Guiness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

March 1, 2012 § 3 Comments

My favorite holiday is fast approaching and I can’t think of anything better than an Irish Car Bomb in cupcake form. Anyone else over the moon that St. Patrick’s Day is on a Saturday this year? I know I am!

For those of you who don’t know what an Irish Car Bomb is- it’s a horrible St. Patty’s Day drink where you drop a shot of Baileys into a glass of Guinness and try to chug the whole thing in one gulp before the Bailey’s curdles into disgusting chunks. I am not the type to chug my drinks so I always end up with curdled Bailey’s. Sick.

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The Guiness bottle tops made the perfect finishing touch. I found the recipe for the cupcakes here – the Bailey’s ganache in the center was delicious but for some reason after being left out for a few hours it turned into the consistency of a truffle so I’d suggest leaving that part out if you do not plan to serve right away.

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Butterflies and buttercream

February 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream! As pretty as they turned out it was really the frosting that stole the show- but by the time they were being eaten the cupcakes had been plucked of their butterfly and the leaves removed so aesthetics were a wash at that point.

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Today was my niece’s first birthday party- my sister asked for butterfly cupcakes so after poking around Etsy for inspiration I stumbled upon edible butterflies. Here are the ones I wanted- unfortunately their shop owner didn’t respond to my rush order question in time so I had to order from a different shop.

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The idea was for the cupcakes to look like a rose with a little butterfly perched on top. My buttercream rose making skills aren’t what they should be and according to my mother (who spent two years of her young adult life frosting cakes) the frosting just wasn’t fit for roses so off comes the petal tip on comes the star-ish shaped tip.

The wrappers were designed in photoshop-printed and cut. If I were to make these again I would go with brown baking wrappers instead of silver so the leaves stand out more.

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I found the raspberry buttercream recipe here. I loved how simple it was- three ingredients! I will definitely use this recipe to experiment with different jelly flavors (I’m thinking blueberry next.)

One thing I should mention- the icing was SUPER sweet, it overpowered the subtle flavor of the chocolate cake.  Next time I plan to pair the frosting with a super dark chocolate cake to balance the flavors out.

Emerging Trends in Celebration Decoration Day 4: BIY Bars

July 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

… as in Build-It-Yourself! I’ve already done a couple of postings on the Mac and Cheese Bar as well as the Slider Bar at the mother’s day party. Guests love the flexibility and opportunity to be creative and it gives the host less to prepare aside from setting out the ingredients. I’d suggest framing suggestions for combinations for guests that may need some extra help.

Perfect for summer- this build your own hot dog bar includes toppings like banana peppers, onions, cheese, chili, jalapenos, pickles, mayo, green onions, salsa, cole slaw, ketchup and mustard. From Hostess with the Mostess. Clearly the author Jennifer has never had a Seattle Special- bratwurst with caramelized onions and cream cheese. You’ll thank me later.

The old favorite- Ice Cream Topping Bar, via Eat Drink Chic. Do a healthier version with frozen yogurt- those Red Mango-like shops are pretty much taking over Seattle.

This one has to be my favorite- Benedict Bar via Local Social. They have bacon, smoked salmon, and asparagus for main toppings- I’d also add tomato, avocado, and crab cakes.

Hot Cocoa bar from Katie Grace Designs. So creative with chocolate and white chocolate covered spoons, toppings like marshmallows, crushed peppermint, chipped cream, and peanut butter chips, and different flavored syrups. Where’s the Baileys?

YES! Thank you Apartment Therapy for the idea. A fondue party first of all would be amazing because cheese is pretty much the tastiest thing on the planet- second of all a fondue bar makes a great addition to an Achorman, Mad Men or any other 70’s  party. The Melting Pot is a chain that specializes in cheese, broth, and chocolate  fondue- their menu is a great source for ideas on fondues and dippers.

Picnic themed barbeque with Slider Bar feature

June 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

My family had never seen me go into full-blown party panning mode until this Mother’s Day- as a present to my mom I offered to not only style the party she hosted for my giant army of aunts/uncles/cousins, etc. but also do all of the cooking and baking.

Chalkboard paint put to good use.

I printed out the “Lemonade” sign from my computer before tracing over the black ink with chalk- one of my favorite party tricks. I like to smudge the paper a bit to give it the chalkboard effect.

The best part was the slider bar!

The guests loved being able to try different combinations of gourmet toppings without the commitment of an entire burger.

Grilled pineapple, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, cheddar, and blue cheese.

Spreads in mason jars- I loved the idea of using clothespins for the labels. Avocado, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, mayo and ketchup.

And yes, it may take some hunting but some of the fancier grocery stores actually sell slider buns- brioche is a good alternative and there’s always dinner rolls.

My little creations.One grilled pineapple/onion/mayo/teriyaki sauce. The other sautéed mushrooms/blue cheese and bbq sauce. SO good.

A Pixie Party

April 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

As promised- here are pictures from the pixie party I threw for a friend’s daughter and Tinkerbell’s biggest fan. The whole party theme was inspired by the cupcake tower topper- this made a cute alternative to a cake with Tinkerbell’s face frosted all over it.

The colors were mossy green, chocolate brown, with hints of pink and sparkly silver (like pixie dust!) I wanted to throw in some 50’s retro touches to make the decor more whimsical to reference the original Peter Pan (as much as I love the new Pixie Hollow movement, I’m a purist.)

I found this pixie punch which was well-used. I loved the idea of having the pixie silhouette.

The dessert table. I came up with a great technique for making the birthday sign from something I learned in high school art class. We used to take pictures from magazines, place on a light box, and trace the images. I was able to do the same thing using my laptop- copy and pasting the images into Powerpoint and resizing. I then placed a sheet of white printer paper and traced the outline of the image to make a template. The font for the sign is from this amazing site filled with Disney-inspired fonts. Download away!

Cupcake tower! A simple $15 Wilton Cake stand with a facelift.

Chocolate cupcakes with fudge frosting, rolled in crushed Oreos to give them a woodsy dirt look. I designed the cupcake wrappers with vintage 50s looking stars. You can download the template here.

After a couple of tries I have become a cake pop pro. So glad I had silver disco dust on hand. According to the birthday mom- these were a huge hit. I guess the cake pop phenomenon has yet to hit Seattle! Recipe here.

We also had Pixie Punch served in cute brown cups and pink and white striped straws, a green candy bar in apothecary jars complete with green pixie sticks, and tiny white pails filled with chocolate covered almonds. Special thanks to my friend Monica for handing me the reins and letting me use her fancy-schmancy camera to capture the details.

St. Patty’s Day Cupcakes

March 8, 2011 § 3 Comments

I love St. Patrick’s Day- every year my mom hosts a party for the family to celebrate the half of my dad’s side that is Irish with corned beef, cabbage,  potatoes, and lots of Green River and O’Maley’s Irish Cream (never Bailey’s.) At some point as the night goes along she coerces me into doing what little Irish dancing I learned when I was 10.

Since this year for Lent I am (gasp) giving up alcohol (Yes. It’s true ) I thought I’d post some amazing St. Patty’s Day treats I’ve seen that I want to try and make this year.

Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes by Sprinkle Bakes. The green dusting is actually pistachios and how freakin’ cute are those chocolate horseshoes?

You can’t have St. Patrick’s Day without these two staples. Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes from Annie’s Eats.

Leprechaun-sized “Green” velvet cake balls from Bakerella

…speaking of leprechaun’s I found these adorable rainbow cupcakes here.

And what goes at the end of the rainbow? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I looked all over the web to find the perfect gold or pot-o-gold cupcakes and found nada. Guess I have my work cut out for me!

A new theme to obsess over

February 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

What do you get when you take the whimsical eccentricity of Alice in Wonderland and twist it with the dark romance of Twilight?

… another reason to host a girls night. Here are some event ideas for you to bring to your hood.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

I’m in love with this Snow White themed dessert table (or “sweet table” as she calls it- so cute!) from UK’s Belle Amour. The whole look and feel of it makes you feel like you’re in a snowy fairytale forest. To help you create your own I scourged the internet and found these deer cupcake toppers,  this stitched heart button,  instead of white dwarves- find some mismatched wolf statues from Goodwill and spray paint them white a few coats to get a nice opaque finish.

 

This fairy event had amazing detail- I loved the cake stands made from tree trunks and the topiary pops to add to a forest theme. I would do the topiaries with red velvet cake pops instead of lollipops- lucky you there is a tutorial posted here.

Birch candleholders- $24 for the set

What to do with the big bad wolf now that grandmother has escaped? He dined on her- now dine on him. Faux Fur table runner inspired by this wedding in Atlanta.

Moss accents gives the feel of an old-growth forest- moss balls- $4.95 each, moss runner- $10.00, and mossy rocks- $7.99.

Love it. Moss and bamboo, burlap and grapevine, and apparently eight hours to kill. Props to Katie Grace. Consider swapping the bird for a black wolf or red hooded silhouette.

I’m really hoping to execute on this one but for the time being I’m helping a friend throw a Tinker Bell party for her daughter. First hurdle is to get the birthday girl away from the request of a cake that has the potential to be the target of a  Cakewrecks joke. Wish me luck.

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