I want to thank you for choosing to check out my blog. I appreciate honest comments on what you think about my products. I welcome suggestions :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Catching Up! -Cont: Happy Birthday Fairy Cakes.

Hi Everyone!!!

I figured my last 2 posts were long so I waited a couple of days before I posted so you can take a break from reading :)

Today, I am going to tell you a bit about September 2012. It was interesting. In a good way.
First of all, September 3rd, is Fairy Cakes' Birthday!! We turned 1 Year Old! Yeih!!!
In the 1 year I've been baking as Fairy Cakes, I took on more than 170 orders!

(A little birthday Clip Art won't hurt to set up the mood...even if it's been over a month since we celebrated!)
Also, I realized, that the best selling cake for my business is my Carrot Cake. I call it "The BEST Carrot Cake." If you live in Cyprus, you MUST try it! If you don't, then sorry, but how am I going to send it to you? It's a good enough excuse though to visit Cyprus. It's a beautiful island...with a great tasting Carrot Cake ;)
You can see pictures of it at this post: More Cakes Coming Up.
So because of the birthday AND realizing which cake is the top selling one, one thought came to mind: Promote my Hummingbird Cake (for those that don't know, it like a Carrot Cake, really, but instead of carrots, it has bananas). For those who like bananas, it's a very similar cake to the carrot one, with the same frosting. So I posted the following picture on my Facebook Page and asked people to try and GUESS what it is. The ones who guessed right would be in a draw to win a FREE Hummingbird Cake.

Just to help everyone out a bit, I clearly said it wasn't a Carrot Cake. I had a guess of a Walnut Cake (which put me into thinking...hmm... Walnut Cake, I should try to bake one of those), I did have a guess of Carrot Cake, but mostly, people called and asked because they didn't want to be "wrong." I even hinted that it was one of the new entries in my latest menu. I had one right guess, and that's where the cake will go. Yes, WILL go, because the girly who won is a student in England, and I have the same deal as the Carrot Cake. SENDING it is NOT an option! So I will wait until she returns for Christmas so I can bake it for her. She was actually one of the first people who tried my Banana Pudding.
But anyway, the BEST present I have to my Fairy Cakes, is a LOGO!!!!! I was looking around for one for so long, and I was always picky with it. I found this girly, by mistake of course, just browsing on Facebook. She is Purple Scrunch, and she doesn't charge an arm and a leg for doing your logo. I picked something I could build on later. For now, I just wanted something to go on my menu and my stickers and bozes and such.

What do you think? I love it!! Thank you Laura! I especially like the little wings on the cupcake!

I will leave you with my lovely logo for now, and I will tell you about some pirates on my next blog post :)

Thank you for reading, and please, like my page on Facebook. Fairy Cakes

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Catching Up! -Continued: My Unsuccessful Birthday Cake

Hi Everyone!

I hope I didn't bore you yesterday! I just realized that yesterday's post was longer than what I thought 24 hours ago.. and 24 hours ago? I thought it was loooong! *yikes*

So, where was I? Oh yes, meal planning. I love it! Can't wait to get back on it!
Meanwhile, I got sick during the last week of August. I had a terrible, over-a-week-long migraine. It caused me to burn some brownies for the first time EVER, AND pur baking soda instead of powder. The thing was...they were for a customer. So even though I was feeling horrible, I baked the order again! I was too sick to even think of taking a picture of the brownies so we can all laugh about it now. I left them on the table, delivered the brownies, and got home to a further disappointment: my dog, Yellow, ate ALL OF THEM! She didn't even leave the crumbs! This is another something (along with the burning of the brownies) that had never happened before. No matter what, she NEVER grabs anything off of the table. I guess she knew they were going to waste. At least I felt that my brownies weren't THAT bad burnt! (Yellow tends to be picky with her food!) I'm just glad the animal protection unit didn't come to arrest me!

Then my birthday came along. It's on the 27th of August. The same week i was sick. Whoever called to wish me "Happy Birthday" I automatically said "come over for cake tonight." Only thing was, I only prepared 1 cake. A Maltesers Ice Cream Cake. So I whipped up a Carrot Cake, and I had some Peanut Butter Cookies I treated everyone on at work for my birthday, but still felt out of it.
So before serving the birthday cake, which was the Maltesers Cake, I put some chocolate ganache, let it freeze and then added some whipped heavy cream to decorate it with some maltesers. By the time I went from the kitchen to the table on the porch where 12 people were sitting (yeah.. I thought only 4 were going to show) the top layer with the ganache and the candles went flying off! We saved it before it fell on the floor so we could scoop it into peoples' plates.
Needless to say, people prefered the Carrot Cake.
These are the Peanut Butter Cookies I made this year, something I also made last year and people went crazy over.

Coming up soon: The Logo I promised, some lowered calorie stuff, and the Blog's Birthday! Hooray!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching Up!

Goodmorning Everyone!!

I know...I haven't been here for-EVER! Instead of telling you all these excuses for why I haven't posted in sooooo long, I decided I was going to tell you what's been going on in my life since my last post, which was late June.

Those of you that know me, also know that I am getting married this coming November.
I had posted it here along with my New Years Resolutions (yes...more than one!). #5 was "eating healthier" because I wanted to be healthy and also lose 25 pounds for the wedding. I am happy to anounce that I lost 30+ pounds!!! I am ready to be a bride! [Staying away from all those sweets I was making wasn't as easy as I thought, but I managed!]

If you live in Cyprus, or know someone from here, then you know how HUGE weddings here are. Mine is going to be relatively "small" with only about 1000 people invited (no.. I didn't accidentally add a 3rd zero... I meant one THOUSAND). It's tradition..I wanted to avoid it and have a smaller wedding, but I couldn't. So preparations for such big event start early on.

In July, I ordered my wedding dress. I am not saying anything more than that because we wouldn't want my fiance what it looks like - I promise pictures AFTER the wedding!

Around the same time, we started to design the renovation of the house. We had real bad luck with that, but without getting into any details, I will let you know that you should ALWAYS hire someone with the proper degree (don't be embarassed to ask to see it, it's their proof that they are good enough for the job you need done) and also, ask around for prices! I found an architect for 5000 euro CHEAPER than the designer we hired at the beginning who lied and said she could do the architectural plans for us. But as I said, I'm not going into details. Let's just leave it at that (the whole thing gets me really angry!). Regardless, it took a few months of running around and making appointments with civil engineers and the designer and contractors...we decided to leave this for AFTER the wedding. Good things come to those who wait, right?

Even though this blog is about my passion for baking, I also LOVE to cook. After I finished my diet (which had a set menu for about 6 months) I started my stabilizing. It's for another 4 months and you try to keep your weight stable so you don't gain everything back on (which happens most of the time once you finish a diet... I know, it happened to me, too!).
So the fun part was that I got to create my own menu, but follow some basil rules (that are harder to keep than I thought) and also have a complete FREE day! That's when I started to do Menu Planning.
I was really excited at first, keeping up with all the grocery shopping and recipes, but at some point, the wedding took the best of me. Because remember those 1000 people I mentioned above? Well, someone has to invite them! Meaning that me and my fiance go to some of these peoples' houses, and being a hospitable people in general, we are always invited for a cup of coffee and some cake or sweets or whatever else these people have to offer...unfortunatelly for me, no seems too rude, not finishing your cake ALSO rude.. so I end up drinking too much coffee and too much sugar with no nutrients coming my way. AGRRRR!!! Only one week to go and then I am back to my menu planning (which I looooove!!)

Following my menu planning, I also created a great recipe folder. I don't have a picture of it, but I should tell you what I did in a later post (or this one will be miles long!) I did a binder for food, and I am going to be making one for desserts AFTER the wedding.

During my menu planning time though, I made some desserts I had never made before so I can try new things.
I had some extra Macadamia nuts at home, and I decided to make Key Lime Bars with them because my cousin visited from England, who LOVES sour things. I mean, if you see how many lemons he uses for each piece of chicken he eats, you'll think he's having a slice of chicken with his lemonade!
I thought I had a picture of them, but I can't find it anywhere to show you. They didn't look like anything special, but they tasted real good.

I also saw a recipe on the cover of a GoodFood magazine that I tried. Now that one I loved! AND I have a picture!
Peach Melba Cheesecake (no-bake).

I also made some Chocolate Cherry Tart. It was also really yummy.

Wow this IS a really loooong post. I guess there is a lot of catching up to do! I will leave it off here and continue tomorrow. I have exciting things to share, like a logo (I KNOW!) and a competition, and some Pirate Cupcakes! All in good time!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Test Kitchen: Healthy Cookies

Goodmorning Everyone!!

I hope everyone is doing good. I'm doing great. Why? Because I love it when people give me a baking task and I complete it successfully! One of the girls at work likes to eat healthy. Or I should say healthier than most. She also goes to the gym, so she doesn't want to eat a Chocolate Chip Cookie and have all her work go to waste. So she asked me if I can bake her some low calorie-healthy cookies, because healthy doesn't mean no treats! I went through my books and did some research and then picked out a few recipes, and finally, I baked 2. One close to what the recipe said, and the other I kind of changed some things...many things.

The one I followed closer, came out like this:

These bad boys are only about 50-55 calories. So I named them "Low-Calorie Lemon Cookies." They have 1/2 quantity flour and 1/2 yellow cornmeal (the healthy ingredient, with many benefitial nutrients, which I read all about on this web site.

The other option, were, of course, Oatmeal Cookies. So I took one of my Oatmeal Cookie recipes and played around. This is what I came up with:

I was super excited to tell everyone about this version of my cookies, because they hold many healthy ingredients. Such as:
Whole Wheat flour instead of All-Purpose
Brown Sugar instead of Granulated Sugar
A bit of Honey
Oatmeal: helps lower cholesterol
Cranberries: lower the chance of getting urinary infections, and many other benefits especially in women
Dark Chocolate Chips: helps keep a healthy heart (as good as green tea and blueberries, because it comes from cocoa beans. I read all about it here if you are interested).

I took some of each cookie to my customer and I left them there for her to try. The other girls at the shop tried some, too and also, our neighbor.
Now I am about to bake another dozen of these, reaching the 14th dozen of cookies I baked in the last 7 days. I guess both these cookies should be added to my menu as "The Healthy Choice."

What do you think??

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Red Velvet...Anything!

Hi Everyone!!
I hope you're all doing well. I'm doing great. I have a wonderful assignment I'm excited to talk about, but without pictures yet. So I'll just show you some Red Velvet pictures to go with the post :) A post with no pictures is no fun at all!!

So a girlie I know called me and asked if i can bake her some healthy cookies with low calories. So I came up with some ideas, found some recipes from my trusted books, and this weekend I am hitting the kitchen. I have 5 recipes I want to try, but I'm not sure I will bake them all. I mean...I will get stuck with dozens and dozens of cookies. I was thinking of maybe baking 2 of them, see how she likes them, and then try another 2, and then keep the 5th one for later? I guess we'll see :)
But don't you love this whole expiremental thing? I feel so much better if I'm doing it for a customer rather than just baking in the kitchen to try new things on my own (with my fiance as a test subject, who eats everything anyway!)

But anyways, who likes Red Velvet?? I remember the first time I ever say a Red Velvet recipe I was amazed. I mean...a RED CAKE?? I did give it a try.. it seems like forever ago. I wasn't selling my baked goods back then, I was only doing it for special occations. That's when people started telling me that what I baked was too yummy to go to waste.

This is my 25th Birthday Cake. The inside is a Red Velvet, and the frosting is a Marshmallow frosting I found online. Let me tell ya! Even though people loved it, I found that I had over baked the cake so it was a bit on the dry side, and the Marshmallow Frosting wasn't the greatest match. But i had some cousins visiting from England, and they tried this and LOVED IT! They even told me they found a bakery they go to just for this cake. Btw...the flowers are real. I didn't know where I could find sugarpaste to make sugar ones...speaking of, that's a whole different story, but the first thing I ever did in my life that has to do with confectionary, was the sugar paste roses! I must've been 5 or 6 years old.
What do you think? Not too shabby eih? It was the very first time EVER I had frosted anything!

2 Years after the above picture, I decided I wanted to give it a try to go a bit more pro on this whole baking thing. I made a pricelist, added some of my best recipes on there, downloaded a software that helps you price cakes, and started giving out my menus. I had a tasting event (paired with a birthday party) and my 2nd order was a Red Velvet Cake. Remember this one? That was a whole lot of chaos!

Then I baked one for my neighbor, of which a have a picture of what the inside looks like (but during the cutting of the cake, the picture wasn't all that great) Here it is.

And then, I baked some more Red Velvet Cakes :) But it doesn't stop there. We have all heart of Red Velvet Cupcakes (or most of us). I baked some of those, too. One time, I didn't have enough color, so they seemed like they stayed out in the sun and faded out.. I don't think I have a picture for that (like I'd post it!) Then some other time, I baked them...and I photographed them as if they were models on a catwalk!!

Don't they look pretty? I think they do :). And even though you see it's a Red Velvet on the Cupcake Liner, I had to cut it up so you can reeeeally see the inside.

You know what happened next, right? Well I couldn't take it to the customer like this! So I just had to eat it! (I actually only had 1/4 of it, my fiance the other 1/4 and we took the half to my brother-and-sister-in-law to-be (that's a long word!) so they can try it. Well the rest were for the order I had so I couldn't take them a whole one. It's ok, they understand :)

BUT, the most versatile Red Velvet anything I ever baked was...Red Velvet (drum roll please....) BROWNIES!!! I KNOW, RIGHT? So moist with Cream Cheese Frosting on top.. yumm!!! I baked these for my Valentine's Bake Sale, but I hadn't taken a picture before I put them out on the table. My aunt remembered these and ordered them for a meeting she was having, so I took the chance to photograph them. They are how you see them: moist on the inside, crispy on top, covered with Cream Cheese Frosting. AND, they are Brownies! So there's melted chocolate inside there!

This is it you guys. Many pretty pictures for you to look at until next time :)

Don't forget to like Fairy Cakes on Facebook, too.

Have a great day :!) -xoxo-

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Hello everyone!
I woke up this morning and I couldn't wait to tell you about my news!

It's been a while since I last posted any yummy cupcakes, so I decided I will share my NEW flavor with you. I have baked this before, but the thing is I was afraid to put it on the menu. Then a new customer calls, who found me through my Facebook Page, and asked for 3 flavors of Cupcakes, but nothing with problem but most of my Cupcakes have some kind of chocolate something in them..!! Thinking to be done: Vanilla Cupcakes? Sure, a classic, we can put those in. Then no Chocolate Cupcakes, but how about Nutella Cupcakes? Well the cupcake is Chocolate with Nutella filling so again, no. How about Banana Cupcakes?? But I make them with a Chocolate Frosting so ...NO! I did the Red Velvet ones for her because you can barely tell there's cocoa in there. We should have a voting...the cocoa is only there for the color, right? I should do a blog post discussing Red Velvet! Then the other option was Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting but the customer did mention these were going to children in school so not a lot of children care for lemon-anything. So that's out.

You know what comes next...right? I had to put the missing flavor into play. I thought, who doesn't like crumbled cookies? ON TOP of their Frosting? Young ones or old ones? If I could, I'd smash the Cupcake into the Digestive Cookies (I'd use Graham Crackers if I lived in America but *sniff* we don't have those), only if it wasn't for destroying that beautiful swirl of the Frosting. I loooooove crust anything, so you know I love the idea of this Cupcake.

Am I keeping you in suspence? You want to see the picture, right? Ok ok here's the picture, we'll chat more below it.

See the strawberries at the bottom? And the crumbs on top? Ooooh Heaven!!! (...ok just don't tell my nutritionist I had one of these.. I will find a different excuse for not loosing all the weight I was supposed an alien forced me to eat it or something?)

I did 2 Cupcake deliveries right after I finished assembling these...and then went on to a BBQ and took some with me to see what people think. I am getting to the part where I didn't clean the kitchen afterwards and now it's bugging me. So off I go to work, and then straight to the kitchen cleaning..and living room cleaning (that's where the picture taking took place).

Oh oh and one more thing...I had some time on my hands yesterday so I took some really nice pictures of the Cupcakes I baked for my new customer. I will be sharing soon because I am REALLY escited with the result! You'd think a professional photographer took the pictures. Can't wait to share :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Holy Cow Cake

Hi everyone!! As promised, this is the picture of the complete cake from this post. I'm hoping to have the professional picture emailed to me soon by the photographer at the baptism so I can show you :).
As you can tell the theme was "Cow" and I decided that instead of making a 3 tier cake with a cow print, to make the top one a little different. Like a cow in a medow.

Everything is edible on the cake exept the cow. I thought it would be nice for the mum of the baby to keep the cow as a souvenir from the baptism, plus it was too cute of a cow to bypass!
The inside of the cake is a round version of my hedgehog bars, what many also call "fridge bars" or what we call here in Cyprus "doukissa."

If you can sneak a peak in the back of the cake you can also see the book I used as inspiration for the giant daisy where the cow is sitting "The Art of Cupcakes."

I also baked some Vanilla [medow] and some Chocolate [cow] Cupcakes to match the Cake:

I received good reviews for the Cake. It was a great I would deffinately like to go through again.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Holy Cow!

Goodmorning Everyone!!
So there's a couple of days left for Easter, and also 3 days left for a baptism I'm doing the Cake and Cupcakes for. So I thought I should give you a sneak preview and let you guess what the theme is:

Stay tuned for the picture of the completed cake :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are you Fasting?

Easter is right around the corner, and many people are fasting in preparation for this holiday. And the Greek Orthodox way of fasting is a little stricter than the one my friends used to do when I lived in Los Angeles: they picked 1 thing and stopped doing it for the 40 days of lent.
For example, if they thought they ate too much chocolate during the year, they would completely stop eating anything chocolate for 40 days (Don't panic, this is an example...I do not know anyone who gave up chocolate!).

Are you ready for the Greek Orthodox way? You go VEGAN for 40 days!!! Now if you are vegetarian or vegan, you don't mind, but if you love meat, and CHOCOLATE and all those great sweets that use milk and butter...then WHAT?? (P.S. for those of you that don't know what vegan is..-I recently found out myself. I only knew vegetarian- vegans are those who choose NOT to eat any meat products or products that come from animals such as milk, butter, eggs, etc. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). But don't panic! More and more people are becoming vegan nowadays, so the ideas are starting to flood the internet.

So going back to where many people are fasting...since Easter is around the corner? Ok there. Many are asking for vegan sweets. And the 2 things I have suggested before were my Pecan Bars that I can turn into a Pecan Tart, and the Crumb-Topped Apple Pie. Simple modification: Instead of butter for the crust, you use shortening. But these are what people are ALREADY having for the fasting, so they want something else, something different. So I stumbled upon a Chocolate Cupcake Recipe in one of my books, that looked a little like this:

These Bad Boys?? ALL VEGAN!! Even the frosting! There's some basic things that change in a vegan recipe. Instead of butter, you use oil/shortening, instead of milk, you use soy milk or almond milk (depending of the flavor you want to give your cupcakes, too). And of course milk chocolate changes for dark chocolate, since the latter doesn't contain milk.

The frosting came out bright white since it had no butter. I used shortening and soy milk along with powdered sugar and a bit of vanilla.

I made these for my mum's birthday. She wanted to treat everyone at work, so I made mini cupcakes for her. She said people were fighting over them. I'm glad to hear that. My fiance ate about 8 of the regular size cupcakes of these. I guess it's a success!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Carnival Bake Sale

It's true. I did 2 bake sales in 1 month. Actually, less than 2 weeks apart from each other!
After my Valentine's Bake Sale I was asked by one of my customers if I could have a bake sale at her private school. Of course I didn't mind! I love to bake! I love to sell. I love to bake sale :)

Our early discussions were of an Easter Bake Sale, but thought that the Carnival which was much closer was going to be more fun. So in a heartbeat, I picked a few things I thought would be a hit for a Bake Sale for ages 6-12.

The problem was that I didn't want to bake decorated cookies (or decorated anything) to keep the cost down for the young ages I was going to be serving. I did have some really good ideas for masks and clowns but I had to stay away from them. I sat down and thought...what reminds me of the Carnival? My main conclusion was many colors. So here is what I came up with:

These are my Hedgehog Bars. Everyone SUPER likes them, and they are simple enough for kids to like, too. The only thing is that I usually add walnuts. I remember that as a child, I disliked any kinds of nuts in my sweets. So instead, I put Smarties (since they are colorful, too). They were the biggest hit of the Bake Sale. Completely SOLD OUT before the event was over. Colorful and deliscious!

Next up are my famous brownies. I was between these Fudgy ones or the Swirly Cheese ones. I picked these for 2 reasons: first, these cost less than the cheesy ones. And second, I wasn't sure the kids were going to like the taste of the cream cheese.
Again I adjusted the recipe to make it more festive. I added some chocolate frosting and sprinkled it with multi-colored non-pareills to add the carnival element to them.

I couldn't be missing the Chocolate Chip Cookies! Everyone likes those! I needed to add some color to them though. That's when I thought of m&m's. They are Chocolate, and they are Color. So instead of Chocolate Chip Cookies, I had m&m Cookies.

The last thing I took with me was, of course, Cupcakes! Instead of making the kiddos choose between Chocolate or Vanilla, I decided to do a twofer! Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting. Why not Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting? For the Color of course. I wanted to be able to have colored frosting. I picked purple and orange.

I was there for a little over 3 hours. I had so much fun with the kids! Some of them were way over adorable, some were cute, all were dressed up for the carnival! 
Thank you u-Learn Education Centre! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Last bits for Valentine's Bake Sale

This post is waaay too late, but better late than never. As I had promised, these are the last few bits of the things I had for my Valentine's Day Bake Sale.

The last post I published was about the Sugar Cookies. Well, these ones I left for this post because they were special. The reason why? Well because I got the idea from the decorated cookie. I saw the picture, but didn't read the instructions, missing an important point: the cotton candy...well it kinda melts. And my house is very humid, do these didn't stay fluffy for too long. But I think I did I pretty good job with them.

What I don't have a picture of, is the brownies I made for the event. Everyone kept asking for brownies instead of cookies, so I thought I'd make different kinds that aren't currently on my menu:

Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting: They went well with Valentine's Day.

White Chocolate Brownies with White Chocolate Glaze: For those who asked me to bake something with white chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Brownies with Cappuccino Buttercream Frosting: For the coffee lovers.

A few days after the Bake Sale, I asked people which brownies they liked the best so I can add them to my menu. I didn't get a clear answer. Some liked the Red Velvet, some the White Chocolate, and others the Cappuccino ones. So I think it is safe to say that I will be adding all 3 flavors on my menu. I also had orders of these from the people that had them during the Bake Sale.

The last thing I made, and it was very last minute, but successful, is Chocolate Covered Marshmallows. I was initially thinking of putting these on sticks, but to keep the cost down and the price much lower, I kept these as "finger" food.

I was so excited about the Bake Sale that I completely forgot to take pictures of the dessert table once it was completed. So here is a picture of me with some of the things I had for sale that day:

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Making of: Sugar Cookies

Hi Everyone!
So here is another episode of "The Making of" for the Valentine's Bake Sale. These are my Sugar Cookies. You can never be missing some decorated cookies for ANY occasion. First off, my Chocolate Sugar Cookies.

This is what they looked like in my sketchbook:

The little grey dot on the side? It resembles a big silver non pareill :).

I was intending for the color to come out as red, but it just kept becoming more and more deep pink. But they still came out good looking ;) I also heard they tasted very good. (See now, I am on a diet, as per my New Years Resolution, so I couldn't taste EVERYTHING. These I did not. At least I'm still on my diet ;) )

Then, I did these little beauties:

What you are looking at are my Sugar Cookies with ...guess whose recipe? I actually did Sugarbelle's Chocolate Royal Icing from her blog The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle. I am a big fan of hers, so one day as I was browsing through her blog, I stumbled upon the recipe. I thought I'd give it a try, and it came out great!! You should try it!

I initially thought I'd do these Round, like my sketch.

But if you remember the Cat Cookies I made for Halloween, I don't own a large enough round cookie cutter. So I used what I had on hand.
The little heart is sugar paste. I thought I'd play a bit with texture and taste rather than do everything with royal icing.

I also made these cookies, but not for the Bake Sale. Well, when I said I was having a Valentine's Bake Sale, I was asked to do some extras for a conference. I thought it'd be special if the cookies were different from what I had to offer for the Bake Sale.

I improvised on these, so I don't have a sketch, either. But everyone was impressed upon delivery. Simple and nice.

I have one more Sugar Cookie I made, but that one is special, so it has to go on its own post ;)
So keep an eye out for it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Making of: Glittered Heart Cookies

Hi Everyone!! I'm back! Well I wasn't gone, I was here. I was just getting prepared for my Valentine's Bake Sale and I also have many orders coming through so I'm busy busy busy.

As I promised, I was going to do a series of "The Making of" posts for my Valentine's goodies. Let's start with the Glittered Heart Cookies. They went on here:

This is my Strawberry Cupcake with Strawberry Frosting. I use fresh strawberries, unless I cannot find them ANYWHERE. It just tastes better this way!!
I saw this picture and I LOVED it, so I wanted to make something like it for Valentine's Day.
The thing is, I couldn't find the iiiity bity plain nonpareills in only red or only pink. So I went online, searched for them, and found them in Los Angeles. (Ironic, right? I used to live there and never looked for anything like it while I was there). So I thought to myself "I can order them...if they get here on time, I can make the cookies. If not...then well I have to find something else to do with the cookies." And they came right on time ;)

I also made a sketch of what I wanted the Cupcakes to look like. I like to keep all my ideas in my sketchbook in case they need altering. Plus, they are all in one place, so I can look at them at any time, brainstorm, and add more.

After I baked some heart shaped Sugar Cookies, I outlined them with a baby pink Royal Icing. And then filled them with the Icing, too. I didn't fill them with the sprinkles until they were partly dry. I had pink and red sugar in there, too, and if I filled the cookies with the sparkly mixture I made, the sugar would've gotten wet.

I am deffinately getting better at this than my first or second time outlining and filling cookies with Royal Icing. First of all, I made sure my icing wasn't too stiff or too wet for the outlining.
And then I used the 10 second (.....right? At least that's how many seconds I waited) know, where you run your knife through the icing and wait 10 seconds until the line is gone? That one. I used it... last time I decorated cookies, I didn't even know this rule existed.

What do you think? These were my favorite, especially pared with the Strawberry Cupcake, from my Valentine's Bake Sale.
Oh, and did I tell you? I created a Facebook Page.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Bake Sale Flyer

I know it's been a while since I last posted, but I've been really busy with orders and with some adjustments at work. Having orders everyday is also a fact around here and a blessing. Meanwhile, I was preparing for my bake sale AND I was thinking about my blog! I miss writing on here.
Next week I will have a "The Making of" series just like I had for the Halloween Bake Sale here, here and here.
For now, here is the Bake Sale Flyer I also posted on Facebook.

What do you think? I downloaded the free illustration and added my own details. Not shabby eih?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Test Kitchen

Goodmorning Everyone!!
I hope you all had a GREAT weekend. Mine was the usual: Work on Saturday, bought some birthday presents after work (I get off at 5, shops close at 7), went to my friend's house for coffee Sunday morning, had some good-tasting lunch at my in-laws' to-be, and spent the afternoon in my kitchen testing recipes :!)

First of all, I have to tell you. I do NOT like coconut. Not the smell or flavor itself, but the texture. I try to omit it from my recipes. But see, my fiance? Well that's his FAVORITE flavor!! So he's been asking me to make him some Coconut Cupcakes since...forever! (Especially after our Christmas Cake was a Coconut Cake really). I had never made them before, so I thought I'd give it a try.

He LOVED them! Especially the Cream Cheese Frosting (I added a bit of almond extract this time - since I was testing - to see the difference from it being plain. My conclusion: Too strong of a flavor).

So, since I made him the Coconut Cupcakes that he REEEeeeeAAAlly liked, I should make something I REEEaaally like too, right? YEAP! I'm a sucker for Strawberry desserts! So the other day I bought some strawberries from this girl (you know, those that sell fruit on the streets, or come by your work? Well she came at the shop where I work and they looked really good, so I grabbed a pack). I had them in the refrigerator for 3 days and didn't know what to do with them. So I asked my friends on Facebook, and they suggested the Strawberry Mousse (it was either that or Strawberry Cupcakes with Orange Frosting-recipes I've made before and love, I just couldn't choose all by myself).


After I took the pictures, I realized I never left a strawberry behind to decorate! I haven't had one yet. They needed to set and cool in the refrigerator, so I will have one today. I'm pretty sure that they are reeeeeeeeally tasty :) Because they have strawberries in them! You can tell from the picture that this is homemade and not the packaged kind: You can see the strawberry bits!

Other than testing in the kitchen and making yummy gooods, I also baked a Red Velvet Cake for an order (I also baked brownies, but I didn't take a picture of those for you).

This also falls under Test Kitchen because I had many people try it and tell me what they think. Everyone said it was reeeally good...I wasn't all that pleased with it. I think it's because I like the cupcake version much better....due to the fact that cupcakes have a higher cuteness factor!

So, what did you guys do this weekend? Anyone baked something new??

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chocolate Blackout Cake

No, I haven't forgotten about you. It's just that I've been super busy with life and baking. I thought while I have a Cheesecake baking in the oven, I'd share with you what's up with me.

First of all.... I took the biggest step EVER for my career. I. Quit. My. Job. That's right! It was really hard for me to do, but I have given my resignation letter, and as of February 1st, I will be a full time baker! Yeih me!!!

Then, I baked a LOT of Carrot Cakes. Apparently, that's my forte. Everyone LOVES my Carrot Cake. You've seen it before right here. I baked 2 of those today, 1 yesterday, and after I'm done with the Cheesecake in the oven? Yeap, that's right! I'm baking yet another cake for a delivery tomorrow morning. I also had a girl ask me if I can turn it into her Engagement Cake. That's how much she liked it! So I'm working on some ideas for that. 200 people. Wow! A Carrot Cake for 200 people that doesn't look like a wedding cake. Ok.. we'll see how that goes.

Also, yesterday was one of my bestest friend's wedding. It was also the groom's birthday so the bride asked me to bake him a Chocolate Birthday Cake. So I did a Chocolate Blackout Cake. Have you ever had one of those before? It's strictly for Chocolate LOVERS! It's a Chocolate Cake basically, and instead of having frosting, it has Chocolate Custard.
I worte Happy Birthday for him in Greek, and then I closed the top of the box so I could deliver it to the hotel...and the cake was too tall and all the writing came off! So...since I was going to be late, I rewrote it with what I had on hand, and it came out looking a little bulky.

It looks all nice and innocent here, and look how it looks with the writing.

See the yuck-y "O" on the first word? (For all those wondering, it's Happy Birthday in Greek). Well..remember how I said "what I had on hand?" What I DID have on hand last minute, was some Cream Cheese Frosting that was left over from the Carrot Cake I baked in the morning. I mised it with some blue paste color and voia-la! It looks gooey, too, but the whole "birthday" deal lasted about 30 seconds, there was no picture taken of the cake and people just downed it! So other than this picture I am sharing with you guys, no one else will know!! It was a surprise so the photographer didn't get the chance to snap a picture. Thank. You!

Off I go to take out the Cheesecake from the oven. This is how my Cheesecake looks like:

I call it "The New Yorker." The ultimate New York Cheesecake.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

I hope everyone had a good time whatever it is they did for the turn of the year. I stayed home with my family...fell asleep at 11:15pm...woke up at 11:55pm, turned the year with my fiance, and then OPENED PRESENTS!!! It is Greek tradition that presents are opened on New Year's Day instead of Christmas Day like the end of the world. See it's Saint Vasilios Day and he is Santa Claus (instead of Saint Nick). And instead od cookies and milk, we leave out some wine for him and a St. Vasilios Pie that we make. He is supposed to have a slice and then bless the rest for us. We also leave our wallets by the fireplace where the pie and wine are so he can bless them to be full all year long.
The fun part about the pie is that there's always a coin hidden in there, and the one who finds it is supposed to be lucky for the whole year to come. You keep it in your wallet (it's covered in you know which one it is and not spend it) and it keeps your wallet full. My mum made the pie.. it tasted mmmhmmm good! Last year I found the lucky coin..this year, my mum did.

But enough with tradition! What did you do for the turn of the year? Well, last week we did open presents (just not from Santa) and I got a porcelain 3-tier cupcake platter from my fiance, and a Waffle maker from my mum. Santa brought me a cookbook for waffles! I was supposed to make waffles for breakfast this morning but Santa also brought me a PlayStation game and (yes yes.. I am a geek also!) I played that instead!!! Ever since I started baking full time, I haven't been playing any games (I'm all grown up and such) and it was fun playing for a bit.

I also wrote down some goals for myself.. see I'm trying to actually open this bakery thing I want to do.. meanwhile, I have to attend a wedding this year, too. MY WEDDING! So I thought I'd share some of my goals with you.

#1. Plan my wedding.
Even though I have many things done already, I want to plan as much as I can way before the end so I can be stress free the last month. My wedding is in November. I wanted a cool wedding. I'm a sucker for Fall.

#2. Open a Bakery.
Or at least, take all the steps to getting closer to my dream. Finances are the one thing keeping me away, but hopefully I can get that down before the end of the year. I have a whole 365 days to go!

#3. Organize!!!
Those that know me, know I'm an organizing FREAK and a perfectionist to what I do. Thing is, I organize EVERYTHING but my house. Why? I'm too tired once I walk through the door to organize the house, too. So my goal is to keep everything organized so I can have a clutter free life! Plus, I'm an organizing FREAK I said.. it will be fun to do this!! I made a binder and everything! Can't wait!

#4. Keep up with my friends.
I know this might seem stupid to some, but ever since I took the position of being the Store Manager at the clothing store I work at, I haven't been keeping up with my friends. I decline outings (I always seem to be so tired...!), I forget name days, and I forget birthdays. Not acceptable! The old me would NEVER EVER forget birthdays. I like making cards, and I like buying presents. I LOVE the expression on my friends' faces when they open a card with sentiments and a successful present. See, I pay attention to what my friends like and I usually buy nice presents, meaningful ones!

#5. Be healthy.
Since I have the wedding and all, I need to lose like 25 pounds (I'm not THAT fat, but I do have my love handles). I gained it all this past year after my 2 surgeries. So I know I can lose it all. I also want to make sure I eat more healthy. Ever since I decided I will be on a healhier eating schedule, I thought it was OK for me to eat as much junk as I can so I don't miss out on anything. If you went on a diet before, then you know the feeling. So now I feel overly disgusted with junk food and cheap sweets. I'm going to eat healthier and do those exercises I have on my PlayStation (see, it comes in handy!)

Tell me what your goals are for the year. Any resolutions on your mind?

And before I leave you, here is a picture of my Chocolate Almond Crisps. I think I did a pretty good job with this shot!!