Here are some of my cupcake cookies. I LOVE doing them for just about any occasion.
So we did it. We hit 100 likes on Facebook. And that is awesome. Thank you to everyone who helped get there. And as promised, I am having a giveaway. So let’s get right to the point.
I love cookies. I think you like cookies. So I am giving away some cookies. 18 of them, in fact. I will make 18 sugar cookies and decorate them especially for you. I will also throw in 6 chocolate decorated cookies.
I also love peanut butter. You should like peanut butter. Especially when paired with chocolate. So I will throw in a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Lastly, I love to bake. And I want you to love to bake. So I am making it easy for you by giving you two bags of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix.
How do you enter? All you have to do is leave a comment ON THIS BLOG POST telling me something you would like to see made into a decorated cookie. If you would like additional entries, you can do any or all of the following.
1 - “Like” Janey Cakes on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me you did so. If you already “like” my Facebook page, just leave me a comment here telling me so.
2 - Share this contest on your Facebook wall and leave a comment here telling me you did so.
3 - Tweet about this contest on Twitter and leave me a comment here telling me you did so.
That means you have a possibility of four total entries!! Each comment is an entry so you can leave up to four separate comments! When you leave a comment, please make sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. A winner will be chosen January 25, 2012 at random using random.org.
Disclaimer: This contest is only open to US residents age 18 or older. This contest and prizes are sponsored entirely by me. Contest will close January 24, 2012 at 11:59pm.
Yes, I know. There are a million chocolate chip recipes out there. I also know that everyone has different tastes and preferences. But for me, this is the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever eaten.
It is a perfect blend of crispy edges, soft center, golden brown color, and chocolatey goodness. I am planning to give some to my neighbors (if they last that long) and I cannot wait to make these again.
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose four
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp.) salted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Mix flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Then add the dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Take a scant half cup of dough and roll into a ball. Then pull apart into two equal halves. Set the halves onto the cookie sheet, jagged edge facing up. Make sure to leave ample room between each cookie. (I was able to bake 12 per sheet). Bake until cookies are light golden brown and the edges start to harden but the centers are still puffy. This took about 15 minutes in my oven but set yours for 10 and keep checking. Do not overbake these!
Cool cookies for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
This recipe only slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats.
We have gone apple picking a few times this season and last weekend the orchard had an amazing sale. It was only 25 cents a pound for any kind of apple. So we decided not to let the rain, snow and 40 degree temperatures stop us. We went and got 30 more pounds of apples. You know what that means? It means I am going to be making a lot of things with apples!
I decided my first treat would be caramel apples. I love caramel and I love apples.
What you will need for these apples:
- wooden apple sticks
- caramel (you can use homemade or store bought. I chose to use store bought caramels this time but I think next time I will make it myself. I think it tastes better and it is faster.)
- candy toppings - pretty much anything you like. I used m&ms, Reese’s pieces, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, and melted chocolate drizzle.
What you do:
Wash and dry the apples and remove the stems.
Use an abrasive pad (like a new/clean kitchen sponge with an abrasive side) to gently rub the apple. This will take off the outer coating of wax on the apple and make it easier for the caramel to stick.
Melt the caramel in a large double boiler, stirring occasionally.
While the caramel is melting, push the wooden sticks into the apples where the stem was.
Hold the wooden stick and dip the apples, one at a time, into the melted caramel. Allow the excess caramel to drip off. Now you can dip the apple into the candy and sprinkles and place it on parchment paper, or you can place it on parchment paper and put the candy and sprinkles on top of the apple. I chose the latter.
Once the caramel has set, melt the chocolate and drizzle over the apples (or, as in my case, go crazy with it).
Enjoy! These should be kept in the fridge.
Those of you who know me personally know that I LOVE Buffalo chicken. I am not sure if it is because I am from Buffalo, or just because it is delicious. Either way, I try to get as much of it as I can. I found this recipe a few years back and it is always a hit. It has a lot of flavor and can be tailored to fit your family. I especially love to make it for football days…the Bills and Buffalo chicken…what could bebetter than that?! It is easy to make and has some yummy veggies as well. You could take it easy on the cheese and use a whole wheat pasta to boost the health benefits of this dish.
(Please excuse the quality of the pictures…it was dark outside.)
Buffalo Chicken Macaroni
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast - cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 bag of baby carrots, diced (or you could use a bag of shredded carrot or 1-2 large carrots, peeled and diced)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on your preference
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Preheat broiler and bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the macaroni.
Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and brown them, about 5-6 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, and some salt and pepper. Cook the veggies, stirring frequently, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot (I don’t usually have any bits to scrape). Add the hot sauce (I usually add about 1/4 cup now) and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Simmer on medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together and thicken it slightly.
While that is simmering, toss the pasta into the boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss it into the chicken and veggies, then transfer everything to a casserole dish (I use a 9x13 glass baking dish). Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top and place it under the broiler until the cheeses have melted and the top is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
Now, I like mine spicy, but I also like Charlie (my 2 year old) to eat what we eat. That is why I only add a little bit to the recipe. Then I add more to mine once it has been served.
This has seriously been a hit every time I have made it, and we always have leftovers (yummy).
I hope you enjoy this just as much as I do!
Adapted from The Rachael Ray Show Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac.
A while back I was asked to do a Hello Kitty birthday cake. I was also asked to do some Hello Kitty cookies. I thought and thought about what to do. I knew the cake would look better with fondant, but many people don’t like it. So, I decided to do the bottom layer in frosting and the top layer (the actual kitty) covered in fondant. I think she came out pretty cute.
Then I had to do the cookies to match. The original order was just for some Hello Kitty faces, which I made using the Wilton cutter. But, if you know me, you know I cannot help myself. I wanted to make a matching set of cookies. I loved working with the color scheme. I think it was a fun combination and they came out pretty good. They matched the cake well, which was what I was hoping for.
Needless to say, I could not move my right arm for a couple of days after all of that ruffling on the cake and decorating the cookies but it was totally worth it! I loved this combo and it may be my favorite one yet.
I know I have not posted in a while. So, I will make up for it now.
Yesterday we celebrated Charlie’s second birthday. I cannot believe my little baby is already two. I know everyone says this but seriously, it goes way too fast. Anyway, for the past few months, Charlie has been in love with Sesame Street. He loves other things, too, but nothing has had the lasting effect that the monster puppets have had. So, a Sesame Street party it was. But I am not the kind of person who likes branded, character things eveywhere so I went with more of a Sesame Street colored theme and added some characters as accessories.
The invitation set the mood for the party.
I was busy baking for a week for the party. I knew I wanted to make a dessert/treat table and wanted to make things that would be tasty but also cute. I decided on homemade oreo cookies, soft sugar cookies with frosting (similar to a certain melt-in-your mouth cookie that can be found in the super market), Monster Cookies (half with M&Ms and half with Reese’s pieces), and a mix of chocolate and sugar cut outs. I also made character cupcakes and a theme cake. For the cake, I chose to decorate with fondant but not cover the cake with it. People don’t love it, and I kind of liked decorating on frosting. The top was not as perfectly round as I would like it to be because I do not own a 6” cake pan and had a hard time cutting it straight. But it was delicious. I also had a little candy station with goodie bags and some Goldfish crackers in honor of Elmo.
But I could not only focus on the treats! People need to eat real food, too. The menu consisted of homemade salsa and guacamole, hummus, veggie tray, ham & swiss sliders, spicy shredded pork, cranberry-pecan chicken salad, fruit salad, homemade honey wheat sandwich rolls, broccoli salad, and caprese pasta salad. Oh my yummy!
The games were fun to plan as well. I only got a couple of pictures before the kids trashed the place so I did not get one of Oscar’s Trash Toss or Ernie’s Rubber Ducky pond but I did manage to get pictures of Abby’s dress-up and Count With The Count. Prizes were homemade playdough, stickers, crayons, and fun straws. The kids also got to take home the stuff they wanted from the dress-up game. There was a small kids snack station set up with the games.
Charlie and his friends seemed to really like the dress-up station.
Overall, it was a great party. Charlie had a lot of fun (although the part when everyone sang to him made him cry a bit) and we are so thankful that most of our loved ones were able to share the special day with us.
Credits and Vendors:
Graphic design by my friend Shaun (invitations, banner, signs, favor tags)
Decorations and cupcake stand we did ourselves
Prizes, cutlery, table covers, party hats from Target
Inspiration for this party came from a lot of places but most ideas came from Annie’s Eats. She is great!!!
I have gotten another order from an actual paying customer and have been thrilled with reviews from my taste testers of my products. I have been experimenting with new recipes, decorating techniques and products and have been practicing, practicing, practicing. Having a 21 month old assistant has been a bit of a challenge (he decided to “help” put icing on cookies I had already done which made marks on all of them…) but I am making it work and am learning a lot.
I am moving up in this business. I have enlisted the help of a local graphic designer to help me with branding/logo. This will give me an opportunity to have a logo I can use for my blog, website, Facebook, business cards, receipts, boxes, etc. I am so excited about this and cannot wait to see what he comes up with. I will also be holding a contest on my facebook page soon with the hopes of building exposure. There may also be an opportunity for me to have my goods in a local store. I will be meeting with the owner soon about that.
This business can only grow with your help. Please pass the word. I can deliver/ship to Buffalo area. Thank you for all of your support so far!
Boy have I been busy lately. I made the bridal shower cupcakes for my best friend’s bridal shower. They were vanilla cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese buttercream frosting. I topped them with gumpaste flowers I had made a couple of weeks before. I learned some things. I have found what I think is an amazing vanilla cupcake recipe. I want my things to be made from scratch - no from a box. I want them to be delicious. And I want them to be beautiful. These were from scratch and delicious. And they did look pretty good. But the heat made the buttercream a little softer than I would have liked and it fell a bit. In the future I would refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes before decorating so that it would hold a peak better. Anyway, here is a pic of those.
I also made cookies and put them in bags with homemade tags for favors. They came out pretty good as well. However, it was my first time decorating cookies using the icing outline/flood technique and I had a bit of a hard time getting the right consistency. The outlines were a bit too stiff and the inside flooding was too thin. I have since discovered the 10 second rule for icing, which has made it a lot better.
Do you or anyone you know need some baked goods for an upcoming event? I would be thrilled to make something special for you! Email me!
I have finished…and it was a success. Fifteen hours of work later and the Buzz Lightyear cake is done. I started with the fondant work. I made marshmallow fondant, colored it and cut out all of the pieces for Buzz. The next day, I did his face with edible marker and fondant, and I cut out all of the letters and stars for decoration. On the third day I baked the cake (chocolate cake from scratch). This had to cool and firm in the fridge over night. Then on the fourth and final day I made the frosting (chocolate and vanilla buttercream), carved and
frosted the cake, cut the board, made the fondant for the cake and put it all together. The cake got an initial crumb coat of chocolate frosting and then cooled in the fridge for a few hours to set. Then I put a layer of vanilla buttercream so that the chocolate would not show through the fondant.
This was certainly a learning experience for me. It was enjoyable and I hope to have the opportunity to do a specialty cake again soon. I also hope that the little boy this cake was made for thoroughly enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed making it for him.
Now onto the next task…bridal shower cupcakes with gumpaste flowers and cookies for favors.