Sunday, June 26, 2011

Magic Treehouse Cake

For the Big 6th, Quinn decided he wanted a Magic Treehouse themed party and cake. The party was a snap to orchestrate. The cake, on the other hand, took much planning and strategizing. I am no Ace of Cakes when it comes to structural engineering of pastry products and the thought of trying to create a Tree With a Treehouse In It, as our son wanted, left me feeling like a failure even before I'd begun. This nice, safe, square cake was much more my speed. I used this yellow cake recipe I found on the wacky wild web, which turned out to be a really good one.
The leaves were a snap. Wilton Candy Melts, melted and painted onto the backs of Camelia leaves, popped into the freezer to set, then peeled the leaves off. I kept them in a container in the fridge until time to decorate.
The frosting is from the fine people at Hershey's; the recipe is located on the back of the Special Dark Cocoa can.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Grandma's Shortcake Biscuits

Growing up, these biscuits were not a Sunday dinner staple; they were something to be turned into a wonderful summertime treat. My mom would load up strawberries and vanilla ice cream between one or two of these little cakes and top it with whipped cream. At breakfast the next morning we would beg for more, and if there were any biscuits left we were allowed to enjoy an encore, this time with strawberries and milk, because that's Healthier, of course.

The texture of this biscuit is more that of a scone. I'm positive that adding dried currants, shaping them into triangles and sprinkling them with sugar would make any scone lover happy.

Mary Nichols' Shortcake Biscuits
Preheat oven to 400 f.
Sift together into a large bowl:
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Cut in with pastry cutter or 2 knives until a coarse meal forms:
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter (Grandma used Crisco, I use butter. You choose.)
Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in:
1 1/3 cup milk
Mix well with your hands until combined. Turn half dough out at a time onto a well floured surface, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough.
Roll out to 1/2" thick. Bake on a parchment lined sheet at 400 for 10-13 minutes.
Makes 18 delicious morsels.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ma Petite Fleur

Petite Fleur
This little beauty is great on a bobby pin, barrette or brooch, clustered together on a wrapped present, sewn to a t shirt, I could go on and on.

Crocheted Petite Flower Instructions

With Color A: ch 4, join w/ sl st to first ch to form ring.
Round 1: ch 1, 10 sc into ring, change to color B during join to first sc.

Round 2 (with color B): ch 1. 1 sc, 3 dc, 1 sc into same st as join. Skip 1 st ( in next st, work 1 sc, 3 dc, 1 sc, sk next st) 4 times. 5 petals complete. Join with sl st to first sc. Finish off, weave in ends.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

My son, a precocious kindergardener, decided we need to make a garden cake for my birthday. Boy did we ever. It is a standard carrot cake with caramel cream cheese frosting, topped with soil made out of crushed chocolate animal crackers and marzipan veggies.

I think one of the best things about having a child is how much inspiration they bring to your daily life. Sure I would've made a cake for my birthday because I love to bake and fiddle around in the kitchen, but I seriously doubt I would have come up with this little bit of horticultural festiveness without such a convincing muse by my side.