Thursday, February 28, 2013

Red Velvet and Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake Pops

 Okay so this is my second recipe using that new chocolate cream cheese spread.  It did not turn out as I had wanted.  I don't know if it was the fact I used an actual from scratch cake and icing, or if it was that it was cream cheese icing or what, but I was not as happy with it as I am usually with my cake pops.

I will still share it because they were eaten within seconds of hitting work and Pork Chops class.  So maybe it was just me, who knows.  Basically I just made extra cake when I made those red velvet cupcakes and extra cream cheese icing.

So this is how it all started, the icing is really a winner in my books.

I did the usual and just crumbled up the cake, it was day old but I usually do day old cake, I bake it then once it cools I wrap it up.  Anyway I crumbled it all up and then added enough of the chocolate cream cheese icing to get it to stick together.  I should have added a bit more, but I am not used to this sort of cake pop, the box mix and pre made frosting is what I know.  Anyway it worked.

 Originally these were to be for a friend who had her baby in the NICU, we were going to visit, and I stayed up way late to finish them, but I was so tired that I never even decorated them.  I was so embarrassed, but figured the nurses wouldn't care.  Unfortunately my poor friend and her baby didn't have a good night so we had to put off our visit. Not a big deal, it actually meant I had cake pops for Pork Chops dance a thon, so it all worked out. And on a happy note, that cute little baby and my friend are now all settled at home, so Pork Chop is counting the days until he can hold the baby.

It looks so red, it didn't really stain my hands though.
  So once the cake was crumbled and mixed up I used my cake pop mold from My Little Cupcake because I like how uniform them are and the large size.  I was doing the forming and the all the stuff in one night so I froze them.  And some would fall apart or crack, so I think I really needed some more icing, but I was tired and just kept going.
You can sort of see it is a little dry.
  I was so wanting to decorate them with something pretty, but the fact that they were even done and wrapped was good enough for me, it had been a long day at work.  Anyway, they still went over well, as I said the kids in Pork Chops class liked them, and they didn't last long at work.  So maybe it was just me, but in cupcake form this combination was better.
So I want to say something sort of crude, like how do you like my balls, but I will refrain   Oh wait I wrote it, oh well...So, how do you like them?
   I think that my next chocolate cream cheese creation was even better than this one, not as good as the cupcakes but a close second.  All I have to say is my co workers know me well, because one of them handed me some coupons for the chocolate cream cheese, she was all "just in case you want to make more things with it."  And I so do, so that was a great treat to get.
My ball dipping set up, yep I went there.
 I don't know what I want to make next with this, but there will be more, trust me.
I thought I would toss this picture in again, ,because dude these were so good!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

How I Made My Kitchen Aid Awesome!

So many things have been going on recently, that have kept me from blogging.  I choose to believe it's life that got in the way, when it is probably just me being lazy.  I can say it, I love a good lazy day, or two 

  So to try and be productive and such I wanted to share my little Kitchen Aid remodel that I did for Hubby.  The last time I decorated my Kitchen Aid, he was less than pleased.   Which stinks, because it was awesome!!!! But at the time I promised him that if I ever got a bigger Kitchen Aid we would decorate it how he wanted. Boy was I stupid, but whatever, I did it anyway, because I love him, and I wanted to let him know I care enough to share my mixer.

This is the picture they sent me, how cool is that!

So I could not remember what I had promised him, but I went back and read that he wanted an Avengers style.  And then I was all "really?"  And then I figured, fine might as well.  I am cool like that.  I wanted to use decals, because it is not permanent and I can change it at any time if he pisses me off. 

I contacted the same company I used on Etsy for my Laptop decal, the same one I used on my old mixer. Showcase 66.  I sent them a note sort of telling them what I wanted, which was basically not helpful.  I said I wanted an Avengers set of decals, and they could do whatever they wanted.  They asked me who Hubby's favorite was. So I had to ask him, because what do I know about this stuff.

And I love that they send you two copies, that means you can use the others for your car or you know anything.

So I sent Hubby an email.

"Hubby, for no real reason, who is your favorite Avenger, and if it's the chick I will cut you."

His reply was something like, "The green guy, the red guy, the purple guy and then the other red guy."

He used their actual names, what do I know, I was just glad my hubby was smart enough to not even include the girl in his list.

So I sent that info off to the store, and then had to endure Hubby asking me why I wanted to know, and that could it be this, or this or what could it be.  I told him to stop pestering me that no matter what he thought it was, it would not be as cool.  I mean it is cool, but when you have a comic book nerd as a Hubby, they think of dolls ( action figures they call them) or books ( graphic novels)  Seriously I told him, just pretend I never asked, it will be something silly.  So he sort of gave up asking, because in his mind, I was getting him a personalized Avengers action figure with kung fu grip or something.  Silly man.

I cut the pictures out and worked one at a time.  Just smooth on and rub it well with a credit card. And yes I know that totally sounds dirty, but it's my blog so I can put smutty descriptions in here if I want.

Showcase 66 sent me some great ideas, and I was all, "that is great, I love it!"  Because the idea looked really cool, and it was sort of nerdy enough that I didn't get it, so I knew Hubby would.   So I just had to wait for the decals to arrive and I was going to get it all done.

Please ignore the flashy pictures, I was in a rush.
So when they arrived I was so excited, but I had a cake to make for Hubby and he was in the house with me.  So I made the cake and told him I needed stuff from the store, or gas for the car or something.  I cannot remember really.  He went out and I raced to get this thing done.  Now I should tell you I got this done in about 10 minutes.    First, I went back to check the email that I got to show me how the layout was and then I wiped my mixer off and stuck everything on.  Now I had to alter it just a tiny bit, as the picture they used had no handle on it, but no big deal it still worked out awesome!
I know all these people, Iron Man, The hulk and The Arrow, and no I didn't google that.  I am just that good!
So I got it all set up and put it back on the counter, but sort of sticking out so Hubby would see it when he got home.  And he never noticed it, he is super that way, totally notices everything.  Which actually works out for me.  I may have been piling stuff in the basement, around my craft table in a crazy way.  And it was looking like a mountain but he never noticed.  Until this week, so yeah, usually the not noticing works in my favor.

  Anyway I finally had to say "can you look at my mixer it was acting funny"

And he was all "you just used it, it was fine."

 Seriously, that a hint man!

And he giggled and said "neat!"  then he sat down and ate diner.  And that is how I geeked out my Kitchen aid.  And made my Hubby the coolest mixer ever.
This is the chick, she got put at the bottom, where no one will  see her.  Stupid hot chick in tight stuff.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kitchen Sink Cookies

 This is going to be one simple post, because I am doing so much this week and the next few don't look to be any simpler. This is a good thing, lots of great things happening, just need to learn how to deal and it will be better before I know it.

 Anyway these are the cookies I made with Pork Chops little friends.  He had these two little sisters over for a play date and we made cookies.  I just made basic chocolate chip cookie dough and they got to put in whatever they wanted.

So here they are, I used this recipe.  And I put out a whole bunch of stuff, they just focused on eating all the rolos and using the heart sprinkles.  Technically this is a kitchen sink cookie, but they just put in those two things.

 One of them asked if my mixer was a kitchen aid and when I told her yes, she told me "that's a good brand. She is 9 I think.  And the younger one ate more cookie dough than she baked, she kept licking her finger and rolling her cookies so hers are the ones up top, all puffy because the dough was worked too much.  She handed me the bowl with some dough still in it, and said I could eat it.  Keep in mind her hand was in her mouth as much as in the dough, so I said thanks and scooped the rest out onto her tray.

It was fun and a nice way to get them into something they may not know about.  Pork chop sulked on the sofa because he wanted to crack the first egg and I said guests first.  I cannot win.
Not too bad, and they went home with the girls, so no need to eat them all and feel badly.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

So firstly I want to say happy Family day to my Canadian readers.  I hope there are a few of you.  Not sure what our plans are today, but I hope it involves lots of sleep.  That would be my kind of family day.  Either way we both have the whole day off, so maybe some skating, or X box connect bowling, or sleeping.  I could do either.  Anyway that is that.
This looks like a small amount of butter, I just have a big mixing bowl.  Just in case you were wondering.
So last week I posted about the Chocolate Cream Cheese I tried, and how it was amazing.   Anyway, I loved it.  I got a few comments from some people who said they loved it, or they had not tried it and even a few saying they were not fans.  I can get that.  I really would have hated it too if I used it as a spread for toast.  Honestly I do think that is what they were going for, but I was having none of it.  Anyway I made some yummy frosting with it, and used it two ways.  This is the first way, and by far the best of the two.
My favorite spatula, it may be for Halloween, but I use it all year round.  I am a rebel that way.

And this picture is just kind of gross, but it's in focus so you have to see it.  Sorry.

I had promised Pork Chop some red velvet cupcakes during the week, and when there were none at the store I said I would make some.  I found a great recipe I love on My Baking Addiction  I first posted it here.  And have since made it many times.  So I set to work, I doubled the recipe I have listed.  I wanted enough for cupcakes and a cake to make cake balls.
I made 48, Pork Chop ate 2 I think.

Pork Chop complained the whole time about wanting one right now, and then when they were all done he said he didn't want one but he said I should frost 10 for him and leave 10 plain for him.  I made mini ones, and he hates frosting, so I compromised and put 7 plain ones in a container.  He ate one after it was all said and done.  Sigh.

Are they not pretty?  I tried to do a rose with the icing, but then I got lazy and just did swirls, but whatever, there are sprinkles so they are totally fancy!

So the frosting, oh my gosh the frosting was awesome!  I know that classically red velvet is meant to be a cream cheese icing combo.  So in that vain I made my frosting with the new chocolate cream cheese.  I have to say, I actually liked it better than plain cream cheese icing.  And my friends loved it, they were sneaking back to the break room every so often to eat another one.  I cannot blame them, I did the same thing.

So this icing was a little different as the cream cheese is a spread and much more watery.  So I just sort of winged it and it was not too hard.
I saved these take out containers they are the perfect size, and they didn't cost me anything.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
based on me tossing stuff in a bowl

(keep in mind this made lots, enough for 40 minis cupcakes and a bunch of cake pops, I still have some left over, I am going to use it soon, don't you worry!)

-1 1/2 tubs chocolate cream cheese spread
-1 cup butter
-1 TBSP vanilla bean paste
-5-8 cups of icing sugar
-milk if you need to thin it out

So start by creaming your butter, you want it smooth with no lumps.  Then beat in the cream cheese spread and beat until it comes together.  At one point it looked like it was just going to be a huge failure, but I kept mixing and it was fine.  Add your icing sugar 1 cup at a time, and mix well to make sure you don't add too much.  Now at this point I tried it and I felt it needed vanilla, so you can add it now, or before the sugar, either way.  I didn't need any milk as I found that I used so much icing sugar, but whatever you have to do, you do it.

So then I just piped a little swirl on my cupcake and sprinkled on heart sprinkles, because I had them out and was way too lazy to get different ones.  Then I ate a few, and then packed them up for work.
I have to say I am really impressed with this picture, try not to think about the fact I really cropped out a lot, focus on the yummy!

It really was a nice frosting, not overly chocolaty and you could tell it was cream cheese but it was not too cheesy if you get what I mean.  So yum, this is going to be a favorite for sure.

I also want to share a funny story about Pork Chop and these cupcakes.  A few days after I made them we were hitting the grocery store after Costco, I suggested sushi and he was all over it.  He likes the veggie ones.  Anyway we are walking in and I ask if he wants a cupcake, he tells me  yes, a red velvet one.  I told him sure, but why won't he eat the ones I made?

"yours aren't very good actually."

Said with a straight face.  My own Pork Chop, said that, to me!  I just laughed because dude has his issues, and if one of them is that my cupcakes are not the best, well I can deal.

Then we are at the bakery and he saw a chocolate mousse cake.

"OMG that is gross, a chocolate mouse cake!!!!"

I told him it was a mousse cake, no one would bake a mouse in a cake.

"That is still gross, moose in a cake is gross."

I just didn't know how to answer that really.  The guy at the bakery was laughing a little, and Pork Chop was looking at him like he was crazy, as we walked away he says "I bet he doesn't like moose in his cake either."

I told him he was probably right.  Things like that make having kids worth while, they are so funny and they don't even know it.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Snicker Doodle Birthday Cake for Hubby

So I made a cake.  And I may have mentioned before I hate making actual cakes.  I am more of a cupcake kind of gal. My theory is that if you make cupcakes, you can mess a few up, and you can also eat like 20 and not feel as badly.  But if you make a cake, you only have once chance to decorate it, and not screw up. And I usually screw up.  And you cannot eat 20 pieces of cake without looking like a pig.  Or so I have been told.  Anyway I was planning on letting Pork Chop do another gummie cake for Hubby.  But he just ends up pulling all the gummies off and not eating it.  So this year I had a plan.  I was so going to make him a super fancy cake.  And one that he would totally eat!

 Well one of those two things turned out to be true.  I'll let you guess which one. But if nothing else I tried a new recipe, and I got a cake stand thingy finally.  I had been using a lazy susan for over 20 years, so there you go, cake for Hubby, baking item for me.  Win win!

See how fancy that is?  I paid $20 at a sale, not sure if that is a good deal, I don't want to know if it's not though.
So to start I googled and pintrested a bunch of things.  I had the idea of a snicker doodle cake. Since that is Hubby's favorite cookie and he really likes the muffins I make.  I was totally thinking, there is no way I can lose.  Just so you know, I lost; big time.

So I found this cake on a blog called Smashed peas and carrots. Best part about it, it is a cake mix based cake.  I love that!  So I got everything I needed and set to work.  Now keep in mind Hubby was in the same area of the house as me, so he just played X Box with Pork Chop while pretending to not have any idea what I was doing.  Good man Hubby, keep it up.

See it actually doesn't look too bad, I swear when I have no one to impress my cakes sort of work out. I mean I was trying to impress Hubby, but I use other methods to impress him.  Cake does nothing for him. Just so you know.
Snicker Doodle Cake
found on Smashed Peas and Carrots

-1 box white cake mix
-eggs called for on box, plus one more
-butter in place of the oil called for on the box
-milk in place of the milk called for on the box
-1 TBSP cinnamon

Mix it all together and pour into your prepared pans.  Bake at 350 until tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool then remove from pan and allow to fully cool on cooling rack.  I placed the cakes in the freezer after they cooled to set up.
Thisis how I frost a cake, I cover the top, then sort of push the extra over the edge, then add to the sides as I go.  
Found on Smashed peas and carrots

-2 cups butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 TSP cinnamon
-2 TSP vanilla
-6-7 cups icing sugar
-milk if needed

Start with room temperature butter, I just usually cube it up on a large plate before I start measuring out the other stuff, and it is usually good by then.  So cream the butter, add the brown sugar and cream again, add vanilla and cinnamon and mix well.  Mix in your icing sugar and if needed add milk until it is the consistency you want.
This is tiny and it cost over $2, I am in the wrong business.
Once that is done you are ready to assemble.  I started by leveling my cakes, they didn't really need much, but knowing my luck if I didn't there would be trouble.  So I did that then I put a blob of icing on the tray I was going to put my cake on and placed the first layer of cake.  Then I put a layer of icing, then the next layer of cake.  Then I frosted the whole darn thing.  I was going for a rustic look.

 And just in case you were wondering, a rustic cake can be all bumpy and swirly and no where near smooth.  I am good at rustic.
This was the extent of Pork Chops help.  It went in the trash just so you know.
Then I wanted to have Pork Chop write on the cake, you know, to do his part.  He was all, "I'm nervous!"  which is his way of saying he doesn't want to do it.  So I said try it on the scraps of cake, and he drew two lines and said he was done.  I was fine with that, I figure at least he was in the vicinity of the cake when it was made, so that totally counts.
I am really proud of the fact I can blur out his name, not too proud that if you really try you can still read it.
 So I just used one of those tubes of gel you get at the store, because I didn't want to bother making icing or colouring it.  It cost over $2, which is a total rip off, but at the same time, it allowed me to not have to do anything, so it sort of paid off.  And I blurred out Hubbies name to protect him.  And to hide the fact I totally forgot a letter in his name and squished it in later.  He was all "really?"  And I said "shut up, I went snow boarding with you! And made you a cake, your name?  It doesn't matter!"  Or something like that, I may have just given him a dirty look, who knows, I was tired.  

  Anyway we didn't get to eat the cake for like three days, we were doing stuff, like eating diner out and having free birthday deserts, so there was no time for cake.  And when we finally did have it, we thought it was too much.  I think that if I cut the layers in half and made it a four layer cake with thinner icing layers it may have worked.  As it was we tired to eat it, and Pork Chop liked the cake part.  But I ended up sending it to work with Hubby, and then Pork Chop was mad, and said he wanted more.  I will tell you now I ended up making him a tonne of red velvet cupcakes to make up for it, and that he didn't eat more that 2 I think. And not even on the day I made them, like days later.  Sigh.  

  Also I think this as a cupcake would be good, so it is not a loss at all, I really did like it.  Hubby, well here's to another year with a cake he won't eat.

Oh and just to show you how much I love him, look what I did.

If you look at this picture first, I look all cool, like I am totally into boarding.  Truth is, that is the instructor behind me.  He just let me go and I was falling, again.  it was a very painful gift to Hubby.  

I made Hubby take a beginner lesson with me, again.  He knows what he is doing, I have gone once before, and I was scared and didn't want to do it alone.  I have to point out, other than Hubby and me, the other kids were all under 10.  Man I felt old.
 I hate to point it out, but I was so sore for like 4 days I could hardly walk.  Stupid middle age! Oh and Happy Valentines day!

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