Monday, August 23, 2010

Candyland Cupcakes, A Back To School Surprise

This is what my kids came home to after their first day of school. I am not sure who was more excited me or my kids. I love how everything turned out, I only wish my table would look like this everyday.

Candy Button Cupcakes were super easy to make and turned out pretty cute, I especially like them displayed in front of my apothecary jar full of Candy Buttons. I think I originally got the idea from a photo on flickr. The frosting was vanilla and was piped using the 1M tip. I cut the Candy Buttons into squares using scrapbook scissors. The only problem I had with these was the oil in the frosting seeped into the paper after a while.

The Candy Store Cupcakes were the most fun to make. For the last few days I was on a candy shopping spree. I love the mini jawbreakers and the Fruit Stripe Gum, awesome candies from my childhood. The baking cups I used were my newly purchased pink zebra print cups. The frosting was the same vanilla as before only using a 199 tip...I think. I "randomly" placed candy on the cupcakes, customizing one cupcake for each kid using their favorite candies.

The Cupcake Cupcakes came from a blog I love, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. The idea of using Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups as cupcakes is genius. For the cherry on top I used Cherry Tic Tacs. I used the same vanilla frosting and I think the 199 tip again. I love these and might use the mini cupcakes on all of the cupcakes I make from now on, so cute and easy.

On of my all time favorite cupcakes I make are the Bubble Gum Ice Cream Cupcakes. I absolutely love bubble gum ice cream, and these taste exactly like it. The cake did take forever to cook in the cones. The first batch didn't turn out because I cook them with the other cupcakes, and were still raw by the time the regular cupcake were done. These I cooked at 350 for around 35 mins, I was afraid they would be dry but they turned out fabulous. The frosting was the same vanilla with a little blue coloring and a tiny drop of Lorann's Bubble Gum Oil.

The Cotton Candy Cupcakes I think are the prettiest of the cupcakes. I have made Cotton Candy Cupcakes before and they really don't taste much different than regular vanilla cupcakes, just a little sweeter, hence the cotton candy flavor. I added a few drops of Lorann's Cotton Candy Oil to the vanilla frosting, then separated it into two bowls, one pink and one blue. While filling the pipping bag I tried to keep the frosting colors separated as much as I could, the pink on one side and the blue on the other. I used the 1M tip again to decorate.

So who is going to eat all of this? Even I can't eat this much sugar.

These cupcake have to be the best tasting I have made so far. The cake recipe is the one I have been using with a minor but crucial change to the directions, and the frosting recipe I found on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Billy's Bakery Cupcakes

Makes about 30 cupcakes
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated about 1 minute each, but do not overbeat.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

By the way, I am so mad that my picture quality sucks. I don't know what my issue was, I tried adjusting the lighting and the camera settings but just could get it to turn out. Errr!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Delicious Find

I innocently walked into Michaels looking for hot pink food dye today, when my eyes fell upon these cute baking cups. I forced myself to walk away, but instantly returned and grabbed only a few of my favorite cups. I have already been inspired by set in the middle, but will have to wait a few month before the time is right.

Then while I was waiting in line, perusing all the junk they have in front of the check out counter, I stumbled upon these pens. I don't even know how much they were because HELLO it's a cupcake pen so I had to have it. The other pen is also so me, bubble gum. I can't wait to take these to work.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


A little inspiration for my back to school surprise.
OK so the video image might be a little inappropriate for back to school, never the less it still inspired me. (: 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Goodies

I was out getting supplies for my back to school surprise and I just couldn't help myself. Just part of my cupcake liner compulsion.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Delicious Find

Delias $12.00
During our back to school escapades my daughter found this shirt for me and I just had to have it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

About Time

OK, so I have been back for a week now, but I have just been really busy. There has been hundreds of loads of laundry, trying to get the smell of campfire out. Of coarse this time of year also means back to school shopping, and not like I am complaining, but we just finished booking a trip to the Riviera Maya.

Now I will try to update you as quickly as I can on our wonderful trip to the Oregon Coast. We spend 11 days camping at the Oregon Dunes, and it's never enough time. We ride sandrails and quads, walk on the beach collecting shells, visit the tiny towns nearby, and I bake of coarse.

This year on one of our trips into town we stopped in at a very promising bakery. (Promising because the sign and name were so cute.) Inside was just a basic coffee shop, but what should I expect in such a small town. I ordered a box of random treats that looked good, but again looks were deceiving. The best were the donuts, which were light and airy.(I think it might have something to do with trans fat, maybe Oregon can still use it.) One of the worst things were the meringues. I have never had a meringue before, but they are so darn cute, unfortunately they taste like chalk.(I don't think that was the bakeries fault, I think that's just how they taste.)

We also stopped at an ice cream parlor, where we bought ice cream, salt water taffy, and a cupcake. I have had these cupcakes before and they aren't anything to rave about, but they look so pretty. (Note to self: freeze the cupcake before eating it, it might make the frosting better.)

I have been learning how to bake using a dutch oven for the last 2 years and it is not easy.  I was using the oven in our camper, which is still not easy to control, but I wanted to be more camper like and use the dutch oven.(It's the least I can do considering we have hot showers, a refrigerator, and heaters, we aren't exactly roughing it.)

I made brownies, chocolate camping cake, cornbread, and fresh huckleberry/black berry muffins. I remeasured the dry ingredients at home to make it a little easier to make at the campsite. It was hard to bake at the right temperature using the dutch oven, but everything I baked was devoured. The berries I used in the muffins I gathered from around our campground and immediately put in the muffin batter so you couldn't really get more fresh than that. I swear this year I am going to practice so I will be a Betty Crocker Camper next year.

I also have to quickly review my homemade marshmallow s'mores. They all turned out really good, if I do say so myself. My favorite was the caramel, how can you go wrong with caramel, marshmallow, and chocolate. The mint was good sparingly meaning you couldn't eat one right after the other, but they did taste a lot like chocolate mint ice cream. The real surprise was the fresh blackberry, when pared with Lindt coconut white chocolate it was delicious, just like a blackberry cobbler.

This week I am going to be continuing the back to school thing, but next week I will be showing off a special back to school treat I am making for my kids.


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