Monday, January 21, 2013

Decorating with Frosting Sheets - Giveaway

Frosting sheets aren't just for edible images, in my most recent tutorial I used frosting sheets to decorate my birdcage cake.


My frosting sheets were supplied by Flour Confections, Lisa was kind enough to send some extras for a giveaway!

I have 3 sample packs (5 frosting sheets in each) for this giveaway.

To enter this giveaway head over to Flour Confections Facebook page & like them, next share my birdcage cake YouTube video 

Be sure to come back over here and let me know you did this in the comments below, one entry per person.

The contest ends January 30th, 3 winners will be announced the next day. Winners will be selected using www.Random.org. *** Open to residents of North America only.

Thanks so much for participating, Marlyn






Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birdcage cake & cookie decorating tutorials

Today's post is something I had been thinking about for a while, with 2013 here what better time to start something new.

 I am going to attempt to share with you the techniques I use to decorate cakes, for those who are accustomed to my cookie tutorials no worries there is one here for you as well.

I broke down the tutorials into four parts all of which are accessible from this post or via the Birdcage introduction video on YouTube.

Step 1 Video - A complete video tutorial on how to create all the decoration needed to decorate this cake. The point of this is to complete the decorations in advance to facilitate the final assembly.


- Frosting sheets generously supplied by Flour Confections, they are used to create the metal parts of the cage, the sheets are airbrushed black then dusted with silver airbrush to add a more metallic look to them. You will need 2 frosting sheets in the making of this cake design, I cut the frosting sheet into 12 pieces that were the full length of the page and 3/8" wide. For the bottom border pieces I cut the frosting sheet 1 1/2" wide again leaving them the full length. Frosting sheets Available here


** Optional I had some royal icing dots left over from other projects that I painted in the same way as the frosting sheets to create matching rivets to the bird cage. 

- The butterflies were made using wafer paper available here, I used a black edible markers which can be purchased here, the stamps can be found at your local craft store. ** DO NOT PURCHASE CLEAR STAMPS they do not work with edible markers.

You will need white & black fondant as well as some gum paste.

I used a 3 1/2 round scalloped cookie cutter for the top cake decoration then I used 5 and 2 piping tips to cut the holes around the edges, then to pip the green branches I used a 4 tip and to pip the leaves I used this tip.


Step 2 Video - In this portion I show you how I frost such a tall cake. For this design I used a 6" cake pan that was 3" high, I baked 2 cakes with this pan size. I also used a 6" ball pan, I baked one of these. I cut up each 6" cake into 3 slices which were filled with buttercream. I used bubble straws as structural support along with a 6 inch cake board, I used a white 10" cake board to build the cake onto. I show how I covered the cake in white fondant in preparation for Step 3.

Step 3 Video - I show how I measured and marked the cake to then apply the cage bars then I show how I decorate the rest of the cake. The cake was about 10" high the total portions for this cake are 24. 



Step 4 Video - I show how I decorate a birdcage cookie made using a Halloween tombstone cookie cutter. I used the same flower cutter set & technique and the stamp is also the same.

I hope you will find this tutorial helpful in the making of this cake design.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Marlyn

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mini Valentine Love Shack - 3D cookie project


Welcome to day 2 of Haniela's and my Valentine projects, once you are done here be sure to head over to her blog and see what she has for you. She created adorable  Decorated Hershey Kiss Cookies.

The idea for these project  was to make treats made of Cookies & Candy, here is today's tutorial.

Over the holidays I got a surprise in the mail from Connie, this clever cookie cutter can be found here:


This cutter is in Good Cooks Christmas collection, it certainly could be used for other events such as Valentines day. Here is a little video showing you how I created a mini love shack.

I used a 3.5" round cookie to create a base for the house.

Here is the round up for the projects:

Haniela's Valentine's Day S'mores Cookie Sticks
Haniela's Decorated Hershey Kiss Cookies
and my Glass cookie heart 






Monday, January 14, 2013

Cookies & Candy Valentine's projects



So excited to announce that I'll be collaborating on some Valentine projects with my friend Haniela. Her blog is filled with beautiful photos and recipes that will make your mouth water. Once you are done here be sure to head over to her blog and see what she has created for you.

The idea for the project  was to create a set of treats made of Cookies & Candy, here is my tutorial.

Today's project is a stunning cookie gift box, decorated with isomalt sugar creating the see through top.



You will find the complete video tutorial here.

I highly recommend you watch Cake Play's YouTube video on their product to achieve the best results as well as for your safety. Melted sugar is extremely hot and should be handled with care.

Supplies for this project:

2 heart shaped cookie cutters, one of them should be about 1" smaller than the other
You will need a total of 3 large cookies per box (2 with a cutout)

Clear isomalt sugar
Gold luster dust
Royal Icing
Gold food gel
Red candy hearts (or other bright coloured candies)

Funnily enough I had create a similar cookie a while back for Haniela, it was for a swap. Some of you may have already seen it a cookie locket inspired by a tattoo I saw.



If you liked the above tutorial you may also enjoy my project from last year, also a cookie box.


Here is the template I created for you:

Don't forget to visit Haniela's Cookies & Candy project



Thursday, January 10, 2013

My chocolate sugar cookie recipe


This is my favourite alternate cookie recipe , the amount of cookies you yield with a batch depends on how thick you roll your dough as well as the size & shape of your cutter.

Ingredients

  • I use a handheld electric mixer (Kitchenaid brand, I've tried others but I burn out the motors)
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups of light brown sugar 
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
I mix everything together all at once

Next I add the flour, cocoa powder &  baking powder it is important to note that all butter & eggs are not exactly the same therefore the amount of moisture in your batter will vary. I suggest that you only add 5 cups of the flour once mixed you will be able to determine if you need to add the last cup or maybe just half (or none).

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the cookies
  • 2 cups of cocoa powder (my preferred brand)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder ** For those who might not know, this is the ingredient that makes your desserts rise so the more you add the more your cookies will rise and/or warp. 

I don't have a video for this recipe.

Once mixed I suggest you wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator for about an hour, longer than that it will be difficult to roll since the butter will harden. I roll my cookies to about 2/8", I place them on a cookie sheet in between sheets of parchment paper. I ALWAYS freeze them before I bake them this is what ensures they will not warp during the baking process. 

I bake my cookies at 350 degrees in a convection oven, my oven has 5 levels for my baking racks I ONLY use the top 3 to bake my cookies. The bottom levels are too close to the heating element and will cause your cookies to burn or brown on the underside. The baking time can range from 10 to 15 minutes, it might be less or more in your oven.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT NOT ALL OVENS BAKE THE SAME, YOU SHOULD USE BAKING  TIMES IN RECIPES AS A SUGGESTION NOT THE RULE.

When I bake my cookies I try to watch over them since the size & thickness vary and impact the baking time required for each batch. I usually determine if my cookies are ready by their colour, this dark batter makes this tricky.

* the heat from the edges of the baking sheet will cause the cookies closest to the metal to brown faster, you may want to keep an eye on this or purchase cookie sheets without this edge.

** If you sell your cookies this batter cost more to make so be sure to adjust your pricing

*** DON'T USE LEMON IN YOUR ICING FOR THESE, IT TASTES AWFUL WITH CHOCOLATE

My sugar cookie recipe

Here is the cookie recipe I use, the amount of cookies you yield with a batch depends on how thick you roll your dough as well as the size & shape of your cutter.

Ingredients

  • I use a handheld electric mixer (Kitchenaid brand, I've tried others but I burn out the motors)
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbs vanilla 
  • I mix everything together all at once

Next I add the flour (& baking powder) it is important to note that all butter & eggs are not exactly the same therefore the amount of moisture in your batter will vary. I suggest that you only add 7 cups of the flour once mixed you will be able to determine if you need to add the last cup or maybe just half (or none).

  • 8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the cookies
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder ** For those who might not know, this is the ingredient that makes your desserts rise so the more you add the more your cookies will rise and/or warp. 

Here is the link to my video you can see how the dough should look once mixed

Once mixed I suggest you wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator for about an hour, longer than that it will be difficult to roll since the butter will harden. I roll my cookies to about 2/8", I place them on a cookie sheet in between sheets of parchment paper. I ALWAYS freeze them before I bake them this is what ensures they will not warp during the baking process. 


I bake my cookies at 350 degrees in a convection oven, my oven has 5 levels for my baking racks I ONLY use the top 3 to bake my cookies. The bottom levels are too close to the heating element and will cause your cookies to burn or brown on the underside. The baking time can range from 10 to 15 minutes, it might be less or more in your oven.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT NOT ALL OVENS BAKE THE SAME, YOU SHOULD USE BAKING  TIMES IN RECIPES AS A SUGGESTION NOT THE RULE.

When I bake my cookies I try to watch over them since the size & thickness vary and impact the baking time required for each batch.

** the heat from the edges of the baking sheet will cause the cookies closest to the metal to brown faster, you may want to keep an eye on this or purchase cookie sheets without this edge.








Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bee creative by stamping on your cookies

Cookie decorating can be pretty time consuming, not a luxury we always have. Should you ever be short on time and want a fast decorating option here is an easy way to make super cute cookies.

These bee themed cookies are nice but not the point of this video, it's all about the stamping


Not into bees not a problem just visit your favorite craft store and check out the stamp aisles for inspiration, I'm sure you'll find one that you can't resist. Please not that I found the clear stamps did not work well using the technique shown in my video.

And now here is the video

Link to the edible markers: www.foodoodler.com