Friday, December 30, 2011

What to bake for New Year's Eve...

so the new year is almost here, and i've been dying to bake up some new year theme desserts! I love love love decorating sweets, but i have yet to decide on exactly what to make -__-

I'm leaning towards what I know best, but I'll definitely change it up to fit the new year!!

New Year's Eve cakepops?
New Year's Eve cupcakes?
New Year's Eve cookies???

Oh how sweet this new year will start out to be =)

Here's what I've come up with...


New Oreo Balls!

ok, so i have never heard of Oreo balls before yesterday. and of course, i had to try it! the best part is there is no baking required whatsoever! =) 

1 package of Oreo cookies (about 45 cookies)
1 8oz package of cream cheese (i used the whole thing, but i would suggest using only 6 oz)
1 bag of Wilton's candy melts (i used the white vanilla flavor, but any flavor or color would be fine)
Since this was our very first time trying to make these, i was kinda experimenting along the way, and have found that using the whole 8oz package of cream cheese made the Oreo balls moister than i wanted. So next time, I would probably only use about 6oz. In addition, I would definitely make the Oreo crumbs more chunky than I did with this first batch because I like a crunchier consistency.

How to make Oreo Balls!

Makes about 25-30 Oreo balls

Step 1: Gather Ingredients. In addition to the list above, grab a medium-large microwave safe bowl, 2 forks, a large ziploc bag, a rolling pin, a glass measuring cup, and a tray lined with parchment paper

Step 2: In a bowl, microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds. Remove and mix until smooth. Set aside. 

Step 3: In a large ziploc bag, add 45 Oreos, close bag, and remove air. Beat with the rolling pin until there are no large chunks of Oreo cookies. For me, I would've liked the Oreo balls to have some chunks of Oreos, so I would probably keep some small chunks next time. Note: you make also do this step in a large food processor to speed up the process).

Step 4: Once you have the desired consistency of the Oreos, add it to the bowl with the cream cheese. Mix until you get a cookie dough consistency. 

Step 5: With clean hands, form 1-inch sized balls with the dough. and place each ball on a tray lined with parchment paper. After all the balls have been rolled, place in freezer for about 5-10 minutes to harden.

Step 6: Prepare candy melts. In a glass measuring cup, add 1/2 of the bag of candy melts. (You will use the other half later). Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and re-heat for another 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. If necessary, thin the candy melts with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. This allows the chocolate to be more fluid and workable when dipping the balls. Allow the chocolate to cool a bit while continuing to mix.

Step 7: Remove Oreo balls from freezer. Dip (one at a time) each Oreo ball into the chocolate using 2 forks. Allow excess chocolate to drip off the forks before replacing Oreo ball back onto the parchment paper. Repeat process with the rest of the Oreo balls. Note: when you run out of chocolate, just heat more using the same technique in the same glass measuring cup using the remaining candy melts. You will basically need the whole bag of candy melts. 

Step 8: Place tray with coated Oreo balls back into the freezer for another 5 minutes for the chocolate to set.

Ste 9: Remove from freezer and enjoy!
 Excuse the messy appearance, it was late, and this was our first try making these =)

Have fun making these =)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Red Velvet Christmas-theme Cakepops!

I love how these turned out. I recently started using Wilton's Candy Melts instead of the regular Hershey's chocolate morsels, and I like it much better. However, the candy melts do tend to be sweeter... but I still like them =) So I think I'm going to stick to the candy melts from now one... Plus they have a crunchier consistency when bitten into the finished cakepop =)
Although it's passed Christmas, the person who ordered these still wanted red & green red velvet cake pops!

Tip: to coat at least 8 cake pops, i used 1/2 cup of the candy melts.
With these, I just drizzled some white chocolate sauce on top. To do so, i just microwaved about a tablespoon of white chocolate morsels for about 1 minute and thinned it with a tiny bit of vegetable oil. Then i mixed it until smooth, also allowing it to cool a bit. Then, I placed the melted chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag and snipped a tiny bit of the corner of the bag to allow the chocolate to pipe out. Drizzle the chocolate sauce one by one onto each cakepop and before the chocolate sets, sprinkle on some red, white, & green nonpareils so they stick onto the chocolate before it hardens.
These are oh so very festive, and would look great in any color themes. =)


How to hide a huge crack on a cheesecake

so... there are good days and there are bad days... likewise, there are days when your cheesecake comes out smooth, and days they get a big'ol crack! =(

Don't worry! just add a whole bunch of ingredients on top to camouflage the blemish and no one ever has to know the crack ever existed =)

here's how the a "smooth" cheesecake looks like ...
here's the same cheesecake at another angle and natural lighting ... pretty smooth!

Here's a cheesecake i recently baked that was not so smooth... (i changed up the ingredients a bit, that's probably what caused the crack -.- )

So as you can see, there is a major major difference!
But, in those instances where you get a crack on the cheesecake, just put a bunch of ingredients on top! like so...
 Slice of cheesecake anyone?

So, this technique obviously works with a "rocky road" flavored cheesecake, but you can also apply this technique with fruit toppings, nuts, chocolates, etc...


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rocky Road Cookies

ok, so this is just me messing around with some chocolate cookies by adding marshmallows, almonds, chocolate chips and coffee into the recipe. it's super delicious and chewy =) just the way i like my cookies =)

The recipe is really simple and requires simple ingredients =) I call it...

chocolate coffee meets rocky road cookies

3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 cups + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup regular sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
chocolate chips, chopped almonds, and marshmallows

Heat butter and coffee granules in a small saucepan until the coffee dissolves in the melted butter. Set aside to cool. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Mix butter mixture, sugars, and eggs in a large bowl.
Add dry ingredients, and mix just until blended using an electric mixer. Then add in the chocolate chips, marshmallows, and almonds using a rubber spatula or spoon. You should get something that looks like this...

This is normally the time you can scoop spoons of cookie batter on cookie sheets, lined with wax or parchment paper, but I opt to use a muffin pan to get same-sized cookies. 

Using a cupcake/muffin pan, coated with cooking spay, I scooped a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough into the muffin pans using a small cookie scooper. =) =)

Bake in the oven at 325 degrees F for about 12-14 minutes. =) And they should look something like this =) Yumm!!!!


Cookies n' Cream cakepops!

... so i recently made these cakepops for a Christmas party. The theme was red, white, and black so I designed the cakepops accordingly. 

Super easy, and super fun! here's how I did it.
Bake up a vanilla cake using your favorite homemade recipe, or use store-bought vanilla cake mix. To make 14 cake pops, you will need 1/3 of the cooked cake. Crumble 1/3 of the cake until there are not large lumps, add about 2/3 of a cup of vanilla or cream cheese frosting (I just eyeball the amount of frosting). Mix well. Then add, 1/4 cup of Oreo cookie crumbs (I just eyeball that too)... Once it's well incorporated into the dough, you can start forming them into cake balls. 
 Once in balls, stick in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes to firm up. While cake balls are in freezer, prepare your white chocolate coating. Using a double boiler or microwave, place about 1 cup of white chocolate chips and add about 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I just eyeball that amount) and heat until smooth. If using microwave, heat in 30-second intervals mixing in between. What you want it a smooth consistency. The purpose of the vegetable oil is to make the chocolate thin enough, in order to dip the cakepops into. Dip lollipop sticks into the cakeballs, then dip the entire cakepop into the white chocolate.

 Then after, just decorate! For these, I used Oreo crumbs and food coloring.
Here's another look...
 Here's what the inside looks like =) This was my sample taste. it was yummy! tastes just like cookies n' cream ice cream, but just a cake version. =)

For more help with making cakepops, check out my previous post on tips about cakepops --> click here


Caramel Vanilla Cupcakes

i'm usually not fond of caramel on cupcakes because it makes the cupcakes too sweet, but i decided to give them a try since i had some caramel in the refrigerator...

Recipe for vanilla cupcakes (makes 1 dozen)

1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (make sure it's soft)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup low fat milk

In a large bowl, mix softened butter and sugar together. Add 2 eggs (one at a time). Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, along with the low fat milk. Avoid over mixing. Mix only to the point where the flour is just incorporated. Spoon cupcake batter into cupcake pan, lined with cupcake liners and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cupcake.
After the cupcakes have baked and are completely cooled, I topped them with my favorite cream cheese frosting and drizzled some low fat caramel sauce. =) it was quite a sweet treat.


Christmas theme cupcakes

A friend of mine ordered some red velvet & vanilla cupcakes recently =) and of course I get to taste the samples -_-

These are great colors for Christmas (red & white), and of course, I topped these babies off with some homemade cream cheese frosting. Then, I just added some white sugar pearls to make it look that much prettier. =)

To get the recipe for my favorite cream cheese frosting...
click here --> homemade cream cheese frosting


Monday, December 12, 2011

vanilla cupcakes w/ cream cheese frosting

...recent bakes =)

so plump =)

my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe =)
ingredients: 1 brick (8 oz) 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese, 1/4 cup un-salted butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and one other secret ingredient =) =) YUMMMMM!!!!!!!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Rocky Road Madness! lately, I've had this "rocky-road-everything"'s what I mean...

these, i just made today... Starbucks-inspired Rocky Road cake pops
I've been wanting to make these for a while now because I've been wanting to try the Starbucks-version, but i just decided to make my own version =)
Rocky Road Cupcakes! Super easy & by far one of my favorite cupcake flavors =) All I did was just baked chocolate cupcakes and added creamy chocolate frosting, peanuts, and of course marshmallows! These are the mini-sample sizes because I had extra batter from an order I had for cake pops! so I decided to make them into cupcakes instead =)
Warning: these are addicting!
Finally, the mother of all Rocky Road cakes...a few friends had their birthday celebration this past week so I decided to make a Rocky Road Cheesecake instead of the traditional birthday cake... i first started with my favorite less-fat chocolate cheesecake recipe, once that was baked, cooled, and refrigerated over night, I topped it with all the signature rocky road flavors: chocolate drizzle, marshmallows, almonds, and chocolate chips! Chocolate overload!!!! 
 Here's how it looked the night before...
 Here it was the night it got served... <3 Made with love... for the birthday celebrants!!...

All these and more are available for ordering during this holiday season! Check out the original menu Laundry Cakes Menu <-- click.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Denim button-down shirts

... i've kinda been on a search for denim button-down shirts... they seriously need to be in my wardrobe... i finally found one for starters at F21. =)

i'm kinda going for these looks ...
 i love the gray denim with the tan-colored cardigan (photo below), looks so rustic and urban! The boots are cute too, not sure if I can pull those off though, i'd prolly substitute with some toms or wedge booties <3
 again, I guess i'm just in love with the camel-colored cardigans because i like the combination with the denim.
Another thing I bought today that I've been wanting are boots! So I saw these on sale at Charlotte Russe and I had to buy them...they are super comfortable. These normally wouldn't be my style, considering I only really wear sandals or flats on a daily basis, but I figure a girl needs to have a cute pair of boots! so i got them ...

Photos from  calivintage & charlotte russe

<3 <3 <3