Friday, September 14, 2012

Teddy Bear Cars

My mother-in-law was planning her annual Teddy Bear Picnic for her preschool class and asked if I'd make something. I had a super busy week, so I needed something that wouldn't be too time consuming. I found this idea online and thought it was PERFECT!! No baking needed!!

I used 3 Musketeer candy bars because they would be the easiest for what I wanted to do and least messy for the preschoolers!! Some instructions online said to cut the Teddy Bears (Teddy Grahams) basically in half and "glue" them onto the car. Instead of doing that, I used a small Paring Knife to cut out a "seat" for the bears and then just pushed the legs down into the seat. I cut M&Ms in half for the steering wheel and used whole M&Ms for the wheels. I used Royal Icing (it doesn't take much) to glue everything together and for the headlights!!

This is a fun project to make WITH your kids as well!! There are tons of ways to change it up too!! Use different candy bars for the car. Use skittles or other small candies for the wheels and steering wheel. Use melted chocolate chips as your glue. Use your imagination and have fun!!!

The kids loved them - so it ended up being the perfect treat for a Teddy Bear Picnic!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

30th Birthday Cake - Flowers

I made this cake/cupcakes for a friend's 30th Birthday!! I tried out a new icing which EVERYONE loved!! The cake was a "densed up" White Cake with Vanilla Chocolate Chip Buttercream Filling and the French Buttercream Icing on Wilton's website (I know it's not really "French" Buttercream - but it's still yummy!!).

Wilton French Buttercream (click here for recipe)
**If you follow the instructions on the website - you will probably end up frustrated. I thought this icing was going to be a total flop when I started. But with these additional hints - it turns out wonderful!!
**After cooking and thickening the sugar, flour, salt - place this mixture in your Stand Mixer and beat on medium-low until room temperature (10-15 minutes). You can feel the outside of the mixing bowl to feel if it is cooling off.
**After adding the butter and vanilla - beat on medium-high (or high as long as it doesn't fling your icing all over the room) until peaks form. I just set mine on medium-high and walked away for at least 10 minutes and let it go.
**If it still isn't getting the consistency you need - place in the fridge for a few minutes to cool - then whip it again with the mixer.
**If you have left this icing in the refrigerator overnight - let it sit out at room temperature for an hour or two - then re-whip it until it is back to the consistency you need!!

Recipe to Dense Up your White Cake Mix (and make it taste better too!!)...
1 Duncan Hines Deluxe White Cake Mix
1 Jello Instant Pudding Mix - 4 serving size (I use vanilla)
4 large egg whites (or 3 large eggs)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
Mix on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes. Bake in greased and floured pan as per the box directions.
**this makes a very thick batter - so you will need to spread it in the pan most likely.