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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Moustache treats for Father's Day

Usually, I don't have the ability to delay gratification.  You see, I bought these Moustache cookie cutters in January 2012, and still haven't used them!  So unlike me!

But then a few weeks ago, when I had gone to the baking store to buy some things for graduation, I came across a moustache lollipop mold.  I had to have it!  But of course - more fitting of my typical behavior - I made some of those right away!  In milk and dark chocolate.

So now, for Father's Day, I decided on moustache treats.  I think it's fitting since my dad has had a moustache (and beard) for my whole life. 

Dark and milk chocolate moustache lollipops, and butter and chocolate sugar moustache cookies.  Except I decided on making chocolates ones only.  And I was going to decorate them with royal icing, but the week got away from me, and that didn't happen.  I also put some of the cookies onto sticks, so that they could (hopefully) be used as props for Father's Day pictures.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to Father's Day dinner, since I'll be working, but I'll be sure to let my sister know of my intentions for the cookies-on-a-stick!

Chocolate Roll-Out Cookies
(from none other than SmittenKitchen.com)

3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (225 grams) lightly salted butter, softened (Smitten's note: I don’t really see “lightly salted” much these days, so I used one stick salted, one stick unsalted - which is what I did, as well)
1 1/2 (300 grams) cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (Smitten's note: approximately 60 grams — weights can vary a bit depending on brand. I use the “good” stuff–Droste, Galler or Valrhona –but I can assure you that my mother only used Hershey’s growing up, so your choice.   I used Hershey's Dark and they were decadent and rich and delicious!)


Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside.
Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer.
Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth.
Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.  Sorta.  Some of my cookies had a whitish coating, on the right). *This is when I added the cookie sticks*

Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed. 
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beach themed bridal shower cupcakes

Last weekend was the bridal shower for K, a friend of my friends L + E.  I was asked to bake cupcakes for the shower.  The theme?  Old school beachy (to match the invitations).


A bunch of ideas popped into my head.  I could make mini bikini sugar cookies to top the cupcakes.  Or make mini flip flops out of candies.  Or, I could use this super cute mini shell mold I had, and make marbled chocolate shells as cupcake toppers.  I ended up purchasing some plain white sugar shells online from one of my favorite sugar and royal icing suppliers.  And then - brilliance, if I may say so myself - I came up with the idea of graham cracker "sand."

I also wanted to make the colors of the cupcakes match the colors of the shower - a turquoise-y blue and a coral-y orange.  I couldn't die chocolate icing any color other than brown or black, so that was out.  But the vanilla icing?  I tried to make it a blue to match the colors of the shower and also look "watery." 

Now, I have to admit, I have used all of these recipes on the blog before.  The chocolate cake and vanilla icing were the same that I used for the mini Minnie Mouse cupcakes I made for my friend's daughter's 3rd birthday party in March.  Only this time I used blue gel color instead of pink.  The yellow cake cupcakes were my go-to yellow cake recipe -- a big honor since I much prefer chocolate -- and can be found all over the blog, but the recipe was originally posted when I made these mini cupcakes with lemon.  And the chocolate buttercream was from the yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream from last August.  But the final product was so different from any of the past treats, so I had to post it!

L had asked for 30 cupcakes, but I made 36 for them.  I made 9 yellow cupcakes with vanilla icing, 9 yellow cupcakes with chocolate icing, 9 chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing, and 9 chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing.  All with sugar shells and graham cracker sand!