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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sweet Pumpkin Delight Dessert

Sometimes I just feel the need to "make" something and I don't mean make by pulling out my recipes and picking one. What I mean is using an ingredient as a starting point of inspiration and creating something delicious.

I need to share with you that "sometimes" this need backfires into a mess of nothing, and then at other times like "this" time I hit the bulls eye...dead center! Enter this sweet delicious dessert. Creamy, sweet pumpkin filling accented by a  sugary, cinnamon graham cracker crust, with a layer of chocolate, butterscotch filling nestled in between.



I finished it off with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a pinch of cinnamon and half of a graham cracker square. It tasted S.P.E.C.T.A.C.U.L.A.R !! Perfect for the upcoming holiday season: a different treat for Halloween parties or even for Thanksgiving gatherings! I used little custard dishes to serve them, but you could use any type of small dessert bowls.


To make it, this is what you will need:

For the filling
  • 1/2 Cup of Pumpkin filling
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 3-4 Tbsp.  Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
For the chocolate butterscotch filling
  • 1/4 Cup Butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 Cup chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cinnamon 
For the Crust
  • 1 Package of graham crackers
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
In the blender mix the graham crackers, sugar and cinnamon. Pulse until it becomes a fine meal. Add this to your melted butter and combine well. Scoop out even amounts and press it into the bottom of your serving cups/bowls or whatever you will be serving them in :) Put them in the refrigerator while you prepare the chocolate/butterscotch filling.


In a small cup add you vanilla extract and pinch of cinnamon, put to the side. In a microwave safe dish melt the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips until smooth, put this to the side (although you will need it sort of close to you.)

In a saucepan, add your cream and cook on a medium high heat until it begins to boil, once it reaches a boil remove it from the heat and add in the melted chocolate and butterscotch mix. Immediately, begin to whisk the mixture until it becomes smooth. Add in the vanilla and cinnamon until it all is mixed.


Take your serving bowls out of the refrigerator and spoon a layer of the filling on top of the graham cracker crust and put them back into the refrigerator to set a little. Now it's time to prepare the sweet, pumpkin filling!

In a small bowl whip your heavy cream until peaks form, and put to the side (you could put it in the refrigerator.) In a medium sized bowl add the cream cheese, vanilla extract and cream together, add the pumpkin filling and continue to cream. Now slowly add in the confectioners sugar, until it is all incorporated.


Add the condensed milk, and get you whipped cream ready to add in to the mix. Fold it into the mixture a bit at a time, until it is all added. Your filling is complete! I used a decorating bag and piped the pumpkin filling into the custard cups, but you could also spoon it in if you choose. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Finish it off with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg and a graham cracker.


You can Print the recipe from here....
Sweet Pumpkin Delight Recipe


I hope you  will enjoy this as much as my family and I did! If you have any questions or just want to say hello to let me know you were here, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Basic But Delicious Butter Cream Frosting

I use quite a bit of frosting in many of my recipes as well as my tutorials, so I thought it appropriate to include a quick recipe for those of you that wish to make your own.

Easy and delicious, you can add to this recipe to make as many different flavors as you desire!! It's typically a base for any of my flavored buttercreams.



This is what you will need to make basic vanilla butter cream:
  • 1 lb.of confectioners sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 Cup) softened
  • 1-2 tbsp. Milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla extract
In a bowl cream the butter and vanilla extract. Slowly add in the confectioners sugar until creamy, add in milk.

This should frost approximately 24 Cupcakes.

That's it..so easy.

Add in other flavors if you like. Butter cream is seriously HARD to mess up.Since the base of this recipe is butter, I use this frosting more for taste than for decorating, although you could use it to decorate..just refrigerate the finished dessert so the butter will harden up.


For a decorating butter cream please refer to the recipe below, it's not as tasty, but serves it's purpose.

 Butter Cream for decorating


This is what you will need:

  • 1 stick of margarine
  • 1 cup of shortening
  • 1 lb. of confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp. meringue powder.
  • 1/2 tbsp. of vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp. milk or water


In a bowl cream together the margarine, shortening and vanilla. Add in the confectioners sugar and meringue powder and continue to mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Add in as much milk/water to the mix until the desired consistency is achieved. This recipe works better for decorating, because unlike a full butter recipe, it holds it's shape at room temperature.

Hope you enjoy!

How to Make Miniature Elmo Cupcakes

No comments :
Here is a step by step "how to" for how I  made these adorable miniature Elmo cupcakes for my daughter's second birthday. They were a hit and super easy to make!


This is what you will need:
  • Miniature cupcakes (Try and match the wrappers to the character.)
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Black gel icing
  • Miniature chocolate chips
  • Pretzel M&M's (the orange ones)
  • Decorating bags
  • 2-3 Couplers
  • Decorating Tip #233 & # 12
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Food paint brush
Supplies needed to make these Elmo cupcakes can be purchased {HERE}


You can either use store bought vanilla frosting or make your own vanilla butter cream frosting. Recipe can be found {HERE}.  Section your vanilla frosting into two separate bowls in order to tint the frosting. Add the red coloring a little at a time, until you have reached the color of Elmo's Fur. You can leave the last part plain white, since this will be used for his eyes.

Fill you decorating bags and get all your tips ready to decorate! 

The black gel icing should come in a little tube, which will allow you to pipe a bit out onto the cupcake. Using the food paint brush, shape the gel into a half  moon shape on the bottom of the cupcake, this will be his mouth.  Don't worry about getting it perfect, much of it will get covered by frosting later on.


With tip #233 on your red frosting and begin piping the outline of the cupcake.


Circle around the outer edge of the cupcake and work your way in, until all of the cupcake is covered. You can add as much frosting as you like and can build up the shape by layering the frosting.


Now take your orange pretzel M&M and place it above his mouth. You could use Orange Peanut M&M's for this as well, but since people have food allergies, I played it safe. But the choice is yours.


See him taking shape already! With a #12 tip on your white icing, add the eyes. Use a wet finger to shape the frosting if necessary. Place a miniature chocolate chip in each eye...and you are done!


And there you have it..now just join him with the rest of his buddies and you have created the hit of the party!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions or just want to say hello to let me know you were here, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy Cupcaking!





How to make Miniature Big Bird Cupcakes

No comments :
This is a complete tutorial of how I made theses adorable miniature Big Bird cupcakes for my daughter's second birthday. They were a hit and super easy to make!


This is what you will need:
  • Miniature cupcakes (Try and match the wrappers to the character.)
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Decorating bags
  • 4 Couplers
  • Decorating Tip #101, #12, #8, #5
  • Yellow, Orange & Pink gel food coloring
  • Miniature Chocolate chips
All supplies needed to make these Big Bird cupcakes can be purchased {HERE} 

You can either use store bought vanilla frosting or make your own vanilla butter cream frosting. Recipe can be found {HERE}.  Section your vanilla frosting into 4 separate bowls in order to tint the frosting. Add the yellow coloring a little at a time, until you have reached the color of Big Bird's Feathers. Add the orange until you get the correct shade for his beak. Now for the inside of his beak I added both orange AND pink to the frosting, to get the bright pinkish, orange color I used. You can leave the last part plain white, since this will be used for the eyes.

Fill you decorating bags and get all your tips ready to decorate!  With tip#101 on your Yellow frosting get ready to pipe the feathers around the rim of the cupcake. You may want to practice on a piece of wax paper in order to get the feel of it first.


I created this by simply zig zagging the frosting up and down, so it laid upon it self. If there is a name for this technique, I have no idea what it is, I just thought it looked like feathers so I went with it. 


Keep going around, until the entire surface of the cupcake is covered.


Now lets add the beak. With tip #8 on your orange frosting create a "V" shape in the middle of the cupcake.


Now with tip #5 on the orange/pink concoction :) make a smaller "V" on the inside of the beak. You tweak this a bit after it sets using a spatula to add in definition, if you like.


With tip #12 on your white frosting add the eyes, above the beak.


Add the miniature chocolate chips...and you are done!


And there you have it..now just join him with the rest of his buddies and you have created the hit of the party!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions or just want to say hello to let me know you were here, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy Cupcaking!




How to Make Miniature Cookie Monster Cupcakes

2 comments :
This is a step by step "how to" on  how I  made these adorable miniature Cookie Monster cupcakes for my daughter's second birthday. They were a hit and super easy to make!

This is what you will need:
  • Miniature cupcakes (Try and match the wrappers to the character.)
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Miniature chocolate chip cookies
  • Miniature chocolate chips
  • 2 Decorating bags
  • 2 Couplers
  • Decorating Tip #233 & # 12
  • Blue gel food coloring
All supplies needed to make these Cookie Monster cupcakes can be purchased {HERE}



Before you begin frosting your cupcakes, first you have to make a cut out of his mouth, this is where the cookie will go when you are done frosting him. With a small knife cut out a semi circle, just a little bit bigger than the miniature chocolate chip cookie.


You can test if it is big enough, by putting the cookie in the opening, if it stays put, the opening is large enough. If it feels like it may fall out, cut a little bit more out until it's a snug fit.


You can either use store bought vanilla frosting or make your own vanilla butter cream frosting. Recipe to make your own can be found {HERE}.  Section your vanilla frosting into two separate bowls in order to tint the frosting. Add the blue coloring a little at a time, until you have reached the color of cookie monster's Fur. You can leave the last part plain white, since this will be used for his eyes.

Fill you decorating bags and get all your tips ready to decorate!  With tip #233 on the blue frosting, begin piping the frosting around the outer edge of the cupcake. Continue until all but the mouth is covered. You can add more frosting if you want to build up his fur in certain areas, or to give him more of a shape.



Now you are ready to add his eyes. With a #12 tip on your white frosting, pip two eyes right above his mouth. Add the miniature chocolate chips to each eye and you are finished! Easy enough right!


 And there you have it..now just join him with the rest of his buddies and you have created the hit of the party!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions or just want to say hello to let me know you were here, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy Cupcaking!





How to Make Miniature Oscar the Grouch Cupcakes

No comments :
I had no idea what a hit these would turn out to be, when I made them for my daughter's second birthday. They were much easier to make then I realized, so I thought I would share how I made them for those of you that would like to make them as well!


They are miniature, bite sized cuteness!!



This is what you will need:

  • Miniature cupcakes (Try and coordinate the cupcake wrapper with the color of the character)
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • Black Gel Icing
  • Green & red gel food coloring
  • 4 Couplers
  • 4 Decorating bags
  • Decorating tip #233, #14, #3 & #12
  • Miniature Chocolate Chips 
  • Food Paint Brush 
Any Supplies needed to make these cupcakes are available {HERE}

    You can either use store bought vanilla frosting or make your own vanilla butter cream frosting. Recipe can be found {HERE}.  Section your vanilla frosting into three separate bowls in order to tint the frosting. Add the green coloring a little at a time, until you have reached the color of Oscars fur. Do the same for the red. You can leave the last part plain white, since this will be used for his eyes. You can leave the chocolate alone, since it is fine all by itself for his Eyebrow (Unibrow).

    Fill you decorating bags and get all your tips ready to decorate!


    The black gel icing should come in a little tube, which will allow you to pipe a bit out onto the cupcake. Using the food paint brush, shape the gel into a half  moon shape on the bottom of the cupcake, this will be his mouth.  Don't worry about getting it perfect, most of it will get covered by frosting later on.


    Now put your #233 tip on your green frosting and get ready to start piping his fur.


    Circle around the outer edge of the cupcake and work your way in, until all of the cupcake is covered. You can add as much frosting as you like and can build up the shape by layering the frosting.


    Now you are ready to add the mouth. With a #3 Tip on your red frosting, gently pipe a small dot on the upper part of Oscars mouth. You can wet your finger in clean water and pat down the frosting if it is raised too much.

    With a #12 tip on your white icing, add the eyes. Use a wet finger to shape the frosting if necessary.


    Add a miniature chocolate chip to each eye. Now he's starting to look like Oscar :)


    But don't forget his brow! With a #14 tip on your chocolate frosting, pip a tight zigzag across the top of his eyes to create his eyebrow!


    And there you have it..now just join him with the rest of his buddies and you have created the hit of the party!

    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions or just want to say hello to let me know you were here, please feel free to leave a comment below!

    Happy Cupcaking!




    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    How to Make Hello Kitty Cupcakes

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    My two year old has recently fell in love with "Hello Kitty". If she is to spot one randomly about, a sudden squeal of high pitched enthusiasm erupts from her pint sized self, as she points and repeatably squeaks....."Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty."

     Needless to say she likes Hello Kitty, and why wouldn't she? Her character is so simplified and charming that it is so appealing to little girls, like mine. So I thought I would surprise her by making her some cupcakes with a picture of Hello Kitty on top!


    They were a complete hit, she loved them!!!

    For those of you that wish to make them as well, you can follow along with how I made them....

    This is what you will need:

    These sugar toppers were actually very easy to make and I made them in an afternoon; so even if you don't have a lot of experience working with royal icing, you could still make these with no problems :)

    To make any of the templates I use to create these traceable sugar toppers, I use a free program from Serif called Page Plus, it's a great little graphics program to knock around with and it's relatively easy to use.  I found and downloaded a image of Hello Kitty through a Google image search, and using the Page Plus program I centered it in a circle a bit larger than 2 1/2 inches in diameter, (2.69 inches to be exact.) 

    If your not so graphic savvy you can print the templates from here  Full Head Kitty  and Blue Dress Kitty. I typically print out a few more than I need, this helps with practicing and for the inevitable mistakes that "I" always make.

    Cover them in wax paper, and tape them to the wax paper so they will not move as you trace them.


    Now you can make your royal icing. For these I used a Wilton recipe, which can be found {HERE} After you have finished making your icing, it's time to start adding some color to it! In 4-5 separate bowls mix your colors!
    Black will take A LOT of gel coloring, red a little less and the blue and yellow take very little. Start small and add if you need to. If you add to much coloring just add some of the un-tinted icing back into the mix to lighten it. If you have it handy you can tint the already white royal icing with the white tint....it does make a difference.

    The consistencies of the icing should be as follows:


    Black: Piping consistency
    Red: Flood Consistency
    Blue Flood Consistency
    Yellow: Piping Consistency
    White: Flood Consistency

    After you've tinted your icing, fill your decorating bags. You can cap off the ends with a coupler and some saran wrap until you are ready to use each color.

    With your black icing and tip #1 start outlining Kitty's face. Switching to tip # 1.5 and outline the small details inside her bow. (You can use #1 tip for all of this if you choose)



    Still using the black Icing, switch to a #2 tip and trace the outer circle of each topper. Take your time!


    When you are done, let them dry for 30-45 minutes...The longer the better! When they are dry you can begin filling in the bows. With a #1 or a 1.5 tip on your red icing , flood the inner parts of the bows.


    When all the bows are finished, switch to the blue icing (if you are doing the Kitty in the blue dress) and with a #1 or #1.5 tip fill in her dress. As soon as you fill all the dresses, switch to the white icing with a #1.5 tip and add in the polka dots, they will meld into the blue a bit, but still remain raised
    .

    With all the little details done, you can put them aside for about 15 minutes or so before you start flooding the remainder with white. When you are ready put a #1 tip on your white and begin flooding around kitty's face and her hands and feet (paws)  Do the inside of her face LAST!



    When you are finished filling the face, switch to the yellow and a #1 tip and pipe the nose onto Kitty's face. Just a small squeeze, to make a small dot. 


    Let the toppers dry completely for a few hours, before you peel them off.


    This is what they will look like!

    Hello Kitty Blue Dress Cupcake Sugar Topper

    Hello Kitty Cupcake Sugar Topper

    Now you are ready to put your cupcakes together! Yippee!  Fill a bowl with some multicolored confetti sprinkles and set it to the side. Fill a decorating bag with vanilla frosting (or whatever flavor you choose.) I use a 1M tip for this, but you can use whatever large tip you prefer. Start frosting a ring around the outer edge of your cupcakes. It should look like this when you are finished.

    Now dip the cupcake into the confetti sprinkles and gently roll it, coating the entire edge.


    Finally, place the topper on top of the cupcake and gently press down, try to use equal pressure so as to not to break the topper, as they are very delicate!  Voila...your finished Hello Kitty Cupcakes! Now pat yourself on the back, job well done!

     
    These cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for a day or two without the royal icing toppers breaking down.You can also make these topper well in advance, just store them in an airtight container, until you are ready to use them.

    I hope this was informative enough. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions or to just let me know you were here!

    Most of all though....enjoy and happy cupcaking!





    Please note that this cupcake tutorial is meant only for personal and not commercial use!!