So a colleague of mine asked me to make a cake for her son’s birthday. She told me that he would really love a pirate ship and a sea monster would be cool too. After a little research into what has been done before, I adapted many different tricks and trials and this is what I came up with!
For the cake, I added an extra egg to each batter (a Funfetti cake and a chocolate cake) which definitely made the cakes easier to carve. I also put them in the freezer for a few minutes before shaping them which also helped. I used Twix for the side boards and Hershey chocolates to wood boards down the center of the boat (dusted in gold sprinkles). I used kabob skewers for the sails and put them through a Rolo candy at the base. The sea monsters are made of mini cupcakes with marshmallow eyes and the beach is chocolate frosting topped with honey nut cheerios that I put in the food processor.
Needless to say, Hayden was all smiles when we delivered the cake to his front door this morning!!
What kid doesn’t love Twinkies? So one of my advisee’s who is also lives in my dorm’s birthday is today, and he LOVES Twinkies! So in honor of his birthday I decided to make the Twinkie Cupcake recipe that I found on Pinterest. While they are quite sweet for my liking (must be the bag of confectionery sugar and two cups of Fluff), Twinkie lovers will go weak in the knees for these bad boys. Thanks to thedomesticrebel.com for the recipe!!
- 1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
- 1 box Instant Vanilla pudding
- 1/2 cup Fluff
- 1 stick butter
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons very hot water
- 1/2 cup Fluff
- 2 sticks softened butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- About 1 bag (32 oz) powdered sugar (I used a little less)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins.
2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, adding the pudding mix and divide amongst cupcake tins. Bake according to box directions (about 15 minutes). Cool completely, the core out the cupcake’s middles (I used the top of my garlic press, but you can use anything round).
1. Dissolve the salt into the hot water. While the water is cooling, in a separate bowl beat together the marshmallow cream, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy. Beat in the salt water. Mixture should be light but not as stiff as frosting.
2. I spooned the filling into the hollowed out cupcakes, but you could also pipe the filling into each cored cupcake, filling just to the top. Refrigerate cupcakes while you prepare the frosting.
1. Beat together the fluff, butter and vanilla until creamy. Gradually begin adding powdered sugar in, about one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.
2. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes covering the filled part of the cupcake.
Who doesn’t love snickerdoodle cookies?!?
So I’m on light duty this weekend which means I come on at 5:30 today to do dorm clean up, run study hall, and otherwise supervise. Since I had to be back in the dorm by early evening, my husband and I headed out to his mother’s for an early Easter dinner. After a hectic few days on campus, it was so relaxing to sit and catch up with my husbands mom and his grandparents. She made a delicious dinner (I especially enjoyed the spinach and mushroom stuffed shells), and let me bring dessert.
I debated on what to make for a dessert, but settled on a Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake. Of course when I told my husband what I was making he frowned at the lack of chocolate in the recipe, but he ended up being quite pleased. I found the recipe for the cake on http://barbarabakes.com and modified it just a tid bit.
The cake turned out to be a hit! It was moist and delicious! I think this recipe would make for great bread, muffins, or mini-muffins and think I might give those a try next time!
- 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1/2 c. applesauce
- 2 c. sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1 1/2 cup cinnamon chips (I never knew these existed… amazing!!)
- 2 tablespoons flour
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- About 1 Tbs milk
- Preheat over to 350º.
- Sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter, applesauce and sugar. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each is added. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix to combined. Add flour mixture stirring until just combined. Coat the cinnamon chips with 2 T. flour and stir into batter.
- Spoon batter into a greased bundt pan.
- Bake for about 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a crack in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool about 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- When completely cooled, you can ice the cake. Mix together confectionery sugar and milk and use drizzle glaze over the top.
So for about a year my friends have been telling me to read The Hunger Games. They were enthralled by the series and couldn’t put them down. However, when I heard them all talking about the storyline and the books in general, I always thought to myself, that sounds freaken awful! A government that throws teenagers into a “Colosseum” to kill each other, definitely not for me. But I think we can all see where this is going…
When our librarian asked for teachers to volunteer to lead book groups over our March break, I told her I’d love to lead one. I rarely find time to read when classes are in session so I figured it was a perfect time to catch up. She sent a few suggestions based on books I was interested in, but when I saw the commercial for The Hunger Games movie, I thought, perfect.
I had a pretty large group of kids sign up to read it and will be leading my first book group discussion tomorrow night. In honor of The Hunger Games and Katniss Everdeen, I made some “Girl on Fire Cupcakes.” I used a box mix, as kids often don’t appreciate the work that goes into making things from scratch, but I’m looking forward to their feedback! Sometimes teenagers can be the toughest critics!
They weren’t too difficult to make. As I said, I used a boxed yellow cake, making it according to the directions. Then I divided the cake into 3 semi even bowls and died one red, one yellow, and one orange (yellow + red) and swirled a bit with a toothpick. Next, I layered the colors in the cupcake tins with the red on bottom and yellow on top. After baking according to box directions, I let them cool (important). While cooling I mixed 2 cans of frosting (1 decorating and 1 vanilla) and split into 3 bowls. I dyed them orange, red, and yellow and put into my decorating syringe layering them and frosted the cupcakes! Good luck making them them…
“May the odds be ever in your favor…” – Suzette Collins, The Hunger Games
I love sweet potatoes. If someone asks me if I want regular fries or sweet potato, I will always go with the later. But since the kids are back to school this week and have been on duty in the dorm, my husband and I have been eating in the dining hall the past few nights and I’ve had these two sweet potatoes sitting on my counter. So yesterday afternoon I decided to dabble in making some sweet potato cookies.
These cookies are made with grated sweet potato, walnuts and maple syrup. I’m sure they would be delicious with any type of glaze (maybe confectionery sugar and maple syrup, or cream cheese?). I like them just as they are. However, next time, I may try making them as mini-muffins. I think they’ll keep their shape a little better and be a little easier to eat!! Enjoy!!
- 1 c white flour
- ½ c whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ c butter
- ¼ c apple sauce
- ½ c sugar
- ¼ c brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ c peeled and grated sweet potato
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (if you so desire)
- Peel and grate about one sweet potato (or enough for about 1.5 cups). Set aside.
- Sift together flours (white and wheat), baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars (white and brown), and applesauce with an electric mixer. Once blended, add egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sweet potato and mix.
- Add dry ingredients to the bowl and beat until combined.
- Mix in walnuts.
- Drop dough onto baking sheets (I lined mine with parchment paper for easier clean up) and bake for between 12 and 15 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Recipe inspiration from foodnetwork.com, the Brown Angel Iced Sweet Potato Cookies. I’ve just made a few changes based on my ingredients in the house at the time and in an attempt to make them a little healthier. Enjoy!!
As I was driving home from running a few errands this morning, I got an idea to bake something for a friend of mine who is in her second trimester. While I’m loving 80 degree weather in March in New England, she seems to be in a different position. Since my home is generally stocked with baking ingredients, I figured I would head home and make use of what was in my kitchen.
I decided I wanted to make something relatively healthy but sweet enough to be a treat. Opening the fridge, I realized I still had the larger part of a bag of carrots that I used to make my Saint Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef and cabbage. So I modified a carrot cake recipe and baked the batter in a mini-muffin tin. The end result was delicious and nutritious!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 c whole grain flour
- 1 c all purpose flour
- ½ c sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ c unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ c olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 3 c shredded carrots
- 1 c walnuts chopped.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Shred about three cups of carrots and set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt).
- In a separate bowl, beat together applesauce, oil, and eggs (applesauce, olive oil, eggs).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Add the shredded carrots to the mix and fold in.
- Add the walnuts and stir
- Fill mini-cupcake tins and bake for about 12-14 minutes.