Sunday, August 25, 2013

pastel hello kitty cookies, macarons, and bow cupcakes for a bridal shower dessert table

Way back in December of last year, I was contacted by a bride-to-be named Julieta, who had been following my blog and asked me about making goodies for her bridal shower dessert table.  When I found out that: a) she wanted Hello Kitty themed desserts, and b) she lives about 10 miles from me, I couldn't refuse!  At the time I was still pregnant with my third baby and due in February, but her bridal shower was set for April so I convinced myself that it would be fine, since my newborn would be about 2 months old by then.  But boy oh boy, when April rolled around, I was not prepared for the amount of work and lack of sleep that I was in for!

In the chunks of time that I had available for baking, I started with the cookies, since they could be made days in advance and would still be fresh.  We had decided on Hello Kitty cookies with pastel bows, as well as "J" and "D" monogram cookies after the bride and groom's names.  So I found all the cookie cutters that I would need, and baked up my favorite sugar cookie recipe.

For the Hello Kitty cookies, the steps were pretty much the same as the Hello Kitty cookies that I made last summer, except this time the bows would be pastel shades of mint, yellow, and peach.

As for the "J" and "D" cookies, she had decided on pastel mint and peach for the letters, with a white beaded border (just like the monogram cookies that I had made last year for my cousin's wedding favors).

Next up were Hello Kitty macarons, which could be made 2 days in advance, especially since the macarons needed "age" for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator to ensure the proper consistency.

See links here, here, and here for tutorials on making my Hello Kitty macarons.

Once the cookies and macarons were done, I only had one more dessert to make - mini cupcakes decorated with Hello Kitty bows!  These I made the night before her bridal shower.  I started with my favorite chocolate cake recipe, which I baked in mini muffin tins and liners.

For the frosting, I whipped up my favorite cream cheese frosting, and divided it in portions to be colored pastel mint, yellow, pink, and peach.  Then I used white frosting to outline my Hello Kitty bows, and filled them in with little dots of colored frosting, using a small round Wilton tip #3.

And then I was finally done.  After an entire week of juggling three kids and baking nonstop, I could finally rest.  Well, as much as one could rest with a 2-month old newborn, but that's another story.  It was all worth it though, because I loved how all the desserts looked together in the end!

Happy bridal shower, Julieta!  Hope you enjoyed the goodies!

*** Update:
You can now find my recipes for Hello Kitty Macarons, Hello Kitty Cookies, and Hello Kitty Mini Cupcakes in my new book, "The Hello Kitty Baking Book"! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

pink ombre rose cake

A friend of mine contacted me a couple months ago about making a pretty cake for her friend's baby shower, and of course I couldn't refuse!  We decided on a 6-inch pink ombre rose cake, where the inside would be pink ombre layers as well.  So I used my favorite vanilla cake recipe from Sweetapolita, and divided the batter into thirds.  One was colored a deep pink, the second a soft pink, and the third I left white.

Once the cake layers were baked and cooled, I made a small batch of freshly whipped cream for the filling.  Then I began assembling my cake - dark pink cake layer on the bottom, whipped cream, soft pink layer in the middle, more whipped cream, and then topped it with the white cake layer.  Then I whipped up a batch of cream cheese buttercream, and did a quick crumb coat over the entire cake.

I divided the remaining frosting into thirds and colored them to match the cake layers.  And then I was ready to start piping my roses!

This is one of my favorite cakes to make, as you can tell from all the past rose cakes that I've made - see links for my lavender rose cakewhite rose cake with red velvet and cheesecake insideorange pumpkin rose cake, and purple ombre rose cake - all done following this awesome tutorial from I Am Baker!

I hope the guest of honor liked her cake!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

camouflage pom pom cake

For my husband Grant's birthday last year, I made him this camouflage petal birthday cake.  I had wanted to make him a "manly" cake, but I guess the term "petal cake" isn't so manly!  This year I decided to make him another camouflage cake, this time using a "pom pom" effect that I saw on here on Pinterest, which eventually led me to this I Am Baker cake!  Even though the term "pom pom" isn't exactly "manly" either, I had the idea in my head and I couldn't shake it.  So I bought a bunch of Wilton grass tips and I was on my way!

I started by baking a 6-inch vanilla cake, and 6-inch chocolate cake.  After they had cooled, I sliced them in half horizontally with a serrated knife.  Then I whipped up a big batch of fresh whipped cream.  I took a portion of the whipped cream and mixed it with chopped Oreo cookies, and used that to fill the cakes.

First I placed a layer of chocolate cake on my cake round, then piped a layer of the Oreo whipped cream and smoothed it out with an offset spatula.  Then came a layer of vanilla cake, followed by more Oreo whipped cream, then another layer of chocolate cake, more Oreo whipped cream, and then finally the last layer of vanilla cake.

After covering the cake in a quick crumb coat of the whipped cream, I divided the rest of the frosting into portions to be colored brown, black, green, and olive drab green.  As with last year's cake, I used cocoa powder to help color the brown and black frosting in order to minimize the amount of food coloring I was using.

Once the frosting was colored, I fitted my piping bags with my new grass tips and filled the bags with the different colors of frosting.  And then I started piping my pom poms!

As I was piping away, several of the pom poms came out looking like messy blobs.  It could have been because my frosting was getting too soft, or because the tips were getting clogged, or because I was using whipped cream for frosting!  But I only had a limited amount of time, with a three-month old newborn at home, and a husband and our other two kids who were about to come home to an unfinished cake!  So I kept piping away, trying to clear my piping tip and cool down my frosting in the fridge as often as I could.

Although the cake turned out messier than I would have liked, it still tasted delicious with it's cookies-n-cream goodness!

Happy birthday, my love!