Sunday, March 26, 2017

pusheen cookies



Recently, my friend Anita from Dessert First asked me to make Pusheen cookies for her daughter's birthday party, and of course I said yes! Anita is a baking blogger as well, and she is one of the sweetest people I know! (Some of you may remember this amazing macaron party that Anita invited me to!) You can check out her post of the Pusheen birthday party here - everything turned out SO ADORABLE!

For the cookies, Anita knew what cookie designs she wanted, so I just followed her lead! Since I didn't have any Pusheen cookie cutters, I asked hubby to make a couple for me, and look how perfect they turned out! (Thanks hubby!)


Armed with my shiny new copper cookie cutters, I rolled out my favorite sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!) to about 1/8 inch thick, and cut out my shapes before baking them at 350F for 10-12 minutes.



Once all the cookies were baked and cooled, I whipped up a batch of royal icing (recipe also in my book!), and then used black stiff icing (in a disposable pastry bag fitted with a small tip) to outline each cookie.



Next I filled them in with runny grey icing, and while the icing was still wet I used a small tip to pipe in dark grey stripes on Pusheen's head, back, and tail. Normally I wait until the filled icing is dry before piping on the details, but in this case I wanted the stripes to be flush with the rest of the icing, instead of raised.


Then I let them dry for several hours before piping on the eyes, nose and mouth, and whiskers.


The first third of the cookies would be four-legged Pusheen, you know, just hanging out and being all cute.




The next third of the cookies would be Pusheen eating a donut (since, as you may know, Pusheen loves to eat!), so I piped an outline of the donut and the little paws, and then filled in the donut with pink runny icing. Then while the pink icing was wet, I and added rainbow nonpareils for the donut sprinkles.





And the final third of the cookies would be Pusheen eating chocolate chip cookies, so I piped the cookie outlines with black stiff icing, filled them in with tan icing, and piped the little chocolate chips with the smallest tip I had. (As one of my friends said, "A kitty cookie eating a cookie... It's cookie inception!")

 


I thought they turned out super cute!
 


Here's one more of all the gang.


And one special cookie was going to be the cake topper - Pusheen eating a birthday cupcake!


Happy Birthday Isabelle, I hope you enjoyed your Pusheen cookies!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

minion cookies


To go along with the minion cake that I made for my son Matthew's 9th birthday last September, I also made minion cookies for him to bring to school, to celebrate his birthday with his class. In the past, his teachers allowed me to bring cupcakes for a short and quick class celebration, but this year his teacher only allowed a snack to be passed out as the students leave the classroom at the end of the day. (Maybe 4th grade is too old for class parties still?)

For the cookies, I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe (in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book), rolled out my dough to about 1/8 inch thick, and cut them out with circle cookie cutters. Then I baked them at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until they turned golden brown.


After whipping up the royal icing (recipe also in my book!), I tinted the majority of it yellow, and used a small round tip in a disposable piping bag to outline each cookie with stiff icing. Then I filled it in with runny icing.



After letting the yellow icing dry for several hours, I used gray stiff icing to pipe circles for the goggles, and then filled it in with white runny icing.


Then after letting the white icing dry for a few hours, I piped the rest of the details - brown icing for the eyeballs, and black icing for the pupils, hair, smile, and goggle straps. And the final touch was piping a little white dot in each eyeball, to bring the minions to life!




Happy Birthday, Matthew! We love you!



Sunday, March 5, 2017

minion cake


My son Matthew turned nine last September, and he really wanted to have a few of his friends over for an afternoon of video games and movies. So that's what we did! And we had balloons, a make-your-own-pizza station for dinner, and of course birthday cake!

This year I decided to make him a minion cake, since he loves minions and is always imitating them! I wanted to fill it with fruit cocktail and whipped cream, which is kind of a nostalgic cake flavor from my childhood. Since I wanted the fruit cocktail to stand out, I decided to pair it with a light vanilla chiffon cake, so I baked up three 8-inch cake layers. While they were cooling, I drained my fruit cocktail, to ensure I wouldn't end up with a soggy cake!


When I was ready to fill the cake, I used an offset spatula to spread freshly whipped cream on each layer, topped with the drained fruit cocktail. Then I covered it with more whipped cream, and then the next cake layer.




For the frosting, I tinted my freshly whipped cream with yellow gel-based food coloring, and covered the top and sides of the cake. Then I smoothed it out with an offset spatula.



For the minion face, I used a medium round tip to pipe gray frosting circles for the goggles...


.. and then used a smaller round tip to pipe brown frosting eyeballs, and then a star tip and white frosting to fill in the whites of the eyes.


Then I used black frosting and a small round tip to pipe the black pupils of the eyes, the hair, and the smile, as well as the outline for the goggle straps (which I then filled in with a star tip afterwards).


And then the minion cake was done!



I thought he turned out pretty cute!


The boys had a great time at the party, and Matthew loved having his closest friends over!



Hope you had a Happy Birthday, my Matthew! I can't believe this will be your last year in the single digits! :(


Sunday, February 26, 2017

coffee chiffon rose cake




It's my mom's birthday next week, and I'll probably be making her another coffee chiffon cake! The past few years I've been making her some form of coffee-flavored cake, so I think I'll continue the tradition this year as well!

This was the cake that I made for her last year - light and fluffy coffee chiffon cake, filled with espresso whipped cream. I started by baking up three 8-inch layers of coffee chiffon, which I filled with freshly whipped cream that was flavored with an espresso paste (espresso powder mixed with a few tablespoons of hot water).


After the layers were filled, I covered the top and sides with the espresso whipped cream, smoothing it out with an offset spatula.


Then came the fun part - decorating it! I've done several piped rose cakes in the past, a method first pioneered by the talented I Am Baker, and since I had yet to make one for my mom, I thought this would be the perfect time.

The technique is so simple, yet comes out so pretty! I filled a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, and piped large rosettes around the sides of the cake. Then I piped large rosettes on the top of the cake, starting from the outside, until the entire top was filled.




There were still some open spots afterwards, so I just used the same large star tip to fill the gaps in. And then it was done! So easy!




This is still one of my favorite ways to decorate a cake, not only because it's fast and easy, but also because the effect is always so pretty.


 

Stay tuned to see how this years cake will turn out!

 

 Happy Birthday, Mom!