Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cookie Monster Cake

Be prepared for LOTS of dessert recipes coming your way. I did a dessert buffet for a birthday party with 100 guests. The theme was Cookie Monster. I just love the way the cake turned out. Especially since I originally wasn't suppose to make the cake. I got a call about an hour before the party was starting, so I improvised. The sheet cake is from Costco because there was no way I could make a cake that big and be ready in time. But I did the entire top and that is what makes it so cute!

For this cake I used a vanilla cake recipe, but you could use any flavor. (I have several choices on my blog.) After making the batter I poured it into a Big Top Cupcake pan and baked it according to the pan's directions. You will not use all the batter for the big cupcake. Use what is leftover to make mini cupcakes. You will need them for Cookie Monster's arms.

While it was cooling I made Buttercream Frosting and colored it with blue gel. The liquid food coloring won't give you the right color. Make a small amount of the frosting black.

Put the bottom of the big cupcake on a plate. Spread the top with buttercream frosting and place the top layer of the cupcake on top. Cover the entire cupcake with the buttercream. Using a fork, gently pull the buttercream up, creating a hair-like look. Place in the fridge so the buttercream will set. (I did it this way because with white frosting on the cake and a darker colored frosting, you only have one chance. If you drop some of the blue on the cake, you have to redo the white frosting.)

Once the frosting is set, gently move the cupcake to the top center of the sheet cake. It shouldn't be right in the middle but slightly higher. Place mini cupcakes along the sides to form the arms. (This may sound silly, but if you used cupcake papers, make sure you remove them BEFORE placing the cupcakes on the cake!) This required us to cut some of the cupcakes to get the right shape. Cover the cupcakes in the buttercream, making the fingers out of frosting. Using a fork, gently pull the buttercream up to create the hair-like look.

Cut the head to make a mouth, filling with black frosting. Put a small amount of frosting on the back of two marshmallows, adhere to the head for eyes. Using black frosting, make googly eyes on the marshmallows. Put some cookies in Cookie Monster's mouth and around his hands. My hubbie did this part and he put cookie pieces and crumbs around Cookie Monster, which was perfect! Now Cookie Monster always ate chocolate chip cookies but with such a time crunch, I used what I had - little oreos.

Place cookies around the side of the cake and write the birthday message on the cake.

This cake was SO white ( I would have make the frosting a color if I had time to make it myself) that we continued to decorate and dull the overwhelming whiteness. We placed more cookies and then crushed cookies and sprinkled them over the top.

And wha-la! A marvelous Cookie Monster Cake!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cookie Monster Birthday Party

Last weekend I baked my little heart out for a dessert buffet for a 1st birthday party. There were 100 planned guests and the super fun Cookie Monster theme. It was SO fun!! This is the end result. (Click on the name of the food to be directed to the recipe.)

Here is the Cookie Monster Birthday Cake! Didn't it turn out so cute?
The entire cake was a team effort. I created Cookie Monster's head and Brian did the hands and all the cookie decorations. I think we are pretty amazing!!

This is the amazing spread on the dessert buffet. You know you want to dive in!
The middle had Homemade Oreo cookies with Cookie Monster blue frosting, Mini Cheesecakes and Mini Cookie Monster cupcakes.
These cupcakes were not only adorable...they were delicious too! And so easy to make. I actually just used the leftover batter from the Cookie Monster head for the cake.
Any good dessert spread must have something chocolate. And who can turn down Sheet Cake Brownies?
This tray was filled to the brim with Peanut Butter Snicker cookies and Jubilee Jumbles.
We needed a little more Cookie Monster in the spread, so I made Cookie Monster Sour Cream Sugar Cookies. Well, I made the cookies and my hubbie decorated every single one of them! I just tinted frosting blue, and black and used marshmallows for the eyes.
And topped everything off with Mini Cream Puffs.Everything turned out great and I loved baking my heart out! Give me an excuse, and I'm in heaven. I LOVE this kind of stuff!! And I'm totally available for your next event.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Root Beer Baked Beans

My sister, Wendy, and her family were here visiting and I, of course, invited them over for dinner. And then I turned them into guinea pigs. I love trying new things and usually am not afraid to try them when people are over. So for this dinner I just had to try beans made in root beer. As I was mixing all the ingredients together, I wondered if these beans could really look like baked beans because they were white. But my fears were wasted and we all enjoyed some delicious baked beans.

4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ½ cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 15-ounce can cannellini beans (they are the white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups root beer
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons molasses
2 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the bacon in an ovenproof pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Add the onions to the pot, cook until just beginning to brown (about 8 minutes). Add garlic and stir. Add the beans, root beer, vinegar, molasses, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the bacon and bring to a boil. Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mint Chocolate Pie

My friend, Karey, sent me this recipe that she got from Better Homes and Gardens. I am so glad that she did. It's so yummy! I took it to work for a meeting, and we ate the entire pie. At first we all got one piece, and then another and another. But who doesn't LOVE chocolate and mint?? It's perfect to make when your time is limited and you still want to impress.

1 1/2 cups milk
1 package (3.9oz) instant chocolate pudding
2 3/4 cups whipped topping
1 - 4.67 oz Andes candies, chopped (or you can buy the pieces in the chocolate chip section)
1 chocolate crumb crust
1/4 teaspoon mint extract

Whisk the milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Let the mixture stand for 2 minutes. Fold in 3/4 cup of the whipped topping and 3/4 cup of the candies. Spoon into the crust. Fold the extract into the remaining whipped topping. Spread over the pudding and sprinkle with the remaining candy. Let set for 4 hours.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Orange Glazed Carrots

These carrots are so amazingly delicious! And this is coming from a non-carrot fan. You would think that orange and carrot don't go together, but then you have never tried these carrots. I got this recipe from my friend, Crystal, who brought these to me for dinner one night. Friends are the best! I honestly only ate them to be polite and then I LOVED them! We have enjoyed them several times since in our house.

1 pound baby carrots
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel (much yummier if you use fresh)
1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon

Combine all ingredients together until well combined. Cook in a sauce pan until crisp tender, stirring often to prevent burning, about 12 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Honey Mustard Curry Chicken

After some major computer and internet issues, I am finally back! I'm so excited to get back to blogging. I have A LOT of recipes to share!

I got this recipe from my friend, Aubrey. My hubbie loves honey mustard so I had to give it a try. It didn't disappoint. And it was super quick and easy to make. Best of all, these ingredients are things I always have at my house, so I didn't have to do any special planning or shopping to make it. You will need to shorten the cooking time if you use chicken tenders or thin chicken breasts.

¼ cup butter
½ cup honey
¼ cup mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspon curry powder
2 pounds of chicken

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter, honey, mustard and spices together. Set some of the mixture aside for dipping. Dip the chicken in the remaining sauce and arrange in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake for 1/2 hour, or until cooked through, turning twice and basting the chicken in more sauce.