Sunday, December 29, 2013

Black Bottom Cupcakes


 I love school holidays and spending more time with the kids.

Well up to a point. Yup, that point when everyone is BORED and HUNGRY and it seems like I'm the one who has to come up with a solution.

That's when having a few packets of Betty Crocker mix ready in the cupboard has been coming in handy these holidays.


Ah-huh, see what I did there. Oh yeah I solved the bored and hungry problem in one smooth move.

What I like about the Betty Crocker mixes is they are really simple enough the kids can mix them up with minimal help from me.

I love the proud looks on their faces when they serve up the finished cupcakes.

Plus I like to think that they learn a bit, like how to follow instructions in order and measure out ingredients.

We've put our own twist on the Betty Crocker super moist vanilla cupcake mix and come up with yummy black bottom cupcakes. 


Betty Crocker Black Bottom Cupcakes

1 packet Betty Crocker super moist vanilla cupcake
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup milk
60g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
Extra chocolate chips for serving

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced) and line a 12 hole muffin tin with regular sized muffin paper cases.

Beat cupcake mix eggs milk and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, then reduce speed to medium and mix for a further 2 minutes, remove half the batter and set aside.

Mix the 2 Tbsp of cocoa into the remaining batter and mix at medium speed for 30 seconds until combined. Fold in 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips and divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases.


Fold the remaining 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips into the reserved batter and spoon onto the top of the chocolate cupcake mix filled cases.


Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.

Swirl frosting (included in box) onto top of each cupcake and sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top.



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go! Published in the US, the book is available at most online book-stores.

Disclosure: The ideas, words and opinions in this post are my own however this post was sponsored by General Mills.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pink rose macarons with strawberry


Pink macarons with rose ganache and fresh strawberries

Yesterday was a bit hectic around here so today we are relaxing.

I think we might make some pink iced tea or lemonade and eat left over macarons.


Yup that sounds nice, about the pace I can manage today.

Photo notes:

Rose Macarons - recipe Bubble and Sweet blog CLICK HERE and just add strawberries
Pink Lemonade recipe - CLICK HERE for similar recipe
Rose/gingham tea towel - Ikea Evalill CLICK HERE
Pink Glasses - Ikea Krokett CLICK HERE
Stack of book - Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! by Linda Vandermeer
Vintage china plate - Montrose Foley (part of a trio)


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.


Monday, December 23, 2013

You Tube Video - Cookie dress up dolls

Hi y'all. I have made up a video on how to make the edible clothes for the cookie dress up dolls I posted a bit back so you can see how really, really easy it is.

Like super easy, just as easy as clicking on the picture below.



I'm trying to get out a weekly video, it's my new goal so if you subscribe to my channel up in the kinda top right here on the blog or via youtube you should get updated when new video's come out.

If there is anything I've done in the past which you would like a video please let me know.

I've also made one for my sugar cookies as well (Click picture below for link) where I let the dough set really hard overnight and work it back to a workable consistency.


Those unicorn cookies (Click link below for link). Oh and I'm halfway through putting together the video on the wall mounted unicorn cake as well.



I hope you enjoy my video tutorials, I'm enjoying making them.

Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh Deer these cup edge cookies are too cute


Oh deer these cookies are too cute to eat.



I joke.

Actually around here the cutest cookies get eaten first.


The cookies from these photo's ended up being eaten by the kids, they had them in their mini Greengate cups with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Yes those little kid size cups are unbelievably cute
from previous collection of Greengate CLICK HERE for link

They are smallish, around 6cm (2 3/4")  in size and are made from a regular (although super cute) cutter. I just cut out a little bit extra with the leg to make a bit to sit on the latte cups.

Deer Aimee cutter by Cakes by Bien CLICK HERE

See how I did that, yup no need to buy special cookie cutters at all.

These cookies were made using my gingerbread cookies recipe, it doesn't spread so much so there was no need to recut the little indent bit after baking.

CLICK HERE for gingerbread recipe.


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gingerbread people dress up cookie party


This year instead of slaving over a gingerbread house we made gingerbread people dress up cookies. It was fun, easy and I could let the kids eat one (or two) straight away without the stress of breaking up the whole house.

I baked up a big batch of gingerbread men and women (Cookie recipe here).


Then I quickly cut out some fondant clothes using the cookie cutter and the kids got to stick them onto the cookies with royal icing like a dress up toy.

I made sure there were stacks of clothes with different colors and accessories for the kids to choose from. Kids are amazing and see the world differently. I think it might be lovely to see the world with flower eyes :)


Oh my goodness my kids truly love this type of cookie decorating, just love it!

The Destroyer (being a creator), Bubble and I, Sweet and Bubble

Plus perfect for Christmas, well actually my kids want me to say it's perfect for any time ;)

The hardest part of all of this was coming up with a ginger cookie recipe that didn't spread too much (otherwise the fondant clothes would be too small for the cookies). But I spent 2 weeks testing my own recipe so y'all don't have to worry about that, just click on the link in the instructions below.



I made some little mini lollipops and candy canes as well, the kids thought they were super cool.

Note - I have in the past made similar dress up cookies for my daughter's birthday party - but these gingerbread ones are way, way, way easier - trust me. You can check out the original 'paper doll dress up cookie' inspiration HERE:

These are the original dress up doll cookies I made CLICK HERE to see details

Gingerbread people dress up cookies
Make the fondant/sugar clothes as per the instructions below. Once the clothes have set and become hard enough to pick up you can let the kids decorate the cookies by squeezing royal icing onto the cookie and sticking the clothes in place. They can also add gingerbread faces and other decorations as they like.

EDIT update: I've recorded an easy to follow youtube video tutorial here as well:


Gingerbread men and women cookies (Click here for Gingerbread cookie recipe)
Gingerbread men and women cookie cutters
Fondant various colours
Cornflour (cornstarch)
small rolling pin
sharp knife
frilling tool (can use toothpick instead)
Royal Icing (for final assembly)


Line a tray with parchment/ baking paper.

Gingerbread men fondant/sugar clothes
Roll out the fondant onto a workbench dusted with cornflour (cornstarch). Use the gingerbread man cutter to cut out shape and then the sharp knife to cut out the top and shorts (see picture below). If you like you can adhere shapes like a star onto the fondant cut outs. Place cut outs onto the tray lined with paper to dry overnight.


For striped shirt, cut out thin strips of fondant and press onto a contrasting color fondant with the rolling pin, then cut out shapes with cutter as described above. I added a thin strip of vertical fondant on the sleeve edge.

Gingerbread women fondant/ sugar clothes

Roll out the fondant onto a workbench dusted with cornflour (cornstarch). Use the gingerbread woman cutter to cut out shape and then the sharp knife to cut out the top and skirts (see picture below). Place clothes on paper lined tray to dry.


If you like you can make the skirts and edge of the top ruffled by using the frilling tool, press down on the fondant and gently roll back and forth. I also added a thin strip of contrasting color fondant to the sleeve edge of some tops before pressing down with the fondant tool.

You can also cut a second strip to make a 'pettiskirt' underneath, just use the frilling tool to roll back and forth and then stick it underneath the top skirt, you might need to add a small amount of water to adhere the 2 skirts together.

 To make a lace pattern on the edge use the sharp edge of the frilling tool (or a toothpick) to dot holes (see picture below for example).


Accessories

To make a lollipop you will need fondant in 4 different colours and a small length of spaghetti. Roll each colour of fondant into a long thin strip and the twist the fondant together. Starting in the middle wrap the twisted fondant around in a spiral to look like a lollipop. Push the spaghetti into the fondant lollipop disk.
 
The example in this picture only uses 2 colours and is bigger but same concept

 Small flowers pressed out of fondant make great accessories, I used a small ejector cutter.

Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gingerbread Cookie recipe


Gingerbread.....it's that time of year and there are lots of recipes out there. But I've got a project coming up and I needed a recipe that tastes good but doesn't spread.


Yup like these ones in the picture above.


So starting with my original recipe I tweaked and tried, and tried and tweaked again (and again and again).

It's pretty warm where I am at the moment and I like to trial a cookie recipe for about a year until I'm happy with it - y'know they work different in different weather.

So this is the best of the batch, it rolled out the best with the minimum spread after baking and the taste was spicy and not overly sweet.

You can see in the picture that some are a little darker, those are the ones with cocoa in - you can omit the cocoa if you like and your cookies will end up a light golden colour.



These cookies in the pictures above are simply cut out with gingerbread men ejector cutters where you press out, press down to imprint the shape and then eject the cookie onto the tray. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. I decorated them with a little royal icing and heart sprinkles in place of buttons.


Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
*Make sure that the spices you use are fresh as possible if you want your cookies to be aromatic and tasty. Conversions to imperial are approx.
EDIT - I made these with both white sugar as per the recipe below and golden syrup (molasses, treacle, dark corn syrup) - the same weight and the recipe turned out well. I found it kept it's shape better with the white sugar which was important to me for what I was doing. The golden syrup gave a light fragrant undertone to the cookie, just putting the option out there for you.

455g plain flour (1 pound all purpose flour)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice (or ground cloves if you prefer)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa(US 1Tbsp + 1 tsp)
230g unsalted butter (8 1/8 oz) softened (not too soft
70g dark brown sugar (2 1/2oz)
70g white sugar
1 egg


Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, salt and cocoa and set aside until required.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter, brown and white sugar at high speed for 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium low, add the egg and mix until combined.

Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture until the dough clumps together and is well combined.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until firm.

Once dough is firm remove from fridge and roll out on a workbench dusted with a little plain (all purpose) flour. You may need to knead the dough a little to make it pliable.

Cut out shapes and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Place trays of unbaked cookies into fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 160C (320F)

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes (depending on cookie size) remove from oven and allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes. Remove from trays carefully and place onto wire racks to cool completely.



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! . Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Betty Crocker Australia Christmas range and a baking pack giveaway

Hey have you guys seen the Betty Crocker Australia Christmas range in Woolworths?


It all looks pretty fun and like the perfect activity for the kids over the coming weeks to keep them busy during school holidays.

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED - December Betty Crocker Australia Prize Pack giveaway has been won by Faye R - awaiting prize to be claimed

Plus I've got more good news for you. The Betty Crocker Australia baking pack giveaway was so popular that we are doing it again. Yup another chance for this great pack valued at around $100 with everything you can see in the photo below.





For your chance to win, all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter giveaway below, no purchase required.

A second entry can be gained by telling me which of the Betty Crocker Christmas range in the picture above you would like to try.

Good luck - Australian residents only, no purchase required. See Rafflecopter terms and conditions for further information.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Plus don't forget Betty Crocker Australia is still searching for photos of home made Betty Crocker cakes that show you sharing around the baking love. It's not about decorating perfection, it’s about serving up a smile to those you care about. If Betty Crocker loves your entry, your cake could be featured in the next Betty Crocker Australia campaign which might include national Australian print, TV or other online activities. Share over on the Facebook page or on Instagram using the tag #BakeSomeoneHappy .

Winner of last baking prize pack was Erin G, prize has been claimed.

Disclosure: Prize provided by and post sponsored by General Mills.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

10 fun and mostly easy Christmas Treats to make


I'm not sure how Christmas sneaks up on me every year, but it's only weeks away and I have a list as long as my arm of fun Christmas Treats I would love to make.

Today I'm doing a round up of some of my favourite treats from Christmas Past here on the Bubble and Sweet Blog.

They are mostly easy fun and easy to make with the exception of the ruffle Christmas Tree and Rudolph Macarons (well they are still fun just a teensy bit harder to make).

Links to the recipes and instructions below:


Ruffled Christmas Tree - I called this the Anit-fruit cake, pretty much as I am not a fan of fruit cake. Made with layers of white chocolate mud cake and chocolate ganache filling, decorated with layers of fondant ruffles and finished with fruity bon bon candy. Find instructions on how to decorate your own pretty ruffled 3D Christmas Tree cake HERE

Pinata 'Fake' Pudding Cake - Chocolate cake decorated to look like a pudding, filled with candy and chocolate coins. Can it get much more fun, I'm not sure but you can find out for yourself by watching this you tube tutorial:


Or clicking over to the blog instructions HERE


Elegant Ornament Cookies - ok these cookies are seriously pretty and pretty easy to make.  CLICK HERE for instructions.


Christmas Nesting Doll Cookies - so seriously these are some of my favourite Christmas cookies ever. I liked working out how to use the same cutter to come up with a set of fun holiday cookies. The snowman ones are super dooper easy to make, trust me ;)

Santa Nesting Doll Cookie CLICK HERE
Snowman Nesting Doll Cookie CLICK HERE
Penguin Nesting Doll Cookie CLICK HERE


Double Sided Christmas Tree Cake Pops - yup you heard right. Double sided cake pops, well ok you've probably seen more around now, but back when I created these it was pure genius! Check out the instructions HERE.
 

Peppermint Candy Cake Pops - these are cute, fun and easy to make. Oh plus delicious, that is always important for me - instructions HERE.

 

Elf in my tummy Cookies - yes once I started with those nesting doll cookies, I couldn't stop. If you could resist you could store these cookies on your shelf ;) Instructions HERE.


Elegant Snowflake cookies - these cookies are a favourite. I love the shape and simplicity and I remake them every year, sometimes with a different flavour, sometimes with a decoration variation. Click HERE for last years version.



Rudolph Macarons - Who could resist these delicious Rudolph macarons. I'd say they were the sweetest thing, but I already have a sweetest thing reindeer cookie (HERE) so that would be dumb. Anyhoo just CLICK HERE to see how I made the Rudolph Mac's.


Peppermint Cookie Fudge - Totally delicious, this fudge make a perfect gift if you can manage to not eat it all. Or perhaps you should do what I we do around here and make up 2 batches right from the start. If you want to whip up your own irresistible fudge Click HERE 



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.