Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/29/12

Thursday, November 29, 2012

5 TIPS/TRICKS FOR MAKING GREAT CAKEPOPS!!

   This diy comes from www.52kitchenadventures.com .  I hope this tips can help you out!!







The first time I made cake pops, I was pretty convinced that I would never make them again. It seemed to take forever. There are so many steps. To make matters worse, I was making peppermint chocolate cake pops, so after I dipped each one in white chocolate, I waited 30 seconds for it to set before rolling it in crushed candy canes. That added a lot more time than I’d anticipated.
However, if you read this blog regularly, you know that I have actually made cake pops several times since my first attempt. They turned out to be so delicious and popular that I couldn’t help but try making them again. Each time, I discovered a new way to make it easier.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I make cake pops, especially without a cake pop maker. I’m not a huge believer in unitasker kitchen appliances, plus a cake pop maker just shapes cake into balls. In my opinion, a true cake pop is cake and frosting combined into a fudgy, moist truffle. I’m not sure that Bakerella (the creator of cake pops) would want it any other way.
Odds are, you have at least one or more of these tools in your kitchen already. Put them to use and make some cake pops more easily!
(Need some recipe inspiration? I’ve also made snowmen cake pops, heart shaped cake pops, salted caramel cake pops, cheesecake pops and whoopie pie pops. Plus, I’ll be posting a St. Patrick’s Day inspired cake pop (the one pictured below) in a few days!)

1. Crock-Pot Little Dipper






The Little Dipper is a tiny Crock-Pot often used for dips and sauces. It only has 1 setting, warm, and it’s perfect for melting chocolate or candy melts to coat cake pops. I don’t own a microwave, so I usually melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stove top. This sometimes makes the chocolate or candy melts too hot, which makes the cake pops fall apart when dipped. Even if you have a microwave, the Little Dipper will melt the coating for you with no effort and to the perfect temperature.
It will take around 15-20 minutes to melt. You can stir occasionally or wait until the end to stir. Don’t leave it plugged in if you’re not going to be dipping the pops right away though – it might start burning around the edges.







2. Cookie cutters






Usually when people make shaped cake pops, they shape them each individually by hand. It’s daunting enough to roll round cake pops by hand, and making each into a shape seems even worse. So when I made heart shaped cake pops, I found an easier way: push the cake pop dough into a wide, shallow baking dish and use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. Easy peasy!



3. Food processor (or blender)







I thought everyone knew this one, until I saw someone at a bakery using a cheese grater to break up the cake. Seriously?! You can also use your hands to break up the cake, but it’s so much easier and faster to crumble a cake by putting in a food processor. I know that not everyone owns a food processor, so I tried out this method in my blender too. It works almost as well, you just have to use smaller pieces of cake at a time. There’s no easier way to break up a cake into even crumbs with no chunks.

4. Cookie scoop








I use this medium cookie scoop to make evenly sized cake pops. It’s pretty easy: scoop up the cake pop batter, push off the excess with your finger, and release onto your clean, slightly moistened hands (making your hands a little wet prevents the cake from sticking). Then roll it into a ball. Done!





5. Colander




I saw this idea on Pinterest. Can’t find any styrofoam? Use a colander! Only some of the holes on mine fit the lollipop sticks, but it was a great solution for letting the cake pops dry. I bought some styrofoam at Michael’s (and felt a little silly paying money for something you can get for free) and it was immediately covered in sprinkles and flecks of melted chocolate. This can be easily cleaned if that happens and you probably already have one in your kitchen cabinet.

THE WORST AND WEIRDEST TOYS FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON!

   What was the absolute worst gift you ever got as a kid? Forget about the cool toys that you totally wanted and, if you were lucky, found under the tree on Christmas morning. Who could possibly forget Ralphie’s complete and utter humiliation at being forced to wear the bunny suit he got for Christmas from his clueless aunt? It’s funny because we’ve all been there. Ahh, the memories!




SNOWFLAKE SUGAR COOKIES!


This comes from www.bakersroyale.com.  These look so good you don't even want to eat them. But, if we have to snack on them, what's the harm.  Go ahead and make a batch or two.


Snowflake Sugar Cookies – Dress up your holiday cookie tray with some fun and colorful snowflake sugar cookies.



Snowflake Sugar Cookie


Snowflake Sugar Cookie
I don’t make sugar cookies often, in fact I usually only make them for certain holidays and sometimes for birthday requests. I love the beauty and creativity of them, but they are massively labor intensive and I’m not the most patient person for baking projects like this.
But to save myself a step, I skipped flooding the cookies for the simple design you see in the picture. The royal icing I used is from here. It’s easy to work with and has the perfect consistency for simple lines like the one you see on these snowflake cookies.



Snowflake Sugar Cookies Bakers Royale2 Snowflake Sugar Cookies

The cookie recipe is one I have been working with and fine tuning over the years. Actually, the recipe started with me trying to re-create those soft pillow-y sugar cookies from the Ralphs grocery store. You know the ones that are super thick and covered in frosting. I don’t usually like grocery store made cookies but these are awesome, well minus the too-sweet frosting that I always scrape away. But I love the texture of the cookie portion, it’s soft and almost cake-like in texture. I still haven’t figured out how to replicate them, so if anyone has some suggestions or a recipe for it, please help a baker out and give me some tips.

A few notes:
  • The dough will be wet and sticky once mixed, so it requires some chilling before working with it.
  • Divide the dough and create four round flat discs for easy handling. Cover each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze up to 3 months.
  • To keep the cookies nice and even in thickness, I use these rings on my rolling pin.
  • Lastly, for the curious, using the cream cheese versus all butter gives the cookie a softer texture; and using powdered sugar versus all granulated sugar, also helps to keep the cookie soft and tender while giving it a tighter crumb and a less crisp texture.

Basic Sugar Cookie

Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bake sheet with parchment paper.
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs, plus1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Instructions:

1. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl lightly mix eggs and vanilla together. With the mixer running on medium low, slowly add egg mixture to creamed butter mixture, continue mixing until combined. Turn off mixer, using a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula gradually fold dry mixture into wet mixture and continue to fold until combined.

2. Divide the dough into four flat disc and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove chilled dough one disc at a time and roll on a lightly floured surface into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes.

DIY PRINTED PAPER PINE TREE CLONE!

   This diy comes from www.thewonderforest.com.   Go ahead a make a couple.  I dare you!

DIY Printed Paper Pine Tree - Anthropologie Inspired

Happy Monday friends!  I have an awesome tutorial to share with you, but first I wanted to wish my amazing fiance the best birthday ever today!!!  Also, we finally bought a new car!  It was fate I tell you!  I'd been looking for a Jeep this entire time, but every time I'd come across one that I loved, all I would hear was "It's JUST been sold".  I swear I kept missing these things by mere hours.  I was getting pretty fed up and about to just choose a car that I wasn't too keen on, until Dustin mentioned that a new Jeep had just come in as a trade-in.... but when he checked into it he was told it had already been sold!  Not again!  He just so happened to ask about it the next day and was told that it in fact wasn't sold and that the person who told him that was thinking of a different one. Bingo! We drove over there, and after a short test drive I claimed it as mine. I get it Wednesday-ish after they clean it all up. Best part... Dustin gets the sale since I bought it from him at his new job :)

ANYWAYS....

During my daily internet browsing, I came across this super cute paper tree over at Anthropologie. The $48 price tag turned my stomach a little bit, and I immediately thought "Hey, I could make that!". So I did. And now I'm going to share it with you!  This is a super easy project, it just takes some time to do... but when it's finished you'll be taken aback by how charming this Christmas decor piece is! Here's how it turned out!


You will need:
Small wood garden stake
Piece of scrap wood for base
Music book or similar printed paper
Scalloped scissors or paper cutter
Cardboard (an old box will do)
Hole punch
Tree topper ball


Start by attaching your garden stake to a piece of flat scrap wood for the base.  All I did was stick a nail through the bottom of the scrap board and hammered the garden stake onto it. You could also use a  glue gun.


Grab an old music book and start cutting! I used the scalloped edge option on my handy little paper cutter.  I started with squares about 8" in size, and just kept making them smaller as I went along.  You will need a whole bunch of these! I made about 10-20 squares of each size.



Next, cut some small 1" cardboard squares.  These will be the spacers for your paper tree.  You will need a whole bunch of them!  Hole punch them all so they can slide easily down the stake. The hole doesn't have to be perfectly centered.


Now all you have to do is start stacking your paper pieces (starting with the largest to the smallest) and placing spacers in between each sheet. I placed TWO cardboard spacers between each sheet of paper because it looked better. I used the tip of a pencil to punch a hole in the center of each paper piece before sticking it on the stake.


Just keep stacking! Keep your papers rotated randomly for that cone effect!


When you reach the top, all you will need to do is stick an ornament on the top! I used a tiny ball ornament and glue guned it upside down onto my stake!


That's all there is to it!  Easy project!!  The most tedious part is cutting all of the paper, but the end result is worth it!