Sweetness Contained {Cupcakes in a Jar}

There are a couple popular techniques that can elevate simple dessert into something extra special.  One trick is putting sweets on a stick.. cookies, cake pops, rice krispies treats and even mini pies somehow are much cuter on a stick!  And it seems the same can be said of putting special treats in a jar… it can turn a simple cupcake, for example, into an extra adorable treat, perfect to take on a picnic, give as a party favor, or as a sweet thank you to a teacher, co-worker or friend.

I’ve been seeing lots of beautiful treats in jars… cheesecake in a jar, cupcakes in a jar and even homemade cake mix in a jar.  Everything it seems, looks better in a jar!

So, I recently headed to Wal-Mart and bought myself a case of 1/2 pint canning jars.  Then I whipped up a batch of our household favorite… Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

I baked the cupcakes as I normally would, using cupcake liners in a regular sized muffin pan.  Then, after the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I removed the liners and cut the cupcakes in half (horizontally).  I placed a half cupcake in the bottom of a jar, piped a swirl of frosting, added another half cupcake, more icing, a third slice of cupcake and a final swirl of icing.  So each jar contains 1 and 1/2 cupcakes.  I would suggest being slightly stingy on the icing, or the amount of icing may overpower the cupcakes, but it comes down to personal preference too!

Make someone’s day with a special treat in a jar!

I’m adding this post to Tidy Mom’s- I’m lovin it Friday post.

Taste the Rainbow… Jello!

For quite some time I’ve had THE rainbow cake on my “to bake” list, but so far I haven’t found the time or right excuse to make it.  But after the ridiculously weird and rainy weather recently, I just needed to make something fun and colorful.  So I headed to the store, and bought six boxes of jello and some cool whip, and made rainbow jello!  This is a bit of an all day project, but in general is quite easy and produces an eye catching dessert!  Obviously, the same general concept could be use with other color combinations… red, white and blue, school colors, team colors, you name it!  If you want to do red “white” and blue, since there is no white jello, use lemon jello mixed with cool whip as the “white” layer, as I did HERE)

~ How to make rainbow jello ~

You’ll need one small box of jello for each color you want… so in this case, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. And one large tub of cool whip.

Prepare purple (or whatever color you want on the bottom) jello as directed, using the “quick chill” method, meaning add some ice.  Pour jello into glasses, (or a 9′x13′ baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray), reserving about 1/3 of the liquid jello.  Put glasses, or dish in the refrigerator and chill for 15-30 minutes, or until slightly set.  Mix about 1/3 cup of cool whip into the remaining purple jello.  Pour the jello/cool whip mixture on top of the slightly set purple jello already in the glasses (or dish).

Repeat process for each color.

I’ve seen recipes that use sour cream, or yogurt in place of the cool whip, so feel free to do that if it saves you a trip to the store  =)

Once set, top with some additional cool whip and sprinkles if desired.

Have a delicious and colorful day!

Have a delicious weekend! {Giveaway from Guylian Chocolates}

Early this fall I’ll be creating a dessert table for a good friend’s beach side wedding.  I’ve been on the lookout for beautiful candies that would fit nicely with the beach theme.  So it was perfect timing when I was recently contacted by Guylian Belgian Chocolate.  Guylian is famous for their beautiful shell shaped chocolates.  I’ve enjoyed Guylian Chocolates in the past, but was reminded again how delicious they are!  Each beautiful shell shape is marbled with delicious white, milk and dark chocolate, then filled with roasted hazelnut praline.  I will certainly be including Guylian Chocolate Shells in my friend’s beach themed wedding dessert display.
Would you like to enjoy a box of delicious Guylian Chocolates yourself?
Guylian has offered to send a box of their Original Chocolate Shells to one lucky Glorious Treats reader! 
Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered,
and delicious chocolate may be in your future! 
It’s not required, but I would love it if you sign up to follow Glorious Treats (simply click “follow” in the right sidebar), and join me on Facebook.   
Be sure to leave your e-mail address, or a way to contact you in your comment.  One comment per person.  Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 at 9pm Pacific.  Winner will be chosen using Random.org.  Open to U.S. residents only.  
~ Giveaway Closed ~
Winner (as chosen by Random.org) is comment #33- Stephanie (this happy journey)
Please contact me to collect your prize ( glorioustreats@gmail.com )

Hello Chicago… and a fond farewell dear Oprah

Earlier this year I had an opportunity to visit Chicago for the first time in my life.  I was very excited to visit a new city, spend some time with a good friend, meet a couple of new friends, and enjoy a few days kid-free!  (Yes, I LOVE my children… and yes I also enjoy a break every now and then!)  I was also VERY excited to go here…
The Oprah Show!!!  (Now before you get too excited… I just got to SEE the show, not be on it!)
A little background…
My dear friend Sharnel, of Sharnel Dollar Design had the wonderful opportunity to create a dessert table, and plan and set up a gorgeous baby shower for the Oprah show last November when the show visited Australia (see photos of Sharnel’s beautiful work for Oprah HERE).  The producers of the show were so blown away by Sharnel’s work, they offered her tickets to see a taping of the Oprah show in Chicago this spring.  Sharnel was given 4 tickets and I was the lucky recipient of one of them!  Oh how lovely it is to have friends in high places!  =)  (Read more about how I met Sharnel and our first face-to-face meeting HERE)
Sharnel, myself and two more of Sharnel’s friends (Michelle and Marlene) spent 5 days in Chicago shopping, dining and chatting, with the highlight of the trip being our visit to the Oprah Show.  The show topic (which is unknown the audience until you arrive at the show) was a Saturday Night Live Reunion.  Past cast members of Saturday Night Live including Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Dana Carvey and Chevy Chase reminisced about the show, and shared lots of funny clips from Saturday Night Live over the years.  
So… no giveaway  =)  But it was so special to simply see Oprah in person (across the room) and witness one of her very last shows. 
(Above) Here is our group of international friends (L to R) Sharnel (from Australia), Marlene (from New York), Me- Glory (from California), and Michelle (from Australia).  And yes… I’m sort-of a giant. 
Here, you can’t tell so much when I’m by myself… (and next to a huge sign!)

The day of the show we enjoyed a special dinner at Table Fifty-Two, a restaurant owned by Oprah’s former chef, Art Smith.  The restaurant was beautiful and charming, and the food was delicious!  We all enjoyed one of the restaurant’s signature drinks, the Peach Palmer.
(L to R) Michelle, Sharnel, Me (Glory) and Marlene
Our visit to Chicago also included two fun meet ups with “internet friends”… the lovely Jessie of Shop Sweet Lulu and adorable Kelly of The Party Dress
The trip will always be a very special memory for me and I feel very lucky to have seen even one tiny piece of The Oprah Show.  And I feel even more blessed to have such a special friend in Sharnel, and two new friends, Michelle and Marlene. 

Watermelon (shaped) Cookies

With Memorial Day just around the corner, I though some watermelon shaped cookies could be a perfect kick-off for summer!  This simple design would be the perfect addition to any BBQ or summer picnic.

~ How to decorate Watermelon Cookies ~

Prepare cookie dough, the recipe I use is HERE.

Roll out the dough and cut out circle shapes using a large circle cutter.  Cut circles in half, using a knife.

1.- 2.  For watermelon slices with the “bitten” look, once you have your half circle, use a cutter with a scalloped edge of some kind (I used a scalloped heart) to cut out a “bite”

*Now bake your cookies, and prepare royal icing  The royal icing recipe I use is HERE.

For these cookies I prepared 1 bag of medium consistency green- with a #3 sized tip, one bag of medium consistency white- with a number #2 tip, one bag of stiff/outline consistency red icing- with a #1.5 or #2 tip, and one bag of flood consistency in red- with a #2 tip.

3.  Once your cookies are baked and cooled (this can be done a day, or a couple days before you decorate), follow the curved edge of the cookie with green icing.
4.  In this photo I added some darker coloring to the green ‘rind’, by mixing some green gel food coloring and clear alcohol (clear vanilla extract, or vodka), and applying some color using a paint brush.  If you plan to do this step, the green icing needs to be dry (this may take 2-4 hours).  If you don’t care to add the extra coloring to the rind, continue on as shown below.

5.  When the green ‘rind’ icing has set a bit (30 minutes), add a line of white icing.
6.  When the white line has set (again, about 30 minutes), outline the ‘fruit’ edge with red (stiff consistency) icing.

7.  Fill in each watermelon slice with red (flood consistency) icing.
8.  While the red icing is still wet, I added some (dark brown) chocolate covered sunflower seeds.  If you can’t find these, you could wait until the red dries a bit, and add the look of ”seeds” using black icing.  You could also wait until the red icing if fully dry (about 12 hours), and use a black food marker to add the “seeds”.

Then sit back and enjoy a slice of summer!

I’m adding this post to Tidy Mom’s-  I’m Lovin It Friday post.