Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dough Nuts

The kids love messing with dough — bread dough, biscuit dough, cookie dough, play dough and salt dough. This week I made three batches of play dough (red, yellow and blue) for color mixing, and a batch of salt dough so we could create some fun shapes to bake, paint and keep!

We often made salt dough ornaments at Christmas time when I was a little kid, so the smell of salt dough takes me back. The kids loved it, and we had enough to send some of each kind home with our little friend Alexandria, who came over to play today.

Playdough Recipe
(from Playtime - it's a great, soft dough and easy to make!)

1 c. flour

1/2 c. salt

1 c. water

1 Tbs. oil

2 tsp. cream of tartar

food coloring (several drops per batch)

Mix and stir over medium heat. The mixture will begin to clump. When the mixture becomes a thick dough, remove from pan to cool a bit, then knead on a lightly floured surface. Store in a Ziploc bag or sealed container.

Salt Dough

3 c. flour

1 c. salt
1.5 c. water

1 Tbs. light corn syrup (I used Agave syrup though...)

Knead the dough by hand until it has an elastic consistency. Roll and cut or shape as you wish, then dry by baking at 250 degrees for more than an hour for flat shapes and longer for 3D shapes. Once they are cool, paint with acrylic paints then varnish with clear coat.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Work In Progress...

My version of Trophy's Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes... the recipe needs a little tweaking (a different cake base, and maybe something different with the frosting...) it's a WIP, but I'm sharing two batches this weekend with a few of my favorite folks!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Princesses, Mermaids, and Rainbows... she's 4!

Madeline wanted a "castle cake just like Malaika's" for her birthday, and I very nearly bought one from QFC, but... we make cakes for everyone else, and Mad has the best time helping, so I started brainstorming. And, then a little closer to her birthday she wanted, "A castle cake with all the princesses, and Ariel and all her sisters. And the ocean."

Yeah, OK. I can do that. Two figurine sets from the Disney Store, brown fondant, sugar cone towers, Wilton white chocolate candy melts, seashell truffles from Trader Joe's, Little Debbie peanut butter sticks "stairs," sugar paste Little Mermaid decorations and letters/numbers, and Nerds for decor, we were done. Well, plus one waffle cone tower, chocolate, vanilla and rainbow cake, and a lot of buttercream. Phew!

Literally the day before I baked the cakes, I stumbled upon a recipe for "Rainbow Cake" online. Now, our rainbow-loving girl really needed that too, so I did it, she helped, and she adored it. Actually, all the kids at the party ate the rainbow ocean pieces, exclusively.
There are $18 worth of princesses and mermaids on the cake, and they were worth every penny (and then some). She plays with them all the time, and they work very well with the kids' treehouse/dollhouse.

It's a good thing I'm not a perfectionist because there were a lot of things about this cake that were so very imperfect, but... that's what gives it character! And, it was delicious, by the way!!
I used Magnolia Bakery's recipe for vanilla buttercream to frost the entire cake - just dyed blue for the water:

Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 c unsalted butter, softened

About 7 c powdered sugar

1/2 c milk

2 sp vanilla

Cream the butter in the bowl of your Kitchenaid mixer, then add 4 cups of the sugar, the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 mins.), until the icing is of desired consistency.

Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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