Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Love You to the Moon and Back

One of my oldest and dearest friends is expecting her first child next year. I am so happy for her and wanted to send her a little something to celebrate baby. I had a onesies cookie cutter that I knew I wanted to use, but I also wanted something a little more. So after some thinking I came up with moon cookies.

First I started with a round sugar cookie (little side note, my friend's nephew labeled my cookies the best cookies he had ever had...just saying). I used a yellow food color marker to draw my moon on to the cookie.

Then I used some stiff royal icing to outline the moon.

Once the outline had dried, I used the flooding technique to fill the moon. Then I took some stiff dark blue royal icing to make an outline on the rest of the cookie. After drying the moon and outline, I once again did the flooding technique to complete the cookie.

To fully finish off the look I was going for, I made an eye and mouth with a brown food color marker and then used a pink food color marker for the moon's check. Then I brushed the moon with some pearl luster dust. I also used pearl luster dust to create the stars in the sky.

Once again, the flooding technique was used to make the little onesies.

Here's the complete set and I'm happy to report that Mommy, Daddy and even baby are enjoying them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Banana Nana Fofana

A few weekends ago, my oldest asked if we could make something fun. Fun for me is baking, so I decided we would do that. I had two very nicely ripen bananas, plus one more in the freezer, which was just enough to make some banana muffins. To make them even more fun, I decided to make them dark chocolate, because as we all know chocolate is way more fun!

I found the banana muffin recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. This is the book I won from Beantown Baker a few years back. To make it chocolate, I simply substituted some flour with cocoa. Here is the recipe I used.

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

1 c Flour
3/4c Cocoa (I used Premium Cocoa which is a mixed of natural and Dutched Process Cocoa)
1/3 c Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Milk
1/4 c Cooking Oil
3/4 c Mashed Banana
1/4 c Dark Chocolate Chips

Streusel Topping

In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups. Do not use paper bake cups.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another bowl combine egg, milk and oil. Add the egg mixture into the flour mix and stir until just moistened. Stir in banana and chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into muffin tins and top with streusel topping.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes, then serve warm.

Maybe with a nice cup of tea.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Last night we went to a farewell party for our dear friends Stephanie, Michael and their adorable little girl Ellie. They are leaving our fun group here in Green Bay because Michael finally was given the promotion he deserved at work. And while we are all sad to see them go, we couldn't be happier for them. I made the cake for the party which was Dark Chocolate with Chocolate filling and Vanilla Buttercream. Lately on the blogs I read, I have been seeing black and white cakes with cool geometric design on them. I have to say I am always mesmerized by these cakes and have been wanting to make one myself. Stephanie is my young hipper friend (she gets me carded at ballparks when we go!) and I thought she would really like this design.

Extreme close up!!! I love the pattern created by just some simple pieces.

The cake says it all...we will truly miss our friends and wish them the best in life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dessert Incognito

This post has a little bit of an indentity crisis going on. I'm not really sure if you should consider it a salad or a dessert. Or maybe a dessert with multiple personalities. Either way, it's really simple to make and very yummy to eat. Now I have heard this called a couple of different names, but I call it a Snicker Salad, but in no way should the name make you think it's at all healthy like a normal salad.

Here are the ingredients in this salad. Yep, three things, couldn't be simpler right? Amounts you use can vary, if you like more apple or more Snickers. And don't feel you have to use Granny Smith apples, I just like using them because I think the tart helps balance out the sweet of the Snickers and Cool Whip.
Step one is to cut up almost a full bag of mini Snickers bars. A way to make it easier to cut them up is to refrigerate them before cutting. I cut them in pretty small pieces because I find it easier to eat once the salad is all together.
You can peel the apples, but I like it with the skin on, and it's one way to make it just a little bit better for you. I used about 4 good size Granny Smith apples for this recipe. Once things are all prepped, mix in a full container of Cool Whip thoroughly.

And because I am a dork and after 10 years of making sure things look nice as well as taste good, I decorated the top of the salad. Trust me this is so not necessary. But if you would like to, I cut up two Snickers into very small pieces and had thin slices of apples (I did soak them in some lemon juice first to prevent browning) to arrange around the edge.