For the love of cake stands…

Gorgeous Cake Stand Collection (with links to sources) - via GloriousTreats.com

Oh Cake Stands how I love thee…

I can’t quite pinpoint the day I feel in love with beautiful cake stands… I imagine it’s pretty closely tied to me falling in love with pretty cakes and cupcakes!

I have a feeling many of you share the same love, so I thought I’d share some eye-candy today…

My gorgeous little collection of cake stands!  (My husband might take issue with the words “little collection”)

OK, so I may have a bit of a cake stand problem….

And what a beautiful problem it is!

Incredible Collection of Cake Stands!! - via GloriousTreats.com

And to be fair, there are actually a few (or a dozen) that I didn’t pull out.  But come on… how can I say no to any of these… it would be like choosing a favorite child (OK, maybe I’m being slightly dramatic!)

I’m thinking there may be a few of you out there with my same “problem”… anyone??

To answer the questions I get (on other blog posts) as to where to buy a specific stand…

I always try to link to the sources of my supplies when I post something new.  If I do not include any information on the “props” in a photo, it’s usually because I’ve had the item for quite a while, and so it would be pointless to mention where I found it.

So, I’ll add a few specific links here, and also lots of general sources…

The set of three white square stands (shown stacked) was from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s.  I don’t see them on-line anymore, but Macy’s does have some other pretty stands.

The silver cake stand with crystal accents, purchased from Home Goods, similar available from Amazon.

The tiny little cream/white individual cupcake stands I bought from a little store in Capitola, California, but they are available on-line from Shop Sweet Lulu.

The round blue stands (two shown stacked) and round light pink stands (shown stacked) are from Mosser Glass and are often available on Amazon, as well as from Shop Sweet Lulu.

Most of the rest of mine are from e-Bay, Home Goods, Marshalls & TJ Maxx

Other places to check if you’re looking to expand your collection are Target, Crate and Barrel, Hobby Lobby, and Sweet and Saucy Supply.

Oh, and to answer one more potential question, “where do you keep them all?”.  I recently had my handy hubby transform our hall coat closet into a cake stand closet… What?  You all have a “cake stand closet” don’t you? =)

Happy Sunshine Cookies {Cookie Decorating}

Don’t these sunny cookies just make you smile?  =)

I recently made these happy cookies as gifts for my daughter’s Vacation Bible School teachers.  As one of the teacher’s myself, I know that VBS week is fun, but also exhausting!  I thought these smiling cookies might help get the week off to a nice start.

For these cute cookies all you need is…

A batch of dough using my Sugar Cookie Recipe.

And a batch of Royal Icing.

For this design I used a sunflower shaped cookie cutter.

I prepared just two bags of icing… one medium consistency yellow, and one outline (medium/stiff) consistency orange.  I used a #2 tip for the yellow and a PME #1.5 for the orange (closest substitute would be a #2).

~ How to decorate Smiling Sunshine cookies ~

1.  Draw a circle outline in orange.

2.  Fill in the orange circle with yellow.

3.  Add both yellow and orange lines around the circle.

4.  Allow the cookie to dry completely, (about 8 hours) then add the smile with a black edible marker (Please be patient and wait for the cookie to be fully dry, or the marker will poke holes in your icing)

Package these fun cookies and share them with someone who needs a smile!

In keeping with the cheerful theme, I used a colorful assortment of twine from The Twinery around clear boxes (available from Garnish).

Happy Decorating and Packaging!

Delicious Chocolate Mousse {Recipe}

A while back I posted Almost Too Easy Chocolate Mousse, which is simply a store mix, dressed up.  I’ve been feeling guilty for never posting a “real” chocolate mousse recipe, although most of you seemed grateful for the quickie version!  So if you’re feeling extra domestic, then here is a “real” chocolate mousse that is light (in texture), delicious and still quite easy.  This delicious chocolate mousse recipe can be made several hours in advance, and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Chocolate Mousse-

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream, or half and half

~plus~

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

A few chocolate cookies, crushed (optional)

Directions:

* Beat eggs with an electric mixer on high about 3 minutes.  Gradually beat in sugar.

* Heat 1 cup whipping cream in a saucepan, over medium heat, just until hot.

* Gradually stir about half of the hot cream into the egg mixture.  Then add egg/cream mixture to the saucepan.  Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (do not boil).

* Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir until chocolate is melted.  Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

* When chocolate mixture has chilled, beat 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer.  Beat on high until stiff.  Fold chocolate mixture into whipping cream.  Pipe or spoon mixture into cups.

* Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Top with crushed chocolate cookie crumbs, if desired.

Makes 8 (moderate sized) servings.

Recipe source:  Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook (1996).

Enjoy!

Fun Summer Cookies {Cookie Decorating}

Ahh the joys of summer…. the sun, the pool, and the cookies?  Well, when you’re as cookie obsessed as me, any season is a good excuse to make cookies!  Here are a few cookies that celebrate the joys of summer.  This weekend could be the perfect time to try a new design or improve your cookie skills.  As with any craft, cookie decorating takes quite a bit of practice to master, but the nice thing is, it’s usually easy to find people willing to eat your “practice.”

To get you started, I’ve posted my favorite cookie recipe HERE

And a couple decorating tutorials are HERE and HERE.

(See additional links below for how-to’s on specific designs)

How to Decorate Shell and Pineapple Cookies

How to Decorate Watermelon Cookies

(Above)  These cookies are from a pretty Luau Dessert Table shown HERE.

  How to Decorate Hibiscus Cookies

How to Decorate Margarita Cookies

 Happy Cookie Decorating and Happy Summer!

How to make Fondant Ladybugs

I like ladybugs… in fact they’re about the only bug I would ever call “cute.”  And they are extra cute stylized and used in decor.  I like using simple fondant ladybugs as decorations on cupcakes in the spring and summer.  Although I do usually try to add a ladybug on just a portion of the cupcakes on a platter, so it doesn’t look like a whole swarm  =)

These simple fondant ladybugs are a perfect project for “fondant beginners” because it is quite simple, but adds such an adorable touch.

Earlier this year I prepared a whole party for my youngest daughter, Joy around a ladybug theme (posted HERE- it was a pretty cute party if I can say so!).

Give these cute fondant ladybugs a try and use them to dress up cupcakes for a garden party, red hat society meeting, or any spring or summer get together.


How to make a fondant ladybug ~

1.  Prepare fondant in red and black (see my Fondant 101 post for handling and coloring fondant).  Now I will add that although you can color the fondant yourself, I usually use pre-colored fondant specifically for red and black.  Those two colors are extra difficult to get nice and vibrant if you are coloring it yourself.

2. Roll a small red piece of fondant into a ball, then flatten slightly into an oval.  Use a toothpick or “boo-boo stick” (as shown) to create a line down the center of the red body.  Roll a tiny ball of black fondant and stick it onto the red body.  I can usually just stick the fresh fondant directly to the red and it will adhere and once dry will be stuck together nicely.  If you are having trouble sticking the fondant head to the body, you can use a teeny, tiny bit of water or corn syrup to act as glue.

3.  Once your ladybug is dry (after several hours or overnight), use a black edible marker to draw some black spots on the lady’s back.

Use your cute ladybugs to dress up cupcakes, cakes and even as a 3-D feature on cookies.

Happy Decorating!

 *Shopping note- I bought the ladybug print mini cupcake liners in a specialty store about 5 years ago, and have since called the store, then contacted the company, and as far as I know they are no longer available, sorry!