Frosting Cookies and Cakes

It’s time for a SWEET post, don’t you think?  I’ve got some great DIY and inspiration for cookie making and cake decorating!

From whisk-kid, a great step-by-step cake frosting tutorial!  (I need this post!!)

frost-cake

A very simple tutorial on decorating with two color frosting cupcakes with store-bought icing, from anna and blue paperie:  And at the end of the post she provides a link for a very easy tutorial to frost a cake with roses!

swirl

One of my favorite fondant artists is Sugar High, Inc.  You have to check out the online fondant art gallery… and prepared to be awestruck!  Well, Sugar High offers a few tutorials (not free) on how to create fondant art.  The price is TOTALLY reasonable for a tutorial of this kind… check out the adorable whales:

fondant-whales

My favorite cookie artist, Sweet Sugarbelle has a great post on making icing colors match:

Damask-Baby-Shower-Cookies

And I found this great photo tutorial on facebook, courtesy of SugarNosh Treats, for making leopard print cookies!

leopard-print

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

oatmeal dessert recipe bars

My good friend Barbara alerted me to this delicious oatmeal dessert recipe found over at Epicurious.com (it goes by the name of Jose’s Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies) and I’m so glad she did!  The are absolutely delicious and the recipe makes a big batch.

Notes & Tweaks

  • Use your food processor for grinding the oatmeal and grating the chocolate – it takes just a minute or two.
  • The original recipe called for grated semisweet chocolate but I used dark chocolate.  You could also use milk chocolate if you would prefer.
  • I use a cookie scoop so that my cookies look and bake uniformly.

Easter Cupcakes Ideas – Cookies Too!

So excited to show you some lovely edible Easter cookie and cupcake ideas today!

From Somewhat Simple, yummy looking Carrot Cupcakes.  The carrots are made from fondant which can easily be purchased and she used real carrot tops!

Carrot Cake Cupcake

From Seeded at the Table, some adorable Easter Sugar Cookies that looks like a nest with eggs… easy to make, and so, so cute!  You’ll want to read her post and then click here for her Easter Sugar Cookie Recipe.

easter-nest-cookies

 

From Munchkin Munchies, a great tutorial on how to make these Easter Bunny cookies on a stick.  An edible marker from the craft store makes it so simple!

funny-bunny-cookie-on-a-stick

 

From Sweetopia.com, an incredible Mini Easter Cookie Tree – oh. my. goodness!  Lovely, and so sweet…

I’m sure your kids would love to make their own versions with cookies that they decorated themselves!

mini-easter-egg-tree

And from Ingrid’s Adventures in Baking, some adorable Easter chick cupcakes – I love these, and I know my kids would get a big kick out of them too.  They are made from one large cupcake (for the body) and one mini cupcake (for the head).  She piped feathers using cake decorating tip #16 and some yellow butter cream. The eyes and beaks are made from fondant, with the pupils painted in with gel food coloring.

crazy-chicken-cupcakes

What are YOU baking for spring and Easter?  We’d love to hear about it!

Best Cookie Dough EVER!

 

good cookie recipe

I checked out Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York’s Milk & Cookies Bakery from our local library and am I ever glad I did.  I kid you not when I say that this is the best cookie dough ever.  So much so that I can’t stop eating the cookies I made.  They are in my freezer but I’ve been going there all hours of the day and night and breaking off a little bit here and a little bit there.

What’s so great about this cookie dough recipe, in addition to its taste, is that it is a vanilla cookie dough base that begs for you to add your favorite ingredients.  Here I’ve added dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and dried cherries.

I think the secret to this amazing recipe is a combo of adding finely ground old fashioned rolled oats to the batter (you wouldn’t actually know there is oatmeal in it) and the right combination of granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.  Give them a try – you won’t regret it! I’ve adapted the recipe a tad to make it easier for the home cook.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

homemade peanut butter cookies

I have been making these peanut butter cookies for over 10 years.  They are easy to make (4 ingredients), have loads of peanut flavor, and because they don’t use include flour, are the perfect Passover cookie recipe!  If you’d like – you can add mini chocolate chips or chopped peanuts to the recipe.


 

Springtime Cookies and Cupcakes

I don’t know about you, but once Valentine’s Day is over, I start dreaming about and planning for SPRING!  I also start feeling like trying something new and making fun projects with my kids.  It’s probably a “getting past winter” surge or something.  Anyway, I thought I’d start collecting some fun spring cookie recipes and tutorials for cookies(cupcakes too!). And of course, I’m sharing them with YOU!

From Martha Stewart, Spring Cupcakes with Sugared Flowers… oh yes!  Make sure you click through the links in the post to learn how to make sugar flowers (so easy!).


From my favorite cookie maker, Sweet Sugar Belle… check out these Sweet Little Lamb Cookies.  This is actually a guest post on her site from Marian of Sweetopia.  Both Sugar Belle and Sweetopia write the best tutorials, and they really make me believe I can do this!

 

Found these adorable Spring Flower Cupcake Cones on an OC blog… love the idea, and I can think of lots of variations for using the cones as flower pots! She gives step by step instructions and photos on how to make flower cupcakes.

Check out the super cute Spring Cookies from Pink Little Cake, using fondant instead of icing… I KNOW I can do these!

Aren’t you in the mood for SPRING now??

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And we have a couple more customer photos for you today from Tanya showing off zebra party bags and more!  Love her pink zebra top – she looks so fab!

Valentine’s Day Sweet Party Bites and Treats

You can read our recent Valentine’s Day posts with DIY ideas, HERE and HERE… but today’s post is dedicated to Valentine’s Day Party Bites… aka yummy Valentine’s Day party food!

From Amanda’s Parties To Go… a fabulous Valentine’s Day Sweet Shoppe Party post… lots of GREAT ideas for valentines party food and presentation.  I love the simplicity of taking store-bought items and jazzing them up:

From Bubbly Nature Creations – a Smarties Parfait recipe… such a great idea for Valentine’s Day!  Made of yogurt! Such a healthy Valentines sweet treat recipe!

From She Wears Many Hats, a Valentine’s Day Popcorn recipe and tutorial:  Way easier than you’d ever think!

From Sprinkle Some Sunshine, some adorable sweet heart pops:  If you have (or can find) candy canes these are so simple to make and the wow factor is so great!

And for those that are a bit more ambitious, from Sweet Sugar Belle, some adorable Valentine Owl Cookies… complete with step-by-step instructions for making them!

What sweet treats will YOU be making for Valentine’s Day?  We’d love to hear about them… leave us a comment, or send an email to char@divaentertains.com, and we might feature you in an upcoming post!

Rolo Cookie Recipe with Peanut Butter Chunks

chocolate rolo cookie recipe

Looks good doesn’t it!  Although this recipe originally called for chocolate chunks (larger than chocolate chips) I didn’t have any in the house but I did have mini Rolos!  They ended up being awesome!

I like my cookies thick and the best way to achieve that is to make sure that your cookie dough is cold or frozen when you put them in the oven (it you bake them right away they will still be delicious, but they will spread more and  be a bit crisper).

A friend on the recipe board I’m a part of posted this recipe from the Picky Palate blog. I’ve adapted it a bit below.

Best Christmas Cookies!

York Peppermint Patty Cookies

Forgive me for reposting this recipe, which we featured last year, but they are my #1 requested holiday cookies.  One look and taste you’ll know why:

These beautiful chocolate peppermint cookies are my new ‘annual’ Christmas cookies.   I tend to give homemade cookies and cakes to everyone – neighbors, the mailman, my doctor offices, my UPS and FedEx deliverymen, etc.  They are going to be delighted with this year’s choice!

I saw these cookies in the December 2011 issue of the Rachael Ray magazine and I only tweaked them a tad by adding a top layer of chocolate ganache because, well…what’s not better with more chocolate:)?  However, if you would like to save yourself this step they are still scrumptious without it (the cookie on the far left doesn’t have the added chocolate topping).

Chocolate York Peppermint Patty Cookies, 24 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 egg
  • 24 miniature (about 1 1/2-inch) peppermint patties, such as York, unwrapped and chilled
  • chocolate ganache frosting* (optional)
  • 6 oz. white chocolate (not chips), chopped
  • Peppermint candy canes or candies, crushed or finely chopped
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the flour, cocoa powder, both sugars, salt and baking soda on low speed. Beat in the butter, then the egg. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk; seal. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment. Working with 1 tbsp. of dough at a time, use your fingers to evenly encase each peppermint patty with dough. Place on the prepared pans and smooth the dough with your fingers. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until just firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the cookies on the parchment to a rack to cool completely.
  3. If using ganache (see recipe below):  using a spoon or frosting spatula, put enough ganache on each cookie so that when spread, the cookie is mostly covered.  Then proceed with step 4.
  4. Meanwhile, in a double boiler or small, heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, melt half of the white chocolate, stirring until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining white chocolate until smooth. Using a large spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the cookies. Sprinkle immediately with the crushed peppermint candies. Let set completely before serving or storing.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. chocolate (chocolate chips, etc.)

Pour whipping cream in a small sauce pan, bring to a simmer.  Turn off heat and add chocolate.  Shake pan to cover chocolate.  Let sit 5 minutes and then whisk until completely blended.  Proceed with step 3.

More Peacock Inspiration!

We have talked about “peacock” as a wedding and party theme a few times… most recently, HERE.. and HERE.  It seemed like time for another Fab Peacock Post, and today we are going to talk about cakes, cupcakes and cookies… all peacock style!

First up, look at this beautiful peacock cupcake, from Cutest Food:

Fab peacock cookies (and a LOT of other fab inspiration too!) from Amy Atlas; you’ll definitely want to click through to see all the pics and ideas!  Her use of color in food and decor is simply fantastic.

A SUPER incredible tutorial on making peacock cookies, from Flour Box Bakery:  A must see!

A simple but elegant peacock cake design, from Little Red Birds Blog:

 

And one more fun peacock cupcake, from The Cupcake Blog:

Have you decorated with the peacock theme for an event?  We’d love to hear about it!