As a cake and cookie decorator who loves to create simple designs that people can use to create awe-inspired treats, you provide the oven that helps me bake the cakes and cookies to your custom order. Without YOU, The Cake & Cookie Closet: All Dolled Up in Sugar would still be a dream in my heart instead of a book that is making its way around the country. The initial focus was on wardrobe-inspired treats for women. Next week, the Wedding Cookies booklet will make its debut. There’s more about this in the cookie section below.
In order to continue to provide exceptional service to you, I would appreciate a couple minutes of your time to answer a survey. Improving your experience both here in the newsletter/blog and on the Facebook fan page is my primary goal so here’s the link:
Feedback is an incredible thing. What it has given when asked of Facebook fans is amazing. Some people chose to send e-mails and that’s always fine with me, however, I believe other decorators may need to see my answer to you as well so it’s okay to post your comment on the fan page. Specific topics are being requested in mini booklet form that will sell for less than $10. An example is a booklet full of only cupcake purse designs that would be sold to fans for $9.99. Check out the list of suggested topics and add other suggestions here.
For sharing your comments and making suggestions for the future path of The Cake & Cookie Closet, I’ll forever be grateful. That’s one of the reasons I decided to offer a 20% discount off of all the books or booklets in the Shop Now tab on the Facebook fan page. This discount is not available on http://www.thecakeandcookiecloset.com/. It’s available to fans only here so please feel free to share this information with your family members and friends.
Because of you, I’ve expanded my horizons and know that I can give you want you want so feel free to ask questions and make suggestions. We’re a team, and I will help you reach your goal of becoming a cake and/or cookie designer who can create amazing cakes, cookies and other delicious treats in a short amount of time.
When the e-mail went out to say that The Cake & Cookie Closet Newsletter would be turned into a blog, some people suggested that I keep the newsletter format. Please let me know by return e-mail whether your preference is the link to the blog or the newsletter version, and I will create two lists. Your satisfaction is important. Debra
The Cake Side…
Toba Garrett is one of my favorite culinary instructors. She is a master, and I hope that you check out her work. My goal is to take one of her classes soon. In the meantime, here’s my favorite cake recipe of hers. It’s from her Well Decorated Cake book.
TOBA GARRETT’S MOIST YELLOW CAKE
3 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line with parchment paper two 8”x2” pans. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the butter on medium high speed for 3 minutes (or until light and creamy in color). Stop and scrape the bowl then cream for another 60 seconds. Start adding the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs one at a time. Reduce your mixer speed. Stir vanilla into buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top to burst any air bubbles, allowing the batter to settle. Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45-50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan.
Storage: Double wrap the cake in plastic wrap. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
NOTE: This recipe is perfect for making sculpted cakes, ice cream cupcakes, miniature loaf cakes, and simple butter cake with white or chocolate buttercream to use as a birthday cake. Speaking of chocolate buttercream, have you tried adding espresso powder to it? It is amazing. Start with a tablespoon blend well and sample. You will enjoy it.
PROJECT: Cupcake dresses are easy to make. The top two shelves are made with ice cream cupcake molds baked, cooled and lightly iced in frosting. Cover with fondant using various tools and techniques. The bottom shelf is a regular-sized cupcake (fondant topper is cut with a 3” round circle) with a regular-sized marshmallow added on top as the bodice. Take a regular marshmallow, lightly frost it around the sides and add frosting to the bottom and sit on the center of the cupcake. Wrap fondant around the marshmallow (dry fit the fondant to the marshmallow before you add the frosting to make this easier). Have fun decorating with fondant flowers, presses, stamps and icing tips (try them on fondant to see what kind of imprints they make). If you want, you can add melted chocolate to the top of the marshmallow or lightly frost it and add a circle fondant topper pressed down the sides to make the top the same color as the dress.
The Cookie Side…
A different tiara and shoes are featured in the booklet. I just wanted you to see how you can take two different cookies and make them a matching pair. Tiara cookies are great gift ideas on their own but when featured with a shoe cookie (or pair of shoes), they’re even more special.
BASIC SUGAR COOKIES II
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 extra large eggs
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar until light/fluffy. Scrape down sides. Add eggs and flavors. Mix well. Scrape down sides. In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients (I take a whisk and blend them together). Add a little at a time to your butter mixture. Blend until flour has been completely incorporated and the dough comes together. Divide dough in half and place in Ziploc containers. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours until chilled. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or brown around the edges.
Recipes makes 3-4 dozen cookies depending on what size cookie cutters are being used.
June Class Schedule…
There are only going to be a couple classes scheduled through Cookology this month. Please check their website for more information. www.cookologyonline.com. My schedule is currently full with private parties and classes.
As you go through the blogs every once in a while, you’ll see bonus recipes. These are not cakes or cookies, though they can definitely be used at any party or function you give. These are two of my favorites. Let me warn you. They are addictive. Please share with others or you’ll want to strangle me for sharing the recipe with you. And, whatever you do, don’t tell my family members I found these or I’m in trouble.
(from the All in One Bake Shop)
1 pkg dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 Tbsp heavy cream
Dough - In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour and yeast. In a medium microwave safe bowl, heat butter, cream and brown sugar to about 120 degrees F in the microwave. Add butter mixture and eggs to flour mixture. Mix, adding the extra flour until the dough reaches a kneadable consistency. Knead for 3-5 minutes. Dough should be soft. Shape into a smooth round ball. Place in lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to double in size (approximately 1 hour).
Filling - Make filling by combining butter, flour and brown sugar until mixture resembles a crumb topping. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Punch down dough. Divide dough in half. Place on lightly floured surface and roll out to about a 8” x 12” rectangle. Sprinkle half of filling on top. Roll into a 12” cylinder. Cut cylinder into 6 pieces. Place on greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
(If you want to make them one day and bake them the next, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Take rolls out of refrigerator and place in warm place to double in size. From original roll size, this will take about 1-1/2 hours.)
Let rolls rise until double in size (about 1 hour). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes. Let rolls cool a bit on a wire rack. While they are cooling, make the glaze. You can leave them in the pan and glaze the tops, or you can turn them out and glaze the bottoms. Drizzle glaze over the rolls. Leftover rolls (if there are any) can be refrigerated and then warmed in the microwave (20 seconds on high).
Makes 12 large size cinnamon rolls.
(shared with me by a friend)
12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups packed light brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups regular cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Take a 13x9x2 cake pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave and then add the cocoa powder. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. In a regular bowl, combine the eggs with the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Blend together well with a whisk. Add this to the butter/chocolate mixture. Blend together well. Add the salt to the flour and then combine everything together gently. Spread the batter into the pan evenly. Smooth the top. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out almost clean. Do not overbake. Cool completely before slicing.
By Betty Rogers, www.allrecipes.com
(I always quadruple this recipe. It’s that good!)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups walnut halves
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 238 degrees F (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and walnuts. Spread onto waxed paper to harden. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.