredients are real butter, vanilla extract, pinch of cream of tartar and granulated sugar and I am really thrilled, no powdered sugar is needed here. See it, key ingredient egg white? that means no egg yolk, I like bring to your attention and mine, no egg yolk!! and guess what my failure was due to tiny bit of egg yolk in my mixture resulted in failed result to the recipe.. oi??

Also, use real butter no exception. Everything else is piece of cake :) So from now on, my meringue buttercream is happily ever after. This recipe also stores well in freezer (can be stored for longer period) or fridge ( made a few days ahead ), just bring out to room temperature and whip it in mixer for a few minutes before using. This recipe gets plenty of rave on the wedding cake I made.

10 egg whites - room temperature
2 1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cream of tartar
6 stick butter - room temperature


American Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (salted, or unsalted)
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (best quality available)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half or milk.

*Optional- As mentioned above, I like a cream cheese version of this frosting best.  The cream cheese adds to the creamy texture, and cuts down on the sweetness just a bit.  If desired, for a very light cream cheese flavor add 1/2 block (4 oz). cream cheese, leaving the other ingredients (as listed above) the same.  For a more traditional cream cheese flavor, reduce the butter to 1/2 cup, and add 1 block (8 oz.) of cream cheese.  If using a full block of cream cheese, you can reduce the cream or milk to 1 tablespoon total.

Buttercream with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temp)
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
7 cups powdered sugar (2 lb bag)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk.
see direction above on American Buttercream Frosting!

Eggless Buttercream made with flour:
1 cup butter
5 tbsp flour
1 tsp
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk

Place these 3 ingredients in a sauce pan; sugar, flour, milk. Heat and stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved and sauce is a little bubbly, about 7 minutes.

Transfer to the above to mixer and continue to mix over low speed until sauce is completely cool.
Slow add in butter one tablespoon at a time.
Once all butter is added, mix at higher speed for another 5-10 minutes until frosting comes puffy.
Frosting is ready for use.
If you want to store for later use, keep refrigerated, bring to room temperature and beat in mixer to puffy and frost on your cake or cupcakes :

Royal Icing
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 egg white
pinch of cream of tartar

In mixing bowl, whip egg whites until foamy, slowly add in sugar 1/2 cup at a time.
Mix in cream of tartar and mix at high speed for 5 mins till mixture comes together.
Add a few drops of food color/gel and mix well.
Add a few drops of water at a time and mix well each time and check consistency until desired consistency.

Cookie Icing
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water or milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained (optional)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dresden Quilt

I have been wanting to sew on a dresden pattern quilt. This time, I am also sewing a bigger quilt, size wise ... though this is still not quite a bedsize quilt. Not following any rules or symetricals, I just put together two different dresdens and lined the perimeters with random patches and complimentary color fabrics.

This quilt measures 53 x 55 inches. This quilt will compliments well in the family room, on a recliner chair, or throw it over a toddler's bed :)

I have quite a few pictures to show off the difference angles of the quilt.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Brach's mini hearts

In the spirit and celebration of Valentine's Day, I thought I baked a quick batch of cupcakes out of the cake mix .... cheat cheat. I also have to confess, as tasty and as sumptous Red Velvet cakes sound and look, I just can't stand of making my own red velvet cakes from scratch as usually the recipe calls for lots of RED food color. Thus, I always resulted to using the cake mix so I can pretend all is good as the mix always miraculously produces and renders those beautiful velvety red cakes... and they taste yummy too.

Without further ado, lets get started. I am using Betty Crocker Red Velvet cake mix to bake these cupcakes with a little tweak on the directions.

Here they are:

1 box of red velvet cake mix
3 eggs separated
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup oil


In mixing bowl, start mixing egg white in slow speed and gradually bring up the speed to medium high. As the egg white begins to thicken, slowly add in sugar until all the sugar are mixed in, Continue to beat egg white until it forms a stiff peak, stop the beating and set aside.

While egg white is still beating, in a separate bowl, mix oil and sugar until combined. Mix in egg yolk and mix well. Mix in flour. Alternately, add and mix in cake mix and water until well incorporated. Fold in egg white to cake mixture but do not over mix.

Prepare and line 24 standard cupcake pans, drop by the spoonful cake batter into cake pans.
Bake cupcakes for 18-20 mins until toothpick comes out clean. Do not over baked cupcakes.

Frost with buttercream. Topped each cupcake with a mini heart. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chocolate Cupcakes for Super Bowl party.

Today is the 50th Super Bowl day, the Broncos are playing the Panthers. Broncos is the underdog and thus, we are rooting for the Broncos and Peyton Mannings. As I have to bring a dessert to the Super Bowl party and thus I decided to make cupcakes. I am making chocolate cupcakes with eggless merginue frosting. Unfortunately my frosting is not a success but I am still using the frosting as I don't want to make another batch of frosting. I am using mini vanilla wafer (ok these are stored bought vanilla wafer - save time making separate cookies) and decorate the vanilla wafer to look like footballs as an added touch since this is Super Bowl Football ... what FUN :)

1/2 cup Hershey unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 cup water
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter (1 stick) room temperature
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Mix together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder in a bowl.
In mixer, beat egg white for a min or 2 and gradually add in 1/2 cup of sugar, mix till mixture forms a stiff peak, set aside.
Cut butter into 1 cup of sugar in a bowl.
Mix into butter mixture egg yokes, mix in vanilla.
Fold in butter mixture sour cream.
Alternate flour mixture and water into butter mixture..
Fold in egg white.

Line 24 regular size muffin pan. Scoop batter evenly divided to the muffin pan.
Preheat oven at 350 degree.
Bake cake for 18-20 mins.
Cool and frost cupcakes.
Store cupcakes in fridge until ready to serve.

Here are pics of the finished cupcakes.