Wednesday, December 28, 2011



Cookies BouquetTaste Your Best Moments

Offering something unique to your customers is one of the biggest selling points a decorator can do to increase their sales.  Whether you're a decorator who is more detailed in their work or you offer a product or idea that no one else is offering, that unique niche is what people are looking for.  Everybody wants to be different.  And what better way than to buy cookies from Cookies Bouquet?

Hip, Modern, Exclusive Wedding Invitations!

Cookies Bouquet is an amazing store located in Al-Salmiya, Kwait that offers just that, awesomely unique items.    You will find every kind of cookie and marzipan goody you can think of; from baby shower and birthday to weddings and graduations!  You can even personalize your favorite style of cookie or dragees with monograms.  These are just so beautiful!









And what about a thank you basket for your best employee?




I have to say this is the first time I've ever seen dragees with writing or images imprinted on them.  Too cute!



In addition to these delicious confections Cookies Bouquet offers a variety of handcrafted items to choose from.  Just look at these adorable little babies!




A baby shower or wedding wouldn't be complete without the dragees in baby block boxes....precious!


 


This is only the beginning!  To see more amazing ideas drop by their website and see what's waiting!  

Until next time.........happy baking!




                                             
                                                     

Saturday, December 24, 2011



Last Minute Holiday Cookie Ideas!

So you've got the turkey and dressing, you've got the ham, potatoes salad, green bean casserole, and the cranberry sauce; everything you need for your Christmas dinner!  Except you forgot the cookies for the kids.  Or maybe you've been invited last minute to a holiday dinner.  So what to do?  Here are a few last minute ideas that you can use to satisfy even the most finicky little sweet tooth.

Using store bought cookies, maybe even the slice and bake style for some, you can add that final touch to your holiday table.  These reindeer cookies are made with Nutter Butter cookies, pretzels, M&M's and a little icing to hold everything in place......too cute!

From We Hang Christmas Lights website

These Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies can be made with the slice and bake cookie dough.  Just press a Hershey's Kiss into the center before they cool completely.  I made these in Home Economics when I was in high school.  They were such a hit with my family.
12 Days of Christmas Cookie Recipes: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
From Blisstree

Slice and bake or use premade cookies; dip them in your favorite melted flavored chocolate,  and let them dry.....nice.
From Delish

From Delish


From  The-girl-who-ate-everything  
Having these ideas in mind will hopefully take away some of your stress this holiday season.  It's always nice to have some last minute or emergency ideas........just in case.

Until next time.........Happy Baking!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cake Pops 2011

Every year and with every holiday I find myself wondering what's new in cake designs because this is one area of artistry that is forever developing.  There is such a vast number of people, professional decorators to beginners, who have the desire to be different and bring something new to the world of cake decorating.  Luckily we have what is called the INTERNET to help connect and inspire us to create something we as individuals can identify with and appreciate.

One idea that is really beginning to take shape and become more popular and unique in their designs are the cake pops.  Cake pops start out as basically baked cake mixed with icing and molded into a ball then decorated with icing, fondant, candies or whatever your hearts desire.  Even the children can get involved!  Fun!  This year I'm seeing more and more of these and the ideas are endless!  Take a look for yourself.


12 Gold & Silver Chocolate Cake Pops


12 Christmas Chocolate Cake Pops

From WVLiving.com





3091729954 d7698a1b49 The Coolest Christmas Cake Pops from Bakerella & More!

4243719882 c0b3abfd20 o The Coolest Christmas Cake Pops from Bakerella & More!






And introducing cake pops from 365CakePops!  This is an awesome site and awesome work!  Creating a different cake pop for every day of the year can be a job!  This is where the real creativity comes in!  Great job!  I love all the ideas and they even have tutorials on how to create each of them!

















Again, this last group is from 365cakepops.com! Which is your favorite pop?  They're so awesomely cool I can't decide on one, but I think the snowmen and the penguins. 

Hope this inspired you with some sweet ideas for the holidays!  Until next time......happy baking!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fruit Cake Recipes That Bakers Are Raving About!

I was browsing through the Christmas cakes this morning and got to thinking about my grandmother's special cake she made nearly every year until she passed last Christmas Eve.  When the holidays approached we all got excited because we knew it meant a fruit cake would be on it's way soon!  And boy was it a fruit cake!  Soooo delicious!  And if you liked alcohol she would wrap the cake in a cloth soaked in brandy so by the time it reached your house it was potent!


My grandmother's recipe was a lighter colored cake than this first recipe which I found on Epicurious, but this one sounds rich and delicious!  In fact it got nothing but rave reviews from the bakers!  This is called a Dark Fruit Cake probably because of the molasses which gives it a dark color and rich flavor:


Ingredients:

Dark Fruit Cake
Photo by: Lara Faroni

  • 1/4 pound butter, or 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups small pieces mixed candied fruit
  • 1/2 cup small pieces candied citron
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter two 9x5-inch loaf pans, line them with foil, then butter the foil. Cream the butter or shortening, add the brown sugar, and beat until light. Add the lemon extract and eggs and beat well. Stir in the molasses and blend. Mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, mace, cloves, and salt; beat into the first mixture. Add the milk and beat until smooth. Stir in the candied fruit, citron, raisins, and pecans, and mix well. Spoon into the pans and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out onto racks to cool. When completely cool, wrap well and store in an airtight container.

Brandied Fruit Cake (And here ya go - the alcohol version like my grandmother's)

Soak two large pieces of cheesecloth in brandy. Wrap each fruit cake in the cheesecloth, covering all sides, then wrap well in foil. Moisten the cheesecloth with additional brandy every few days for about a week. The brandy will flavor the cake and help preserve it too.


Read More http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/christmas/fruitcake/recipes/food/views/Dark-Fruit-Cake-236603#ixzz1h03xtZHv


Here's another found on Allrecipes which is just the opposite of the one above, it's a White Fruit Cake with about 37 out of 39 5-star reviews so it must be delicious!

  • 1 1/2 cups candied pineapple chunks
  • 3 cups golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups candied cherries
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 2 ounces candied orange peel
  • 2 ounces candied citron peel
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups butter
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 4 cups pecans, chopped
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Chop pineapple, raisins, and cherries. Combine chopped fruit with currants, orange peel, and citron; soak in orange juice overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Place a small pan of water in the oven. Line one 5x9 inch loaf pan and two 3x8 inch loaf pans with parchment or doubled waxed paper.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioner's sugar. Stir in beaten egg yolks. Stir in fruit, juice, and pecans. Mix in sifted flour.
  4. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to peaks. Fold into batter. Fill pans 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until golden brown, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.


Read More: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/white-fruit-cake/detail.aspx




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I'm not sure if there's enough time left before Christmas to make this easy cake but here it is if you've got the ingredients ready to go!  This is an Ice Box Fruit Cake and doesn't require baking!  Excellent but you do have to let it age...for ONE week.



Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped raisins
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers, crushed

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the pecans, raisins, walnuts, cherries, condensed milk and vanilla wafers. Dough will be very thick, you will need to use your hands.
  2. Form dough into a ring shape on top of a dinner plate. Wrap in many layers of plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil. Allow to age in the refrigerator for at least a week. The flavors will have a chance to blend and all of the milk will be absorbed into the cake.

If you'd rather not have the whole cake but would prefer cookies; here's a nice Whole Wheat Fruitcake Cookie recipe also from Allrecipes website.  I think I've had these before; really delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup candied mixed fruit peel, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried mixed fruit

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 5x9 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook together the sugar, water, raisins, butter and salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Sift together the flour, soda, ginger and cinnamon. Stir into the cooled cooked mixture.
  4. Add the chopped dates, mixed peels, nuts and dried fruit.
  5. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or drop by the teaspoon on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.


And finally here is the plain ole Traditional Fruit Cake recipe adapted from Delia Smith. This thing looks fabulous!  Packed full of fruit of every kind!  Yummm!
Fruitcake 1Traditional Fruitcake
Adapted From Delia Smith

Ingredients:

1 lb dried currants
8 oz. raisins
8 oz. golden raisins
8 oz. diced candied orange peel
3 T brandy (you can use rum, bourbon, or Irish whiskey in place of brandy) plus more for “feeding”
8 oz. butter
8 oz. brown sugar
4 eggs
8 oz. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 oz. pecans, toasted and chopped
1 tsp. molasses
grated zest 1 lemon
grated zest 1 orange
The night before you want to bake the cake, combine the raisins, currants and orange peel and pour the 3 T brandy over it. Toss with your hands, cover with a towel, and leave overnight. (If you skip this step, it’s not the end of the world. Just toss them before you add them to the cake).
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the flour, the spices and the salt and beat until just combined. Finally, fold in the fruit, the molasses the pecans and the zest with a wooden spoon.
Line an 8 inch round springform pan with parchment paper (I cut out a circle for the bottom by tracing, then cut a strip to wrap around the edges) and pour in the batter. Place another circle of parchment paper with a hole cut in the middle (Delia says about the size of a 50p coin, which is roughly the size of a 50 cent coin, but I haven’t seen a 50 cent coin since I was a kid, so use some discretion. Bigger than a quarter) directly on top of the batter, then wrap the whole pan in a collar of brown paper (I cut about a 4 inch strip of paper from a grocery bag (I usually use my own bags, but sometimes you need the paper!) tied with kitchen twine.
Bake in the low oven for 4 -4.5 hours, or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan, then poke with skewers and pour some brandy over the top. Soak cheesecloth in more brandy, and wrap the cake thoroughly. Store in a tin for a week or two, “feeding” every few days with more brandy. The character of the cake will change with aging, making it more and more confection like the longer it ages.


Read more: http://savour-fare.com/2009/12/07/its-fruitcake-weather-buddy/#ixzz1h079iRmD

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Well, I hope this helps add some holiday cheer..... hiccup.... ; ) to your celebrations!  Do you have a special  favorite holiday recipe that your family makes every year?  If so please feel free to share in the comment section below.  

Until next time..........happy baking!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The Little Cake Shop - A Custom Cakery


A few weeks ago I asked some of my Facebook decorating friends to send me links to their page and I would choose one to "gossip" about!  Women love to talk and I was so impressed with this little shop which isn't really so little when you consider the huge ideas they have to offer.  The Little Cake Shop was started by an American and a Spaniard expat who moved to The Netherlands, Hilversum to be exact. This is about one hour from Lisse, where I visited several time over the past couple of years.  Lovely country to visit. Lovely people.


I was inclined to write about The Little Cake Shop not only because the shop was so fascinating but also because I'm familiar with this country and the government as well.  The Netherlands isn't an easy country to move to as you really have to prove yourself to be able to stay and operate a business there.  So you can understand why I'm so impressed!


The Little Cake Shop offers everything from customized cake pops to wedding cakes, party and decorating supplies!  There's also the opportunity to get the children involved with workshops where they can actually decorate their very own cake pops and cupcakes as part of their birthday activities!  How many shops do that?

             

Just take a look at some of these fabulous ideas they have created!  What imaginations!  I just love it!

              
I've seen cake pops before but nothing like these two have come up with!  How awesome is this? 



This cake would be perfect for the scrapbooker, what do you think? Such a unique idea...



The Little Cake Shop not only offers the opportunity to place orders directly with their store but you can also place orders online for party and decorating supplies.  For complete details on the styles of cakes they can offer you go to their website and check them out!  They'd love to hear from you.  

Until next time........happy baking!!!

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