Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ABC- Maple Pecan Medjool Date Rugelach

This was my first month baking with Avid Bakers Challenge- it was a nice change! Rugelach is something I'm pretty sure I'd pass up on. Something that wasn't in my a eye's frame, you know- chocolate, caramel, cream cheese. I'm glad that I went ahead and ran with these! I didn't use whole dates and wrap them, I chose to chop up my dates, and blend with the sugar nut mixture. I was out of real maple syrup and only had sugar free in the house (something that I know wouldn't do justice) so I subbed in dark corn syrup. I like what this did- gave it a 'warm' flavor. The dough was a light buttery cream cheese flavor with a flakyness that rocked. All in all, a win here. Be sure to check out (and join) The Avid Bakers Challenge for other posts on this fantastic little treat!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winner Announced! $35 CSN Gift Card Giveaway!

So, just in time for the holidays!

Congrats to:

I'll be sending along your info to CSN reps for your win!

Happy Holidays! I'm feeling another giveaway soon!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'Toy Story' Birthday Cake

My oldest (gasp!) son's birthday was November 29th. My little big man has turned four. Going on forty. As usual, I decided to make his birthday cake.

I really try to do that with both the boys, my youngest Nick-kinda got shafted this year. We were in the middle of a move, and I just didn't make him a a cake. He didn't party either (well, we had a little one at my Aunts house with my husband on the webcam) I seem to feel like my little man gets the shaft. I'm going to make a BIG effort to give him at least a rocking cake next year! At 3, I don't know how many other friends he'll have since I'm a SAHM and he won't be starting a sport until after his birthday. (Soccer!- It's adorable when the really little ones play!)

On to the cake. Jackson and Nicholas are HUGE Toy Story fans. I don't know a kid that hasn't been captivated by those movies. I gotta admit they are adorable. I like them too, just like I really like the Shrek movies (by the way, you can pre-order on amazon for $40 for the set of blu-rays!-Christmas present here!) There I go off the topic again.

I made a white wedding cake- moist, slightly dense, solid flavor. With an Oreo creme filling. The filling rocked my world. I was eating it alone. With a spoon. In the basement. It was so good. The top was a butter yellow cake with a chocolate whipped ganache. 8" and 6" respectively. In my dense mind I forgot that I needed 4" cakes (in height- exactly) for my usual stacking system (it's what happens when you haven't made a cake in almost 6 months). So I had beautiful tall layers- which I love, but that required me to go back to the straw stacking system. Since we didn't have to travel. That worked. Both are covered in a buttercream flavored fondant. (fondx) I have made my own fondant- and I like it, but I had this bucket from a while ago and I needed to use it. And I didn't want the extra mess.

The rest of the decor is fondant. With the exception of the silver stars. Those are gumpaste. I free handed the clouds on paper and traced onto the fondant (if you can't tell- they're not quite right) same with the cow "spots". The red pearl border is a first impressions mold that I've recently decided I love. And the rope border was made with a clay extruder (found at local craft stores in the clay section- only used with food though).

Needless to say. He loved the cake. Even without it saying "Toy Story" on it- he knew right away what it was! I had contemplated adding a Buzz and Woody on the top (plastic figurines) but I decided against at the last minute, going for the set-up you see.

If there's any questions you might have, I'd LOVE to try and answer them! But I gotta say Cake Central is a huge part of getting me started in cakes!

Oh- and it's snowing here. Christmas is coming!!