Monday, December 26, 2011

More Christmas Goodies

I had a lot of fun finishing up Christmas baking this week!    I tried out a cake recipe that turned out to be amazing . . . the chocolate gingerbread toffee cake from the cover of Southern Living magazine.  It was a bit time-consuming, but boy, was it worth it!!      We took this cake, along with my husband's famous apple pie and some cookies and cakeballs to my mom's for Christmas dinner.    Yummmm.

gingerbread babies, sugar cookies and cake balls
side view of the cake

On Friday, I also made some cookies and cake balls for our friends at Piedmont Physical Therapy.   Over the past year, they have taken excellent care of both my mom and my husband as they recovered from various surgeries and my mom's car accident.  I was honored to make the desserts for their holiday party.  Thanks for asking, Katy!!

chocolate and vanilla cake balls

trays of gingerbread and sugar cookies
wrapped and ready to go!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Cookies!

I spent the last two weekends baking up a storm . . . .platters for office parties, boxes for teachers, and plates for some friends and neighbors!   I made sugar cookies, gingerbread, and chocolate and vanilla cakeballs . . . fun, but tiring . . . I wish there were a few more hours in the day :)

Star cookies

I had so much fun making these cookies for a friend from high school!  Leslie spotted the fall cookies I had posted in early November and contacted me to see if I could make cookies for her work clients for the holidays.   She sent me this picture of her holiday card and asked what I could do . . .

I played around with sugar cookies and gingerbread and came up with these:

I think they look a lot like the cards - and so did Leslie!   The last three Sundays, I have provided 4 dozen of each, packaged and ready to gift to clients.  

Thank you so much for the generous donation to Susan G. Komen, Leslie!  So glad I could help you with your holiday gifts!

Black Forest Cake for Mom

My mom's birthday was last week. . . and she requested a Black Forest Cake.  I utilized my recent obsession with Pinterest to research recipes.  Once I saw this cake and this one, I knew I had my inspiration!    I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the cake (made with Hershey's special dark cocoa), used Godiva liqueur in the ganache, and the cherry filling from the second link.     This was an excellent cake!

Friday, December 2, 2011

an army of gingerbread men

This week I made the biggest batch of gingerbread cookies I've ever made (actually, make that the biggest batch of ANY cookies I've ever made!)   My wonderful community is having a Christmas tree lighting event this evening, and I was asked to make 300 gingerbread men for the cookie assortment in the "Cocoa and Cookies" part of the event.

I broke the task up over a few late nights and got them done . . . I'm really looking forward to the event, and hope everyone likes the cookies! 

I decorated 100 at a time


Platters of 50, ready to go

Ready to go to the party!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was so excited to try these cute Thanksgiving placecard cookies I spotted recently on one of my favorite blogs . . . for a first try at the brush embroidery icing technique, I was pretty happy with how they turned out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Birthday cookies for my baby!

I can't believe my baby is going to be 7 years old tomorrow!  Where does the time go??   Since his birthday is on Thanksgiving this year, he wanted to bring treats to share with his class a day early.  When I asked him what he wanted to share, he was torn - first it was ice cream, then cake, and then, finally - cookies!   I decided to try to accommodate all three requests with these cookies.  They were quite a hit with his first grade classmates earlier today.  Because school is only a half day on the day before Thanksgiving, lunch was at 9:47 am!  

My birthday boy :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall Cookies

Today was parent-teacher conference day at our elementary school.  Our amazing PTO has a tradition of hosting a pot-luck dinner for the teachers, who always put in a long day to accommodate parent schedules.   I volunteered to send in cookies. . . both to treat the teachers, and to experiment with some new fall cookie cutters I got!  I was pretty happy with how these turned out - and I hope the teachers enjoyed them too!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ruffled cake with gum paste flower

I love making cakes and goodies for co-workers birthdays . . . and try to make something I know they will like.   Becky is not only a co-worker, but one of the three people I know who checks this blog regularly, so I really wanted to make her something special!

Her favorite color is blue and her favorite store is Anthropologie, so I wanted to make something that incorporated some fashion style.   When I saw this cake on, I thought I'd give it a try!   This was my first experience with gum paste, and it was a lot of fun.  I have a lot to learn, but I was pretty happy with how this flower turned out.

While we celebrated in the office on Friday, today is Becky's actual birthday.  So if you're reading this, Happy Birthday, Becky!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cupcake and Birthday Cake Cookies

An old friend asked me to make cookies for a group birthday celebration - five family members were celebrating October birthdays.  I made cupcake cookies for everyone, and personalized birthday cake cookies for the birthday people.

Thanks for the donation, Sabrina!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday cupcakes with mini cupcake toppers

I have been wanting to try these fun cupcakes for a while now - I was just waiting for the right occasion.   Today is my friend Kayla's birthday - she is a co-worker who likes to bake just as much as I do!  She has her own little baking blog - check it out here.

These cupcakes were so easy and turned out adorable.    The cupcakes are Martha's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (my favorite), the icing is a vanilla buttercream, and the toppers are Reeses miniatures with icing!!

Here they are, all ready to bring in to work to share . . .

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Soccer ball cake

Noah has a soccer tournament this weekend . . . at least 3 games (hopefully 4!) in a two-day span.   Saturday's games were far apart, so his coach decided to have a team picnic in between.    Always happy for an excuse to try out a new cake, I volunteered to bring dessert!

I was pretty happy with how this cake turned out, although I definitely need some more practice on my grass tip.    The boys on the team sure liked it!   We had a lot left after the picnic (there were lots of treats to choose from  . . . ) so I brought the leftovers to the second game.   They ate every bite :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pink Ribbon cookies

In case you hadn't noticed the profusion of pink ribbons appearing everywhere the past few days, October is breast cancer awareness month!     I am a big supporter of Susan G Komen for the Cure - all profits from my baking go directly to support my participation in the 3 Day for the Cure walk - so pink ribbons are near and dear to me.  

Tonight I am joining a group of lovely women getting pink hair extensions to show our support.     It should be a lovely time - wine, cheese, and these cookies!   

*Not the greatest cookie presentation picture . . . I forgot to take one at home so I took it with my camera phone, in the car, at a stoplight on the way to work this morning.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Star Wars Cookies

I got these Star Wars cookie cutters from my boys last Christmas.  I have made them a couple of times, but never attempted to ice them until now.   I made this platter for one of my team members at work - his birthday is tomorrow, and Star Wars is his favorite movie.  Hope he likes them!

Yoda is my favorite

Storm Trooper is pretty good too

Darth was tough. Gonna need more practice on him!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba cupcakes for Melina!

A sweet family I know asked me to make cupcakes for their little girl Melina, who is turning 2.    I knew nothing about Yo Gabba Gabba (my kids are too old for this show!), but a little internet research showed the colorful characters.  I thought Melina might like colorful cupcakes to go along with them!

Happy Birthday Melina - and thanks for the donation, John and Carly!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

40th birthday cookies

I had a lot of fun making these cookies for a surprise 40th birthday party for my sweet neighbor Beth.   This was my first real party platter, and I was quite pleased with how they turned out.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chocolate cake with strawberries

I made this cake for a coworker's brother's birthday.   She requested a dark chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries.   Since she won't be serving it til tomorrow, I did not put the strawberries on top yet - she can do that before serving.

The funny thing about this cake is it's actually the second one I made for this donation customer.   I had the date wrong, so I made a cake and strawberries LAST Friday and brought them into the office.  Once I realized my error, my coworkers were treated to an afternoon "mistake cake break".    No one seemed to mind - in fact, several of them said they hoped I made these kind of mistakes moer often!  It was a good trial run for the cake - and everyone seemed to like it.

Thank you for the donation, Mary T.!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.   This year was no exception - I got to make lots of red, white and blue treats for various holiday festivities this weekend! 

I made these flag cake bites for my block party - they were a big hit!   I saw the presentation idea here and immediately knew I had to do it.

The weekend festivities started out with a dessert potluck at work - the perfect excuse to try out the flag cake I'd been eying at Glorious Treats!     It was much easier to make than I thought - and a lot of fun to cut into.   I actually made three of these cakes - one for the potluck, one for a coworker (thank you for the donation, Marie!!), and one for our neighborhood block party.    Didn't get very good pix of the inside (as I've said before, my food photography needs some work).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Graduation cookies

My nephew graduated from high school last weekend . . . I made these cookies for him to celebrate :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Some recent cake bite orders!

Two wonderful co-workers ordered cake bites for events recently . . . .

Here are 12 dozen cake bites for Kathleen.  She was having a 60th anniversary party for her in-laws and ordered chocolate, lemon and strawberry cake bites.  She told me they were a hit at the party!

Becky ordered 4 dozen cake bites for her son's 2nd birthday this weekend.   She gave me the cute dinosaur sprinkles - I think they turned out cute!

Thank for your donations, Kathleen and Becky!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

A lady who had been at the party with the moon and star cupcakes called and asked if I could make a dozen rainbow cupcakes for a party the next day.   I said I'd give it a shot.  These are my first rainbow cookies - I think they turned out okay for a first attempt.

Thanks for the donation to Susan G Komen, Renee!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Soccer cookies

We were signed up to bring snacks for the last game of the year for my youngest son's soccer team . . . so I made soccer cookies.   The uniforms were pretty easy . . . soccer balls were not!  They were a fun challenge.

Unfortunately the game was rained out, so I still have all of these cookies in my house.  Hopefully the individual wrapping will keep them fresh enough to hand them out at the team party Tuesday night (4 days after the game they were meant for!)

Chocolate birthday cake

Yesterday was my husband's birthday.  He looooves chocolate, so deciding what kind of cake to make him was easy.   I made my favorite chocolate cake recipe - the one on the back of the Hershey's cocoa can is seriously the best chocolate cake ever.  Even Martha Stewart recommends it!    This cake gave me a chance to practice some piping techniquest I've been wanting to try.  I think it turned out pretty nice!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cupcakes to celebrate a new baby girl

A friend asked me to make cupcakes to take to a party celebrating the arrival of a new baby girl.   She asked if they could have stars and moons on them.  A little stumped, I took to the internet for inspiration and found just the thing on a baking blog I'd never seen before.   Thanks to Night Baking for a fabulous idea!

Thanks for the donation, Melissa.   And welcome to the world, baby Miluna!