My fourth son Alec turned 16 this weekend. He has one thing on his mind these days - getting his drivers license. I am about to embark on my fourth adventure in teenage driving (and I wonder why I have migraines...). Somehow boys think because they have been using a riding mower for a number of years, it qualifies them as knowing how to drive on a roadway. To this I say, backyards have no pedestrians, intersections, or recklesss/aggressive/intoxicated John Deere drivers to watch out for.
Anyway, on to the cake! I made a chocolate box mix that I added my favorite secret weapon to - pudding mix. Because it was chocolate I also added instant cofee to the water that the box called for. If you haven't tried this, you must. The coffee really intensifies the flavor of the chocolate - learned this from one of my personal heroes The Barefoot Contessa. I made a standard buttercream frosting that I unfortunately don't use a real recipe for. Butter, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, a little milk, and for flavoring I added vanillla extract and a splash of Kahlua. Now don't panic with the Kahlua. I am not promoting drinking and driving. A splash adds incredible flavor that compliments the chocolate cake and other extracts contain alcohol as well.
I did a crumb coat of the cake with the buttercream and put it in the fridge to harden up a bit.
In the meanwhile, I baked the cookie toppers. I used a race car cookie cutter and trimmed off the back so it looked more like a normal car. I cut the trees and traffic light by hand.
The cutter broke, darn it. This was my first ever attempt at making cookies on a stick, so I probably overdid it a bit. When I had the cookies on the baking sheet, I added the sticks and then pressed some extra dough over it in an attempt to make them sturdier.
I also made sure they were well baked, because the last thing I needed was a soft cookie. After they cooled, I decorated them. I like the way the colors swirl in the trees. Just randomly add the colors at the same time and swirl with a toothpick.
Time to assemble the cake. I frosted the sides with more buttercream and then colored the rest of the frosting green to resemble grass. I used gray sugar sprinkles to make a road down the center. With a star tip, I piped the grass on both sides of the road.
Now for the fun part - adding the cookies to the top. Just insert the sticks and you are done. Well, almost...
I am a mom. I couldn't help myself.
Just a few words of wisdom.
You can't see all the way around, but it says "I am watching you". Not to make you paranoid or anything. You have heard of Big Brother? Well, I am Big Mother.
You heard me right - no speeding.
And for heavens sake,
OK, thats enough of my public service message. Its time to celebrate! Is he cute or what?
Make a wish.
Happy 16th birthday Alec. I love you very much and I am sure you will be a great driver! But, remember, I am watching.
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