Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Cookie Recipe - Butterscotch Pecan Shortbread

I love food blogs.  I waste a lot of time searching blogs for ideas and inspiration.  One blog that I really love is Baked Perfection.  The blogger is sort of like me.  She's got a day job and she bakes like a mad woman.  It's great.  She had these cookies on her site and they looked dreamy so I tried them.  I owed a friend of mine a few sweet treats, so I thought this was the perfect time to make amends.  Plus, who doesn't like cookies?  These are a butterscotch pecan shortbread.  I'll bring them to school tomorrow to share!  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cupcakes for Haiti

So, the Student Bar Association at the law school wanted to get $1000 together to donate to Doctors Without Borders in support of their effort in Haiti.  One of the fundraising events was called "Rent a Student". For the event, there was an auction where student services were auctioned off.  I offered up 2 dozen custom cupcakes.  When a bidding war arose between a professor and my friend who won my cupcakes in the PILA auction, I decided to offer up 4 dozen.  All in all, my 4 dozen cupcakes generated $150 for Haiti.  This was the first batch of cupcakes for that effort.  I made them for my friend Becca who wanted to bring them to her friend's birthday party.  She told me that the birthday girl loves bright colors and mint chocolate chip ice cream, so I made these beauties.

The cake is a chocolate chocolate chip cake. The frosting is a mint buttercream.  I cut the flowers out of fondant and piped buttercream on their centers.  I hope this inspires others to donate their own services to benefit a charitable cause.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yes, my life really does revolve around law school, cupcakes!

As so many of my readers know, I am working on the team that's putting together Widener Law Review's 2010 symposium, Health Law and the Elderly: Managing Risk at the End of Life, with my all time favorite professor, Thaddeus Pope (remember him--law school sympathy cupcakes).  Tomorrow we have a committee meeting, and the Law Review secretary (mastermind behind this entire operation) asked me to make cupcakes.

You also probably know that I don't really like to try new recipes.  I get scared and REALLY disappointed if they don't turn out.  Today, though, I decided to live life on the wild side and try something new.  So, I browsed through about a dozen cupcake books before coming to Martha Stewart's banana pecan cupcakes with caramel swiss meringue buttercream.

Let me tell you, this frosting was a royal pain--but it was worth it!!!!  First, I made homemade caramel, which, just by itself takes forever!  Then, I made meringue (hello--process!) and added whipped butter (whipped by me, of course).  Then I added the caramel.  After about 2 hours, this delectable buttercream was complete!  Wow, it is incredible.  It's much lighter than the traditional buttercream and the caramel makes it sweet (but not too sweet) and silky.  I just might have to make them another time (but only for a special occasion).

I drizzled the homemade caramel and sprinkled pecans over the top.  Enjoy!

Environmental Law Clinic Cake

As you know, my friend Marie participates in the Environmental Law Clinic at School.  Last week, it was her turn to bring in snack for the clinic class.  Last semester, we made earth-friendly cupcakes for her clinic snack.  This time around, she came to me wanting to top last semester's snack with a cake.  We made a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream.  Then, we made the Environmental Law Clinic's logo out of fondant and placed it on top of the cake.  Marie cut out the continents and the reduce-reuse-recycle symbols that we put on the sides of the cake.  She did an incredible job.  I decorated the green border of the logo with edible pearl dust so it sparkled.  Then I piped on the words.

When I emailed photos of the cake to my very critical (yet absolutely lovable) mother (like mother, like daughter), she commented that my cakes are getting much straighter and my piping technique is really improving. I think she's right.  This tells me that all my practice is really paying off.  Looking back, I've improved so much since this time last year.  My next goal is to learn to make sugar flowers.  Maybe by this time next year, I will have accomplished that.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feliz Cumpleanos Jacqueline!

My friend Jacqueline LOVES cupcakes.  I mean, she's a Mizrachi...and what do all Mizrachis have in common? A love love love for sweets.  Don't let Sofi on her whole wheat soap box fool you, she loves sweets too (just don't tell her how many sticks of butter you used).  So, for Jacqueline's birthday this year, I decided to make her a GIANT cupcake with the cupcake mold my friend Liz gave me.  The funny thing is, I saw Jacqueline on her birthday eve, and she said to me: "I better get a cupcake tomorrow!"  Little did she know...

So, I made this giant cupcake.  It was absolutely horrible to frost and the bottom looked like a 3 year old made I made a foil cupcake wrapper to rest around the bottom (another cake wreck, solved).  I made the decorations on the top of the cupcake out of fondant.  I piped the "Happy Birthday Jacqueline" out of buttercream on a piece of fondant that I cut out.  When she saw it, she started screaming in spanish (since, as a Mizrachi, of course she was talking on the phone).  She even hung up the phone to give me a big hug.  That night, I made an awesome dinner (fish tacos!) and we went to see a chick flick.

Now her family is fighting on facebook over who is most worthy of me shipping their birthday cake to Panama for them.  :)

Hope you enjoyed your birthday, Jacqueline.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Greg

Well, my original plan was to make Greg an AWESOME Mets cake for his bday.  But, instead, we did an impromptu birthday-eve celebration and I made him this mini cake.  We went out to dinner later that week and he had key lime pie with a candle in it!

Cupcakes for Burd

Nothing makes a person feel better than a nice hunk of chocolate cake.

Happy Birthday Ryan and Andrew!