Friday, May 27, 2011

Krispie treat beehive

I think I may have been watching a little too much Cake Boss lately, because I have had an overwhelming urge to build something out of Rice Krispie treats.  A beehive seemed like a good choice - I figured that I couldn't mess it up too badly...

I began by make a recipe for the treats.  I'm not including a recipe because I think everyone on the planet has made them.  I did however, toss in a bit of peanut butter, because I was going to frost the whole thing in chocolate and that seemed like a good taste combo :)

The next step is to gather four mixing bowls from small to large.  I lined them with cling wrap and sprayed the cling wrap with nonstick cooking spray.  Working quickly, I spooned the treat mix in all four bowls, packing it down tightly. 

To speed things along, I refridgerated the bowls while I decorated some cookies.  After chilling, I lifted the largest treat out of its bowl and placed it on a cake stand.  Picturing Marge Simpson's hairstyle, I stacked them from largest to smallest.  With a serated knife, I trimmed off anything that was out of line.

For stability, I pushed a shishkabob skewer down through the center and cut off the end of the skewer that stuck out of the top.

Fondant won't stick to krispie treats, so the structure needed to be covered first in frosting.  For the chocolate frosting I melted a stick of butter with a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and then stirred in about 3/4 lb. of powdered sugar.  The structure was then covered in chocolate.

Now it was time for the fondant.  It is fast, easy, and inexpensive to make your own fondant (tastes better too).  Click here and scroll down the page for instructions.  At this point, I added coloring - gold with a touch of brown.  You may need to add additional powdered sugar when kneading in the coloring so it doesn't get sticky.

Dust a wooden board well with powdered sugar, and roll the fondant out.

And then channeling the powers of Buddy the Cake Boss and Marge Simpson, I carefully draped the fondant over the krispie hive.

I cut off the excess, smoothed it down, and brushed off any excess powdered sugar.  Using dental floss and a skewer, I added details.  I used the floss to make the horizontal lines - I just wrapped it around and pulled it tightly enough to make an indentation.

Now all our little hive needs is some cookie bees!

And now, a word or two about bees.  They play a huge role in pollination.  Did you know over 3/4 of all crop plants are the result of insect pollination?  Our bees are mysteriously decreasing in number which is a huge concern. 

A few plants bees love are bee balm, aster, black eyed Susan, joe pye weed, coneflower, marigold, and hyssop. 

Support your local bees!  They add beauty, movement, and life to your garden.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

May garden cookies

As I was walking through my gardens the other day, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of so many of the flowers.  In bloom right now are evening primrose, spiderwort, roses, orange scotch broom, clematis, peony, painted daisy, bleeding heart, poppy, iris, dianthus, ninebark, weigelia, wallflower, spiderwort, columbine, and salvia.  Putting on a pretty good show in the herb garden are culinary sage and nasturtium. 

Deciding who to use as cookie models was difficult, but here are the chosen ones.  Leading the pack are roses.

I have a slew of knock out roses, (which are SO EASY and bloom incredibly well) and some climbers as well. 

Most of the time I don't go for short lived perennials, but I do have one major exception, peonies.

They are one of the best cut flowers I know of and I fill my house with bouquets of them. I like pink and I like hearts, so bleeding heart is a favorite.

My daughter Isabelle loves these as well.  From small flower to large and showy flower, we have clematis.

My favorite one hasn't bloomed yet.  It is a deep merlot color that is divine.  But, stealing the show right now are the poppies.

And now for my all time favorite flowering shrub, the coppertina ninebark.

The photo doesn't do its coppery/burgundy foliage justice.  Ninebarks rock.  My weigelias are loaded with flowers right now, but I didn't do a cookie of them. 

But here is my dog Nellie posing and smiling for the camera in front of them.  Isn't she cute? 

So here are all my cookies together, making their own little garden.

Wish you could join me for afternoon tea and cookies!

I am linking with
Blessed with Grace

How Sweet the Sound  

Pink Saturday
Sweet as Sugar
Flaunt it Friday
Fantastic Fridays
Feathered Nest Fridays
Show and Tell Friday
Foodie Friday
House of Hepworths
Something Swanky
Somewhat Simple
Brambleberry Cottage

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Owls everywhere

Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of cute little owls?  They are on jewelry, paper goods, and everywhere on etsy.  They are adorable and I have had owl cookies on my to do list for several weeks now.

But when I saw this ADORABLE owl design by Daniella Hayes at Layers of Creativity, my time frame for sweet little owls moved right to the top of the list.  But please visit Daniella to see the real deal owl - I am in love with it.  As soon as I saw it, I knew the cookies needed to be done in pink, brown, and ivory. There are more combos swirling around in my head - this isn't the last you've seen of mr. owl.

I think maybe I need to go to Rue 21 to pick up a pendant!

I am linking up with

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ted's graduation in cookies

I'd like to introduce you to my son.

He is graduating this weekend from

I asked Ted to come up with some ideas that best described Oberlin College.  He consulted with friends and here is what he came up with.

Oberlin is kind of a hippie liberal school and you will see lots of students in bare feet.

On Tappan Square, you will see the oddity of albino squirrels which are the unofficial mascot of the college.

The president of the college is Marvin Krislov, a Rhodes Scholar.

My sincere apology to Mr. Krislov.  I don't own a Kopycake so I was freestyling his face AND it was extremely humid...

So next Monday morning my son will graduate with degrees in history and politics, and leave his beloved Oberlin behind.

The day after graduation he is heading east.

He will be doing a junior fellowship at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Ted found out last week that he had been awarded a

Ted, there isn't a cookie large enough to tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of the man you have become. 


I am linking up with
Flaunt it Friday
Foodie Friday
House of Hepworth
Something Swanky
Somewhat Simple
Show and Tell Wednesday
Topsy Turvy Tuesday
Too Cute Tuesday
Not Just a Housewife
Today's Creative Blog
Sugar Bee Crafts

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flaming strawberry tarts and tablescape

Every year when I was growing up, I requested fresh strawberry pie for my birthday instead of cake.  It was a wonderful concoction of baked pie pastry filled with fresh strawberries and topped with seven minute icing.  I wanted to try bite sized pies (because I love my new little tart pans) and top them with flaming strawberries (because I like to play with fire). 

This is very easy and makes a knockout presentation.  I fit pie dough into tart pans that were sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  A note here - whenever I bake a pie crust without a filling, I generously prick the bottom, line it with foil, and fill with dried beans to avoid shrinkage.  Halfway through the baking, I remove the foil and beans.

After the tart shells had cooled, they popped right out of the pans.  I filled each one with a sliced strawberry.

Top with seven minute frosting, Italian meringue, or if you had a week of migraines like me, marshmallow fluff.  All choices are gooey and good. 

Now its time to play with the fire.  Take a whole strawberry, cut out the stem, and hollow it out just a bit.  Pour a little orange extract in the hollow, place it on the tart, and light it up.

I have a really old and simplistic camera, so catching the flame was not easy.  You will have to take my word for it - really beautiful.  I'm a sucker for anything you can flambe.

Really bad picture, but you get the idea.  I was so hoping to do a dessert and coffee in the garden for this, but south central PA can't seem to get a break from the rain.  Instead, I set up shop in my dining room.  I also made strawberry and strawberry blossom sugar cookies.

I didn't have a strawberry cookie cutter, so I used a heart and the end of a magic wand cutter and put the two together.

Love these Goodwill purchases.  The taller one is a hobnail vase and I put a tiny plate on it.

I didn't have a runner that looked good with the colorscheme, so I just wove one out of ribbon.  I have an Offray factory outlet nearby and the last time I was there, I got a GARBAGE BAG full of beautiful ribbon for $3.11. 

I hope you try these because they really are good, and fast, and easy, and present wonderfully in person.

I am linking with
Show and Tell Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style
Topsy Turvy Tuesday
Not Just a Housewife
Sugar Bee Crafts
Today's Creative Blog
Sumo Sweet Stuff
Inspire me Mondays
 The Girl Creative

Make the World Cuter
Sunday Scoop
 The Tablescaper
                     Be Different Act Normal
Something SwankyPink Saturday

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Breakfast cookies

No, this isn't a recipe for healthful fiber and raisin filled "delights".  These cookies are for all the times we reach for something fast in the morning, instead of taking the time for a proper breakfast.  Not that I would EVER have a cookie, piece of cold pizza, cupcake, or leftover porkchop.  No sir, not me.  There is one thing, though, that I can't be without in the morning.  COFFEE.

Ah, thats better, a strong cup of coffee and jam on my toast.  Actually, the idea for this baking session came from one of my daughter's best friends (hi Chloe!), who has been suggesting bacon cookies.  I got the "bacon" to look bumpy by cooling the cookies on top of these.

To make the egg shapes, I cut out circles and then trimmed them up so they were more irregular looking.  I know I have never fried an egg and had it make a perfect circle.

To make the toast, I cut the dough using a piece of bread as a template.

I've been on a lollypop smashing binge, and today was no exception.  2 pink + 1 purple lollypop smashed, melted, and poured onto waxed paper.

See my coffee cup?  I got in Eagles Mere Pa - my favorite place on earth.  If you ever want the most glorious relaxing weekend with outstanding food, stay at the Eagles Mere Inn

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to make myself a bowl of steel cut Irish oats with flaxseed and fat free organic milk.  Got to jog today too...

Today I am linking with
Too Cute Tuesday
Sugar Bee Crafts
Today's Creative Blog
Debbie Doos

Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Inspire me Monday
The Girl Creative
Making the World Cuter
Sunday Scoop
Be Different Act Normal
Sweet as Sugar
Foodie Fridays
Heck Fridays

Something Swanky
                                                                     House of Heyworths
                                                                    Catch a Glimpse Thursday
                                                                    Brambleberry Cottage
Somewhat Simple