My Crazy Cocina Caliente!!

Just a crazy little latina, stirring up trouble in the cocina!

Bridal Shower Favors September 3, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cookies — Vanessita! @ 11:08 am
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Recently I was asked to bake and decorate some sugar cookies that would serve as favors for a bridal shower.  You can imagine how flippin’ excited I was, MY FIRST ORDER EVER!!!!

As soon as my friend asked me to create these cookies for her best friends shower I knew I had to find the PERFECT sugar cookie recipe.

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After baking up 3 different recipes, I was about ready to give up.  Sure- the cookies would look nice but the taste was important to me! I wanted the guests at this shower to really say “YUM” when they bit in, not just “OH and AW” over its exterior.

So the hunt continued until I came across Ashlee’s Famous Sugar Cookie Recipe in Courtney’s blog: Cook Like A Champion.  I had also heard wonders of this recipe on the What’s Cooking board I frequent so I decided to give it a shot! And boy, I’m so glad I did.  The cookies came out FANTASTIC!!!  Not only did they taste great but they held their shape up  pretty good.  The trick is to make sure you let the dough cool, then once you cut it into the shapes you want, let them cool on the baking sheet in the fridge.  I let mine cool the 2nd time around for about 20 minutes.

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Ashlee’s Famous Sugar Cookies
-1 1/2 cups butter
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-4 eggs
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1/2 tsp. almond extract
-1 tbsp. lemon zest
-5 cups flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-Powdered sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.
Add in eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.
Add in vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.
Beat for 10 seconds.
Add in baking powder and salt, beat again.
Add in flour 1 c. at a time, mix for 15 seconds between each addition.
Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.

Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.

I think the secret to the amazing taste in these cookies is the lemon zest!  I even added a tiny bit of lemon extract to the mix for an extra lemony flavor and I’m pretty sure it paid off!!

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I topped the cookies with Royal Icing (using meringue powder) decorations.  It was my first real time working with royal icing so I made sure to practice on my Wilton Practice Board.  For being my first time I have to say I’m pretty dang proud of how they turned out.

And from what I’m told they were a huge hit at the shower and everyone loved them, including the bride (it was a surprise for her).  My friend (who made the order) had a few leftovers and said her husband really enjoyed them as well!  (As did the hubs with the cookie scraps that I had leftover! haha).

Next time you want to bake up some scrumptious sugar cookies- be sure to give this recipe a try!!!
I can’t wait till I get to bake them again- these cookies have now given me a new obsession with cookie cutters!!! haha.

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My First Fondant Cake!!! July 21, 2009

Filed under: Baking — Vanessita! @ 10:58 pm
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Yesterday I took you on a journey- first stop: making fondant, second stop: baking up the delicious Dulce de Leche cake.
Now we’ve reached the last leg of this fondant-baking-decorating journey.

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Sunday afternoon I spent nearly 4 hours baking and decorating… I was really motivated to try and make a cute cake using the fondant I had made the day before.

Step 1: Get your apron on, it’s time for the baking to begin!!!

Apron

Isn’t it cute?! I bought this off FlirtyAprons.com

Once the cakes were baked and out of the oven cooling, I started to work with my fondant once again.  Remember- I made the fondant the day before.  It’s recommended that you let the fondant sit overnight before using it.
I started by covering my work station with corn starch and kneading in some more Crisco to the fondant (it seems a little dry)…  After kneading it for a few minutes I got it to the perfect consistency.  I shaped the fondant into a small flat circle and started to roll it out using my rolling pin.

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After rolling the fondant out to the right size/shape… I rolled it up on my rolling pin and put it over the cake.
Then using my fondant smoother I smoothed down the top and worked my way down, making sure the fondant stuck to the cake and that there were no visible air bubbles.

Once the fondant looked like it was on right, I used a sharp knife to cut off the excess fondant.  I quickly double wrapped it in saran wrap.  If the fondant is stored right you can use it again and it lasts quite some time.

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Then it was time to decorate the cake.

First I rolled out my blue fondant and using my Wilton Ribbon Cutter tool, I cut a wavy ribbon to put along the bottom of the cake.  Dabbing my finger in water and moistening the back of the fondant I was able to “glue” the fondant ribbon to the cake.

After I had the ribbon on I went back to the blue fondant and started to cut out various circles using my Wilton Fondant Cutters (circle shape pack).  Once I had enough blue circles, I balled up my fondant and wrapped it up.

Time to bring out the purple!
Again, I rolled out the fondant and cut out various circles in different sizes.  I let the circles sit for a bit so they’d get hard and be easier to work with.  (Be sure to put away your extra fondant so it doesn’t dry out!!!)

After waiting for the circles to get a bit harder I brought them over to the cake.  Using water as my glue, I dabbed a little water on the back of each circle and laid them on the cake.  Be sure you know where you want to lay the decorations before you plop them on your cake.  If the back is too wet and you drop the decoration on the wrong spot the color may spread onto your white fondant base.  BAD!!!  So be sure to not wet your decorations too much and to be sure where you want to place the decorations first.

After I had laid enough circles on my cake I let it sit out so the decorations would harden onto the cake.  I have to say, for it being my first time ever dealing with fondant it looks pretty good!

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While working with fondant in general is easy- it is time consuming.  Between making my own fondant and rolling out each batch, it took a toll on my upper arms.  Be sure you aren’t in a rush when working with fondant!

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So- what do you think?!?!

I’m excited and I can’t wait to work with fondant again.  I’ve already got some ideas in mind. 🙂

P.S.: Here’s a pic of the mess I made 🙂 I thank God for such a wonderful hubbie who helped clean it up.  He said: “If the cake would have tasted bad I wouldn’t be helping you clean up this mess!” hahaha!!!!

Mess