New baby cookies

17 02 2010

A good friend of the family just had a baby boy and I decided it was time I used my Rubber Duck cookie cutter to celebrate the joyous occasion.  I’ve only made cut out iced cookies twice and they’ve never been too successful for me so I approached these cookies with extreme trepidation.  Checking out some of my favourite cookie blogs before I embarked on this endeavour did not help my confidence at all.  I followed a few blog recipes http://www.bakerella.com/ for my cookies and http://www.sweetopia.net/ for a royal icing recipe that used meringue powder rather than egg whites.  Both recipes worked very well and I admit any errors or problems with either were down to my haste to get these cookies finished.

I made the sugar cookie dough one night, rolled and baked the cookies another night and the icing took another few hours over the weekend.  Then once everything had dried solid I used small clear bags, yellow ribbon and homemade tags to bag each cookie.  This was definitely a labour of love but I am very happy with the results and  I’ve learnt a lot for next time.

Please ignore the bubbles, wonky outlines and general lack of quality here.  There were things I should have done with my outline icing (thin it a little to smooth it out) and my flood icing wasn’t quite the right consisitency and my piping tips were a little too large.  Ah well, once bagged they looked much better and I know they’ll still be appreciated despite the many flaws I can see.  More lessons learned.





Football themed birthday cake

17 02 2010

This cake was a last minute decision for family.  I meant to ask if a cake was needed for the 50th party weeks ago but only remembered on Thursday so this was all made on Sunday morning.  It took a few hours from start to finish, the logo was super quick, hence why it’s not as good as I’d like but everyone recognised it so that’s half the battle won!

The cake is a 10″ Double Vanilla with raspberry and Vanilla cream filling.  The covering is covered fondant, the logo was hand cut and letters were made with these: http://www.cakescookiesandcraftsshop.co.uk/acatalog/Funky-Alphabet-and-Numbers-FMM-Tappits.html  I’ve had a set of smaller tappits before and never quite mastered using them.  I finally did some research, checked videos online and read the instructions correctly.  I’m so happy that I can now use them properly and with a lot less fuss.  My top tip is to make two of every letter or number you need, they are fragile once dried and break so easily! 





Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

17 02 2010

As usual life outside of my baking world has severely encroached on my blogging time. The next few posts are a catch up on what I’ve been doing over the last month but I’m afraid they will mostly be pictures.  I hope to update at a later date with recipes.

First up are Lemon Meringue Cupcakes.  These bittersweet bad boys were the very first cupcakes I tagged in one of my many baking Christmas presents:  Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman.  I highly recommend this book, along with Cakes Galore by Phillipa Vanstone and Valerie Barrett.  They are both jam packed with a great range of flavours and fillings, from the super simple to the darn complicated.  

I cheated a little by using shop bought lemon curd but my reasons were two-fold, I was baking several items at once so my time was very tight and also, I’ve made lemon curd twice before and it wasn’t very successful, as this was a new recipe I thought I’d keep it simple. 

The lemon cupcake was lovely, the lemon curd was nice and tart, the only disappointment was the meringue.  I had hoped for something a little firmer and it was quite soft.  I would have liked to add a lot more of the topping but in order to cook a large amount the whole way through the tops would have been extremely burnt.  This is something I want to work on when I next make these cupcakes.  I might even make some traditional meringues and attach them with some curd to the top of the cupcake.