Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wilton Decorating Basics 1 - Class 1

I'm not sure if you remember, but I kind of like baking. And I also have been attempting some fancy cake decorating. You might remember this cake I made a year and half ago for my future sister-in-law. Well, the whole experience was a little bit of a disaster. It took forever to make, I went out of town for work through the whole week leading up to the party, and then no one ate the cake (well, no one at the party - my co-workers were all very happy with that treat)! Anyway, the stuff I didn't blog about were things like, I didn't know about a crumb coat. I KNOW, RIGHT?! How could I not know about a crumb coat! And I didn't really know how to evenly roll fondant. Or how to lay it out on the cake. Or how to make anything else from fondant aside from the cookie cutters I already had. And how to pipe icing nicely. Basically, I baked some cake, made some frosting, rolled some fondant, and stuck little pieces of fondant on. And I was a little bummed. The cake was pretty, but I know I could've done better.

When I was at Michaels buying material for said cake, I saw signs for Wilton decorating classes. I thought, oh that would be fun! And then got distracted by other things. Fast forward to October, and I was in Michaels again buying some crafts for a wedding-related matter, and I saw signs again. This time I thought, oh that would be fun! And when I was checking out, I signed up for the class! So, for the next 3 weeks (and 4 classes), I'll be learning the basics of cake decorating. There are a total of 4 classes offered at Michaels, so I'm going to try to take all four before the wedding.

Listen, I know I'm crazy. But December was the best month to start. I've just finished Finals (woooo turned in my final exam last weekend!) and my next semester doesn't start until the END of January, which gives me plenty of time to knock classes 1 and 2 out of the way. After that? Well, February and March will only be busy with work, wedding planning, school, and house hunting. But I need a little "me" time. I think it's worth it to spend one night a week learning how to make pretty baked goods. The best part? I find the whole experience very calming. For example, yesterday was class one, and I had one of the worst work-days I've had in a long time. I was raging all the way home. But by the end of the class? CALM, cool as a cucumber, relaxed! In short, Amazing! So why not take a few hours to myself a week to learn a new skill and have fun? Who knows, maybe I'll even decide at the end of the 4 classes that I'm up for the challenge of teaching them too?!?!

Anyway, it's hard to take pictures in class because my hands get frosted very quickly and because we move on FAST, so here's a picture of the finished product. We used a #18 star tip to practice. Next week we're working on cakes!
Photo by shirinrose

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Prep - Cupcakes!

Cupcakes are one of the more difficult baked goods to travel with, at least in my experience. If we bring cupcakes to our Thanksgiving dinner I'll probably have to bring tools to pipe the frosting on once we get there; not ideal, but not impossible. And some of these look too delicious! They're probably worth the hassle!

Blue Moon and Corona Cupcakes
 Molten Marshmallow-Chocolate Cakes
 Chocolate Icebox Cupcakes
Pumpkin S'mores Cupcake

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Prep - Cookies!

This year I'm going back home for Thanksgiving. But, instead of cooking dinner we'll be going out to a restaurant. The truth is, we always cook way too much and then have leftovers that end up going bad because they don't get eaten. And now that my parents are empty nesters, they definitely can't finish the amount of leftovers we'd have due to my dad and I going overboard (which we always do).

Every year we do a day after Thanksgiving "Thanksgiving dinner" with some family a few hours away. This year we've been asked to bring dessert. Specifically something chocolate. This might have something to do with our dessert last year "Prince William's Chocolate Biscuit Cake." Decadent. Heavenly. We're definitely making that again.

But, last night I was on the phone with my dad and he said, "I'm in a lazy mood. Let's just make cookies." Dad, COOKIES?!?!? JUST cookies?!?! Do you KNOW ME AT ALL?!?!?! Then he said, "Well maybe that's just the mood I'm in today. Maybe tomorrow I'll want to make something else."

So today I give you some pinterest cookie recipes. By the time I get home on November 21, we'll probably have decided to make a little bit of everything. So over the next few weeks I'll  share a little bit of everything. And then I'll show you what we finally decide on!

These are my favorite cookie/bar options:
Mini Homemade Pop Tarts
 Apple Cider Caramel Cookies
 German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
 Mint Chocolate Cookies
 Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Salted Caramel Brownies
 Peanut Butter-Toffee Turtle Cookies