Friday, May 28, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Jammin' Strawberry Cream & Chocolate

Happy Friday and Happy Memorial Day weekend! I am super excited to share my featured cupcake a week recipe with you for the upcoming holiday weekend! This is sure to be a crowd pleaser! I tested my latest cupcake creation "Jammin' Strawberry Cream & Chocolate" out with some friends at a crawfish boil the other weekend and they got rave reviews! I'll just go ahead and say it now...these are just too good to eat only one!

Here's the run down on how these cupcakes were created! For the last 8 weeks this competition called the "Real Women of Philadelphia" has been going on which was hosted by Philadelphia Cream Cheese and the queen of Southern Cuisine herself, Miss Paula Deen! Well I absolutely LOVE Paula Deen and have several of her cook books and love trying out her recipes. And who doesn't love Philly Cream Cheese right? So pretty much every night while eating dinner and watching tv with my husband I would see the Real Women of Philadelphia commericals. Every night I would think to myself why don't I enter this competition. So finally I went to the contest website and read over the details! Let's just say there's a lot at stake here and if your recipe is picked this could be life changing!

Here's a quick run down of the competition:

-8 weeks, with each week being a different category to submit a recipe for: side dish, appetizer, entree & dessert
-you must submit a video of yourself preparing the recipe between 1-10 minutes long
-your recipe MUST include Philadelphia Cream Cheese!
-each week 2 finalists are picked from each of the 4 categories for a total of 16 finalists

Now here's where it gets really exciting, if you are picked as one of the 16 finalists you:
-get flown to Savannah to meet Paula Deen and prepare your recipe in front of a live audience
-from there they pick 1 winner for each of the 4 categories
-the 4 winners get to help write a Philadelphia Cream Cheese cookbook, go on tour promoting the book with Paula Deen and get $25,000 plus a bunch of other cool perks!

Talk about one exciting competition! Well after weeks of thinking about it, talking about it, reading about it, watching some of the submission videos of other women's recipes online I finally decided to take my chances and enter a recipe the last week of the competition for the dessert category!

I wish I hadn't waited so long to join the contest but really I was super scared of having to video tape myself! Give me a recipe and I'll bake all day long, but throw a camera in front of my face and it's a whole different story! Finally I decided I would just go for it, you only live once right, and how often do you get a chance to meet the queen of butter Paula Deen!

So I gathered up my Philadelphia Cream Cheese and my secret ingredient homemade strawberry freezer jam and hit the kitchen to start baking...

CUPCAKES of course! I'm sure by now you all know how much I love cupcakes! I have a running head band that says it all "will run for cupcakes" and I post a different cupcake a week on my blog! So I decided to stay true to myself and what brings me joy and create a batch of cupcakes loaded with great flavors: chocolate, cream cheese and strawberries to hopefully impress Paula!

I put on the cutest apron I could find and got to filming! Paula had posted all kinds of "how to" videos on the Real Women of Philadelphia site which came in super handy for for my first video cooking debut! She talked about "how to develop a recipe", "how to shoot your video", "how to plate your dish", "how to set up your lighting" "how to do your hair" and "how to choose your wardrobe".

Paula if you are reading this blog, I want you to know I took all of your video advice into consideratioin when filming my recipe so I hope it pays off when you watch my dessert video submission and see all the careful thought I put into the fine details!

First of all I set up my prep area on our bar countertop. I decided to break down my recipe and talk about in in "3 easy steps" so I had 3 small workstations. I know it all looks like a mess in this picture but everything flowed quite nicely when filming.

Step 1: Prepare chocolate cake batter & cupcake pan

Step 2: Prepare strawberry cream cheese filling

Step 3: Prepare strawberry cream cheese frosting

Here's a picture of the Jammin' Strawberry Cream Cupcakes right before they go into the oven. I love the brown and pink color combination!

And here's the results after baking! YUM!

And with the strawberry cream cheese frosting and a strawberry on top!

Filming is over and it's time to eat some cupcakes!

So do you wanna see my 1st ever cooking video debut? You can find the video and recipe for my Jammin' Strawberry Cream & Chocolate cupcakes here on the Real Women of Philadelphia site!

My friend Renie had a Flip camera so that is what we used to video tape! Thanks Renie for being my videographer and putting up with what seemed like a million do overs whenever I would mess up my words! My final video was done in all 1 shot from start to finish! Now don't get me wrong there were about 21 partial videos that occurred before the final video, but the real deal was done in one shooting! I practiced my intro several times, one of which got interrupted by a knock on the door, one of which I pulled out my running headband with the words being upside down, several with my black lab panting loudly in the background...all had to be scrapped! Then on the first time to go through the recipe live without stopping, as soon as I started to mix the cream cheese filling, one of my beaters fell out and we had to start all over. Let's just say I've got some good bloopers if I can figure out how to edit them into one video!

Oh yeah, and then the last second of the "real deal" video I had some cupcake stuck in the side of my cheek. I had to take a bite on camera you know...that's what Paula does on her shows and talk about how yummy the cupcake tasted! Well as I was talking I just moved the cake to my cheek I guess, and then said goodbye. I thought the filming was done! Well when we played back the video, the camera was definitely still on and you see this awful expression on my face while I am trying to move the cake from my cheek with my tongue. Yeah that's all on camera for the whole world to see! So you'll definitely get a good laugh at the end!

I think the last 2 dessert finalists will be picked sometime next week, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Paula liked my recipe! Even if I don't get chosen as one of the finalists, entering this contest was an amazing experience and it helped me to overcome my fears of being in front of a camera. I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and take a chance and had an entire community of women from the Real Women of Philadelphia site supporting me along the way!

Thanks Paula Deen & Philadelphia Cream Cheese for hosting such an amazing competition! Watching all of the recipe submission videos these last 8 weeks has truly been inspiring! There are really some great cooks and creative personalities out there! All of the women that participated in this competition have really changed my perception of cooking and creating recipes! This competition has really taught me to step outside of the box and take a recipe that you love and mix it up a bit to make it one of your own, or to gather some of your favorite ingredients and see what kind of recipe you can create. Cooking truly is something that everyone can do! The kitchen is truly my favorite room of the house and the place where I feel most creative! Even though this competition is over, I feel like I have gained a new respect of cooking and can't wait to create even more of my own recipes!

So what are you waiting for...go whip up a batch of these today! You will be in strawberry & cream cheese heaven!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monster Cookie Bars

I'm super excited to share with you all this new recipe! If you've been following my site then you know I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and I'm also a fan of oatmeal! So I've created what I consider to be a crossover between a granola bar and chocolate chip cookie all wrapped up in one cookie bar. Of course there are a few other special ingredients like M&Ms and chopped pecans all mixed in for a pop of color and some added texture!

My friend Katie had a fundraiser last weekend with her 3rd grade students and it was all about promoting a healthy lifestyle and teaching them how exercising can be fun while at the same time raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! I told Katie I would come up with a somewhat "healthy" snack for her to sell at her event's bake sale.

Trail mix seems to be a pretty popular snack for kids these days so I figured I would use some nuts and M&Ms which are commonly found in trail mix and combine it with another kid friendly food peanut butter for some protein! I secretly added some quick oats to the cookie batter for some fiber too...shhh don't tell! The kids are going to be drawn to the colorful M&M's popping out of the cookies they aren't even going to realize what they are eating is good for them! I know, I'm a little sneaky!

These cookie bars turned out super yummy and the peanut butter flavor really came through in every bite! This recipe can be super versatile, so feel free to add in some of your favorite "special" extra ingredients maybe some pumpkin puree instead of peanut butter and some dried cranberries! Or sub out the pecans and add in some walnuts or macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips! Really the possibilities are endless with this cookie bar so just have fun and mix in any great flavor combinations that you love!

Monster Cookie Bars

-1 cup butter, room temperature
-1 cup peanut butter
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup M&Ms
-2 cups quick oats
-1/2 cup chopped pecans
-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  • Add in eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  • Add in vanilla.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add M&Ms, quick oats, chopped pecans and semi-sweet chocolate chips to cookie batter and stir until combined.
  • Spread batter into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.
  • Grab a glass of milk and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Graduation Cake

Schools are letting out for the summer, so with that comes graduation time! Here are a few pictures of a cake I made the other day for a graduating high school senior! This was the first graduation cake I have made and it was super fun to come up with a design showcasing the school logo, colors and interests of the cake recipient!

I was super excited about how smooth I was able to get the buttercream frosting I just had to take a picture! Viva paper towels are definitely your best friend when it comes to smoothing out your icing! A few cake decorating friends had given me this advice but this was the first time I put the Viva towel to the test, works like a charm!

I made the graduation cap using a cookie cutter and then piped on royal icing for the trim and used yellow fondant to create the tassels.

The school mascot was a hornet so I printed out the image from their website and used as a guide. I actually traced the outline of the hornet on top of some rolled out yellow fondant and cut around it with an x-acto knife. I used small pieces of black fondant for the eyes and white fondant for the wings. Then I piped in all the fine details using black royal icing.

Using more cookie cutters and rolled fondant I created a baseball and football to showcase the graduate's athletics through his high school years! Best of luck Jeremy as you head off to college!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Elmo

What better way to celebrate your birthday than with some Elmo cupcakes right? Well if you are an adult...not so much, but a 2 year old...heck yeah! Yesterday was our neighbor Olivia's 2nd birthday and according to her older sister Carley she loves Elmo! I figured I would re-create Olivia's favorite furry red friend in cupcakes and surprise her! These were super simple and fun to make and I already had all the ingredients needed in my pantry!

Here's what you need for Elmo cupcakes:

-a batch of your favorite flavor cupcakes
-large marshmallows
-brown plain M&Ms
-orange peanut M&Ms
-red icing
-Wilton decorating tip #233 & a piping bag

How to create Elmo:

1.Fill piping bag fitted with tip #233 with red icing. Squeeze icing out of tip to create fur-like sections. Start at the edge of your cupcake and go around in a circle. Continue going around in a circle until you cover the entire cupcake with red icing fur.

2.Take a large marshmallow and cut it in half. On the sticky side (the inside of the marshmallow) place a brown M&M to create Elmo's eyes! Place marshmallows ontop of cupcake.

3.Add an orange peanut M&M for Elmo's nose!

Easy as 1, 2, 3! How cute is Elmo with his big brown eyes staring at you? Now that I'm looking back at these cupcakes, I have realized...Elmo needs a mouth...ooops! Sorry time I will give you a big old mouth!

Olivia loved her Elmo cupcakes and had a bright red tongue to show for it! The bright red icing can really sneak up on you fast!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baptism Cookies

Cakes, cupcakes & cookies...oh my! This is what was being baked, decorated and devoured in my kitchen last week! Let's just say it was one CRAZY week but I enjoyed every single minute of it! Being able to use my creativity in the kitchen and to share my love of baking with others is something that makes me extremely happy!

I had 3 cakes to make for 3 very different occasions, decorated sugar cookies for a baptism and several batches of cupcakes to make for a special project! (I can't wait to share the cupcakes with you...they are SOOOOO YUMMY and here's the best part...I'm entering my recipe into a contest, so I'll share them soon! I'll give you one hint has to do with Philadelphia cream cheese and Paula Deen...anyone know of this super fun contest I'm talking about?)

So let's just say I've been up to my eyeballs in powdered sugar lately! I've got lots of goodies to share with you so I figured I'd start off with these super cute cookies!

My friend Katie from KY emailed me last week asking if I had time to make some decorated sugar cookies for her kid's Kaylee and Collier's baptism over the weekend! Of course my answer was Y-E-S!

I think Katie loves sugar just as much as I do! I have some fond memories of Katie in high school and her sugar encounters. Let's just say in the lunch line, she would always pass up the healthy and nutritious side items and go for not 1 but 2 slices of strawberry cake! Or when we would leave the cafeteria and walk down the street for lunch she would always end her meal with a sugar cookie loaded with lots of icing and sprinkles...the more icing the better! And then there is the craziest thinkg I have ever seen...adding 12 packets of sugar to a glass of Coke...WOW! Katie would always come visit me at the restaurant I worked at, I would give her a coke to drink while she waited for me to get off work and I would sit there and watch her open packet after packet of sugar and pour in her about adding some extra fizz!

So when Katie asked for sugar cookies I had to deliver! She let me have the freedom to come up with a design I felt would be appropriate for this special occasion! I decided since I was going to be making cookies for both a boy and girl it would be fun to include blue & pink into the color scheme and do some monogramed cookies!

I also did some crosses with blue & pink polka dots that I think turned out super cute!

I packaged the cookies in individual bags and tied them with blue & pink ribbons and they were off to KY for the Sunday baptism! Later that day I got the sweetest message from little Kaylee thanking me for her cookies! Katie, her mom was in the background coaching her on what to say over the cute!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Hostess Chocolate

This weeks cupcake takes me back to my childhood! I don't know about you but when I was growing up I used to love eating the Hostess chocolate cupcakes filled with the vanilla cream center and chocolate frosting. And lets not forget about those signature white curls on top!

I remember my mom would take us to the bread store every week and I would walk up and down the isles looking at all the sweet treats...twinkies, ho ho's, ding dongs, and sno balls but would always grab a pack of the Hostess cupcakes as my special treat! I just couldn't resist these chocolate cupcakes calling my name! I think it's their signature squiggle on top that really catches your eye and draws you in!

I thought it would be fun to try and re-create this popular cake! I turned to Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and discovered recipes that would work for the cake, filling and icing. I must admit these tasted pretty close to the real thing!

Just look at that cream filled center...don't you just want to sink your teeth into one of these?

Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes (my version of the cake using recipes from Martha Stewart)

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 2 dozen)

-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
-2 1/2 cups sugar
-2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
-1 1/4 teaspoons salt
-2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
-1 1/4 cups milk
-1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
-1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups warm water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add the eggs and yolk, the milk, oil, vanilla, and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool slightly. Invert cupcakes onto the rack; then reinvert and let them cool completely, top sides up.
Seven-Minute Frosting (used for cream filling and squiggles on top of cupcake)
Recipe makes about 8 cups (I cut the recipe in half and still had extra left over)

-1 1/2 cups sugar
-2 tablespoons light corn syrup
-6 large egg whites
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and the egg whites. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
  • Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Use immediately.
Chocolate Ganache (used for chocolate cupcake frosting)
Makes about 3 cups (I cut the recipe in half and still had extra left over)

Ganache will thicken as it sits. To cover a cake, it should be pourable but still thick enough to coat. If not, place the bowl of ganache over a pan of simmering water and stir until it reaches the right consistency.

-2 cups heavy cream
-1 pound best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat bring cream to a full boil; tun off heat. Add the chocolate, and swirl pan to completely cover it with cream. Let stand about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk mixture until smooth. Transfer to a clean bowl. Let cool, stirring frequently.

To assemble the cupcakes follow these steps:
1.Place seven-minute frosting in a piping bag fitted with Wilton tip 230.
2.Place tip straight up and down inside the cupcake about mid way down, squeeze and release. The inside of the cupcake will be filled with the frosting.
3.Continue to repeat this step until all cupcake centers have been filled.
4.Dip tops of cupcakes into ganache mixture and repeat until all cupcakes are covered.
5.Place chocolate covered cupcakes in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to set up.
6.Fill another piping bag with remaining seven-minute frosting fitted with a small round tip (Wilton # 2 or #3 will work). Pipe on the squiggles on top of the cupcake!
7.Take a bite!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

I've been Featured!

Today was an exciting day...I was featured on LilSugar under their "What's it going to Bee" article talking about gender reveal baby parties! I couldn't believe it...somebody wanted to feature my little old blog! Rebecca Gruber, the Associate Editor emailed me yesterday asking permission to use one of my photos for her article....of course I said YES! I had never heard of the site LilSugar before. Wow, what an incredible site that provides so much fun information for moms & kids. And I love the name...anything with "sugar" in it sounds good to me!

Maybe you all remember last month that I did a post called The Big Reveal. It was about my friend Kelly who is currently pregnant with twins! She wanted to have a party and reveal the sex of the babies inside of cakes with the layers being colored pink for girl or blue for boy. Well she asked me to be her cake lady for the event and I accepted!

To keep the colors gender neutral before the big reveal we decided on a teal and red color scheme with polka dots...the cakes turned out so cute!

Here's a clip from the LilSugar site with my cakes...they are the ones that are red & blue polka dots with a picture of Kelly below showing a slice of cake! If you haven't seen this post on my blog check it out here to find the sex of both the babies!

If you want to read the entire article and see the other fun cakes featured on LilSugar check it out here.

Thanks LilSugar for featuring the Twins Cakes!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Hope everyone is enjoying spending time with their families today!

Unfortunately I do not live in the same city or even same state as my mom. She is 725 miles away in KY and I'm down south in Mobile, AL so I only got to wish her happy Mother's Day over the phone. Last year my husband and I decided to drive up and surprise her for mother's day and her birthday since it was on the same weekend, let's just say she was in complete shock! The whole ride up we kept calling her and telling her how we were heading to the beach and making up stories of our plans for the day! Little did she know a few hours later we would be sitting at one of her favorite restaurants as she walked in with my sister, talk about a big surprise!

This year we were not able to make the same trip to KY so I wanted to come up with a surprise for my mom to show her how much I appreciate her. So I got this crazy idea to mail her one of my homemade cakes when I was looking at the blog A Party Style. This lady made an adorable birthday cake in a can for her friend's 40th birthday. She shipped it in the mail and it survived the journey arriving all in one piece! So I figured what the heck I would give this a try!

So I made a yellow cake with buttercream frosting, placed fondant overtop to secure the cake and then went to town decorating with hearts and "Love you MOM" in purple, pink and red. I happily went to the UPS store and asked the lady to ship my cake. She said no problem, we do this all the time and the cakes make it there fine. I was still a little hesitant as I had never shipped a cake in the mail before only some cookies, but the lady who helped me made it sound like it would be fine.

Well 2 days later I get a call from my mom saying "I got a nice crumb cake in the mail today" followed by laughter! I just knew at that moment that my cake did not survive the journey across the states from AL to KY. She said "I have no clue what it was suppose to look like but it tastes good". Then we both just continued to laugh on the phone. I told her to stop eating it and to call my sister to come take a picture of it so I could see what this cake wreck looked liked. In the meantime I sent her a picture of what the "before" cake should have looked like and then anxiously awaited for my sister's email to see what the "after" cake looked like. I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened her is like half of the cake almost disappeared and where did all of the fondant go?

Maybe my mistake was not filling the entire can with cake, there must have been too much empty space in the can. Looks like I won't be making any more cakes in a can for a while!

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cupcake a Week: Giant Cupcake Round 2 & Lessons Learned

After a disaster with my first attempt at making a giant cupcake I decided to give it another try...I was not going to be defeated by the giant cupcake pan! As you all may remember my first giant cupcake was the chocolate and peanut butter swirl with the bottom that collapsed right as i had just finished piping on the icing! I was determined it was the ooey gooey peanut butter center that caused this cupcake to collapse. But after some online research, I think there may have been a few other reasons behind why my cupcake was not stable enough.

I refused to have this devasting cupcake disaster happen again so I did some reasearch on how to actually use the giant cupcake pan. This probably would have been a good idea before my first use...right? So basically I had no choice, I had to figure out how to bake and decorate a successful giant cupcake since I had a friend who asked me to make one for her co-worker as a retirement cake! The pressure was on, and I needed to figure this out fast!

So here are some GIANT cupcake lessons learned & tips to follow:

1.Bake LOW & SLOW to avoid what is called "cake lava"...aka collapsing cupcake! Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes(My first attempt I put the oven on 350 degrees...afterall that is the universal baking temperature right? Well that was mistake see the edges were baking and getting done but the center was not, finally I just had to pull the cupcake out of the oven with a not so firm center so that the edges wouldn't be over done, HUGE mistake)

2.Fill each side of the pan just a little over half way full! You will use about 10 cups of batter total.

3.Do not fill both the bottom of the cupcake and top of the cupcake pan with batter at the same time! Add batter to the bottom cupcake portion of the pan first and bake for about 10-15 minutes. This is because the bottom of the cupcake holds more batter than the top part, so you don't want to bake them for the same amount of time or else the top part of the cake will be over done! Add batter to the top part of the cupcake after 10-15 minutes and continue baking the entire cake for another 45-60 minutes, continuing to check your cake.

I decided to take a whole new approach to the decorating this time around as well. Last time I piped buttercream on the bottom and top portions of the cupcake, which is fine but since I was going for an all chocolate look, the feel of the cupcake just kind of disappeared! This time I wanted to make the cupcake look like it had a wrapper around the bottom like a standard cupcake would. I asked my Wilton cake decorating teach what she recomended and she said to turn the cupcake pan over and roll out fondant to create a circle and then mold the fondant to the outer shape of the cupcake pan...great idea! Let the fondant harden on the cupcake pan and then very gently pry it off with a tapered spatula and place your cupcake inside. I did pipe a little buttercream on the cupcake to allow for the fondant to stick.

I then used a 1M decorating tip and piped swirls of buttercream around the top of the cupcake and added a few royal icing flowers for decorations!

I'm pleased with how this cupcake turned out, and I even had a little bit of batter left over so I made 10 mini cupcakes to go along with it.

The recipe I used for the cupcake was Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate!
If you've had any giant cupcake disasters I'd love to hear about them! Or if you have any tips for baking/decorating this oversized cupcake send them my way!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My First Basketweave Cake

Last week I completed my third Wilton Cake Decorating class "Flowers and Borders". As you can see from this cake we definitely learned how to make a bunch of different royal icing flowers but also learned how to create the basketweave pattern using buttercream.

I really enjoyed learning to create the basketweave pattern, it definitely takes some concentration and counting in the beginning so that you make sure and space all your "posts" (vertical lines) and your "rails" (horizontal lines) correctly in order to get the woven look. Luckily all of my posts and rails met up at the end to complete the oval shape of my cake! I can't wait to try this technique again on a larger size cake.
I remember our rehearsal dinner cake for our wedding was a 3 tier square cake with a chocolate basketweave decorated with strawberries..that was a beautiful cake! Now I understand and appreciate how much time goes into creating such an intricate pattern. But don't let the basketweave intimidate you, it is really quite simple once you get the pattern started, you get into a rythm and it just comes naturally.

The first 3 weeks of class all of our time was spent on learning how to make different types of royal icing flowers. I had no clue you could make cake flowers out of royal icing, for some reason I was thinking that was only used to decorate sugar cookies, I sure was wrong! The flowers dry hard and can be stored for a very long time if kept in a sealed container and out of sunlight to prevent them from fading.

My favorite flower was the daffodil. For some reason out of all the flowers we learned this one just came the easiest to me. I could make these all day long. I love the pointed petals and the trumpet shaped center sticking out!

My second favorite flower was the pansy, which is the purple and yellow flower above. I love these two colors together! We also learned how to make royal icing birds by using a tracing technique and allowing them to dry and harden before placing them on the cake, similar to how you would ice a sugar cookie.

I'll leave you with one last look at the side view of my basketweave and rope border with flower accents! I'd love to do a tutorial on the basketweave technique and all the various types of royal icing flowers sometime soon. Not only do the flowers go great on cakes but I think they would look super cute on top of a cupcake too! I see many more royal icing flowers in my near future!
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