Category Archives: Baked Goods

Mini Wedding Cupcakes

Pink & Blue Wedding Cupcakes

Last weekend my cousin and her fiance were married and as a gift I made her wedding cupcakes. Her colours were pink and blue, and her only request was that she wanted mini cupcakes.

pink and blue wedding cupcakesThese are vanilla cupcakes and cream cheese frosting, piped with a Wilton 1M tip.

I ordered both the acrylic 4-tier cake stand and the lace cupcake liners from etsy. And although the seller specified that the cupcake liners were for mini cupcakes, they were enormous. My cupcakes looked like dieting spokespeople posing for after shots in their old trousers.

mini wedding cupcakes

Sadly, I ended up having to throw the liners out. Just kidding. I cut them in half and hand-glued all 100 of them back together. And in case you’re wondering or perhaps suffering a brain hemorrhage, I assure you that spending an evening cutting in half and hand-gluing together 100 laser-cut lace cupcake liners was not remotely enjoyable. It is the stuff of nightmares. If your nightmares feature a lot of glue and paper sticking to your fingers.

The cutting cake:

wedding cake, cutting cake, pink wedding cakeThis is just two 6″ vanilla cakes layered and frosted with cream cheese frosting piped on in 1M swirls. By far, this is the easiest and quickest way I know to frost a cake.

The roses I ordered from a local florist and refrigerated in water over night. After frosting the cake I took the flowers out of the fridge and, leaving 1 or 2 inches of stem to wrap in Saran (hooray for not poisoning people!), inserted them into the top of the cake. This turned out to be an easy and pretty cake topper.

wedding cupcakes_003

This ultimately took a lot of planning, only because I had to hunt down the liners and the cake stand, but I think they turned out okay for a first attempt at wedding cupcakes. Since it’s been a warm summer I was concerned the frosting would swoon in the heat, but it held up–possibly because I added 1tbsp cornstarch with the powdered sugar. Have you tried this before?

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed this week’s saga on wedding cupcakes!

 

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Recipe: Homemade Granola Bars

Granola Bars for Fall: Pumpkin Chocolate Date Bars

FALL IS COMING. Is anyone else excited/ready for summer to be over?

This recipe is modified from the “Scrumptious Chewy Homemade Granola Bars” my mom found in the newspaper. They’re definitely chewy and extremely filling. Granola bars never work out when I try to make them, but I’d totally use this one again.

 

Recipe

Dry Ingredients

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup dried coconut

1/2 cup chopped nuts

3/4 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin

1/2 cup agave syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350F. Line 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, using paddle attachment if in stand mixer to mix together.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients, mixing together with a whisk.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry, using paddle attachment to ensure ingredients are completely mixed. No stray oats at the bottom of your bowl.
  5. Pour mixture into your pant, using spatula to press into the corners and edges tightly.
  6. Bake 20 minutes or until edges are golden.
  7. Remove from oven, cooling completely before you take it out of the pan. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in cupboard or fridge.

 

If you can’t find ground flaxseed, just grind some in a coffee grinder or maybe a magic bullet.

Combine oats, coconut, nuts (I used almonds), dates, chocolate chips, and flour. Mix well.

In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. You can use honey and melted butter in place of the agave and coconut oil.

Add to dry ingredients, mixing well. Press into lined baking pan. Make sure you leave some parchment paper hanging over the edge of the pan so you can lift the bars out easily.

Bake @ 350F for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.

Rupert in a sink.

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Homemade Marshmallows

I’ve always wanted to try making my own marshmallows, but was deterred because it seems like a messy and complicated process. I never work with gelatin and didn’t know where to even get it. Then I saw a box of it at Superstore of all places and decided to go for it.

While making homemade marshmallows is kind of a sticky, if not messy, process–it’s not that difficult. Also I discovered you can pretty much make them any flavour you want.

When I saw some leftover whipping cream in the back of the fridge I decided then to make caramel sauce and see what happened when you add such a thing to marshmallows.

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

For my first attempt I used a recipe posted by Bakerella, which she borrowed from Shauna Sever’s Marshmallow Madness. I totally want to own this book, because then I could just make tons of marshmallows and hide them in cupcakes or whatever.

First up was the caramel sauce, which is always kind of exasperating and stressful. I’ve set the fire alarm off and ruined a few pots from setting things on fire. One time, a bit of sugar melted onto the counter and I sliced my finger open trying to chip it off. I don’t love making caramel sauce, but it gets less dangerous every time I make it.

For the marshmallows I made caramel sauce with chocolate sea salt.

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

First, sprinkle your gelatin over cold water and let sit for ten minutes.

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

Meanwhile, stir together sugar, water, half the corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. It’s essential that you have a candy thermometre for this. They’re not that expensive and it just makes baking easier. Boil the mixture untouched until it reaches 240 F.

Microwave your gelatin for 30 seconds, then add to the rest of the corn syrup in a stand mixer. Mix on low, slowing pouring your sugar mixture. Gradually increase your speed, mixing until everything triples its volume and turns a thick, pillowy white.

At this point you can add any flavour you want. I just drizzled in about 1/2 cup cooled caramel sauce. Mix until incorporated, then spread the whole goopy mess into a greased pan.

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

The recipe just said to grease the pan. I would definitely grease and coat with confectioner’s sugar. The oil just made the marshmallows a bit slippery and greasy.

After spreading the mixture as best I could, I drizzled the rest of the caramel sauce over top.

The recipe calls for a “classic coating” of 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar sifted together with 1/2 cup corn starch. Sprinkle this on once your marshmallows have had a few hours to chill in the refrigerator. Cut them into squares or circles or hearts or moons or David Bowie’s head and coat the sides as well.

Then put them on a pretty serving dish long enough to take a picture and then EAT THEM ALL BECAUSE THEY ARE SALTY AND DELICIOUS.

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

Cotton Candy Marshmallows

cotton candy marshmallows

Some marshmallow recipes include egg whites. Since my first attempt didn’t call for them, I decided to follow a recipe that did just to see the difference.

Whether it’s because this was my second attempt or it’s a bit cooler weather today or I powdered the pan this time, or because of the egg white, I just found these ones turned out better. They’re fluffy and don’t droop sadly in your fingers.

I borrowed from Smitten Kitchen and I’d do it again I tells ya.

cotton candy marshmallows

This recipe uses the same ingredients, except it includes egg white and I used cotton candy flavouring with some pink food colour.

cotton candy marshmallows

Before starting, grease the pan and coat in confectioner’s sugar.

Pour gelatin powder over the cold water and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, stir corn syrup, sugar, water, and salt together with a wooden spoon. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn heat to medium-high and allow to boil untouched. You want it to reach a temperature of 240 F on your candy thermometre.

cotton candy marshmallows

When the mixture reaches 240 F, pour your gelatin into the stand mixer, then slowly pour the hot sugar over top of it. Stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved.

This recipe differs from the other one because you don’t divide the corn syrup. I found it easier tbh.

With the stand mixer on high, beat until the mix turns thick, white, and triples in volume. While that’s going, you can beat your egg whites with the hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add them to the sugar mix, including any flavour and/or colour of your choosing. Beat until incorporated.

cotton candy marshmallows

Spread the marshmallow into your pan, pressing it into the corners. This recipe just calls for confectioner’s sugar without the corn starch, so I just sifted some over top.

Keep it in the fridge for a few hours, cut, plate, and enjoy. I totally recommend putting some of these pillowy clouds in your hot chocolate.

cotton candy marshmallows

cotton candy marshmallows

This is a cake stand I made that I thought suited the wee marshmallows perfectly.

So homemade marshmallows are easy as pie (they’re easier to make than pie tbh).

What flavours can YOU come up with?

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