Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fondant Fun

I have had some fondant for a while, I've been meaning to try and decorate some cupcakes with it and I finally did the other day. I had a blast!

For the cupcakes, I did boxed cake mix (Butter Pecan flavor). And for the frosting I did my butter cream frosting, although next time I'm going to do a shortening based frosting because mom says that it will be smoother and hold up better in the heat. The trick with fondant is that you need to put a light layer of frosting down first, before applying the fondant. I used Wilton's Fondant that comes in a box in the baking section.

The best symbols of hope... Captain America's shield, the Mocking Jay pin and the Dauntless Faction symbol. These are my favorites!

So, here are a couple of things that I learned...
* The more you play with it, the softer and stickier the fondant gets. After I added color, I left the fondant to sit a little minute, that way it would lose some of it's stickiness. Upon the advice of a professional baker, I will try other brands of fondant because there are some that are better than others. 
* After the cupcakes have been decorated, they need to be stored in a container that let's the cupcakes breathe (like a cardboard box) because moisture and fondant don't go well together. The fondant starts to 'melt' when it can't breathe... dry air is better than moist air.   
* Playing with fondant is a lot like playing with polymer clay. So before you start decorating your cupcakes, you might want to look at polymer clay tutorials or how-to's, instead of just fondant tutorials. Also, fondant and polymer clay tools are very similar... so if you don't find what you want in the baking section, go to the polymer clay section of the craft store. Just to be safe, make sure not to use the same tools for both mediums... keep the tools you use for fondant separate from the polymer clay tools. I believe my mom has some very useful craft books about polymer clay that I need to borrow ;-). Your creative side is your best friend for this.
* Something to keep in mind is that you don't want to overload the cupcake with fondant. That will just detract from the taste of the cupcake. I think the role of fondant is to draw a person in so that they want to try the cupcake. Plus, not everyone likes fondant, it is rather sweet.  

* I used wax paper as the surface of rolling the fondant out, that way it was easier to remove. Or you can use cornstarch or powdered sugar on the counter top.


Roses can be green!

Here is a link for an easy way to make roses!

The part that was probably my favorite was photographing. I put the plate with the cupcake in the hallway and called the cats.

 At first, only Buffy came.

Buffy and Dixie
 But then Dixie decided to stick her head out and see what the fuss was about.

Buffy, Dixie and Einstein.
And then Einstein said "Hey! That has butter-cream, I want a taste."

So, in conclusion, playing with fondant is a lot of fun! I think for practice I will get my polymer clay out and spend a while playing without worrying about melting or sticking fondant. Also, I received some Gum Paste Mixture for my birthday and I cannot wait to try that!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Woof Gang Bakery Adoption Event

Over the weekend Jack and Willow went to another adoption event with Bailey's Arms. It was apart of the Woof Gang Bakery national adopt-a-thon.

To be very honest, not many people showed up, which can be attributed to a couple factors: 
  • The bakery was at the very back of a strip mall, so despite the signs saying 'Bailey's Arms adoption event this way -> ', no one really saw the event.
  • Most of the dog lovers were at a local event called Dog-A-Roo, which is a 4k walk/run with your dog. So next time, maybe the adoption event should be moved so that it isn't at the same time as a big event like that, or maybe have the adoption event at Dog-A-Roo.
I know that it's good for the dogs to have the exposure that comes with going to these adoption events, but when no one really shows up, you can't help but feel like it's pointless. But we will not give up!

On a brighter note: Willow did fabulous at her first adoption event! And most importantly, this was a nice low-key event to test her at... she is a bit of a chicken and sometimes new situations scare her and stress her out. She was a little shy at first, but then surprising us, she seemed to be quite content and in her element.

You might be wondering why she went to the event if she already has an application... The reason is that her application is still being reviewed, they need to make sure the people who submitted the application have a fenced yard. So we shall cross our paws and wish on a star that they do have a fence!

Gentleman Jack did as awesome as he did at his first event, two weeks ago. I find it so weird that someone hasn't seen how awesome he is and said "I want to be that guy's best friend" and actually submitted an application.

We have another adoption event planned for the end of May. Please send up a little prayer that these two find their forever homes so that we can help another dog get off of the streets or out of the shelter!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Oatmeal Cookies

I like oatmeal cookies. They're probably the only cookie that can be considered healthy, or at least, a little healthy :-). 

This recipe is kind of like a choose your own adventure, because oatmeal goes with just about anything... so you can put whatever you want in them. We've done them with dried cranberries, chocolate chips, pecans and butterscotch chips. They are ALL great. The batch we made most recently had chocolate and butterscotch chips, which is a pretty good combo!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 11/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 cups of whatever you want in it, like chocolate chips, dried cranberries, nuts, etc. I used 1/4 cup butterscotch chips (because that is all that we had in the pantry) and 1 cup chocolate chips.
The first thing you want to do is to cream the butter and sugars together. Once they're creamed together, add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Then you add the dry ingredients, mixing well. After that you add 1-2 cups of chips.

Before you start scooping cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, preheat your oven to 350°F.

For your cookie sheets you can use non-stick, or you can lightly grease regular cookie sheets with shortening or oil. Or, you can use parchment paper. I used non-stick cookie sheets.

I used a tablespoon to scoop them onto the sheet, but you can use an ice-cream scoop, or form them with your hands. It's all personal preference. They bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven.

My thoughts:  

The amount of butterscotch I put in this batch was the perfect amount. Because we've done it once with just butterscotch and no chocolate chips, and it seemed to be a little over-whelming. I'm not saying that just because I love chocolate, but because I think that butterscotch is a strong flavor.  

4 out of 5 cat whiskers!