batter up baseball cupcakes

baseball_cupcakesOkay, so I’m loving KraftFoods.com this week, but I had to share this idea too. These are super easy and a great addition to any baseball themed birthday. Or, better yet, just a great treat to take to the ball field this spring.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pkg. white cake mix (and required additional ingredients)
  • 10 OREO Cookies, crushed
  • 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping or can white icing
  • Tube red decorating gel
  • White muffin cups

And here’s how you make it:

  1. Prepare the cake batter as directed on the package and stir in cookie crumbs; spoon evenly into 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups. (NOTE: To make these egg and dairy free, use puree apricots, two halves to one egg, in the place of the egg and ice with dairy free can frosting.)
  2. Bake and allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  3. Frost cupcakes with the whipped topping (requires storing the finished cupcake in the refrigerator). Or, if you decide to use regular icing, heat it in 15 second intervals in a glass bowl in the microwave and dip your cupcakes allowing the excess icing to drip off before setting them aside to cool. Use the decorating gel to draw stitching lines on top of each cupcake to resemble a baseball.

Happy baking!

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Valentine cookies: flooding fun

redheartValentine’s Day is on our doorstep and wouldn’t it be fun to flood beautiful cookies for your kids to take to school with their Valentine cards? Yes, you could go and get some from the grocery, but if you want some great tips on how to be the envy of the other moms, read on.

Icing – First of all, you have to have the right type of icing: royal icing. Don’t let the name scare you, it’s just one pound of confectioner’s sugar, five tablespoons of meringue powder, a half cup of water (or less) and gel-paste food coloring (available at most bakery and craft stores; the food coloring in grocery stores is usually very watery taking more of it to achieve the color you want). You’ll need to mix the icing until it’s fluffy, yet dense, about seven to eight minutes. Then you’ll need to use the icing immediately or transfer it to an airtight container.

Coloring – Separate your icing into the number of colors you need for your project. Then color your icing one drop of gel at a time. It’s a lot stronger than you might think. Once all the icing is the colors you need, separate them again so that you can thin one half for flooding. With your second set, thin each color with one teaspoon of water at a time. Often, one teaspoon is all it takes depending on how many times you’ve separated your icing. Now you have thick and thin versions of all the colors you need.

Tools – Trim one corner of a resealable bag and insert a #3 icing tip with a connector. Repeat this process for each of your colors (thin and thick). Then spoon each into a bag. (I always mark the thin bags so I don’t accidentally ruin a cookie by trying to trim it with the thin icing.)

Flooding technique – Now that your icing is prepped, take a cooled sugar cookie and pipe an outline around the shape. Allow it to set for 10 to 15 seconds and then you can flood the cookie with the thinner version of the color. While the flooded color is still wet, you can add a different thinned color to make polka dots or other designs. Doing it quickly will allow the second color to settle into the flooded color and dry flat. Allow the flooded colors to set for several minutes before adding any additional piping or layers to your design.

Okay, now that you’ve read the basics, here’s how you create the red heart cookies shown:

  1. Pipe red icing using a #3 tip around the outer edge of a cooled sugar cookie.
  2. Allow the icing to set for at least 10-15 seconds.
  3. Pipe the thinner red icing into the center of the cookie and spread it out to the corners with a toothpick.
  4. Allow the cookie to set for at least 4-5 minutes and then pipe red zigzags on the cookie using the #3 tip again.
  5. Allow the cookie to set for at least a half hour before packaging.   

 Happy baking everyone!

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simple chocolate transfer

chocolatetransferChocolate transfer is another one of those techniques that can appear difficult when in reality it is very easy. Today’s post is just the basics, but I’ll follow-up with more complex ideas very soon.

So, for an easy chocolate heart to top your Valentine cupcakes, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chocolate wafers (the right type of chocolate is essential, not all chocolate is equal when melted)
  • Wax paper
  • Heart stencil
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • Double boiler (or microwave if you’re very careful and only heat in 8-10 second intervals massaging the chocolate between heating)

And here are the easy steps:

  1. Lay your stencils under wax paper so that you have a guide while piping.
  2. Melt your chocolate and insert it into a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Snip one corner about a ¼ inch and pipe the chocolate over the stencil in one motion per side. If you stop and start your heart won’t be smooth.
  4. Allow the chocolate to set for at least 3-4 minutes.
  5. Carefully peel the heart from the wax paper and apply it to your cupcake.

I know, simple!

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simple Super Bowl cookies

footballcookie1With the Super Bowl only a few days away, here’s a little inspiration to help you bring your theme to the table.  All you need is a stick of refrigerated gingerbread cookie dough and a can of white icing.  

Bake your cookies (see a few tips on cookies keeping their shape in the oven), allow them to cool completely on a wire rack and then ice. Simply take a resealable bag and spoon in your white icing. Snip one corner and pipe your lines.

Simple, fun and your guests will love them. Happy baking!

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princess cupcake castle video

I had a great time on NBC4i’s Daytime Columbus this week. Gail Hogan is a very gracious host and lets me just talk and talk, which of course I love to do. {wink}

Here’s the video to go with our step-by-step instructions I posted earlier. Happy crafting!

 

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princess cupcake castle

 

Princess Cupcake CastleToday on Daytime Columbus I’ll be creating a princess cupcake castle. For all you moms who want to bake and decorate the birthday cake of your little girl’s dreams, this is for you. Here’s what you’ll need in addition to your cupcakes:

  • 3 cake plate sizes (these are 12″, 10″ and 8″)
  • Craft paper
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Sugar cones
  • Pink melting chocolate
  • Tooth picks
  • Curling ribbon
  • Cloth ribbon
  • Glue gun
  • Silicone brush

Simple steps:

  1. Cake plate embellishing:
    • For the bottom tier, using a scallop ruler cut out the design on thick craft paper (DCWV green embossed polka dots shown). Apply to the cake plate with a glue gun and then trim with a fuchsia ribbon. (NOTE: Apply the glue to the paper, not the plate. To clean up, simply pull it away.)
    • For the top tier, apply the same ribbon as the bottom tier using hot glue.
  2. Castle towers – melt pink chocolate (available in the baking section of craft stores) in a double boiler and apply to sugar ice cream cones using a silicone brush. (TIP: Place the cone on a lollipop stick so that you can ice all the way to the bottom of the cone.)
  3. Castle flag – using the same craft paper as the scallop, cut two rectangles (1 ¾” x 5/8″) and then trim a triangle out of one end. Pipe hot glue to the inside of the paper; insert a toothpick and then top with the second rectangle.
  4. Princess scepter/wand – take a lollipop stick and apply a dot of (non-toxic) glue about 1 ½” from one end. Apply an end of green curling ribbon and then roll the stick in your fingers to stripe it like a candy cane to the top of the stick. Apply another dot of glue to secure the ribbon. Curl 6″ strands of green, blue and pink curling ribbon with a pair of scissors. Starting with the green and ending with the pink, layer the curling ribbon on top of the stick.
  5. Embellishing cupcakes – ice each cupcake with pink icing and sprinkle sugar around the edges of each. For the cupcakes in the middle tier, tie them with the fuchsia ribbon. (TIP: Apply the ribbon before icing.) Insert your princess scepters in every other cupcake on the bottom and middle tier, alternating positions. (Do not insert scepters in the front facing side of your tier.)

Rather watch a video of how to pull this one off? Here you go!

You can find the cupcake tins, crown cookie cutter, princess invitations and so much more in our shoppe. Happy crafting!

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Texas Longhorn cookies

Texas Longhorn cowboy cookiesFor your next Wild West hoedown, stock your chuck wagon with these fun Texas Longhorn, sheriff badge and cowboy boot cookies. Not only are they cute, but they’re a very economical way to decorate and pull your theme into your table. Plus, they can be a delicious goody bag surprise. Visit my post on flooding cookies for tips on how to pull off this icing. It’s much easier than you might think, especially with the right instruction. {wink}

You can find these cookie cutters, along with our Wild West invitations and décor in our shoppe.

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spa party cookies & favors

Spa Party Cookies

These cookies from mommawants1more are perfect favors for any slumber party! And here are a few tips that will help you whip them up beautifully:

Happy baking!

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garden party cupcake tier

Garden party cupcake tierSo I guess it is obvious that I have Spring fever. I absolutely love this idea, not necessarily the cupcake design though. Here’s a much cooler sunflower cupcake, but what I wanted to show you was the display. This idea is fabulous (courtesy domestic diva Martha Stewart) for our bugs and butterflies birthday theme. You’ll need:

  • Three white cake plates, each slightly smaller than the other
  • Small clear glass (tubular is best)
  • Green crepe paper
  • Small watering can
  • Craft paper for the flower petals
  • Suckers

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First cut leaf shapes out of the green crepe paper; you’re going to need 50 to 60 so that they overlap.
  2. Next stack your cake plates and using double stick tape apply your leaves so that they overlap slightly and hang off the edge.
  3. Taking the craft paper, a thick card stock would be best, cut out a flower petal shape with five petals. Using a bone folder, crease each petal, and with a hole punch, place a hole in the center of the petal and insert your sucker. (You may need to use a small dab of glue or tape to hold the petal in place on the sucker stick. Just make sure it is non-toxic.) Finally place your sucker flowers in the small watering can.
  4. Arrange your flower cupcakes and top with your fun watering can. DONE!

Happy crafting!

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“all the buzz” cupcakes

Beehive cupcakeI know we’re only a few days off Christmas, but I’m already starting to have Spring fever… which is not good since I live in Ohio and will have at least four more months of cold. Regardless of the weather, these beautiful beehive cupcakes from brightideas.com will make any girls luncheon or birthday party all the buzz. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups SNICKERS® Brand Miniatures
  • 1 box (18 oz.) your favorite cake mix
  • 2 cans (16 oz. each) vanilla frosting
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 1 cup orange STARBURST® Brand Jellybeans
  • 1 tube chocolate decorative frosting, with plain tip
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies
  • Resealable plastic bag
  • 24 paper cupcake liners classic
  • 2 12-cup muffin tins
  • 3 pieces construction paper, in bright, spring colors (orange, pink, green, etc.)
  • Serving tray, optional

Detailed instructions:

  1. Set 24 SNICKERS® Brand Miniatures aside. Chop the remaining candy and set aside.
  2. Line the 2 muffin tins with the paper cupcake liners. Prepare the cake mix, fold in the chopped candy, and bake according to the package directions.
  3. Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature.
  4. In the meantime, tint the frosting with yellow food coloring to the desired shade. Dab a teaspoon of frosting on the bottom of each reserved SNICKERS® Brand Miniatures and place one on top of each cupcake.
  5. Frost the top of the cupcake, covering both the cupcake and candy. This will help support the frosting beehive.
  6. Spoon the remaining frosting into a resealable plastic bag. Using scissors, snip a small corner of the bag. Pipe the frosting in a spiral fashion, starting at the bottom of the hive and working your way up to the top.
  7. Place jellybeans randomly around the cupcake hives, and gently squeeze the chocolate frosting in a zigzag pattern on top of them.
  8. For the bee’s wings, place an almond slice on both sides of each jellybean.
  9. To serve, create flower cut-outs from the construction paper. Place the flowers on a table or serving tray, put a hive on each flower, and sprinkle with M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies.

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