(To catch up, you can go back and read about Day 1 and Day 2 of my basic cake class).
I can’t believe I decorated these cupcakes! Every time I look at them, I get a little giddy inside. Next week for the last class, we are doing a large cake again, but this will probably end up being my most favourite class out of the level 1 basic decorating classes.
We ended up using a lot of tips to create all the flowers and petals. I’ll go through them with you and link the techniques that are demonstrated on the Wilton website (although I highly recommend learning from someone, as they can help you correct your mistakes).
The recipe for the icing I used can be found here.
A couple of months ago, Pam over at Cookie Crazie did a post on most adorable Valentine’s Day cookies. She used mini heart cutters and arranged them in such a way to have the hearts sticking out of the square cookie. When I purchased a Wilton’s mini romantic cutter set at the beginning of the month, I had every intention to create similar cookies.
Then life got in the way, in the form of work, friends visiting/moving and birthdays. The next thing I knew it was the end of February and more than a month had past since I made cookies with icing. Since I just purchased my new Kitchen Aid Mixer, I decided to take advantage of the recent evening alone and make chocolate sugar cookies.
I used my new mini cutters along with a square cutter to create a window with flowers, hearts and butterflies similar to Pam’s style. I’m terrible with words, so I let the pictures explain her technique!
It helps to press the cookies together, but try not to squash them, otherwise the different sections come out uneven.and thus become harder to put royal icing on later.
While icing these cookies, I also made a mental list of more baking supplies I’ll need to pick up. My only tip #3 which I usually use to outline the cookies is currently attached one of the piping bags I have prepped for my cake decorating class tomorrow, so I had to use cut-up plastic sandwich baggies instead. This resulted in more uneven lines and thicker borders, so I definitely need to pick up more tips and a tip cleaner.
(To read about Day 1 of the cake class, click here).
Above is the cake I decorated for day 2 of my Michael’s store cake decorating class, basic level.
This week’s class was much more hands on, as last week we pretty much just watched our instructor make icing and decorate a cake. This time we had to bring our own cake and 2 batches of homemade icing, along with our materials from our kits and instruction booklet. I also brought along some icing gel colours to make the icing different shades.
When I got to the class, the first thing we did was level the tops of our cakes and then flip them upside down, as the bottom of the cake was much sturdier to ice than the fluffy top. It was then optional to cut our cake in half and fill the middle with either icing, jam or pudding. I brought along chocolate pudding mixed with strawberries.
We then iced the cake with our icing and then learned how to create the cupcake design with clear piping gel. I’m not a big fan of piping gel, as I can’t see myself using it too often. I would much rather learn how to make flowers, which will be next week’s lesson when we bring cupcakes!
I bought her cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks along with my Cookie Craft book in January and I love it. I thought it was going to be just like her website, which is why I didn’t buy it right away since all of her recipes are online. But I’ll admit it, it’s easier to have a cookbook spread open in your kitchen during the baking process than a laptop displaying the recipe, but also running low on battery life.
When I first discovered her website, one of the recipes that intrigued me the most was that of her famous cinnamon buns. The recipe was simple, straightforward and I already had all the ingredients already in my pantry, which is a big plus for me. The only thing that scared me was the amount of cinnamon buns the recipe made – serves 8 people. Yikes! 99.9% of the time, I’m cooking for just Trevor and I. Plus I had to factor in Trevor’s lactose intolerance.
I also wanted my work pants to fit the next day.
This was where Amber at This Mommy Cooks came in. I came across her cooking blog when I was looking for a successful half-sized version of PW’s cinnamon buns. She posted step-by-step photos of her baking process and I figured that 4 servings would be easier than 8 servings. Half the temptation would be gone! My clothes would still fit the next day!
Yes, I finally bit the bullet and got myself a new mixer. Not just any new mixer mind you, but the most beautiful, pure KitchenAid Mixer ever. Literally, it’s presence in my kitchen is putting all my other appliances to shame. I may have to throw them all out and start again like in university.
I would like to thank all those who made this purchase possible:
– my old handmixer for dying in December. I loved you and I’m so glad that your final act was making royal icing for my first attempt at decorating cookies. Mind you, if I hadn’t made them and burnt out your engine, you would still be there. Thank you for being that sacrifice.
– my mother, who gave birth to me so close to Valentine’s Day that I would be able to celebrate my birthday recently and send me a birthday cheque for the purchase of a KitchenAid Mixer.
– Barnes & Castle, a discount appliance store in the GTA where I was able to purchase said KitchenAid Mixer for the awesome price of $188.99 before taxes and therefore convince my mother that she would not need to buy one online and thus save herself over a $150 in purchase and shipping fees. I’m a good daughter and an even better bargain hunter.
– Trevor, who came with me to said store on the windiest and busiest of all Saturdays to help me purchase said KitchenAid Mixer and lovingly carried it out of the store to the car, up three flights of stairs to our home and gently helped me extract it from its box. He must know that more baking is in his future.
Alright, I’m off to make some Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Buns for the busy week ahead. Even though the recipe doesn’t call for it, I’ll find an excuse to use my baby somehow.