Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Springtime Macarons


The art of making Macarons is a continual learning
experience. Just when you think you finally have it,
something goes wrong. I'm constantly dealing with
new problems that come up, then searching the internet
for the answer. 

Lately my Macarons have had a hollow space inside 
and have been browning too much. I baked 2 pans
of Macarons today, and the first pan turned out 
like this.......

These were baked at 300 degrees like the directions said,
and they turned out way too brown! However, everyone's 
oven is different, and you always have to remember to 
adjust the temperature accordingly.

I always pipe my Macarons on a sheet of Parchment Paper which
is on top of my Template. It helps me to pipe uniform Macarons
that are nearly the same size. You're never going to pipe them
perfectly, but the template helps so much! Here's a link so that
you can print your own template!

Sandwich Macarons with filling of choice.  I used my 
Pink Marshmallow Buttercream and it was delicious!

Here's the recipe that I used today along with helpful troubleshooting
tips and this link tells which food coloring is best to use in making
Macarons to avoid over browning. 

Happy baking!! xo!




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY Sprinkles & Adorable Retro Sprinkle Bottles


I thought I'd take a moment to show you how I make my lovely
colored Sprinkles! It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Place white sprinkles in a ziplock bag - I get my sprinkles from Pfeil & Holing.
  2. Add desired amount of food coloring - I get mine from Wilton.
  3. Shake to combine!

Place sprinkles in pretty bottles to use in your creations!
I got these adorable Retro Glass Sprinkle Bottles from 
The Layer Cake Shop! Love the bottles and the shop!!

This tip really came in handy when I made my 
need several bottles of sprinkles to make them. 

It's a handy trick if you do a lot of baking! 
Thanks for stopping by! xo!




Lemon Bunny Scones for Spring



I'm so excited to share with you today some adorable and
delicious Lemon Bunny Scones! I wanted to try a new scone 
recipe and this one is my current favorite!! I love the bunny shapes 
and the pretty pastel colors - perfect for Spring Teas & Brunches! 

The scones are delicious & light, but what I loved was that they 
maintained their shape while baking so now I can use my cookie 
cutters and know that my scones will still be beautiful after baking!

First, I rolled my dough out to 1/2". Then I cut out 10
bunny shapes. There was a good deal of dough left but not 
enough to get but 2-3 more bunny shapes, so I decided to
make bunny tails!

I just rolled the dough out again and cut out 12 small circles
to be the "bunny tails." 

The directions said to bake them for 13-15 minutes. My oven 
took 10 minutes. Then I let them cool completely and dipped
the tops of the scones in a simple lemon juice/powdered sugar
glaze. I made the glaze in two colors - pink and yellow.

I didn't realize how quickly this type of icing can harden and
my sprinkles almost didn't stick so my advice is to dip the
shapes one at a time and use your sprinkles immediately.
For the bunny shapes I used Micro Mix Sprinkles from
Wilton. I loved these sprinkles with their pastel colors
and Springtime shapes. For the bunny tails I used some
shredded unsweetened coconut from Bob's Red Mill.


Lemon Bunny Scones
adapted from here

Ingredients:

2 cups AP flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
zest of 2 lemons
4 oz (1 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

For Glaze: 
juice of 2 lemons
powdered sugar 
pink & yellow food coloring
pastel sprinkles
shredded unsweetened coconut

In a food processor put the first 4 ingredients in and pulse
a couple of times. Add zest and pulse. Add butter and pulse
until the butter is the size of "peas." Pour most of the cream
in and pulse. Keep adding small amounts of cream until the
dough comes together.

Dump mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead until
smooth enough to roll out. Roll out to 1/2" and cut out your
shapes. Place shapes on a baking sheet about 1/2" apart
and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. This will help the
scones maintain their shape. Preheat oven to 425F.
Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

While scones are cooling make a glaze by mixing
  powdered sugar and lemon juice until thick enough 
to spread, then add food coloring.  Carefully dip tops 
of scones in glaze, then immediately sprinkle with 
sprinkles or coconut.

So cute - don't you think?!

I'm joining Rose Chintz Cottage today for Tea Time Tuesday! 
Stop by for some cute Teatime ideas!

This is a really wonderful scone recipe! So light & scrumptious!!
Hope you give it a try!!




Saturday, March 29, 2014

5 Minute Chocolate Ganache Tarts


I was recently asked a question about chocolate tarts for a 
group of 450 people, and I immediately thought of these 
Chocolate Ganache Tarts. I wanted to post this recipe for 
that person and anyone else who needs a quick & easy tart
recipe! 

I made these tarts for a group of 200. They were part
of an afternoon tea menu and they got raves!
I made them the night before the Tea, then topped
them with whipped cream right before serving.

To begin with, I used store bought tart shells. These are getting 
easier to find - I get mine from Kroger, on the baking aisle.
The ganache is simple to make and takes about 5 minutes!

I tried filling these first by spooning it into the tart shells and
next by pouring it in the shells using my measuring cup.
The measuring cup was rather messy and I kept getting
more ganache in the shells than I wanted, so I ended up
using my spoon. Since the ganache mixture was pretty
cool, I think you could use a piping bag with a plain tip.
This would be faster for filling a large quantity of tarts.

Pipe swirls of whipped cream onto tarts using a small
star tip.

Top tarts with a royal icing flower.....

....or Pink Whipped Cream & Chocolate Sprinkles!

This recipe will make 64 tiny tarts or 1 large tart.
If you can't find the tart shells I used, you can also
use store bought Fillo Shells, which come 15 to a
pack - 4 packs will make 60 tarts.


5 Minute Chocolate Tarts

Ingredients:

4 packs Shortbread Tart Shells
or 4 packs Fillo Shells
6 oz heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
8 oz baking chocolate 
2 oz unsalted butter, softened (4 tbsp)
2 oz milk (1/4 cup)

In a heavy pan, place the heavy cream, sugar and pinch of salt
and bring to a boil.  When mixture begins to boil, remove
from heat. Add the butter and chocolate and stir until 
creamy and smooth and all the chocolate has dissolved.
When slightly cool add the milk and mix until shiny & smooth.
Pour/spoon into tart shells and chill in the refrigerator.
Serve with whipped cream & berries if desired. 

A cup of tea and a chocolate tart = HEAVEN!! xo!



Friday, March 28, 2014

Thumbprint Cookies with Pink Marshmallow Fluff Buttercream


Today I revisited a lovely Thumbprint Cookie Recipe that I
blogged about 2 years ago.  It's an Ina Garten Recipe with 
buttercream instead of jam, and sprinkles instead of coconut
that American Cupcake Abroad created. The sprinkles give
the cookies a fun & whimsical look that I love!

These cookies are delicious and crisp and perfect for
Springtime celebrations!! Let me show you how I
made them!

The cookie dough can be a little on the dry & crumbly side. Just
take your time when rolling the dough into balls because the warmth
from your hands will help the cookies not crack so much when you
make the indentation.

After you dip the cookie balls into the egg wash try to shake
the excess off so that you don't wet the sprinkles too much.

Gently press your finger or thumb into the middle of dough
balls. They will crack some, and you can either leave them
that way or pinch them back together. 

Bake the cookies, cool completely then pipe a swirl of 
buttercream into the indentation using a star tip.


                           Marshmallow Fluff Buttercream

                         2 sticks butter (salted and room temp)
                         3 cups powdered sugar (sifted if lumps)
                         1 7 oz Jar Marshmallow Fluff
                         1/4 cup Heavy Cream
                         1 tsp vanilla

                 Put all ingredients into mixing bowl, beat at 
              medium speed until smooth - about 3-5 minutes.



Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

3 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water (for coating sprinkles)
1 bottle sprinkles

(recipe above)

In an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until
combined. Add vanilla.  In a separate bowl sift flour & salt.
With mixer on low add flour to butter mixture. Mix until
a dough forms. (my dough just remained crumbly)

Roll out a piece of cling film and dump dough on top.
Roll it together and pat down to form a disc. Wrap up
and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with
parchment paper. Place beaten egg in a bowl and pour 
the sprinkles into another bowl. Form round balls that weigh 
1 ounce (28 g) (I used my smallest cookie scoop to measure
out my dough.)  Roll balls in egg wash then in sprinkles and
place on baking sheet. Make a light indentation in the 
middle of balls with your finger.

Bake 20-25 minutes until cookies turn lightly golden.
Place on a cooling rack and cool completely before
piping a small swirl (using a star tip) into the indentation
of each cookie. Store in an airtight container.
I made my cookies two ways - some with pretty Spring Colored Sprinkles
and some with shabby looking pink and teal sprinkles that I made
myself using white nonpareils and food coloring. You will need
a generous amount of sprinkles to roll the cookies in so just be
sure to have a full bottle or two of the sprinkles.

I actually buy my sprinkles in Bulk because I use so many
in my baking and I love to color coordinate them to the
recipe. 


Hope this gives you some inspiration today! 
So many possibilities! xo!





Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pink Marshmallow Fluff Buttercream



Hi friends! Today I made some Marshmallow Fluff Buttercream to go 
on some Cookies that I'll be sharing soon, and it is so delicious that I 
wanted to go ahead and share the recipe with you! 

It's so easy to make and would be perfect for topping sugar cookies,
cupcakes, or even brownies!  I used this recipe to fill some macarons 
and it was fabulous! 

Just put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth!!
Add color if desired!

Here's the recipe:


                             Marshmallow Fluff Buttercream

                         2 sticks butter (salted and room temp)
                         3 cups powdered sugar (sifted if lumps)
                         1 7 oz Jar Marshmallow Fluff
                         1/4 cup Heavy Cream
                         1 tsp vanilla

                 Put all ingredients into mixing bowl, beat at 
              medium speed until smooth - about 3-5 minutes.






Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cotton Candy Meringues


This is round 2 of my quest for the best cotton candy flavoring. 
You may remember my cotton candy mints recipe where I tried 
the LorAnn Cotton Candy Flavor.  In my humble opinion, the 
like cotton candy and colors your creations a lovely shade of blue!

I made meringues and piped 2 different shapes using the same tip - 
Wilton 2D - little star shapes and rose swirls. After I piped them onto my 
sheets of parchment I sprinkled them with some pretty nonpareils.

I loved the texture of the meringue mixture and the
baked meringues were very nice & crisp. They
held up quite nicely to being moved about so
much for the pictures!

The cotton candy flavoring gave the meringues
such a pretty color. They looked lovely with the pink polka dots
on my vintage hankie! (I try to sneak in as many of my
vintage fabrics as I can in my photos!)


Cotton Candy Meringues
adapted from make-fabulous-cakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup egg whites (120g) or 4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (115g) granulated white sugar
1 packet Duncan Hines Cotton Candy Flavoring
1 cup (115g) lightly spooned powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and place a piece of
parchment paper on a cookie baking sheet.
Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Add 
cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
Slowly add the granulated sugar and whisk 
until the meringue reaches stiff peaks.
Beat in the Duncan Hines Cotton Candy
Flavoring packet.  Fold in the powdered sugar. 

Place the meringue in a piping bag with your tip
of choice and pipe on to the baking sheet. Bake for 
2 hours. Alternatively, bake for 1 hour and leave
in the turned off oven overnight.



I liked the size of the little star shaped meringues. So cute!
They would make nice little nibbles for any Tea Party!

Thanks for visiting! Have a great day!! xo!