Monday, September 28, 2009

Monsters, Inc. cake pops!

I didn't have enough of these made the other day to put pictures up, but here they are as promised! Ever since my co-worker told me about Bakerella's adorable cake pops, I have been dying to make some myself. I was also imagining how I would decorate them to fit with my Pixar theme (see my previous post for the Pixar cupcakes and costumes :))

The first idea I had was to put mini chocolate chips on a green cake pop and call it Mike Wazowsky. So I bought green, blue, white and chocolate melting wafers at A.C. Moore. The green & blue ones were the perfect shades--it's like they knew I was coming! I made the cake the night before, and the next day I had to crumble up the cake (with my fingers because I don't have a food processor as you might remember from the Oreo crushing incident) to add the icing and form it into balls:

I melted some chocolate wafers in a mug and dipped the lollipop sticks in them to act as a glue when I stuck them into the cake (as Bakerella suggests). I think it made them look pretty professional! Then I kept them in the freezer while I melted some green wafers. I took a few out and positioned them in the styrofoam ring I bought (again, Bakerella's clever recommendation) so they would dry standing up! I spooned the green coating on and added the mini chocolate chips:

You don't know how PLEASED I was when I did this. It came out EXACTLY how I pictured it. That practically never happens! So I went on to make the Sullys:

Those aren't Runts, they're "tangy bananas" from Fuzziwig's (I was hoping banana Runts came in their own separate spot so I could shovel those into my candy bag, but I was getting tired of trying to manipulate the scoop to JUST get the bananas). They're actually smaller than banana Runts and worked a lot better for these pops! (I think these would also work nicely for a "Where the Wild Things Are" theme, which, you know, I just might do next)

I served Mike and Sully like that for my friends, but I had SO MANY left over that I decided to make Boo tonight. I'd had the idea before, but I had NO time to get them together before my friends arrived. So I did it tonight! My idea was: dip some candy corn pieces in chocolate:

then half-dip the pops in white melting wafers (which I thought would be vanilla, but I bought peppermint without realizing it, and then I thought, I should have bought pink or some peachy color since it's supposed to be Boo's face):

then dip the top halves in chocolate and quickly push the candy corn pieces into the sides:
Aaaaah cute! I did the faces with a toothpick dipped in the melted chocolate. Since I put a face on Boo, I decided to try that with Mike and Sully, too:

Well, Sully looks weird. I think I like him better as "conceptual Sully" like in the pictures up top. Anyway I put a bow on Boo since I couldn't think of any other way to make her not look like a ghost with pigtails, or Mickey Mouse:

So here they are together:
and since I had him out, here is Mike with Mike:
and of course here I am with them:
(I always forget to fix my glasses before getting my picture taken! I really have to fix that tilt..)
Anyway. Hope you like these, and you can get the recipe, how-to and tips at, along with about a zillion other adorable recipes and photos!! (and here's some more of mine because I took so many pictures I just want to share them all)

Boo and her monster:
"Conceptual" version:
The gang's all here:

A Mickey "Vinylmation" figure I got a few weeks ago at the 5th Ave Disney Store that reminded me of what I just did:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pixar movie cupcakes

I am a big fan of themes, as any of my friends can tell you. I just had a few friends over to celebrate the Disney/Pixar movies. FUN! I baked cupcakes the night before. Then I sat down and decorated.

I'd had the decorations in mind for a while. It started when I went to the Lego store and picked out a bunch of loose pieces in the back (like a candy store). I got tires, fences, seaweed, ivy leaves, flowers, trees, clocks, and bricks with eyes. Then I went to a candy store called Fuzziwig's to get all the random edible pieces I'd need, like gummy clown fish (perfect!), gummy army men, gummy butterflies, "tangy bananas" (smaller versions of banana Runts), etc.

I put a gummy fish on one cupcake with a Lego seaweed piece behind it, and sprinkled on some candy pieces to make a "Finding Nemo" cupcake:

The candy pieces are supposed to look like fishbowl gravel or rocks on the sea floor. If I'd had more time I would have dyed the icing blue! I didn't even have blue sprinkles! The "Toy Story" army man cupcake was pretty easy--just green sprinkles and a gummy army man. Fortunately they have some that are in the crawling-on-the-ground pose, which made it look pretty cute (if battle-ready figures can be cute):

The one I did from "A Bug's Life" is the same, just a different gummy. I've never seen gummy butterflies. I didn't know gummies could be so versatile! Then I took the Lego tires and a fence and put a blue melting wafer on top of the wheels to be a car (obviously from "Cars"), which I thought turned out so cute!

I also got a bag of yellow & white plastic robot figurines on clearance at the Disney Store to use for "Wall-E" cupcakes:

If you want to make these for little kiddles, make sure not to use Legos. My friends and I are all old enough now to recognize plastic from candy (I hope)--otherwise it's a choking hazard!

Here I am cooking ratatouille in my Jessie hat (Julia Child's recipe! How exciting!) to honor the movie "Ratatouille." I also offered themed drinks like Salty Dog (grapefruit juice & vodka with pineapple juice and salt on the rim) to reference Doug from "Up," Frozone Margarita (a blue frozen margarita rimmed with lime juice and salt) of course for Frozone from "The Incredibles," (and here's a picture of me with him from last April),

Wormy Appletini (evidently I spent a lot of time thinking about this one) which is just an appletini with a sour gummy worm inside to celebrate "A Bug's Life," and Blue Lagoon (vodka, blue curacao and lemonade, with a Swedish fish on the bottom, of course) for "Finding Nemo."

Harvey Wall-E Bangers and Sidecars were also considerations but the ones I did serve had similar ingredients and I didn't want to go too overboard! I also made some cake pops to look like Sully and Mike Wazowsky from "Monsters, Inc.," but I want to make a few more so I can get some more good pictures to post up here! It's what I'm most excited to show you, so check back soon!

p.s. here's our costumes:

Mike as Charles F. Muntz (the villain from "Up")

Kim as Young Ellie from "Up" and Jeff as Linguini from "Ratatouille" (notice little Remy sitting on his shoulder that Kim bought for him, and Kim's soda bottle caps on her collar!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sweet Serendipity

Tonight I made Serendipity 3's famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate from their cookbook, Sweet Serendipity. What does this have to do with cupcakes? Bear with me.

Frrrozen Hot Chocolate
is a delicious blend of ice, chocolate & milk. It's the most popular request at Serendipity 3 in Manhattan.

I've been to Serendipity 3 with my mom a few times and decided to make some FHCs for her birthday! You get to pick what kind of chocolate you want to use (I used Dove). You melt about a bar in a double boiler:
which is a pot of chocolate over a pot of boiling water (you can turn the heat off once the water boils). Stir the chocolate around till it melts. Take it off the boiler, then add some hot chocolate mix and sugar:
Mmm but don't eat it yet! Mix it with milk, then put it in the blender with a bunch of ice. WHRRRRRRRR add whipped cream and this is what you get:

You can get the actual, more specific recipe from the cookbook! Now, what about the cupcakes? Serendipity 3 happens to have a very cute, very kitschy souvenir shop at the entrance that you can coo over while you wait for your table (and you will have to wait). There's always a ton of stuff I want to get, and I finally bought an adorable pair of earrings that I always get comments on:
Tiny cupcakes! With little gem sprinkles! These also come in different colors and they have necklaces, too! I also liked the little pink Cinderella-like coach necklace, but that's for my next trip!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where the cupcakes at?

When you love cupcakes, you want to know where to find them. If you live in or are going on a trip to Seattle, WA, Cupcake Royale is the place to go. In fact, as I just found out while searching for what link to use, they have a blog! Now, you'd think they'd be in various guidebooks and just generally be known as a sort of mecca for cupcake monsters, but I only found the place because I wanted to go to Archie McPhee! It was a rainy day (oh, Seattle!) and my friend & I had taken a bus or 2 just to get there and I thought we might as well look for someplace else to make the most out of our trip. And lo, there appeared a banner in the sky...

Cupcakes?! I'm so there! So we walked in, and there was a LINE all the way to the DOOR and I thought, howcome no one TOLD me about this place? I felt awkward being the annoying tourist with the camera, so I didn't get a fantastic shot of the displays, but here's a pretty good shot of what I ate:
Yummmm!! And unlike some other boutiqueish cupcake shops, these cupcakes taste as good as they look! I also bought a very cute pink sticker you can see in the picture as well as my fancy schmancy hot chocolate. On the way out (I was very reluctant to leave), there was another cute surprise:

GIANT CUPCAKE! So, if you find yourself in Seattle, head on over to Ballard (or their new store on Capitol Hill) for Cupcake Royale, home of Seattle's Best Cupcakes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

pandas on parade!

Ooooh look at them all together! I got to work about 10 minutes early to set this up and I was STILL 2 minutes late clocking in! I wish I had something fancier than paper towel to put them on. But there they are, and everybody loved them!! Hooray!

So, on the topic of Oreos, I thought I'd share what I made last Halloween (one of my favorite holidays). I used the foot-stomping method for making the Oreo crumbs and dipped the whole iced top of each cupcake in to make DIRT:

I used chocolate icing and chocolate cake, and some plastic bones ("table sprinkles" from Party City). Though gruesome (no one wants to find a bone in their cupcake), I loved these. The chocolate frosting/Oreo crumbs combo was delicious! Talk about an easy cupcake!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cupcakes are the new black.

Is it me or are cupcakes SUPER popular right now? My friend Caitlin bought me Hello, Cupcake! for Christmas last year. I also got the new Martha Stewart cupcake book and Hey There, Cupcake! last year... My co-workers kept bringing in cute cupcakes and decorated cakes for the break room, and after my friend/co-worker Sam told me about, I was just so inspired. The cuteness of it all is too much to take, so I decided to blog about my own creations and attempts at others'. I'd like to post some things I've made in the past, but for now I'll start with my FIRST attempt at this Hello, Cupcake! book.

The panda cupcake.

First you get some cupcakes (I used a mix). Then you have to cut a bunch of Oreos (or generic-named cookie sandwiches) in half to use as the arms and legs. Oreos are HARD TO CUT! So this wasn't so much fun as frustrating. I tried microwaving them (the filling melts if it's in too long, otherwise, it doesn't do much). The cookies tend to crack of their own volition. What I ended up doing was twisting them open, cutting each cookie in half, then smushing the tops & bottoms back together again. Ai yai yai. Meanwhile,

Oh, my cupcakes are done! You have to make regular- and mini-sized ones. Aren't they cute? I just bought the mini-muffin tin yesterday at Party City for about $6.99. Nice! Well then you set about icing them all fancily.

First you put some vanilla frosting on a mini-marshmallow. It's like edible glue. You stick these onto the mini cupcakes.
Then you frost over it (which I thought would be hard and the marshmallow would fall off, but it was surprisingly cooperative!) and add all the whistles and bells (black icing through a snipped corner of a ziplock bag, mini chocolate chips, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, chocolate cereal O's--the recipe called for Oreo O's but the closest I could find was some Keebler cookie cereal).

Ooooh cute! Then you use a food processor to cut up the Oreos but I have an easier method for those of you without food processors, passed down from my mom:

This also helps with the frustration. So you frost the bigger cupcakes and dip them into the bowl of now-crushed Oreos. Then you get this:
Then you simply put it all together. But this is what your kitchen table looks like before the easy part:

Aaaaaaaaaaah! Anyway. This is the BEST part:
I added the umbrella as a little flourish. It doesn't look as great as the ones in the book, but I think it's pretty darn cute.
Seriously it took me all day. I took a zillion pictures of it. I don't even want to eat the little guy!

I'm bringing them into work tomorrow in my Cupcake Courier, and I used each tray to hold a separate part:
I'll have to come in a few minutes earlier just to set them all up! I'll be sure to post what they look like all together ;)

I'm going to bed.