Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fairy Tale Cookie Project

Just recently I had the amazing opportunity and honor of being part of a wonderful cookie project. Anne from Flour Box Bakery organized this project by 21 cookiers in the US (and 1 in Korea). The project was based on many different fairy tales, with each of us taking one specific fairy tale and making cookies with that theme for a baby shower.

I made Peter Pan cookies, and tried to incorporate the idea of staying a child and being happy - since those are both huge themes in the story of Peter Pan. I also wanted to make it seem like there was pixie dust sprinkled all over the cookies!

As you can see, I put some kind of "pixie dust" on every cookie - whether it was scattered dots painted in luster dust or icing dots . I wanted the characters to look as childlike as I could, so I used some art from here as my inspiration for my characters.

Yadira of One Sweet Party designed a beautiful bag tag and bag topper for our project:

Some close ups:

You can see the full project at Anne's Blog, and I've also included links to everyone's projects below. Enjoy the beauty of some amazing, talented artists - my Sugar Sisters!!

Keep it sweet,

Little Red Riding Hood, presented by Angela of Oh, Sugar Events
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Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, presented by Susan of The Painted Cookie
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Aladdin, presented by Nicole of Life's a BatchFacebook Page
Life's A Batch Blog

Rapunzel, presented by Adrianne of Color Me Cookie

Alice in Wonderland, presented by Debbie of Mt. Lookout Sweets
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Prince Charming of Cinderella, presented by Tiffany of TheRedCooky

Jack and the Beanstalk, presented by Laura of Laura's Cookies

Princess and the Pea, presented by Anne of Flour Box Bakery
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Pinocchio, presented by Stephanie of the Hungry Hippopotamus

Peter Pan, presented by Elizabeth of SweetArt Sweets
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The Frog Prince, presented by Anita of Sweet Hope Cookies
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Jasmine, presented by Kimberly of Sweet Creations
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Little Bo Peep, presented by Lorraine of Lorraine's Cookies
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Tinkerbell, presented by Andrea of Cupookie
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Cinderella, presented by Hillary of The Cookie Countess
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Hercules, presented by Sarah of Songbird Sweets
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Sleeping Beauty, presented by Natalie of Palestine Painted Cookie
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Goldilocks, presented by Liz of Arty McGoo
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Robin Hood, presented by Teresa of Sweet-T-CakeS

Thumbelina, presented by Callye of Sweet Sugarbelle
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Mulan, presented by Krista of Cookies with Character

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Have a Confession...

So, I have a confession. I've never actually made muffins from scratch. I know, right?! I've made them from the box, and I used to work in a bakery where the dough would come premade and we would fill the tins and bake them. But making them from scratch - never. Until today!

Bananas usually get eaten pretty quickly at our house. However, my son has not been too keen on them lately and now my daughter didn't seem too into them either. So I had two bananas left and they were in the beginning stages of being too ripe to enjoy. I thought about making banana nut bread. But then I thought banana nut muffins might be really yummy!

So I googled "the best banana nut muffins" and got a recipe that sounded really good. I tweaked it slightly and this is what I came up with:

2-3 ripe bananas
one egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp lemon extract
2 Tb strong coffee or espresso
6 Tb milk (if using 3 bananas, cut this to 3 Tb)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
*recipe adapted from HERE

Preheat your oven to 350. You'll need two bowls, one for wet ingredients, and one for dry ingredients. Mash up the bananas with a fork in the wet ingredient bowl. Stir in the rest of the wet ingredients (egg, melted butter, vanilla, coffee, milk).

Put all of your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nuts) into the other bowl. Stir, making sure that all the ingredients are combined well.

Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Do not stir at this point - you want to FOLD it slowly and carefully around 10-12 times. Your batter will be lumpy - that is how you want it.

Now you can fill your muffin tin! This recipe made 12 muffins. I used cupcake liners for mine, but you can spray your tin with cooking spray or a small amount of shortening to prevent sticking. I find the liners to be much easier with clean up - and much easier to get out of the tin.

Sprinkle some sugar on top of your batter. Be generous - it makes a delicious glaze on top while baking!

Bake them for 18-20 minutes at 350. I have a gas oven and it seems to bake more quickly than an electric, so mine were done after 18 minutes. Depending on your oven you may have to go a little longer. Test it with a toothpick.

These are so moist, and the sugar on top really adds to the delicious-ness.

If you don't devour them straight out of the oven (my 2 year old daughter gobbled up two of them right away), wrap them up and save for later - pop them in the microwave for a few seconds... maybe add a dollop of butter and enjoy!

Keep it sweet!