Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Christmas Kitchen

The Christmas Kitchen.  I love the sound of that.  

The sweet smell of nutmeg and vanilla welcomes you in from the snowy wonderland outside.  Into the heart of our home where the warmth of an oven is baking the winter recipes.  By day ours was filled with a bustle of activity with family reminiscing and laughing together.  And at night, the twinkling of its lights on low when the household had gone to bed.  And when a favorite Christmas song came on and held us in its beauty, the often overwhelming feeling of being blessed - fully blessed is clear.  

Here is a collection of pictures of the goodies that came out of my kitchen this Christmas. Some treats my own creations and some designs inspired by other talented bakers.  But always in the spirit of  fun and a sprinkling of trial and error!

May the Spirit of Christmas find you well!  Enjoy!




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Xmas Street Pops

These are some character inspired cake pops I made for a little boy's 2nd birthday party this weekend. 

They were so much fun to create as I watched a simple ball of cake come to life.
They were really quite simple to make.  However . . . . .
If you do attempt to make them, be sure to set aside plenty of time to be able to focus on the details.   It took me three hours to make 24.  And that did not include the time to bake the cake.  YIKES!
You have to build these step by step.  Layer upon layer.  Candy upon candy melt.
Melt your colored candy melts first and set aside.  Then assemble all of your candy pieces.  I used ice cream dots for the eyes (colored in with an edible ink marker).
 The noses and beaks were Mike and Ike's candies.
And the hats were created by "painting" candy melts over an icing decoration shaped like a triangle.
To get that furry look you have to add texture to the smoothly dipped cake pop.  You can achieve that by adding another layer of candy melts and "fluff" with a toothpick as it begins to harden.  This is a neat way to try your hand at food sculpting!
The fun was definitely in the details for these pops.  And so worth it! 
Just look at the birthday boy loving his street character pop!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Masquerade Ball Cake Pops

Who doesn't love a good Masquerade Ball?  Especially as Halloween nears!
And who best to put you in that Venetian party frame of mind than the master of song and theatrics: Andrew Lloyd Webber with his song "Masquerade" from The Phantom of the Opera.  Here are some of my favorite lines:
"Masquerade! Paper faces on parade... Every face a different shade... Masquerade!  Look around - there's another mask behind you! 
"Flash of mauve... Splash of puce... Fool and king... Ghoul and goose... Green and black... Queen and priest... Trace of rouge... Face of beast...
"Eye of gold... Thigh of blue... True is false... Who is who?... Curl of lip... Swirl of gown... Ace of hearts... Face of clown... 
"Faces... Drink it in . . .drink it up . . .till you've drowned in the light . . . in the sound . . .

"Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds . . . Masquerade! Take your fill - let the spectacle astound you!

"Masquerade! . . . Burning glances . . . turning heads...
"Masquerade! . . .Stop and stare . . . at the sea of smiles around you!
- The Phantom of the Opera
I hope this put you in a fun and theatrical mood as you prepare your costumes and ready yourselves for the magic of Halloween!

I'm partying over at these awesome blogs this week - come link up!

I Heart Nap Time

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's The Great Pumpkin, Cake Pops!

 It's the Great Pumpkin (cake pop), coming to town!
Legend has it that on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises from his pumpkin patch and flies through the air with his bag full of toys for all the children.
"Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see" - Linus in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
I love those lines!  And these sweet pumpkin pops are nothing but sincere. . . smiling with those toothy grins . . . happy in their little patch of cake pop heaven.
Here's how I made them.  I rolled out pieces of yellow and green fondant and shaped them into curly stems and glowing grins.  I used food coloring markers to make the pumpkin eyes.
For the mouths, I outlined the teeth with an orange food coloring marker then filled in with melted candy coating. 
If you wanted to really keep things simple, all you'd have to do is use a black food coloring marker and draw triangles onto the pumpkin face once the orange candy coating has set.  But for now, fondant it is!
"There he is! There he is! It's the Great Pumpkin! He's rising out of the pumpkin patch! ( Linus faints and the "Pumpkin" is really Snoopy) 
What happened? Did I faint? What did he leave us? Did he leave us any toys?" - Linus in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! 
He may not have left us any toys this year, but I believe he took a bite of these pumpkin patch cake pops!  Ahhh well, maybe we'll get to see him next year . . . you just wait and see!

Check out these parties I'm linking up with this week:


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