Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you have your stretchy pants handy this weekend, I know my husband does lol!

So, I wanted to share the recipe for the cherry pie I just made, since the recipe was shared so freely with me!

For the record, I hate my pie plate, but before this recipe, I never considered buying a better one ;)

The Pastry (makes top and bottom)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 baking powder
1/3 cup COLD water

I've made pie pastry before so I didn't ask for specific instructions on getting it ready for the pie plate. I just mixed it all together, divided it in half, and refrigerated one half. I rolled out the first half between two sheets of parchment paper until I was satisfied with the size and thickness. Then I pressed it into the pan.

I filled it (recipe below), and then rolled out the second half. I cut it into one-inch strips with a pizza cutter, and followed the directions here. It looks complicated but I promise you it isn't. If I can do it, anyone can do it!

I trimmed and pinched the edges as best I could with my crappy pie plate... lol! Then I baked it in a preheated oven at 450°F for ten minutes. Then I reduced the temperature to 350°F and continued to bake it for 30 minutes. YUM!

Pie Filling

2 cans cherry pie filling (any brand)
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I only sprinkled some in, I didn't measure)
1/2 - 3/4 cup flour

Top and bake as directed above. Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and, as always, stay sweet!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

So it's fall.. if you like that sort of thing...

And me? I'm not a big fan, to be honest. I like certain aspects, like baking in my non-air-conditioned home, it's much more comfortable. I love the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon, and the country fairs, even though I didn't manage to get to one this year. Love apples. Love jeans and hoodies, and, really, that is about it.

What I don't like about it is now wearing socks is a requirement, that all my flowers and leaves on the tree are kaput (the colours can be pretty vibrant though), I don't like the shorter days, getting up in the dark, or the overcast skies and crappy weather, not to mention it's getting colder, and we all prepare to hibernate for six months. Sorry but I am an outdoorsy person who does NOT like the cold lol. I also dislike that Thanksgiving is really the last long weekend we will see until Family Day in February. When there is snow on the ground. Ugh.

Yes, I am the person who hears someone sigh with happiness that it's fall and I look at them like they have three heads. But, you can't keep it from coming and I'm not able to move to warmer climates.

But, the major plus side is the BAKING! I get excited when my store sets up the holiday baking display. How lame am I? Flour, chocolate chips, pie filling... my goodness, I could go to town! :D Baking while sipping my pumpkin spice latte, it's not a terrible way to head into the crappy weather, I guess!

So in case you've missed it, I've been a bit busy the past couple of weeks! My husband and I celebrated our birthdays, and I got my DQ extreme chocolate ice cream cake, YAY! Here are the highlights:

You have probably seen these beauties on Pinterest (ah, the other love of my life...), but these are Alice in Wonderland cupcakes. With about 5000 details! LOL Putting the elements together was time-consuming but well-worth it, I think. I took my time, did it over a couple of evenings, and I think in the end, they turned out amazing. The most difficult ones to do were the stacked teacups with the teapot on top. I cannot tell you how many times these things fell apart on me.... but I have learned a lesson... I need to have some royal icing on hand next time, so I can cement these kinds of pieces together. For those difficult ones, I needed to insert a toothpick through the stack of cups/teapot, and then a secondary one through the bottom with enough of the toothpick sticking out to insert into the cupcake itself. Once that was done, I was able to worry less about them falling apart. They survived and made it to their destination and were a hit!
Every year, since I took up cake decorating, I have tried to wow my husband with his birthday cake. Last year, it was the Muppets' Animal. The year before that, it was a guitar cake. One day while he was at work, I figured out what would do it... since he loves his cowboy hat, I thought, why not a cowboy hat cake? It wasn't easy to check out ideas, much less work on it because he didn't have to work that weekend. I also wanted to be sure the cake itself was absolutely delicious... so I improvised with a new idea... chocolate cherry cheesecake. He was definitely in heaven, after his happy reaction to the cake!

Last but not least, I was asked to do this guy, the green Ninjago. I did a red one awhile ago, in a different way for the same customer. This one was chocolate raspberry truffle, one of my most requested flavours. It was so easy to do this one, because the fondant went on it pieces and didn't have to be perfect, it just needed to be layered. I was really happy with how he turned out, but alas, he wasn't a popular like on Denise's Custom Cakes. That's okay though, to each their own. I was impressed!

And that about sums up fall for me, so far. I have orders coming in for December already, so if you've been considering ordering a cake from me, please be sure to plan ahead!

Stay sweet!