Cover It!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I know there are more important things to let bug me and I will fully admit my latest peeve is quite ridiculous.  I have a problem with the Cottenelle commercials as of late informing folks of their taboo of having "naked" toilet paper.  Or suggesting they "back it up", as in have a spare roll in a cover sitting in waiting.  The little covers they designed to hide one roll of toilet paper are stupid, there I said it.  The commercials annoy me.  Yes, I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

So, what do those foolish cardboard canisters have in common with baking or cupcakes?  I thought of those things today while in the kitchen.  Looking at (o.k. maybe gazing adoringly at) my Kitchenaid mixer sitting on my counter "naked" made me wonder if I needed to cover it.  I just got my mixer for Christmas, remember my wonderful gifts?, and I love having it on the counter ready whenever I need it. 

Yeah, I took a picture at that very moment.  Anyway, I've been looking for a cute cover for a while.  The reason the mixer remains "naked" is that I can't find a cover I love.  There are some I like but I yet to find one I want to look at sitting on my counter everyday.  I've found a couple cute ones online, thank you Google images, but the pictures don't link to an actual site where I could buy one.

Aren't these two cute?  Yeah, images that link to flickr or a no longer existing site.  Thanks a lot Google, thanks a lot.  So in the meantime my mixer remains naked and I shall continue my quest for the perfect cover.  So, did Cottenelle inspire me?  Nope, still annoying, just love my mixer!

Cupcake Cakes

Friday, January 27, 2012

I don't need anymore cupcake books.  I do want this book...
Cupcake Cakes

Cupcake Cakes shares great ideas on how to transform cupcakes into shapes and designs creating a full "cake".  I mean, who wouldn't love this puppy....

Cupcake Cakes

Best part is, you don't have to cut the cake.  You can just pull apart and enjoy! 

Crafts and Cupcakes

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I've been MIA from the blog lately but have been busy with cupcakes.  I love getting calls and emails from friends and family requesting my cupcakes for their special occasions.  I've been so focused on flavors and recipes that I haven't been able to give much thought to themes and decorations.  I'm looking forward to adding a little flare to my creations.  I've always liked DYI projects and crafts so it has been fun incorporating a little of that into my ideas.

My latest request was from a special 5 year old who wanted a Star Wars theme for his birthday.  I was a bit intimidated at first for I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies.  I've always wanted to see them and it has been added to my bucket list to sit down some snowy day and watch them.  Being such a popular theme I was surprised that I couldn't find much of any Star Wars merchandise in the form of cake or cupcake decorations.  As mentioned earlier, I enjoy dyi crafts so I knew I could just make some added flare the cupcakes needed.  I knew I couldn't actually draw what I wanted so I was instantly in search of paper crafts I could transform into cake and cupcake toppers.  I found some confetti at the party supply store that were the perfect size to make into cupcake toppers.  I just punched circles from card stock slightly bigger than the confetti circle and affixed the two circles together atop a toothpick.  Easy peasy, just like that!  The cake topper is a chip board accent piece I found at Archiver's meant for scrap booking.  Again, I cut card stock slight larger than the piece and affixed the two together over a few toothpicks....instant cake topper!  So easy, nothing fancy and well within my artistic capabilities (limited, very limited).

I had wanted to add a personal touch and asked the birthday boy who his favorite characters were.  He told me they were Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano.  Again, not having seen these movies, I quickly googled them to figure out how I could incorporate them into the cake or cupcakes.  Ahsoka is pretty flashy and I had no idea how I would draw that or incorporate her character.  Thinking I would cut my losses and skip that part, I had resigned to the fact they would not be added when I stumbled upon a perfect find.  World Market (love!) happened to have TWO Star Wars character Pez dispensers.  Anakin and Ahsoka!  What were the chances of those being the only two they had?  Not my first pick for decorations but I picked them up anyway.  Cookies-N-Cream cupcakes were made upon request and then a small chocolate cake with creamy buttercream frosting.  In a last ditch effort at an artistic attempt, I tinted the buttercream two shades of gray in an attempt to match Ahsoka's hair (is that even hair?).  I free handed swirls to cover the fact that I can not frost a cake smoothly to save my life.  All the tips from my Wilton Cake Decorating Basics class escaped me.  The cupcakes and cake were then perched on my new Wilton 3-Tier Cake Stand.  I added a Darth Vader candle holder for a finishing touch.

Not great but a good first attempt to a theme design.  I have a lot of practise coming up in the next month or two.  I'll be working on cupcakes for a 1st birthday, mini cupcakes for an Anniversary, jungle animal cupcakes for a baby shower and Valentine's treats for a bake sale.  My coworker and I are planning the bake sale and I also get to do some crafting for the display and decorations of the sale.  Here's a little bit of what I'm working on.  I'm enjoying some creativity outside of the kitchen!

Lemon Raspberry and Chocolate & Red Wine are flavors on my radar to be made in the test kitchen soon.  I might also see how I can incorporate some Girl Scout Cookies into some cupcakes too.  Sales started this week, so let the brain storming begin!

just because....

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I found this on Pinterest the other day.  I've come to enjoy this so much more than I ever expected.  When I started, I knew I'd enjoy the baking part but wasn't sold on the blogging part.  Just a couple months in and I am sold!

Cupcake Catastrophe

Friday, January 6, 2012

O.K. so maybe catastrophe is a strong word.  I'm sure I'm not the first baker to have a bad day and I won't be the last.  I was making blue velvet cupcakes to bring to a farewell potluck at work for a retiring coworker.  I found the recipe over on Sprinkle Bakes.  It's an older post that can be found here.  I could do a whole post on how other baking bloggers are so nice and share fun tips and recipes all the time.  I'm constantly one click away from major cupcake inspiration or advise.  Heather at Sprinkle Bakes is a perfect example!  She adapted her recipe from a Paula Deen recipe so you know it is going to be good.  I love Paula but did follow Heather's changes.  The recipe was easy enough to follow.  The blue color was awesome, just as bright as I expected.  It required enough royal blue coloring, so much so that I depleted my supply.  So I had 24 beautiful blue beauties (and 1 sampler on stand by) in the oven.  I couldn't wait to see how they turned out.  I just washed the bowl from my mixer and was returning it to the stand when I saw the strangest thing on the counter.  There sat 2 eggs.  I had not take out extra eggs nor did I need eggs for the frosting.  I forgot to add the eggs.  I repeat, I FORGOT TO ADD THE EGGS!  How could this happen?  How could I forget eggs that were resting there right next to my mixer?

There wasn't time to wait, wonder or blame.  I needed to remake the whole batch.  I've never had cupcakes without eggs.  I have no idea what they would have tasted like but wasn't in the mood to risk it.  Luckily for me, there is a baking supply store just minutes from my house where I was able to quickly pick up some more royal blue food coloring.  I could have done any color but my heart was already set on the blue and after seeing the vibrant color of the previous defunct batch, I knew I wanted to stick with the blue. 

The second batch went smoothly and came out a superb shade of blue.  The bottoms were slightly more done that I would have liked but the moistness was still there and they tasted great.

The cream cheese frosting was like batches I had made before and made elegant swirls atop these cupcakes.  I've found I like piping the frosting once the cupcakes are in the box.  The symmetrical look of each swirl starting and ending the same just looks even more exquisite.  I'm sure no one else thinks of that when they are digging in to sample but it's something I enjoy when possible.

I decided to top these beauties with simple candy stars made in a candy mold.  The taste and look of them nearly made me forget my earlier mishap.  Definitely a recipe I'll hang on to and make again.

On a positive note, I got a nice surprise in the mail today.  Last month while perusing my friend's blog, Mrs Mommy Booknerd, I stumbled upon Chick Lit Plus.  They were having a give-away.  Easy enough, I simply had to comment for a chance to win a copy of Stop and Blog the Roses.  I won!  It's one part entries from blogger Fern Ronay and one part gratitude journal.  Something great to start out the new year with.  This week I am grateful for the endless supply of baking inspiration available to me online.  I am also grateful for baking supply stores close to my home during cupcake catastrophes.

Happy New Year

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 is off to a great start here at Tasty Sweet.  I've made 3 different varieties of cupcakes in the last couple of days.  I revisited a boozy favorite, Irish Car Bomb.  I also tried 2 new varieties, Neapolitan and Blue Velvet.  I'll blog more about them and their recipes in the future.  The pictures of the Neapolitan treats already caught the eye of one of my favorite cupcake sites, Cupcakes Take The Cake.  They featured them today, you can see their post here.  That may not seem like a big deal to some but it is a huge honor for me.  All I want to do with this blog is share my love of cupcakes and seeing my work featured on other sites helps to spread the cupcake love!  You can check out all my cupcake photos over on flickr.

Have a cupcake idea you'd like to see come to life in 2012?  Drop me an email, I'm always looking for inspiration.  I'm finding all sorts of inspiring ideas for cupcakes and just about anything you dream of over on Pinterest.  If you haven't checked it out yet, go.....go now!  I'm excited to see where this adventure takes me in 2012.  Thanks to my family and friends for the continued support.  I couldn't do any of this without any of them!

"Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends.  Thanks for the wings!  Love, Clarence" ~ from my all time favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life