Posts in Category: Bake

Baby Face Emojis

Today, we have been celebrating the soon to be arrival of my new niece or nephew. The lucky parents are Jason’s brother and his lovely wifey and they are keeping it a surprise. If I have kiddos, I certainly couldn’t wait that long to know!

Anyway, I need no excuse to make cookies.

I started off making little baby faces, and they were meant to have a hair curl and ears, but they just looked so adorable I couldn’t add those things.

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These were so fast to make because a simple round cutter, a heart cutter and just three icing colours did the job. Look at that fabulous flesh coloured icing, it’s perfect. Didn’t start out that way as it was way too pink, but adding ivory really toned it down. I threw in a bunch of hearts for fun and to add a splash of colour. I did not want to do the traditional blue and pink.

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I was going to pipe on the facial features, but decided to try something different. I used black petal dust (this brand is food grade approved in Australia) and wet down a little with water to make a paint. You can also use vodka, which dries quickly, but based on the warmth yesterday when I did these, it’d probably evaporate immediately!

With painting on cookies, you do sometimes have to layer up the paint to get it opaque. It only took a couple goes to get it looking like this tough. It’s important to take your time because royal icing does not like water and if you use too much liquid, it will just melt.

I used some rose coloured petal dust to add our lovely rosy cheeks.

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Here you can see my painting supplies. I managed to find some very fine paintbrushes – a range of 5 for $5 at a local bargain store, and this one is the finest of the lot. I’ve found I like using a simple cotton tip for the blush rather than a paintbrush, as you can see the swirls more prominently with a paintbrush.

I REALLY enjoyed making these and I want to try my hand at painting more things. So happy with how these turned out.

Which is your favourite baby face emoji? Jason suggested I should have made one with lumpy icing vomit down its face for realism, but …..no.

Until next time, have fun!

Carrot Cake

I asked Jason what yummy he wanted this week, and he said carrot cake. Granted, he also told me this about three weeks ago but it mysteriously did not get made then. Probably for the best considering how many Halloween cookies we needed to eat.

But today we have carrot cake and oh man, it’s delicious and not just because of the cream cheese icing. The cake itself is wonderful and a little different to your traditional carrot cake. It was for that reason I tried out this recipe. It’s got sour cream in it, which reduces the amount of oil you need to add. I just love sour cream in cake, it mellows out the sweetness a bit. It’s also got pineapple and orange zest in it.

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Ingredients
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3 carrots (about 400g), finely grated
250g sour cream
125ml vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons orange zest
170g crushed pineapple
60g toasted walnuts, chopped

Icing
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
210g icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
Roughly chopped walnuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 22cm cake tin.
  2. Sift flour and cinnamon into a bowl and add sugar and carrot, stirring to combine. Beat the sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla and orange zest together until smooth.
  3. Add to the carrot mixture. Stir in the pineapple and nuts. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then turn on to a rack to cool.
  4. To make the icing: Beat everything except the nuts together with electric beaters until light and smooth. Spread on to the cake and sprinkle with the walnuts.

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Got a little “fancy” and pulled out the fabulous Wilton 1M piping tip, that makes the big star swirls and piped some extra cream cheese icing around the edge. Never say no to extra icing. I like the little flecks in the icing the orange zest makes.

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My oven, being its same stupid self, did make my carrot cake top dome and crack quite significantly, but I just shaved that off with a bread knife to provide a flat top.

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In other news, I got a new camera toy! New lens to go with my Canon EOS 650D. I have been having fun with this indeed, and learning more about aperture and ISO. And I have a tripod on the way too, so that’s exciting. I’m hoping I might be able to do some videos in the future. Big dreams!

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You can find the original carrot cake recipe here.

Until next time, have fun!

Poll – Favourite Halloween Cookie Character

Hey all.

I hope you have enjoyed this foray into some delicious and fun halloween cookies. If you’d like, here’s a little survey so you can tell me who your favourite cookie was!

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[socialpoll id=”2397332″]

Until next time, have fun!

Halloween 2016 Silhouettes

Welcome back and Happy Halloween! I’ve been hard at work at my final cookies for this year’s Halloween. Actually, no. These were really easy to do and took barely any time so it was a lovely wind-down.

I wanted to venture into playing with some silhouettes, layering and keeping the colour scheme really simple. I had a bit of inspiration from Pinterest and looking at “halloween cards”. Wow are there some talented card makers out there! I grabbed some paper and started to sketch some ideas. I haven’t sketched in years and years though I guess my “traditional” art from high school just transformed into other creative mediums such as dough and sugar and fabric. ­čÖé

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I revisited the cookie pumpkins, layering first orange, and then the black icing on top so that the jack o’lantern face would look like it was lit from within. Do you like my spiderweb paper I made today?

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I really scrounged around in my fabric stash today to find some variety. Look, cats for my cats!

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I started to iron out some of the cotton fabric, but realised the crumples added a really nice texture to today’s pictures.

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The grey icing marble effect was a really cool experiment and I’d love to explore this some more in the future. I achieved this by starting to mix some black icing into white, but not mixing until it was uniform. You can see that the left and right sides of the cookie differ, just by how I piped the icing on, whether it was back and forth horizontally or swirling.

I decided to leave the bat out of this design and let the tree feature prominently. Ok so my tree needs work as I was just freestyling here.

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For the final cookie and my slightly crooked haunted house, the layering effect once again comes into play as with the pumpkins, with lower layers lighting up the windows. I played a little with shadows on this one and I like how it has lent an unintentional airbrushing ombre effect on the orange icing.

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I better head off and go select a horror movie to watch tonight, because DO. LOVE. HORROR. MOVIES! We need no excuse to watch.

Until next time, have fun!

Witch

Hello witchiepoo! You’re the last of the spookily cute characters and to celebrate, you even have props!

The funnest parts of this were probably the curly hair and the cauldron bubbles. Both required doing a few hair wiggles/bubbles, allowing them to dry a bit, then adding more. If you don’t, they’ll just join up and look like a blob.

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With the broom, I wanted it to look rough and ragged and straw-like, so I dragged the piping tip along the dried orange icing while I piped the black. Do you think it worked?

Here’s a close up of the hair. ┬áThere was four layers between the grey and the black and it was so enjoyable to do, just wiggle your piping bag and squeeze. Purposefully be messy!

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Now just because I’ve finished these cookie characters, does not mean there are no more Halloween cookies. There’s still a few days until then and there’s still cookie dough in the fridge to be used.

Until next time, have fun!