A bouquet of purple cupcake roses

Our family friends J & D are getting hitched and Vin and I have the honor of being in their wedding next month (so soon!).  J’s bridal shower was hosted @ our house, so I took a day off to bake cupcakes for the bride and the guests, make the shower favors, and CLEAN.

Step-by-step “egg magic”

Friday morning started off nice and easy and I loved the natural light that came in through the kitchen window.  I prepped for vanilla cupcakes, EXCEPT I used the water bottle method to separate my eggs.  The ol’ yolk extraction and drop off trick.  This is totally my new favorite thing.  I want to make custards and ice cream and macarons or meringue just to have an excuse to play with my food like this!  It was so easy and squeals of excitement ensued, and Vin watched me demonstrate the technique on my last yolk.  I just wanted to point out that the bottle loses some of its vacuum suction power after a dozen or so squeezes.  After I was done getting a kick out of sucking up and squeezing out egg yolks, I baked a few dozen vanilla cupcakes and a bunch of minis to bring to Vin’s family and give my co-workers.

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**This post is a couple weeks late… OK, a few weeks late.  We had some house-related catastrophes to deal with and much needed relaxing time to catch up on. Now that Labor Day has passed, I’ll be a little less lazy with the baking and the posts  =)

An array of mini chocolate cupcakes with blue rum and yellow vanilla frosting

Where has this summer gone???  I feel like I haven’t done that much baking (it’s just too humid and gross) and I have no idea where the time went.  It’s August and we hadn’t gone to the beach yet…

…Until my family came to visit this past weekend.  Originally, just my parents and little bro were coming over and my sister and her boyfriend were joining and we were all going to the beach and to get seafood and maybe go to the outlets and just hang out.  But my mom’s family didn’t have our usual summer get-together this year, so a last minute family BBQ was planned @ our house and my grandma, a couple of my aunts, and 2 of my little cousins joined in.  Vin and I went on a shopping spree @ the supermarket for meats to grill and bought packs of hot dogs and buns, salad, corn, ice, soda, beer, water… and we sweeped and vacuumed and cleaned and did yardwork… and then, on Saturday morning, I decided to bake.  I rarely get to give baked goods to my own family, let alone see them, so I wanted to make something special.  I bought these baking cups that looked like large disposable mouthwash cups, which would have been perfect for sno cone cupcakes.  Long story short, I wasn’t used to these baking cups @ all since they took twice as long to bake cupcakes (20 minutes for cupcakes? With THIS oven? Unheard of in this house!) and I was really rushing it with the frosting.  I used leftover frosting from C+H’s wedding and it wasn’t thick enough to hold the scooped ball shape, and it just looked sloppy.  I’m determined to try this again and put in more effort next time. Read More

Summer time means prime wedding season, and when my wonderful friend M asked if I could help out with her brother’s wedding, I was more than happy to oblige and honored to be part of such a special day.  M’s brother and his lovely new husband were originally going to just get cupcakes from the supermarket (quel horreur!) and luckily M intervened and suggested that I bake since she’s tried my goods before and thought they were up to par =)  Through email correspondence, the couple and I discussed their theme/colors and what flavors they wanted.  They decided on chocolate mini cupcakes (2 per guest) with yellow and white vanilla frosting swirls on top and estimated about 175 guests so this would be a whopping 350 cupcakes!  I have never baked this many cupcakes all @ once (and of course, I’d have to make extras), but the request was basic enough that it wouldn’t be too insane.  Of course, only a crazy person thinks baking close to 400 cupcakes will be easy… hahaha

A tower of wedding cupcakes (ML’s pic)

I ordered and bought all my supplies and containers a few weeks before the wedding and got the eggs and milk the day before.  Luckily, I am too lazy to put away the extra mixer prepared and still had the twins out to do double duty.  I mean, a 6 quart mixer can only hold so much cake batter, and it will definitely not hold enough for 6 batches of mini cupcakes.  I had the oven going for a couple hours and had 3 trays going in perfect rotation: one would be baking in the oven, one would be cooling from just being in the oven and replenished with cupcake wrappers, and the other one would be getting refilled with cake batter.  I was just churning them out like a mini cupcake factory; once I got through with the 6 quarts of batter from one mixer, I moved on to the next machine.  I didn’t have enough cooling racks and just crammed all the baked cupcakes on the dining table. I lost count after making 274, but I definitely made @ least 400 minis.  Maybe 450.  Or more.  I don’t know but it was getting a little claustrophobic in the dining room and I’m really surprised I didn’t have dreams about a menacing towers of cupcakes falling on me and crushing me.  haha Read More

I took a few weeks off to go on vacation (*sigh*  one week of vacation is too short) and to gear up for the rest of this summer’s baking projects.  This past weekend I had 2 orders for birthday cakes.  Coincidentally, both requests were for predominately yellow and black designs, making me think of the monstrously large bumblebees we saw in Playa del Carmen.  Thankfully, they were harmless.  I just remember them being very vividly yellow and shiny black, and they were my inspiration for the colors I mixed for this weekend’s cakes.

Black and yellow themed cakes – cheerleader pompoms and city skylines

The first cake was for a coworker’s bf’s birthday.  She wanted something symbolic and since they have a long distance thing (she’s in Manhattan, he’s in Chi-town), she was thinking of incorporating things from both cities for the cake.  Her first idea was for me to make a 3-D airplane to signify the mode of transportation to see each other. Instead, I suggested that since this was going to be a small cake, why don’t I just do a silhouette of both city skylines around the base of a small cake and have the buildings morph into each other.  This would totally fit a 6″ round and it was basic yet meaningful enough.   She picked chocolate cake with vanilla icing for the cake flavors and wanted the background in yellow with a black skyline.

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I made THE ultimate summertime cupcakes, the kind you want on a nice sunny day to have at a family BBQ, babies are playing outside, disposable plates and plastic silverware are out, and flies are trying to get at your food.  Super light margarita cupcakes spiked with just enough tequila and lime-flavored tangy frosting are the perfect way to end your meal.  My inspiration: this huge tub of margarita mix I bought when I must have been completely out of it b/c I can’t have citrusy stuff or alcohol right now anyway.  But just b/c I can’t enjoy it doesn’t mean everyone else can’t.

A beautiful bevy of boozed up baked goods.

I wanted to make these for a while and had to wait for a legitimately nice summer day.  The weather this year has been a roller coaster ride: a couple extremely warm days in February and March and a crapload of chilly, rainy days in May.  So this weekend was perfect.  Originally, I had planned to make them for the T-house mega party on Saturday to celebrate Vin’s mom’s retirement, his sister’s birthday, and Father’s Day, but since we were out late on Friday night Johnny Prime style, I didn’t have any time to bake and make fresh frosting.  But after getting a good night’s sleep after Saturday’s festivities, I woke up and started getting my things together to bake and make citrusy icing.

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First thing’s first…  I WANTED to work on making gum paste flowers last weekend, but I spent a week reeling with excitement after seeing my steak cake featured on Yummly.  You probably already know about it b/c I spammed the crap out of everyone I knew to look @ the April Fool’s Yummly article showcasing cakes that looked like savory food  =)  I wouldn’t have known about it if my site didn’t send me emails to notify me regarding pingbacks and comments.  I received an email just as I was packing up my stuff @ work on Thursday, March 29 to go meet Vin for dinner, and it said that some site had linked my steak post.  I clicked the link and it took a couple minutes to register that I was looking @ a hugely popular food site and that third one down, right under Duff Goldman’s/Ace of Cake’s bag o’ bagels cake, was MY steak cake.  Initial reaction: “Wait. *gasp* Is that–holy f*cking sh*t my cake! That’s my cake! Oh my God! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!” =D

Here's a screenshot for those of you who are too lazy to click the link... or if you've seen it I'm going to make you look @ it again anyway <3

The weekend came and I was still on a super giddy high about the cake feature. I had a couple baking orders for old coworker friends: one was for chocolate cupcakes with swirled pink and blue frosting for a relative’s birthday party (I threw in some hand piped rose minis for the hell of it); the other was for a red velvet cake with cream cheese for another friend’s birthday (actually on April Fool’s Day!) and I was just really happy to be able to see them in person and share the fun news.  And I was honored some of my F&F gave me props on their Facebook pages and told their F&F about it.  I was even kind of offered an assistant pastry chef position!  Unfortunately, the pay doesn’t come close to my day job, so sadly, I had to pass on that.  I was just thrilled and humbled to have this kind of recognition =)

Pink and blue swirl for V's grandmother's birthday and a frosting rose for good measure. I asked L if he happened to take any pics of the red velvet and cream cheese cake and he said he and his staff "dove right in" as soon as they smelled the frosting. hahaha

 

This past weekend, Vin and I celebrated Easter with his family.  It was a madhouse with the food and the babies all over the place and the weather was so nice… tons o’ fun in the sun on Sunday.  I spent the last few weeks trying to decide WTF to make for dessert and nothing really special came to mind.  My cousin T suggested I make a Peep cake but I wasn’t feeling the idea (or “fillin’ it” as they say on ABDC).  The day before Easter rolled around and I was like, “I GUESS I’ll make macarons…?”  Vin and I were out most of the day on Saturday on a photo excursion, and by the time we got home, we were pooped.  I took a nap and didn’t start measuring the almond flour and weighing egg whites until… ohhhh… I don’t know… 130 am Saturday night/Sunday morning.

A nest of Easter rabbit macarons

I saw some holiday dessert ideas and wanted to try making the macs in the shape of bunny rabbits.  It got really annoying trying to pipe the ears because the more I handled the egg-almond-sugar mixture, the more “liquid” it became.  My first attempts @ bunnies came out so much better than the blobular final attempts.  After I while, I just gave up on piping bunny shapes and just made circles.

I put lighter colored tiny blobs on some of the circles so they’d look like fluffy rabbit tails.  HOWEVER, they seemed to resemble other things, mostly b/c I wasn’t thinking @ 2 am and should have used food coloring to dye the mix another color.  Seriously, I looked @ the tray after I took them out of the oven and there were rows of what looked like boobs and just thought, “… oh sh*t.”  I was too tired to make more tails in another color so I just kept them anyway.  And I’d like to keep my site relatively PG soooo… please keep your comments to yourselves about the baked bunny backsides.  =D

A close up of the cute faces and the... uh, tails.

Anyway, I was getting fed up with having to individually place all the sprinkles on the rabbit faces with tweezers and they’d either fall off or sink into the cookie, so I ended up with only a handful of rabbits.  Vin asked if they were Asian Easter bunnies b/c he thought the top whiskers were eyes.  haha   (I JUST remembered I have eyeball sprinkles I could have used; they would look more freakish than cute though b/c the eyeballs are pretty big…)  I used double chocolate frosting as the filling and sandwiched the salvageable bunny faces with the nipple-like tails and put them into the fridge so I wouldn’t have to look @ them.

For some reason, I wasn’t sure if this batch of macarons came out right and I was concerned they were overbaked (they ended up being perfectly fine; I just worry too much), so I decided to bring back up desserts if the macs were a complete flop.  Remember the extra chocolate mini cupcakes I put in the freezer from the 1920s charity event that I said I’d save for a rainy day?  I felt like it was practically pouring in my kitchen last night.  I took out the rest of the mini chocolate cupcakes and the mini red velvet cupcakes left over from last week’s baking order and used the rest of the pink, blue, and cream cheese frosting to put different designs and swirls on each cupcake.

Blue vanilla-rum blossoms on mini chocolate cupcakes

I did a basic swirl of blue for a bunch of them and thought it looked kinda “blah” and plain for Easter, so I mixed a little green frosting (blue –> green = easy!) and piped some leaves and tweezered on some edible beads to make them look more like springtime flowers.  I piped pink frosting on the rest of the chocolate minis and started to place white sugar beds on them, but then I got sick of tweezing them on one by one so I left the rest.  And the red velvet minis? I piped the cream cheese frosting on @ factory machine speed just so I could be done with all this and catch some Z’s.  haha

Red velvet mini cupcakes with cream cheese and chocolate mini cupcakes with pink vanilla-rum frosting

Since special occasions call for special displays, I took brought my prized cake stands to Easter dinner (my precious–es…).  One of my cousins gave me this beautiful light blue plate that had little birds on it and it was absolutely perfect for spring.  I showcased the macaron bunnies and round cookies atop a cushion of festive yellow “grass”.  The pink-chocolate mini cupcakes and the red velvet ones were stacked on my glass tiers, and the flower-like blue minis were placed on the white ceramic stand Vin’s mom gave me.  After spending so much time on these, dessert was the last thing I wanted to look @, but I’m glad Vin’s fam liked them.  The plate of macs I brought was practically empty by the end of dinner.  I had some extra macaron cookies (I was extra critical and called them “rejects”) and decided to whip up some peanut butter frosting and use some leftover chocolate icing.  The result? Reese’s macs.  They were oh-so-tasty and I had quite a few leftover (I can only forcefeed Vin so much dessert) so I brought them in for my new work buddies.  It was a win-win situation for all; I got my fridge space back and people are now obligated to be nice to me when I audit them b/c I gave them delicious baked goods.  (Juuuuust kidding!)  =D

Platters of all my Easter goodies!

But yeah, next Easter I think I should just make a basic Peep cake so I can actually get some sleep before the fun festivities. =)

 

**Vin took all the really nice pics… thanks baby!  <3

This past weekend I baked for and attended this fantastic charity event sponsored by Party4aCause.  A close friend’s fiance is a member and asked me to donate some baked goods for one of their events, and this seemed like a good contender for my one good deed for the year =P  The idea was for this Prohibition era/Bank robber’s ball… complete with a sexy speakeasy, classy gin cocktails, a live band, and of course, tough guys and dames.

My film noir-ish display @ the event (Thanks Joe!)

I thought about what to make for the event and researched some 1920s desserts.  Upon discovering that Hostess cupcakes were invented in 1919, I figured that they’d be time period appropriate.  P4aC gave me a great write up to promote me as a sponsor, which was awesome!  Vin suggested that I make boozy cupcakes instead, and I realized that would have been easier on me and just as fitting, but I had already promised mini Hostesses, so mini Hostesses I would deliver.  I was told that about 100 were going to attend the event; the day before the party, I get an email saying 160 guests were expected.  Yikes? All of a sudden I felt like I was on “Top Chef” and alien-faced Padma was saying in her airy drawl, “Your challenge is to make a modern version of a retro dessert… and it’ll be for one… hundred… guests,” and then a few hours later Tom and his glistening head would interrupt with “Hey guys, there’s just one more thing… you have to make almost double the amount.  Have fun!”  You know that’s EXACTLY how it would go down, too.  haha

I wanted them to be less sugary (and less processed!) than actual Hostess cakes so I used less egg yolk and more egg white, less sugar and butter (I know, sounds like an atrocity and it was gut-wrenching, but I did it and it worked), and more dark chocolate.  It was slightly more… heart healthy, if you will.  haha  The baked mini cakes came out EXTREMELY fluffy and light and baked in only 6 minutes. I kept churning them out and I lost count of how many minis I baked after 200+.  There was STILL extra batter so I made a couple dozen regular sized cupcakes, too.  I only needed like… a gross* to bring to the event, but I knew I had to bring some for my friend A’s birthday party after the P4aC event, my mother-in-law’s birthday party with the T clan the next day, it would be a nice Monday treat for my new coworkers, and I wanted to bring some minis in to the ritzy 5th Ave salon that keeps calling me back for free amazing cuts and color (when ppl do nice things for you and hook you up, you best say “thank you!”).

I left the pile of little chocolate cakes on the dining table and attended to making the homemade marshmallow fluff filling.  For a full 15 minutes I had an internal debate whether or not I should go to the supermarket to just save time and buy processed Fluff, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t make it myself.  Plus, I got to use my new candy thermometer for this new dessert component, too.  I heated light corn syrup with sugar and whipped egg whites.  I had a mad scientist moment when the melted sugar was blended with the egg whites and all of a sudden… it was alive!  And it looked like Fluff.  It was SUPER sticky, but really delicious.  I was pretty pleased with myself for spending time to do it and not taking the easy way and copping out.  I added a tiny bit of butter to the airy mixture and mechanically injected the filling into the minis. I still have a lot of leftover unfilled cupcakes, so I might just freeze those for a rainy day.

Part 3 was the ganache.  Actual Hostess cupcakes have this texture for the “glaze” I’m not particularly fond of.  After browsing several adaptations of Hostess cupcakes, I just decided to mix dark chocolate chips and cream and squirted a dollop on each cupcake.  At this point, I was getting tired so I didn’t bother spreading the ganache out.  Whatever.  It looked fine and tasted even better.

Abstract Hostess minis

The last step was the white icing.  I was pretty exhausted from the previous 3 steps and didn’t get around to this part until the morning of the event.  And it’s not even legit icing b/c no eggs or butter were involved (but it IS less fattening).  I hand-mixed some powdered sugar and milk and made abstract loops on 17 dozen or so cupcakes, let them set, and then packaged them up in clam shell containers.  Listen, I don’t want to hear it about how the signature squiggles aren’t on these.  If I were bringing 2 or 3 dozen cupcakes, I’d consider taking the time to spend decorating these, but since 1) I don’t have a clone or robot army to squeeze out perfect little loops for over 200 cupcakes, and 2) this is a free donation/gift, you shut your facehole about it or I’ll shut it for you  <3

A gangster and his broad. (Thanks Jill!)

I stacked the 12 containers of minis in one bag (I have these “green” tote bag things with flat bottoms that are the perfect size for carrying around cupcakes and minis… I just wish they literally weren’t green!) and Vin and I got our outfits ready for the event.  For those that don’t know us too well, we win @ costume parties.  I mean, my husband shaved his beard off just to get a great “Boardwalk Empire” mustache for this, and I haven’t seen him sans beard in YEARS… THAT’S how into these things we are.  Vin’s get up consisted of a pinstripe jacket, a vest, pocket watch, and a fedora. As for me, I didn’t want to wear the whole get up into the city since I had to carry all these delicate treats and me + heels + fancy outfit + cupcakes = faceplant/twisted ankle/sugar disaster.  I brought this sequined flapper dress I bought on super sale from a boutique that I had been DYING to wear and this was the perfect occasion.  I also had long black gloves, silver retro shoes, a long strand of pearls, and a peacock feather-flower hair clip.  The finishing touch was this short curly wig I stuffed my hair into.  Gangster costume in a bag?  Ppssshhh!  Sorry, that doesn’t exist in this house  =)  We dropped off the cupcakes @ the venue then Vin and I met up with our friend and his moll for dinner (they had awesome bank robber outfits, complete with a sack full of fake $… brilliant!) and I changed into my costume to run back to the lounge to set up.

It was a pretty nice event.  Some of my friends came to show support and it was great meeting other volunteers who were into the cause, too.  Organizing this is no small feat, so kudos to you guys for all the hard work and I’m sure Broome St Academy will be forever grateful.  Thanks for letting me be a part of this, and I hope your guests were happy with the treats!  By 930, the cupcakes were gone and I changed back into my street clothes to go to A’s party, toting my costume and a dozen minis for her birthday.

The next day, I bought a couple dozen minis and some regular cupcakes to Mom T’s birthday party with the fam, and Vin’s parents said they tasted just like actual Hostess cupcakes.  On Monday, I brought some into work to share with my coworkers, and some ppl even took two.  I’ll just say what everyone is thinking: my cupcakes are simply the bee’s knees.  =)

Me in my get up next to my set up =) (thanks again, Jill!)

*in bulk speak that’s 144 minis!

I haven’t baked since the holidays (thanks to a much-needed vacation, celebrating my birthday, and going through… comment on-dit… career advancing changes =), and while it was a nice break, it felt comforting to hear the whirring of the mix monster again.  Vin and I went his parents to visit his dad’s cousin’s family for dinner last week (and to be amazed by his KITT car, extensive Superman memorabilia, and pics from a Harryhausen exhibit–SO awesome!) and I figured it would be a good idea to bring some dessert for our gracious and super cool hosts.

Brown sugar & spice cupcakes with cocoa-bourbon-pecan filling and chocolate frosting

Flipping through this booze-based baking book, I was inspired by this cocoa-spice cupcake recipe.  I crushed up some vanilla wafers and mixed them with bourbon (yay!), sugar, pecans, and cocoa then rolled out little balls of liquored goodness.  The boozy bonbons tasted delicious on their own.  While I let those harden in the fridge, I mixed a nutmeg-allspice and brown sugar cake batter.  I filled cupcake cups halfway with the batter and stuck a ball in each one; I mean, what better surprise to find in a cupcake than a nutty chocolate bourbon ball?  Since I wasn’t familiar with this recipe, my first batch was a LITTLE overdone.  I made a couple more trays and shortened the baking time.  I think those came out better, but I was still concerned about them being a tiny bit dry.

Inside the tasty cupcake

While the cupcakes cooled, I made some fresh chocolate buttercream frosting.  With a swooping swirl of icing and pecans perfectly placed on the cakes, I packed up a couple dozen and away we went for dinner.  The feedback was pretty good. (phew!)  The following day I brought some of the extras to the office to impress the new coworkers.  I THINK my job’s pretty secure  =)

BTW, good things are in the works this year!  For one, I’m baking some special treats for this event and it’s for a great cause.  If you’re in the NYC area for March 24, I totally suggest buying tix for it and going.  And since it’s the lucky year of the dragon (and b/c I’m @ “that age” where everyone is getting hitched/having babies/etc.), I’ve got some wedding projects coming up I’m super psyched about.  Keep an eye out on my site for fun pics!

Things @ the office are JUST starting to slow down as we’re approaching that holiday lull where nothing gets done b/c frankly… everyone I need to  harass work w/is out on vacation.  Normally, I like being super active and multi-tasking, but it was getting a bit out of control.  The breathing time is quite welcome b/c I needed to get my crap together for the holidays, too!

I’ve been staying up late and using ANY free time I have @ home to organize gifts to ship out to faraway friends and family and addressing our awesome, one-of-a-kind Christmas postcards using Vin’s photography.  I figured we should have two sets made: one for “adults” and one completely nonsensical, weird set for people who are OK with our unique sense of humor =)  I spent a LOT on stamps and shipping gifts this past week, but thanks to baking orders and selling stuff on eBay, it wasn’t a big deal.  After bypassing the ridiculous line @ the post office on Saturday to send out 10 boxes of gifts to friends and family (thank youuuu, Click ‘n Ship!), Vin and I went to the supermarket to pick up ingredients for baking time.

chocolate minis with red peppermint frosting and vanilla minis with green vanilla frosting

This weekend’s order was very important.  A very nice woman found my site online and asked if I could make cupcakes as Christmas presents to deliver to her loved ones in LI since she wasn’t able to visit them for the holidays.  I definitely couldn’t say no.  We decided on making a mix of chocolate cupcakes with red peppermint frosting and vanilla cupcakes with green vanilla frosting.  I made a dozen minis to deliver to each house and added Christmas sprinkles to make it more festive.

chocolate minis with eggnog frosting and chocolate frosting

Then I also made a bunch of chocolate cupcake minis with chocolate frosting and eggnog frosting.  And then meticulously placed more Christmas sprinkles on these, too.  (I seriously love being able to use all these cute sprinkles!)

I made some extra chocolate minis and brought in leftover eggnog frosting to bring to co-workers.  I didn’t have time to decorate before bringing them in to the office, so I rushed to squeeze every last drop of frosting on the cupcakes and put one Christmas tree sprinkle on each during my lunch break.  There were a lot of gift baskets and store-bought baked goods out in the office, but I’m glad everyone still had room for my cupcakes.  =)

 

 

PS.  After I take the baked cupcakes out and let them cool, I dump them out on cooling racks and then line then up to make room for more batches. As I was straightening up the chocolate minis, I saw that one of the cupcakes kind of looked like it had my initials.  I swear I didn’t try to make it look like that!  I thought I was seeing things so I showed Vin and he said, “Yeah… it DOES look like there’s ‘KT’ on it!”  oooooooohhh… it’s a sign I was meant to do this, huh.

 

Here's lookin' at you, kid...

On off weekends, Vin and I catch up on all the shows we missed during the week and one day, we got reeled into watching “Along Came Polly” with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.  It’s not a must-see, but there’s a memorable scene where the man-of-a-million-voices Hank Azaria shows up as this jacked up scuba instructor in a Speedo with a super thick French accent who tries to assure Ben Stiller nothing will happen to his new wife.  He’s like, “Louban [Ben Stiller’s character’s name is “Reuben”], look to me in my eyeballlluuuuhhh, I promEESE you I take care of LEEsa…”  When Vin imitates Hank Azaria and says that line, it makes me laugh and I was reminded of it when I made these cake balls.

I wanted to make these last weekend for Halloween but just didn’t have time.  There was too much going on @ work for both of us and we just weren’t that into it this year.  No parties, no dressing up… total lameness, I know.  We didn’t get that many trick-or-treaters last year, so I only bought one regular bag of candy in anticipation for the holiday. Vin and I didn’t get home till close to 8 on Monday night and all the kids were done trolling for sugar by then, and since no one showed up we’re stuck with a bowl full of Whoppers, Reese’s PB cups, Take 5s, KitKats, and Jolly Rancher lollipops.

bloodshot crazy eyes

We had some time yesterday before heading to the T house so I decided I’d try out these eyeballs.  Just b/c Halloween is over doesn’t mean I can’t still make weird cake balls, dammit!  I wanted to test  out some sizes and designs for cake balls anyway b/c I have a wedding favor order to fulfill and wanted to triple check they’d fit in the favor box with a fondant design on them, too.  I took out some homemade fondant and colored and rolled tiny chunks of it, then cut out circles for the iris and pupil pieces.  I made an assortment of brown, green, blue and yellow eye parts, and as soon as I put the brown eye pieces on the cake balls, I started giggling to myself.  I laid out the pieces to make a crazy yellow eyeball and hand painted some gel for the bloodshot eye vessels.  That made me chuckle, too.  I made a bunch of different colored eye sets looking in all different directions, and I kept cracking myself in the kitchen.

Cake eyeballs and eyeball parts

Vin hears the giggling and thinks I’m chatting with my sister online and we’re making silly jokes. It’s almost time to leave (he likes getting to his parents’ super early so he can play with the dog) and he comes into the kitchen while I’m still laughing to myself and he’s all exasperated and goes, “Baby, you’re TOTALLY not ready–oh cool!!!” when he sees what I’ve been working on.  Then he heads straight back into the office to get his camera to take pics.  I grab his 80s computer guy/pedophile glasses and put the yellow googley eyes behind them and I’m laughing hysterically @ my creation while Vin’s snapping away.  It just looks too funny AND freaky @ the same time.  I go and get my glasses and put the other eyes behind them.  They look creepy, but I think it’s so hilarious and I’m so proud of myself b/c they DO look realistic. I brought them over to the T house and Vin’s fam thought the balls were fun, too.  His mom looked @ me like I was nuts for making creepy edible eyeballs, but she smiled and it was a loving look that said “no wonder my son loves you.”  <3

Fleur de lis cake ball

I also did a few quick prototypes for the wedding favors, and they came out just the way I wanted so I was extra psyched about this cake ball experiment.  =)

Coconut banoffee pie

Oh, and I decided to make a variation of banoffee pie, but this time I made coconut whipped cream instead of regular whipped cream. That sh*t was GOOD.  I brought 2 little pies to the T house and Vin’s brother and his wife loved it.  They ate one and took the other home.  Vin’s OK w/that just b/c he knows I have the rest of the homemade coconut cream and toffee @ home in the fridge and can make him his own deconstructed coconut banoffee pie parfait later. haha

AND, last but not least, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I could help out with baked goods for a play she was involved in, and I was more than happy to oblige.  The play is “The Laramie Project” and proceeds from the sale of the cupcakes are going to support a great cause.  I made a whole bunch of mini cupcakes with colorful frosting and delivered them to the director herself on Friday.  My friend told me the cupcakes were awesome.  I’m just glad I could help out and benefit The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Interweave.  The last performances of the production are next weekend (November 12-13) so check it out if you have the chance.

A rainbow assortment of cupcakes

Next weekend and week after will be cake ball mania @ my house.  And then it’s Thanksgiving and it’ll be cream puff mania.  And then it’s Christmas.  And sometime in-between now and New Year’s I hope to get some sleep.  Even better if I was sleeping AND catching some rays on a nice, warm beach, but thanks to Paul Sarbanes and Michael Oxley, the odds of that happening before year end are mathematically impossible.  And now, it’s the end of Sunday funday…