Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Cookies: Simple and Not So Simple

Our local Moms' Group had their annual Easter egg hunt this weekend and it gave me an opportunity to try out some of the cute Easter recipes I've seen floating around in blogland these past few weeks.  

Dana at Made shared her recipe for these cute cookies along with a tutorial that is oh-so-helpful.  They're supposed to be little Easter eggs hidden in the grass!  I did mine slightly differently, though.  I didn't want any of the Easter designs on my M&M's to be visible, so I pressed them onto the top of the cookies before baking rather than mixing them into the dough.  They're cute, delicious, and simple to make - they've earned a permanent spot in my recipe box for sure!

Misty at Creative Itch made some chick cookies that inspired me to try my hand at decorating sugar cookies with royal icing...intimidating for the likes of me, but they turned out fairly cute.

Simple design, yes.  Overall, not so simple for a first-timer, though.  I wasn't expecting the process to be so time consuming and I still have a few technique kinks to work out.  I'm sure I'll improve with more practice.  If anyone's curious, I used this tried and true sugar cookie recipe from Bake at 350.  I also used a royal icing recipe from there, too, and I was happy with it - but keep in mind that I'm no expert in this arena.

There you have it.  Some cute cookie recipes that I highly recommend trying if you've got the time before you begin your Easter festivities!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Holy Hockey Puck Cake, Batman!

All the black buttercream on this thing will turn your tongue and lips a beautiful, bright magenta!  Not very manly.  The cake itself, though, was right up my husband's alley. 

It's always a bit of a struggle for me to come up with good cake idea for a guy because I tend to specialize in "cute," not manly.  This time I think I nailed it, though.  My husband is a big Canucks fan (Vancouver, B.C.'s NHL team...you know, ice hockey).  So how perfect is that giant hockey puck cake?  I also made little fondant hockey sticks and hockey pucks to adorn some of the cupcakes...so I guess some "cute" kinda snuck in there.  Ooops!  Betcha didn't think hockey gear could be so dainty and cutesy.
After the cake was completed I had it signed by Ryan Kesler, my husband's favorite player.  How did I a get an NHL star to do such a huge favor for me?  Let's just say I have connections.  By the way, thanks, Ryan - he LOVED it!  (Yeah, we're on first name basis, Ryan and I.)

I'm not sure it comes through in the photos, but the base that the cake is on is supposed to be a sheet of ice - think hockey rink.  I used white candy melts tinted with a bit of blue gel.  I found some neat sparkle sprinkles at the craft store that I added before the candy was set.  I also used them on the hockey puck cupcakes, but like I said, I think the effect was more impressive in person.  Can you see 'em?

The Canucks face off with the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.  I think the first game is tonight so I'm hoping that this post will bring us luck, mainly for my husband's sake.  For the most part, I'm just a fan by association.  It' hard not to have a couple of t-shirts and some winter accessories with the team's logo when the guy who buys your Christmas presents is a huge fan.  It's also hard not to know at least the most basic stats when you live with said huge fan.  I do enjoy hockey, but only in a tertiary, noncommittal kind of way, and I probably pay too much attention to a team's color and logo design to be considered a true fan.

Either way:  Go, Canucks, Go!

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