squirrel cake…


IMG_6569i admit “squirrel” cake does not sound very appealing BUT the story behind it is hilarious if i don’t say so myself.

my husband sweats over his garden but the squirrels keep getting to his goodies, and it drives him mad.  he has even attempted to stop the squirrels with our daughter’s play bow and arrows, with zero success of stopping them.

so for his birthday cake my son and i thought it would be funny to tease him with a squirrel cake enjoying some fresh veggies…and with a few arrows laying beside him.

i didn’t have much time to make this cake and you can tell, it’s not the neatest work i’ve done but the end result was terribly gratifying. he was tickled.

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basketball cupcakes…

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my baby turned 10! still can’t believe it.

he asked me to make cake for his class, i thought ice cream would be easier, but he insisted (even though he really doesn’t even eat cake).  for easy serving and clean-up, we agreed on cupcakes.

i was inspired by these cute basketball pops i found on http://www.pinterest.com and figured i would give it a try.  i’ve made bite-sized ball cakes before but i’ve never coated anything with chocolate candy before.

ingredients/supplies:

2 cake mixes

1 container of whipped icing

Wilton Candy Melts: orange and chocolate

24 cupcake liners

piping bag or ziplock bag

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i used one box of cake mix for the cupcakes and baked according to instructions.  i used the other box and baked it as a large sheet cake.  once it chilled i cut it up into large squares, placed them into a deep mixing bowl and using a fork, crumbled the entire cake.  i added a large scoop of icing and mixed it all together.  you can adjust the amount of icing based on your liking, i didn’t want it to be too creamy, just enough to help hold it all together.

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make the balls (pops) just by scooping a bit into your palms and rolling them into balls.  form them tightly so they hold and won’t crumble.  line them on a cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper or silicone mat so they don’t stick).

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melt the chocolate candy per instructions.  the microwave worked great for me.  stir until completely melted.  after a few mishaps, i decided to pour the melted candy into a smaller deeper bowl.  i dropped a ball in one at a time, rolled it around using a small fork, then carefully lifted them out and placed them back onto the parchment paper to harden.  at first i used the toothpick method, picking them up and trying to coat them by rolling them in the candy.  what a mess! some broke, the coating became all goopy and messy.  horrible.

to pipe the basketball lines, i melted the chocolate and poured into a piping bag.  you can also pour into a ziplock bag and snip a corner to create your own piping bag.

ziplcok method: hold a ziplock by a bottom corner between your thumb and fingers, fold over the opening and pour your melt into the bag.  by folding over your bag, just like a piping bag, you’ll keep the melt inside the bag and not all over the opening when you close it to pipe.  push the air out and close the ziplock bag.  with a pair of kitchen scissors, snip the bottom corner according to the size you want.  pipe away.

OMG- piping on a circular object is hard! it took a while to get used to it and had i exercised some patience and restraint, i would have practiced on other things first before going directly onto the basketballs.  oh well.  it was fun to do anyhoo.

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basketball backboards were created in photoshop, glued onto large wooden toothpicks for each cupcake.

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*TIP: if you are driving these to a different location, place them carefully into the car! i placed all the cupcakes neatly into a large cake box but when i put it down into the passenger seat of my car, they all slid into each other.  i completely failed to realize the seat dipped back.  duh!

enjoy!

lazy baker…

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i don’t like to cook and i definitely don’t like to bake.  too much work, too messy.  but i can make sweet potato pie, pretty much the only thing i can make that comes out good each time.

it’s easy. i even add decorations on top that’s super easy.  this is why i’m the lazy baker- the thought of kneading dough with butter, rolling it out, etc. etc. pains me.  so why bother? i just cut decorations out of another pie crust!

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my recipe:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 eggs

1/2 cup of milk, i use skim

3 Tbs of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

sprinkle of ground ginger

2 ready made pie crusts, found in your grocer’s freezer section

1. preheat over to 400 degrees

2. boil the potatoes for 10 minutes until soft

3. mash potatoes in a food processor, you can use an immersion blender, blender, or your fork even.  use a spatula to scrape the sides to make sure you get everything

4. add in this order: butter, sugar, milk, eggs, and seasonings

5. pour your mixture into your pie crust pan.  don’t overfill.  you can always pour the rest into a shallow oven-safe bowl for a single serve pie

6. want to decorate? i just used kitchen utensils and cut decorations out of the second pie crust: piping tip for circles and knife to cut the heart out.  so easy.

7. bake your pie(s) for 40-50 minutes, checking periodically towards the end so as not to burn your yummy crust.

serve as is warm out of the over, or with whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate, sprinkles….anything sweet!

enjoy!

what i’m in love with…

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