October 11, 2011

Baby Shower: The Desserts

I. love. baking. 

I'm not quite as big of a fan of cooking (much to my husband's disappointment). I'd much rather bake a cake or decorate cupcakes than cook healthy dinners. Although, I do my fair share of both. The only problem I have with baking: not enough people to eat my sweet treats!!! 

Since Andrew doesn't eat - or even like - sweets, I try my best not to make them unless there is a special occasion where I'll get to share them...... otherwise I end up eating a pan of muffins. Or a loaf of banana bread. Or a couple dozen cookies. Or an entire cheesecake (I almost didn't fess up to this one. Sounds so much more disgusting when I see it in writing!). 

Insert: baby shower. The perfect excuse to bake to my little heart's content! And bake I did. Danielle has a full container of cookies and a couple dozen cupcakes in her freezer for when baby Gia arrives and they get extended stay house guests to entertain for a few weeks! 

I won't bore you with the details, or insult your Martha skills - we all know how to make cupcakes and sugar cookies. Right? Well, next time you want to make fab vanilla cupcakes {or a cake, I suppose} I hiiiighly recommend this recipe! So moist, so easy. Its my new vanilla go-to. 

I found the cute pink cupcake liners at Michaels. I cheated a little and bought the strawberry icing (whipped) in the baking aisle and piped it using a disposable decorating bag and a "petal" tip. I found a few tutorials online for how to frost a cupcake like a pretty little rose... some were more helpful than others, but I mostly had to wing it. For a point in the right direction, check out this short video.  My decorating tip was way smaller, and the icing I used wasn't as stiff so they look a little different - but same idea.

I also made a batch of strawberry cupcakes - from the box... gasp - and piped vanilla whipped icing on top, then covered with hot pink sprinkles! All day people kept saying that they were too pretty to eat. Whaaa?? Might explain the dozens of left overs...
The sugar cutout cookies were a bigger hit than the cupcakes as far as actually getting eaten. They look less intimidating... easier to grab as you walk by the table and munch on while you chat I suppose. Anyway, I ended up just using a sugar cookie mix instead of my Nana's famous recipe just for the sake of saving some time in a busy week and I will never ever ever make cutout cookies this way again. Swear. They were too sticky as dough, too thin as cookies, and just flat out a hassle. Nothing like my Nana's! But they looked cute for my purposes.
I got a pack of 4 baby themed cookie cutters at Michael's, just to have the onesie shape! I'm sure I'll reuse them all at some point though. After I mixed, rolled, cut and baked... I used Wilton's "Decorator Icing" (white & pink) aka "flooding icing" to decorate the cookies. I was impatient with letting them dry the recommended 1 hour before adding a top layer, so my "G" cookies sort of bled together... hindsight, I would have definitely let them dry a few hours or over night.

With the heart onesie ones, drying time wasn't an issue because I used a tube of thicker decorating icing for the details. That's another option for next time :)

The "G" design wasn't a novel idea I'm sure, but it didn't take much inspiration either. But the decorating details for the heart onesie design were definitely Pinterest-inspired!  The baking and decorating for all of these sugar-packed pink treats was a time-consuming (2-day) process, but was so so fun! 

I feel like I learned a lot about dessert decorating last week - particularly some ways to improve for next time. Luckily, my crowd was easy to please and they didn't seem to mind any imperfections! As with most kitchen endeavors, I figured out what corners I can cut for time-saving purposes, and what not to half-ass in the future! 

Canned buttercream frosting: sometimes do
Bagged cookie mix: definite don't
Packaged flooding icing: do
Let icing fully dry next time: 100% do

I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to bake cookies and cupcakes galore again, but when the time comes I'll be ready!


  1. okay these look amazing! Have you thought about opening up a bakery? I'm serious! They look professional. I wish i loved baking. I just told my husband i like cooking more and i think he wishes it was the other way around. :)

    great job!



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