THINKING OUTSIDE THE MAC&CHEESE BOX

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Behind the Scenes at Designer Cakes by April


Cakes, cakes, and MORE CAKES!!!   My Girl Scouts troop and I took a trip to a popular local bakery the other day, and it was fabulous! 
When you first take a step into the  Designer Cakes by April bakery, the scent of sweet treats delights your nose. The tour of the small business was inspiring! The fact that April (the store owner) started by only making cakes for her friends in the beginning, then was able to turn it into a profitable business is just amazing!! But what is even more amazing is the cake itself. I had the honor of trying one of their best seller cakes, the pink velvet cupcake. The cake itself isn't as sweet as the cake mixes you would buy at the store but half the cupcake is frosting so who cares! They topped off the pink velvet with cream cheese frosting. Even cooler, they put some edible glitter on top of it to bling it out just like their store is. The whole store is themed with pink, black, white, and a bright green. It is totally girly and frilly foo-foo. Everyone loves their homemade, hand-decorated cakes and cupcakes that they even do weddings! I highly encourage you to go to this high quality cake kitchen and overload with all the sweets you can get. Trust me, once you start, you WON'T be able to stop!

Me and some awesome cake creations designed by April

WOW!  Now That is a REAL Mixer!

April says it took her 40 hours to work on this fondant fantasy

Making the house specialty: Pink Velvet Cake Pops

April explains fondant

PinkVelvet Cupcake w/Cream Cheese Frosting--yummitz!

Look.  It's half frosting, half cake!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink Heart Whoopie Pies

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!  Well, I was busy yesterday, working on a special Valentine's Day Whoopie Pie.  We wanted to do a Pink Velvet Whoopie Pie, but with all the valentines I had to fill out, we get pressed for time and decided to use a strawberry cake mix.  The filling has butter, powdered sugar, marshmallow fluff and cream cheese (for tang), and just a bit of the yummy vanilla bean paste we love! 

They came out looking cute and tasting sweet.  I definitely think you should whip up some of these special whoopie pies for someone you love today!!



For the cake, we used Betty Crocker Supermoist Deluxe Strawberry Cakemix.  We used a Wilton heart-shaped cookie mold pan to bake our little heart cakes.  Filled them half-way with batter, and baked for 10 min. @ 350 degrees.






The filling was easy, too. 

Whoopie Pie Filling:

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar

1 cup  Marshmallow Fluff

4oz. Cream Cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Cream it all together, until fluffy.  Once cakes have cooled, plate the bottom half of the pie, spread the filling thickly on top, then top that with another cake.  Dust with powdered sugar, and serve to someone you love!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Carmelized Onion and Bacon Dip



The perfect dip for those busy Sunday football parties or the SUPER BOWL!!! (GO PACKERS!!) Creamy, cheesy, and perfect for wavy Lays chips. If it get's a little craazy at those football parties though, take my advice and DOUBLE THE RECIPE!!! 
        WARNING:  Your house may smell like onions when this is all over.  :)






Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe 

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup  sour cream

1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon seasoning salt

3 slices bacon, cut into bits

1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Potato chips, for serving



Heat a heavy nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add the canola oil and the onions. Stir until onions are coated with the oil. Stop stirring the onions and allow to sit until caramelization begins. Once the onions start to turn brown, stir only when necessary to prevent burning.

Once onions are caramelized (they'll be brown and sweet), add the balsamic vinegar and continue to saute until balsamic vinegar is nearly dry. Mix the caramelized onions with the sour cream, garlic salt, and bacon bits. Mix completely and pour into a small bowl. Place in refrigerator to allow the flavors to mellow for at least 30 minutes.  Before serving, sprinkle grated cheese on top.  Serve with baked potato chips.
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