Friday, October 29, 2010

The One With the Cookie Monster Cupcakes

Who are you looking at?
Well, I'm not a big fan of the creepy and scary aspect of Halloween. In fact, to me, Halloween is just a big waste of time keeping us from celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas even longer! Well, I guess it's fun to dress babies up like bumblebees (more on that later)...

So instead of making anything scary, for the Halloween festivities this weekend I made some Cookie Monster cupcakes.

And they're pretty easy:
  1. Make chocolate cupcakes (or whatever kind you like best).
  2. In a ziplock bag, set aside two spoonfuls of plain white vanilla frosting.
  3. Use blue food coloring to dye the remaining vanilla frosting (heads up: it is going to require a lot of food coloring to get the frosting this color - I had to use almost an entire bottle of dye for one can of frosting).
  4. From a cake decorating set, use the grass tip to create the fur: start in the middle and work your way toward the edges in a circular pattern.
  5. Refrigerate the cupcakes for about half an hour to let the frosting stiffen. You don't have to do this, but it makes doing the eyes a little easier.
  6. Cut a tiny piece of the corner of your ziplock bag to make the eyes out of white frosting. You can use a toothpick to keep the edges clean.
  7. Put mini chocolate chips in then center of your white frosting for the pupils.
  8. Voila! Enjoy your cute cupcakes!

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without some pictures of Addi enjoying the cupcakes!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The One With the Pumpkin Cupcakes

It's Steve's birthday today. Since his birthday is close to Halloween, he has always loved fall and all Halloweeny things. So for his birthday I made him these pumpkin cupcakes.

Not only do they look like pumpkins, they taste pumpkiny, too! They are pumpkin spice and quite delicious... however I haven't quite perfected the recipe, so I'll have to share that later. But I will share how I decorated them like pumpkins.
They were baked in white paper liners. I made a dozen large cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes. I used orange food coloring in vanilla frosting to ice the cupcakes. Then I dipped the cupcakes in orange sugar. To make the indentations of the cupcakes I used the remainder of the frosting, but with some added orange coloring to make it darker. The stems are cut pieces of Sour Patches green straws. The vines are made of Halloween green melting chips drizzled in curly-Qs on top of the patch collection.

The Other One With Valerie's Senior Pics

More of the lovely Valerie.
She was going for "Taylor Swift hair". I think it worked. Only her red hair is even prettier than Taylor's. (I think it is funny to refer to celebrities by their first name as if we're actually friends or something.)

I love the lighting in these pictures. Her hair is so glowy! She has the perfect coloring for autumn portraits.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The One With the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

I spent Ellie's afternoon nap getting back to the heart of this blog: cupcakes!
I love cream filled desserts of all kinds and so when I found this Boston Cream Pie cupcake recipe, I had to give it a try. And my goodness, they are delicious!

Here's the recipe:

1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix
1/2 cup French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups milk
16 oz. milk chocolate frosting
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  • Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, remove to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, whisk pudding mix and milk in medium bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Use the Williams-Sonoma Mechanical Pastry Bag with filling tip to insert pudding into the center of the cupcakes from the bottom.*
  • Frost cupcakes and enjoy!
*This is how I did it. You could also poke a small hole in the bottom of the cupcake with the tip of a knife. Spoon pudding into pastry bag fitted with a small round pastry tip. Place tip inside hole in cupcake; gently squeeze bag to fill cupcake with pudding.

I was really excited to use the pastry filling tip of my Mechanical Pastry Bag. It did the job, but as messily as possible. I have not been very satisfied with my Mechanical Pastry Bag from Williams-Sonoma, especially because I expect high quality when I purchase anything from them.

But the end result was delightful. Boston Cream Pie always makes me reminiscent of early college cafeteria days... and those are some wonderful memories.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The One With the Pretty Things

I find a lot of things that inspire me or that are just plain pretty and so I am sharing them with you...

  1. I would just love to get this dollhouse for Ellie and then maybe borrow it and play with it myself.
  2. Lettergirl's newest address stamp line is just ridiculously adorable.
  3. Almost everything on sarah + abraham is to die for, but I particularly love these customizable plates and these silhouette stickers.
  4. Since we've moved into a rental, I won't get to go crazy with home improvement projects just yet, but I love this tutorial for a DIY upholstered headboard and I'm planning on making one myself here (hopefully) soon.
  5. Our waitress the other day was wearing one of these and I want one for myself!
  6. Wouldn't this fabric make the cutest little girl's dress? I'm feeling inspired by Nicole from after she made this pillowcase dress for her daughter.
  7. I also want to make ridiculous things for my kitchen with this fabric.
  8. If you love cookies you should give this recipe for Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies a try. It may sound intense, but it is actually just right!
  9. Now that I have my very own craft room, I need all the compartments and shelves Amanda has in her scrapbook room. Yes... it is quite a thing of beauty.
  10. Looking for a simple dessert? This recipe for a Chocolate Tuxedo Pie with Pecans is great! It takes a while to set, so keep that in mind.
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