Surprise! It’s a Piñata!

Baking makes me happy. Seeing reactions makes me even happier.  My managers birthday weekend also happened to be Cinco De Mayo I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make the piñata I have been gushing over for weeks! This cake is so simple to make, but is sure to impress the crowds with your skills.

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Photo by: Amanda Hilderbrandt

For the ingredients I used 2 boxes of cake mix and 2 store bought tubs of icing. I also bought a bunch of hard candies that my local grocery story hand on sale for a dollar a box.

The bowl in which you bake it in is the most important part of this cake. I searched high and low for a 1.5 quart (qt) bowl. Lucky for me the Corningware Corelle store had Pyrex on sale!

  1. First preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (F)
  2. Prepare 1 box of cake mix as per the directions on the box
  1. Grease the inside of 1.5 qt bowl
  2. Pour the cake mix into bowl
  3. Bake the first cake for 40-45 minutes or until dry on the inside. You can check by placing a skewer or toothpick into the center of the cake. (I found that since my oven is old I had to bake the cake for an extra 10 minutes).
  4. Allow it cool in the bowl and then remove if from bowl upside down and place on cooling racks.
  5. Allow the bowl the cool completely before making the second cake. (To speed up the process I allowed the bowl to cool down and then ran it under cool water to get it back to room temperature).
  6. Repeat steps 1-6
  7. After cake one has cool completely you can flip it right side up and with a sharp, non-serrated knife I cut the dome of the cake off. I followed the edge of where the bowl was.
  8. Next you make a circle in the middle of the cake and scoop out the inside but making sure not to go too deep that you puncture the bottom of the cake. (I used the lid to the icing to get a perfect circle

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Photo by: Amanda Hilderbrandt

11.  Repeat steps 9 and 10 with cake 2

12. Fill up cake one with candy and line the edge of the cake generously with icing

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Photo by: Amanda Hilderbrandt

13. Place cake 2 on top of cake 1 to make a piñata shape

14. Decorate the cake however makes you happy!

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Photo by: Amanda Hilderbrandt

I am not claiming this recipe as my own. The original recipe can be found at http://asubtlerevelry.com/a-pinata-cake

Shamrock ‘n Summer


 

One of my most favorite months of the year is March because that means mint everything! But who decided that mint was only popular in March? For me it’s my top choice year round! It’s my birthday and I say  “mo mint!”

 

These brownies are the perfect treat to bring to any gathering! The first time I made these brownies I went to work afterwards and by the time I was finished with an eight hour shift my family had only left me a few crumbs! It combines multiple layers of gooey awesomeness! They haven’t disappointed anyone yet!

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Triple Layer Fudgy Mint Oreo Brownies

 

Ingredients

7-ounce jar Marshmallow Fluff

1/8 teaspoon mint extract

8 drops or more of green food coloring

1 box of brownies

1 package Cool Mint Oreos

3/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted

1 cup vanilla frosting

 

 

Steps

  1. First Preheat The Oven to 350°F…
  2. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together marshmallow fluff, mint extract, 4 drops of food coloring, or until desired green is achieved (I will refer to this as ‘green minty marshmallow mixture’)
  4. Prepare the brownie mix as directed on box and fold in 12 hand-crumbled Oreos at the end.
  5. Pour brownie batter in prepared pan. Drop about 1/2 cup of green minty marshmallow mixture onto brownie batter and reserve the remainder. Carefully pull a butter knife through the batter for a swirly design.
  6. Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until brownies are set.
  7. Let the brownies cool completely.
  8. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips (microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir and microwave 30 seconds longer; stir until smooth. You really have to be careful not to burn the chocolate when doing this.)
  9. Add the melted white chocolate and the vanilla frosting to the reserved green minty marshmallow mixture.
  10. Stir in 4 drops+ food coloring, or until light green color is reached
  11. Spread over cooled brownies.
  12. Sprinkle with 18 hand-crumbled Oreo Cookies, slightly pressing them into the green mixture. Allow top layer to set fully before slicing and serving

 

Original recipe

I Mustache You A Question…

Mustaches have swept the nation! I am not sure where the trend started from but it grabbed my attention! I am highly amused by the finger mustache and puns involving them (see title).  For my usual Sunday Funday baking extravaganza I try to bake something homemade. Well, this week I  didn’t have time so I resorted to boxed cake and store bought icing to make an awesome mustache cake! When making this cake on your own, go ahead and use whatever flavor cake and I dare you to get wild with the icing color! Maybe a blonde mustache? This cake is so simple to make and you’re going to say to yourself “Why didn’t I think of that?!” With how popular mustaches have become this cake is bound to please all age groups!

 

Mustache Cake

 

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Photo by: Amanda Hilderbrandt

 

 

For this cake you will need…

  9 inch round cake pan

Sharp knife

Icing Spatula

Toothpick or fork

 

Ingredients

Prepare the cake according to the directions on the box or per your recipe

 

Directions

  1. Bake cake according the recipe
  2. Remove cake from pan
  3. Let the cake cool completely
  4. Lightly outline a ying-yang swirl onto the cake (by doing this it will ensure that it is centered and even. No one wants a lopsided mustache).
  5. Once your line are perfect carefully cut the cake with a sharp knife
  6. Carefully arrange the cake by flipping one side so the rounder edges are touching (I arranged mine on a cookie sheet because it was easier to transport)
  7. Generously apply the icing (don’t worry about it being perfect)
  8. Use a toothpick or a fork to create hair like lines in the icing

 

 

America!

Fireworks, BBQ, and sweets are my three of my favorite things that make July 4th my favorite holiday. This year some of my relatives will be at my parent’s house for the patriotic festivities. I have volunteered to be in charge of dessert. Juggling 40 hours and two online classes puts everything I do on a time constraint. I learned a big lesson this week; life taught me that not everything is going to turn how you planned for it to be. I had a baking disaster. A whole day and over 90 cookies wasted. I decided that I needed a quick, easy, foolproof recipe for the occasion and that strawberry filled with cheesecake would be the best. It is also great because it creates very few dishes!

For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, baking is a science and everything needs to be exact. I learned the hard way. I tried to make eight dozen cookies this week to create a perfect American flag made up of sugar cookies. My plan was to lay them out in a 10×9 format and icing them accordingly with red, white and blue icing. I couldn’t find a recipe in my mom’s mess of a recipe bin so I just looked on up online and went to town on these cookies. I prepared the dough, let it sit for 2 hours and got everything prepared so I could roll them, use a cookie cutter and get them in the oven as quickly as possible. I scooped some dough out and the first thing I noticed was that it was way too sticky to be worked with. For me, this was a nightmare. I panicked and was ready to cry. My mother is not much of a baker and when she saw the look of terror on my face she told me just to give it up and go out and buy cookies. My aunt and uncle saw how much effort I had already put into these cookies and was by my side ready to help save my disaster. We added a ton of flour to make the dough not sticky, 20 minutes and 4 cups of flour later the dough was ready to be handled. We finally got eight dozen cookies cut and baked. By this time it is 9:00 pm and I am exhausted. While I was waiting for the cookies to cool I started to prepare the icing. I realized that since I was making homemade icing I didn’t know how to make it white. The vanilla was turning the powdered sugar brown. I was also annoyed because I only had the gel food coloring and it wasn’t making the icing as red or blue as dark as I wanted it to be. At this point I was ready to throw in the towel and call it quits. I decided to just suck it up and power through the last bit and use whatever icing I made to decorate the cookies. Little did I realize that when I was making the icing I used a little too much milk and it became too thin to spread on to the cookies. As I am sitting there slaving away I hear comments from my family like “Aren’t they supposed to look like starts?” “They look more like dog treats!” “They are too dry.”  As much as I wanted these cookies to come out perfectly I finally realized that it was not going to happen. I put all the cookies into a bag and decided to bring them into work. There was bound to be a hungry guy willing to eat them. Sure enough, after working a tent sale for 8 hours they were gone in a blink of an eye. All in all, every great baker has their trial and errors. I am sure this isn’t going to be my last disaster. When all else failed, I reverted to a recipe I knew would save the day, strawberry filled with cheesecake

These aren’t your typical cheesecakes that you would purchase at the store. This is strawberry stuffed with cheesecake! The perfect finger food that’s also no bake! This recipe only has 5 ingredients and will definitely have everyone asking for more. I have made these several times for Sunday Funday and everyone always wants some to bring home to their family.

STAR SPANGLED SUGAR COOKIES

Here I wanted the cookies to look like.

https://i2.wp.com/media-cache-ak1.pinimg.com/originals/57/e6/7d/57e67d93e04b602970f7ee37be852e58.jpg

I found the picture here.

 

STRAWBERRY FILLED WITH CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of Strawberries
  • 1 eight ounce package of cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Graham cracker crumbs

Directions:

  1. Clean strawberries and remove the stop and center with a sharp knife.
  2. With a mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Put the cheesecake mixture into a piping bag and fill the strawberries. (If you’re not fully stocked with baking supplies, like me, you could put it into a plastic baggie and snip off a corner and pipe.)
  4. Dip the top into the graham cracker crumbs
  5. Serve and enjoy!

I placed mine into cupcake tins, but you could also slice off the bottom and serve them on a tray.

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    Photo by: Amanda Hilderbrandt