Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sugar Cookies???

I have debated adding cut sugar cookies to my menu since pretty much day one.  And I still haven't made up my mind. Outside of making a few hundred for the cocktail hour at the wedding of some friends of ours, I only make them for our little family during the holidays.

The cons?  They. Are. So. Much. Work.  It is usually a two to three day process for me to make the dough, let it set, roll out, cut and bake, then frost and decorate. Not to mention they are a little more fragile in transporting and difficult to store than the cupcakes I'm used to.

The pros.  They are so darn cute when they're all done up!  And sooo yummy.  I kind of get in a trance when I'm decorating them.  They are a whole different beast than cupcakes.  There are rarely two that are just alike and that part appeals to my whimsical side.

So, what to do?  I'm still not sure.  Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on shaped sugar cookies.  In the meantime, I will leave you with these photos of some of our personal stash of sugar cookies.  Enjoy!

Our Valentine cookies this year.  (Since I didn't get around to making any at Christmas...)

Snowflake sugar cookies for a wedding cocktail hour.
Photo courtesy Merina Burda Photography.

Christmas cookies from two years ago.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ombre Ruffle Cake

This family is celebrating two birthdays and a baptism this Valentine weekend all while Grandma visits.  That's a lot of love for one weekend!  The 6" cake is for the oldest birthday girl.  It's strawberry filled with lemon cream cheese and decorated in an ombre vanilla butter cream ruffle.  Whew!  The mini cake is for little sister who is turning 1.  It is comprised of 2" layers of vanilla bean cake decorated with butter cream to match big sister's.  Grandma got a special gluten free petal flower cupcake for the party.  More GF white almond rose cupcakes (not pictured, silly me) were reserved for the baptism on Sunday. 

Mini cake.

Gluten free white almond cupcake with fondant heart.

Ombre ruffle sides. 
The client sent me a picture of a similar cake done in fondant ruffles as inspiration.  This method (see below for directions) using a petal tip in a pastry bag and a turntable is just a pretty and even more delicious! 
They looked so pretty on my table I didn't want to let them go!

Directions for butter cream ruffle cake:

Frost the entire cake in a thin layer of butter cream with smooth sides and top and let set.  Fill a pastry bag with the darkest color frosting and a petal tip or Wilton tip #104.  Start at the bottom with the fat part of the tip against the cake and spin the turntable as you pipe on the frosting. Work your way up in a continuous spiral, refilling the pastry bag with lighter frosting as you wish.  Pipe on layers of ruffles all the way to the top edge.  On the top surface, start at the outer circumference with the thin part of the tip facing out.  Again, spin the turntable and work in a continuous spiral motion until you get to the center.  You can leave it as is or place a pretty fondant piece on top.