Tag Archives: easter

The easiest Easter cupcakes ever!

Hiya, everybody! 😀 It’s Easter weekend!! The bunny is coming, and bringing sugar to small children that will make them bounce even further off the walls than normal! Friends are gathering, people are worshiping, and the flowers are blooming.

Thank goodness it’s finally spring…Cross fingers, anyway. It was 34 with a wind chill of 28 just four days ago here…*sigh* Four more weeks and I will be done with my degree! It’s so close I can taste it! And then I can blog all the time again! 😀 And have hobbies! And a life!

Anyway, my friend Dawn is having an Easter dinner tomorrow night, and I have volunteered to make dessert! Only because I found the most adorable recipe on Pinterest and *had* to make it, though! And, of course, I will be cheating a little bit just to make things easier. 🙂 The cupcakes will resemble teeny weeny egg nests, and I am *SOOOOOO* excited! I hope that people will eat them and enjoy them, and think they’re as cute as I do!

So what are we waiting for, let’s get started!

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First, get some cake mix. I grabbed yellow cake because it’s my favorite. 🙂 Next to carrot cake (but people probably wouldn’t want carrot cake for Easter). Then I cheated and got Easy Frost icing cans in chocolate (to be the brown nest!), and finally, some Robin Eggs.

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Mix the cake mix according to the package directions. Mine called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I used canola), and 1 cup of water.

IMG_20140419_154958783Put your cute little cupcake liners in your pan and fill them ~1/2 way with the cake mix. As you see above, I didn’t have a ladle small enough so I used a gravy ladle. Heh. My mom used to use ice cream scoops. Use whatever works.

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Bake them for 12-17 minutes, until they are done and a toothpick comes out clean. The mix should make ~24 cupcakes. Cool them for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. 🙂

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In the middle of making the cupcakes, I decided that the ladle wasn’t working for me. My mom needed to go to the local mall for something, so I offered to drive her and we swung into Bed, Bath & Beyond for this little gem. EASIEST LADLING EVERRRRRRRR! Seriously, I don’t know why I waited so long for this.

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When the cupcakes had cooled completely, I went ahead and started with the icing. I’ve never used the canned stuff before, but it turns out to be pretty darn easy! 🙂 Press down, out it comes. Bonus! It has a star tip on it!

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Work the icing around the top of the cupcake like a bird’s nest, and then put two of your whopper Robin Eggs on top. Voila! 😀 Easy, quick, cute, affordable, and totally fun for Easter!!

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And there you have it! A nice little set of eggs nests, all ready for your Easter! And since I will be taking them somewhere, I bought this AWESOME cupcake transporter, that has its own separate little cupcake tower that you can use by itself, or keep in the carrier! Genius!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Happy Easter!

Happy-Easter-23

 

 

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Food, Holidays, Uncategorized

Happy Easter, y’all!

Howdy! 🙂 I actually had some time tonight to do something fun! That’s not true….I made time by procrastinating on an assignment. I’m reading a book that is akin to having my teeth pulled, and I would basically rather do anything except read…Blargh!

I’m sure if anyone has spent any amount of time on Pinterest in the last month or two, you have come across this Pin for Easter strawberries that look like carrots. =) The Ryan and I are attending an Easter dinner tomorrow, and I decided to make these as a snack to bring to the party. Since I haven’t done any photo recipes in a while, I decided to go ahead and take some pictures while I did this. It’s pretty straight forward and simple. I used my cell phone because…well because I’m lazy and I had it with me. Once I started melting the candy melts I wasn’t about to walk away. So PARDON MY MESSY KITCHEN! There is no such thing as housework during school. I need to win the lottery because then I’d have time to clean. Or I’d probably just hire someone to do it for me because I could afford it…But I digress…

While the Ryan and I ran errands today, I swung by Michaels and grabbed some orange candy melts. I also grabbed two pints of strawberries. When I got home, I rinsed all of the strawberries and laid them out on some paper towels to dry. Once that was finished, I set up to get going!

I don’t have a double boiler so I did it old school and simmered water under a stainless steel bowl.

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Which you apparently don’t see in this picture, but who cares? I made sure I could grab the strawberries quickly and had them set right beside me while I waited for the water to start simmering.

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I stuck the bowl on the pot and dropped in the first bag of candy melts. And then I stirred, stirred, stirred until I couldn’t stir no more….

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I then added the second bag of candy melts and kept stirring…I swear, I totally built some arm muscles stirring this until it was smooth. My strapless dress will thank me indeed come picture time at the wedding!

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Then I dipped the strawberries and set them out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

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The Ryan was a sweetheart and assisted me when I ran out of space on the cookie sheet. =) I kept the chocolate warm and melty and he lined another dish with wax paper so I could keep going. Isn’t he the greatest?

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Finally I dipped the spatula into the remaining melted candy and spattered it across the strawberries for those cute little lines. =) Mmmm, carrots…but not!

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Finally, I put them in the fridge to live overnight until I am ready to plate them for the party tomorrow. Yes, look, my fridge is just like everyone else’s. Don’t judge me.

In other news, I poured the remaining melted candy onto some wax paper and shaped it into a bunny with my spatula..because why not? It is also in the fridge, but it’s not a work of art I cared for you to see 😛

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I hope all of you have a happy Easter! (Isn’t this one of the cutest pictures you’ve ever seen ever??? I know, right?!?!?)

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Fresh, Springy, Easter-y…Lemon Sugar Cookies.

Happy Easter, everyone! As I write this, I am enjoying a nice cup of Starbucks Morning Blend (yay, K-cup machine!) and dreaming about all of the food I am going to be eating at Easter functions later today. The Ryan and I have two functions to attend, so we will have to taste everything sparingly to leave plenty of room, I suppose. It’s unfortunate that all of my friends and family are such good cooks sometimes. But on to the cookies!

The other day as I was doing my normal rounds on foodgawker, I came across a beautiful recipe for lemon sugar cookies with lemon buttercream icing – all from scratch. As soon as I opened the recipe, I immediately knew – those were coming out of my oven this weekend. The pictures were so bright and fresh, I have never wanted to bake anything more in my life!

I was relieved to read that the only thing on the ingredient list that I didn’t have in my house was cake flour. Oh, and a cookie sheet. So, after work, I headed to the store. I am pleased to thank Target for my brand new KitchenAid cookie sheet, and I am angry at all of the grocery stores for not carrying cake flour. I ended up with pastry flour, which is NOT the same as cake flour (the protein content of pastry flour is higher than that of cake flour, and cake flour is bleached to make it more delicate, where pastry flour is not), but out of the two evils (pastry flour or all purpose), it was the one I decided to go with. That being said, it is possible to substitute all purpose flour for cake flour by using a 1:1 ratio minus 2 tablespoons, and adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (the cornstarch helps to break down the protein and lighten the flour).

I didn’t do that, though, I just went balls to the wall with my pastry flour and had a good time. With the Easter parties we are attending this weekend, I had the perfect excuse to make these cookies. Normally if I want to bake something, I send the Ryan to work with the goods. We may eat a piece or two..or three, but for the most part, we let the hungry software engineers have at it. That’s the good thing about the Ryan’s work – plenty of hungry nerds to feed. As I understand it, most of my baked goods don’t make it past a half hour there. Try getting away with that at my office – not likely. Everyone just looks at the food and says, “That looks so good, but I can’t! It will mess up my diet!” It sucks to work with all women sometimes.

These cookies, however, will be eaten by hungry Easter party goers and their children today, so all is well. 🙂 Here is the creation of these lovely Easter treats step by step:

All the ingredients!

Ingredients: 2 Lemons (Juice and Zest), 3 Cups Pastry Flour, 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder, 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, 2 Large Eggs, 1 Cup Sugar, 3 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar and 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla; 1 & 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter; My hand mixer and flour sifter.

Sifty sifty!

Sift three cups of the flour into a medium sized bowl.

Dry ingredients

Add the salt and baking powder, mix until well blended and set aside.

Wet Ingredients

Next, set to work on the “wet” ingredients. Using your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it’s fluffy.

Eggs, one at a time.

Next, add the eggs one at a time and mix in after each addition.

Lemon juice, zest, vanilla

Finally, add the lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add flour mixture

Gradually add the flour mixture and combine thoroughly.

Dough!

You should now have a pretty dough! 🙂 Pop it into the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Parchment Paper

After the dough has chilled, line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Flatten the dough balls

Roll small balls of dough between your hands (use flour on your hands to keep the dough from sticking) and then press them between your palms to flatten out a bit. Line your cookie sheet with them and place them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. I found that following the directions of 3 inch dough balls made my cookies bake together onto my sheet (oops!) so I made about 1 inch balls and flattened them. I then placed them two to a row and they came out a much smaller, more manageable size and didn’t bake together. Also, my dough was a bit hard after being in the fridge, so I had to let it warm up a tiny bit at room temperature before it was malleable enough to work with properly.

While your cookies bake, get started on the icing.

Butter & Confectioner's Sugar

With your hand mixer, slowly combine the butter and sugar. I did my sugar one cup at a time and did not add the next amount of sugar until my mixture was a nice whipped texture.

Add zest & juice

By the third cup of sugar, the mixture will not “whip” anymore because there is not enough moisture. Add the lemon zest and juice, and mix again. This time, it will come out nice and fluffy.

Final product

The finished product of your icing should look like this. Start icing those cookies! I only used a thin layer of icing on my cookies, and I found that I had about a quarter to half cup of icing left when I finished. If you ice thinly like I do, you may want to halve the recipe for the icing.

Cookies!

Ta da! Lemon sugar cookies with lemon buttercream icing. The cookies alone are great, but the icing is really what makes them pop. I can’t wait to serve these later today at our parties. I am sure they will be a hit. Enjoy!!

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