Monday, January 27, 2014

hello kitty pastel pom pom birthday cake and cupcakes

My sweet Melodie turned four this past December! Where does the time go?!?

Last year, she requested a purple Hello Kitty cake, which I made to for us to celebrate with at home, and then I made these Hello Kitty mini cupcakes for her party at preschool. But this year, she requested a "rainbow Hello Kitty cake", so I decided to make her a pastel rainbow pom pom cake!

For the cake layers, I made a white layer and a pink layer, and sliced each in half horizontally. Then I filled each layer with freshly whipped cream.

After a quick crumb coat with whipped cream, I let the cake set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, I colored portions of the whipped cream with pastel colors - pink, lavender, mint green, and sky blue - all using Americolor gel paste food coloring. 

I also colored very small portions with black, red, and yellow for the eyes, bow, and nose. After quickly piping a Hello Kitty face on the top of the cake (see here and here for more examples on how I do this), I started piping the pom-poms around it, by piping stars with a Wilton #18 tip.

Then I filled the sides with piped stars as well, varying the colors randomly.

I loved the finished cake! And so did Melodie!

As for her class party, I made matching cupcakes! Pink on the inside, pastel pom-poms on the outside, with piped Hello Kitty faces on top. (see here, here, here, here, and here for more example of how I pipe mini Hello Kitty faces!)

Happy Birthday to my little Melodie!

Monday, January 6, 2014

christmas tree cutout apple pie

Along with the strawberry Santas that I made for Christmas dessert this year, I also made an apple pie. But not just any apple pie; this one was decorated with lots and lots of Christmas tree pie crust cut outs! I had seen pies like this on Pinterest in the past, mainly with star cut outs for the Fourth of July. So I thought it would be fun to do for Christmas as well.

So I made my favorite all-butter pie crust, and divided it in half. I rolled out and fitted the first half into a 9-inch pie pan, and used the other half to roll and cut out Christmas tree shapes with a cookie cutter.

Then I peeled, cored, and sliced 5 apples, tossed them with flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt, and spooned them on top of the bottom crust. And then it was time to decorate the top with the Christmas tree cut outs!

To help give the crust a nice golden color, I brushed the top of the crust with egg wash, and then sprinkled on sanding sugar. After baking the pie at 350F for about 50 minutes, it looked like this!

My pie crust and the cutouts shrank quite a bit, but it was still quite tasty!

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

strawberry santas

I am an avid watcher of the Food Network, so when I saw Giada make these adorable strawberry Santas on her show, I just had to make them for Christmas this year!

Her recipe is super simple and easy, and great for the kids to help out with piping and attaching the eyes. I started by cutting the tops off of the strawberries to make a flat surface for them to stand upside-down on.

Then I sliced a chunk off of the tip of each strawberry - this would became Santa's hat.

Next, I whipped up a batch of fresh whipped cream (Giada's recipe uses a mascarpone frosting, but I wanted something lighter so I chose whipped cream instead), and filled a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. I piped a big swirl of frosting onto the bottom half of the strawberry, topped it with the top half of the strawberry, and piped a little dot for the white fluff on top of Santa's hat.

The finishing touch was mini chocolate chips for the eyes, with the pointy side of the mini chocolate chips pressed into the whipped cream.

And there you go! Super easy, and super cute!

By the way, here's what happened when I walked away from the kitchen for just a few minutes! My husband is from Hawaii so he just had to create his own strawberry Santa, complete with coconut tree made out of mini chocolate chips and strawberry leaves! Mele Kalikimaka!

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!