Monday, June 20, 2011

Fairy Wings and Feral Hogs

I had an order over the weekend for some warthog cookies for a boy who was graduating from kindergarten (and yes, I know feral hogs and warthogs aren't the same thing, but that sounds catchier in the title, don't you think?). The boy asked for warthogs specially, which I thought was a bit of a strange request...I assumed he liked Pumbaa from The Lion King, because I couldn't think of any other reason why a kindergartener would want warthog cookies. Turns out he is a big fan of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet and African animals are his favorite--so there ya go! Anyway, warthogs are very strange-looking and really quite ugly. I tried my best to create a cookie that was at least a bit cute and still could be identified as a warthog; apparently the young graduate was pleased, so I count that as a success ;) Now you can judge for yourself:
I made a dozen just to put on a plate, and put a dozen more in cello bags with ribbon for the kiddos at the party to take home as favors :)

So, I was at my parents' house on Wednesday working on these (because I'm getting new countertops in my kitchen and currently have no countertops at all) when my husband called and asked if I'd have time to make a dozen Tinker Bell cupcakes for tomorrow! Our neighbors wanted to order them for their granddaughter's birthday....I knew I would still need a lot of time for the cookies, but since I'm a crazy person, I said yes. So these cupcakes were pretty last-minute; I baked and put them together Thursday morning/afternoon. Despite that, I think they came out pretty darn cute!
All the decorations are fondant; I thought I would just cut out a little Tinker Bell silhouette for a simple, quick decoration. I should know by now that the things I think will be simple and quick never really are. *Sigh* Anyway, cutting a teeny tiny Tink out of fondant with an Exacto knife is not the easiest thing to do. It doesn't help that Tink has such a small waist, or that the silhouette I chose has her weensy little arms and weensy little fairy wand sticking out. Also, once I had cut the silhouette, it wasn't totally clear that it was Tinker Bell. Since I couldn't cut out all the fine detail, like in the silhouette I had printed out, mine looked like it could have been some sort of deformed rabbit (the wings are the ears, see?). Luckily I managed to fix this pretty easily by drawing on the outline of Tink's dress, her shoes, her wand, and her hairdo. I also put some sparkle dust on her wings to make them stand out, and I am so glad I did!

Here's Tinker Bell scattering fairy dust on us all! I used a pretty floral-patterned rubber stamp to create the background. (In case you'd like to try this, place a piece of saran wrap between your stamp and the fondant; I'm not sure why, but apparently rubber stamps and fondant are not supposed to mix.)

Here's Tink among the flowers...

And here are the flowers by themselves, just because they're cute ;)

I am happy to report that the birthday girl was very pleased with these, as was her family! I'm also happy to report that I have cupcake orders every weekend for the next 5 weeks, so I should be around fairly often with new pics for you! So, see ya real soon!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cooooookies! More Cooooookies!

I have been making a TON of cookies over the past two weeks. they are!
Fancy red heart with gold detailing

And here it is packaged up all perdy-like :)

Sassy zebra-striped hearts ;)

Instead of just individual cookies, I've been making up lots of plates and platters. This one was for a simple backyard barbecue with some friends.

Butterflies, bees, daisies, and tulips.

Next was a platter for a weekend riding clinic. I hand-cut some cookies for the first time (the boots and hats below) and I was very pleased with how easy it was to cut the dough and how well they turned out (of course, cookie cutters are much easier, but it doesn't take nearly as long as you might think to cut cookies by hand).

Cowboy boots and cowboy hats!

Some red bandanna-print cookies to add a pop of color to the platter :)

And a pretty paint pony! All of the cookies for this platter were a lot of fun to make :)

Here they are all together! My parents just happened to have this platter which goes so very perfectly with the cookies.

Next up, some cookies to celebrate our league-winning track team! My husband and I both coach track at the local high school (my hubby is a teacher), and this year both the boys and girls teams won league championships! Good job athletes!!

It's hard to tell, but the gold parts are all sparkly. You can kind of see a little shimmer on the cookie on the bottom left.

Next up, a platter for a college graduate:

He is planning on becoming a history teacher, and he also coaches track, so along with the traditional caps and diploma scrolls, I made some track feet, history textbooks, and pencils.

And those are my cookies! Holy moly! Decorating cookies is a lot of fun, and I'm really enjoying making up cute platters, but making cookies is soooooooooooo much work! They take for-ev-er! After making cookies almost nonstop for the past two weeks, I'm glad to have a break ;) However, I hope to be making some more delicious creations soon, and of course when I do, I'll be back to share! 'Til then, ciao!

Mother's Day and an Attempt at Fondant

So, I decided it was about time for me to attempt to cover a cake in fondant. I made the cake. I got the fondant. I watched the videos on YouTube. I learned that those ladies make this look a lot easier than it really is. How do they make it so smooth? How are they not left with excess fondant which folds over and makes unsightly little creases? Why does their fondant simply blend back into itself to create a superbly uniform covering? I hope to some day know the answers to these questions, but for now, this is what I got:
Aside from the slight tear in the back (that I cleverly hid from view and which you would never have known about had I not just told you), I suppose it's not bad for my first try. But here's the cool thing: all you have to do is cover your imperfect fondant in lots of frosting squiggles, and no one will be the wiser!

TA-DA!! Yes, I know, isn't it lovely? But wait, there's more! A quick trip to the back yard...

...and you have a beautiful cake topper! Quite nice, no?

Anyway, moving on now! I know Mother's Day was a while ago, but I'm obviously a little behind in my blogging. My mom's favorite cupcake of mine is the chocolate salted caramel, so I adapted that into a cake. I don't have any pics of the scrummy inside, but it was three layers of chocolate cake with caramel sauce and delicious salted caramel frosting between each layer. The whole thing is covered in whipped ganache, and I made some fondant calla lilies for the first time :)

And here's a close-up of the flowers, which I am including mostly because I think it's a nice shot of my little bow. I was very proud of my little bow. This pic is slightly fuzzy, but you can make out the tiny pleats. So cute :)

That's all for now, folks, but I have a bazillion sugar cookies to share, and I will be back with them very, very soon, most likely later tonight :)