Saturday, September 24, 2011

Royal Icing Butterfly Cupcakes

I thought we needed some cupcakes to celebrate a friend's new baby girl. I've done the royal icing butterflies a few times before , but long enough between each time to forget how quickly the royal sets! So my decorations are always raised, but they're still cute enough. These are the easiest to make, though I do cheat a little. I use Peggy Porshen's template in her Pretty Party Cakes, and pipe the wings on waxed paper. Here are the dried wings

But then I skip the whole folding the cardboard, piping the body step. If I were going to use the butterflies on fondant, I might have to do that. But here, I just stick the wings in the buttercream and then pipe the body over.

Along with the butterflies, I tried piping "baby girl" to make them more obviously baby-ish. First, that was too much text for one cupcake, and second, girl without a dotted "i" looks like grl or gurl, and neither of those were what I was really going for. But the baby turned out great! I was amazed that they stayed together!

For these I used the double chocolate cake from epicurious, Rosenberg's buttercream and Lesley's royal icing with meringue powder.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TWD Cocoa Salt and Pepper Shortbread

These reminded me of Maida Heatter's Black Pepper Brownies. The pepper was a little stronger in these cookies, and I think I liked the drier texture with the pepper than with the fudginess of the brownie. Since I wasn't sure going in, I made half with the pepper and half without. The ones with the pepper, I could hardly taste the salt. But the ones without the pepper, the salt really stood out, like the World Peace cookies someone had mentioned in the comments. It's not my favorite cookie of Dorie's, but tasting both, I realized I kind of do like the black pepper.

Thanks to Tia of Buttercream Barbie for this week's pick!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lime Pie Paletas and Ice Cream

We've been on a popsicle kick here, and while I was on the library's reserve list, I started searching for some of Fany Gerson's recipes online. One that seemed perfect was her Lime Pie Paletas
I didn't use the graham cracker crumbles, though I'm sure those would be a fun texture. Without, these were still a great treat - creamy, not too rich, tart. I love the lime.

I'd tried David Lebovitz's Vietnamese Coffee ice cream, and with the sweetened condensed milk, it stayed perfectly scoopable. So I thought I'd try the same with some of the Lime Pie recipe and ran it through the ice cream maker. It also was the perfect consistency. I think I almost liked it as an ice cream more - though I think I'd try the crumbles on top next time. We'll definitely have this again next summer, and probably some throughout the year!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TWD Classic Brownies

This is not the most amazing brownie picture ever (they were still warm from my last minute baking), but these are some very rich, chocolaty brownies.

I tried half with the walnuts and half without:

I don't usually like nuts in brownies, but then the espresso powder with the walnuts sounded pretty good, so I figured I'd try both :)

The brownies are very rich and dense, but thin. I think these are the only brownies that I like better with the nuts. The ones without seemed like they could do without a TB or two of the butter, but the ones with the walnuts were great!

Thanks to Anne of Anne Strawberry for this week's pick!

TWD Chocolate Spice Quickies

I'd actually gotten these baked on time, but then was late in posting, so I'm a week behind on these. The quickies were quick to put together - it pretty much all gets thrown in the food processor. The flecks are little bits of almond. These were really great warm. They'd be great holiday cookies with the spice, how easy they are to pull together and the make-ahead nature (they're rolled in a log for slice-n-bake, and then they need to chill at least 4 hrs). I'll be keeping these in mind for around the holidays!

Thanks to Jessica of My Baking Heart for the pick!