GIVE A HOOT…OWL CUPCAKES!!

April 23, 2018

Give a Hoot Owl Cupcakes in pretty SPRING COLORS can be made in 4 SIMPLE STEPS…just like the recipes in our latest book, Make It Easy, Cupcake! We love anything SIMPLE…like using the same cookie to make the eyes, the wings, and the ears. The only thing extra is the COLORFUL CANDY used for the eyes, beak, & toes. WHOOOOO DOESN’T LIKE EASY DECORATING?

  1. Make parts from vanilla sandwich cookies. Separate sandwich cookies and keep the cream intact on one side for the eyes (you will need two cream sides for each owl). Cut a cookie side without cream in half for wings. Cut another cookie side without cream in half, and then in half again to make the ears.
  2. Add candy lashes (Baby Tears) and a candy pupil (Junior Mint) to the cream on the eye cookies, the hard candies will stick to the cream but use an extra dot of frosting to secure the pupils. (Choose candy colors that coordinate with the frosting color.)
  3. Frost cupcakes in pretty spring colors and smooth. Add eye cookies, wings, and ears.
  4. Attach candy for the beak (Baby Tears) and for the feet (Banana Candy). Pipe frosting dashes, dots, or squiggles for the feathers on the belly.

WANT MORE SIMPLE 4 STEP DESIGNS? Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 projects that are just as easy and just as much fun as our GIVE A HOOT OWL CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 18

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

GIVE A HOOT!

Alan and Karen

EARTH DAY CUPCAKES!

April 15, 2018

70 PERCENT OF OUR PLANET IS COVERED IN FROSTING!! Global cupcakes made in 4 SIMPLE STEPS…just like the projects in our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! Deep ocean colors are made by blending white and two shades of blue frosting right on the cupcake, and continents are piped from a zip top bag using green frosting. Smooth the planet’s crust by rolling the frosting in white decorating sugar.

  1. Tint frosting light blue, dark blue, and green. Place some light and dark blue frosting along with white frosting on each cupcake.
  2. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and smooth, without completely blending the colors.
  3. Place the green frosting in a zip top bag and pipe continents on the blue frosting.
  4. Roll the cupcakes in white decorating sugar, and press to shape and smooth.

Love Earth…it’s our home!

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our PLANET EARTH CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

LOVE THE PLANET, IT’S OUR HOME!

Alan and Karen

CHERRY BLOSSOM CUPCAKES-2 WAYS

April 4, 2018

There’s more than one way to make a CHERRY BLOSSOM…and we’ve crafted the petals 2 ways to prove it! We made these gorgeous Cherry Blossom Cupcakes for our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! They are so easy to make in 4 SIMPLE STEPS! We piped pink candy melts into small cocktail spoons to make the petals. For the branches we piped lines of chocolate frosting from a ziptop bag on top of cupcakes frosted in sky blue. To create the blossoms we placed 5 petals in a tight cluster and added pale pink frosting and yellow sprinkles to the center.

See the 4-STEP PHOTOS below…so easy to follow!

We wanted to change the blossoms for our monthly column in Woman’s World Magazine so we changed the technique and made the petals by snipping mini pink marshmallows in half and spraying them with pearl food color. The result is quite different but we think equally stunning. You can find the complete recipe for this version on the newstand now!

So next time you set out to craft cupcakes remember that there are many ways to solve the design…and it’s so much fun finding out how!

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our CHERRY BLOSSOM CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

HAPPY SPRING!

Alan and Karen

DELICIOUS DELI CHICKEN (APRIL FOOLS) IT’S A CAKE!!!

March 30, 2018

AN APRIL FOOLS DAY CLASSIC! April Fool’s Day is the perfect excuse to trick the family with a Delicious Deli Chicken CAKE! And you even get two sides with your order, COLE SLAW and BAKED BEANS!

We made this robust rotisserie bird with sides for our latest book, CAKE MY DAY! But like many other amazing projects there just wasn’t room for it. So here it is, just for our blog readers! ENJOY!

Making the cake couldn’t be easier. We baked cakes in round bowls, a larger one for the carcass and a smaller bowl for the thighs.

Deli Chicken-02

Then we made some simple cuts in the bowl cakes, added a Twinkie cut in half, and assembled the cakes to create the chicken shape.

Deli Chicken-08-2

If you want to complete your April Fools Day cake with a real FOOL-THE-EYE look, clean and dry a plastic deli container to be used for the serving platter. Assemble the cake in the deli container using frosting to attach the cake parts. Next coat the entire cake with vanilla frosting and smooth. Pop it in the refrigerator to chill for 5 to 10 minutes, just to set the frosting.

For the skin, roll out 40 Kraft caramels. (This step can be time consuming so you might want to start it while your cake is baking. The hardest part is convincing the kids to unwrap all those squares of candy.) If you need to soften them to a rolling consistency, just pop them in the microwave for 1 or 2 seconds to soften slightly. (You don’t want molten lava caramels so keep it short!!)

Once the caramels are rolled out, you cut out a large circle of the candy for the body and two smaller circles for the thigh-leg sections. Drape the large caramel circle over the chicken shape to make the BREAST section. Press to smooth. Trim, and tuck any excess candy under the cake. Do the same for the THIGHS AND LEGS.

Add a piece of smooth bread stick (plain, not garlic flavor!) to the end of each leg for the LEG BONE.

Mix a small amount of cocoa powder with water to make a thin paste. Dip a clean toothbrush or the bristles of a pastry brush in the paste and use your finger to flick the bristles and splatter the caramel skin so it looks WELL ROASTED!!

For the sides, bake two small cakes and place them in plastic deli side dish containers. For the COLE SLAW mix coconut, small slivers snipped from a Circus Peanut, and vanilla frosting. Frost the top of one small cake to cover. For the BAKED BEANS, toss brown or russet red colored Jelly Belly jellybeans in caramel ice cream topping and frost the other small cake. Add extra jellybeans and caramel topping as needed to fill out the container.

We think we know what’s on the menu at your house tonight. A hot heaping pile of APRIL FOOLERY!!!

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as much fun as our DELI CHICKEN CAKE!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy April Fools Day

Alan and Karen

APRIL FOOL’S DAY—OUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY!

March 28, 2018

FAUX FOOD FUN, TRUMP L’OEIL TRICKS, & FOOL THE EYE FANCIES!! Nothing tickles us more than a little April Fool’s trickery! Here are a few of our favorites over the years!

Spaghetti and meatballs made from Ferrero Rocher chocolates

Corn on the cob made from Jelly Belly beans

Lo mein noodles with broccoli made from Tootsie Fruit Chews

Spring peas made from Sixlets & Laffy Taffy

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our APRIL FOOLERY CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Alan & Karen

EGG-SHAPED EASTER CUPCAKES!

March 28, 2018

TURN CUPCAKES INTO EGG-SHAPES FOR EASTER! Why settle for decorating round cupcakes when you can kick it up a notch and give your Easter cupcakes an egg-shape, too! Here’s a neat trick for turning ordinary round-top cupcakes into EGG-SHAPED EASTER CUPCAKES. In our last blog post we added a vanilla wafer to a cupcake to create an elongated shape for our SHREDDED RABBITS. Here we use the same trick to craft egg shapes for decorating to look like EASTER EGGS!

1. Spread some frosting on top of a cupcake, to one side. Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, on the frosting, allowing it to overhang the edge by 3/4 inch. Pop the cupcake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set.

2. Add a mound of frosting to the chilled cupcake and spread into a smooth egg shape, using the frosting to fill any gaps and create a smooth transition  between the wafer and the top of the cupcake.

3. Place several different colors of sugar each in a small bowl—make sure it is large enough to dip a cupcake. Hold the cupcake by the liner and dip one end in a colored sugar (try to dip up to a straight line). Turn the cupcake around and dip the opposite end in a second color, leaving a strip of frosting in the middle uncoated. Using a small spoon add a third color to the uncoated strip. Use a small brush to clean up any stray sugar. Pipe lines of frosting where the colors meet to create a clean line and hide imperfections.

4. Use dots of frosting to add additional candy decorations to the colored areas. Pipe dots and patterns as desired.

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our EGG-SHAPED EASTER CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Alan and Karen

SHREDDED CANDY RABBITS—CUPCAKES!

March 23, 2018

SNEAK PEEK from MAKE IT EASY, CUPCAKE! Our SHREDDED CANDY RABBIT is based on the SIMPLE 4 STEP RECIPES in our newest book (due out June 7). Four simple steps and a photo to for each step…you can follow the photos or read the recipe…either way it’s SO EASY!

INGREDIENTS

12 vanilla cupcakes baked in paper liners

12 vanilla wafers

1 can vanilla frosting

1 jar candy coating, candy shred (ChocoMaker), decorating sugar, or sprinkles

12+ Pringle chips (additional for breakage)

spray food coloring to match candy coating (Wilton)

24 mini marshmallows

24 black pearls

12 M&Ms Minis, chocolate or a color to coordinate with the candy coating

FOLLOW THE PHOTOS BELOW

  1. Spread some frosting on top of a cupcake, to one side. Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, on the frosting, allowing it to overhang the edge by 3/4 inch. Pop the cupcake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set. Add a mound of frosting to the chilled cupcake and spread into a smooth egg shape, using the frosting to fill any gaps and create a smooth transition  between the wafer and the top of the cupcake.
  2. Place the shred or other coating in a small bowl (large enough to dip a cupcake). Gently roll the top of the frosted cupcake in the coating.
  3. Gently snap each Pringle potato chip in half lengthwise (break on a slight diagonal for a tapered ear). Sort the chip halves to make symmetrical pairs with the curved unbroken edge facing in. Place the pairs on a sheet of waxed paper and spray the chips with food color spray to lightly coat. Let dry for a few minutes and spray again to deepen the color.
  4. Cut 12 mini marshmallows in half crosswise. Use dots of frosting to attach the two half marshmallows to the face for the cheeks (the extended wafer side). Use dots of frosting to attach the chocolate mini M&M nose just above the cheeks, black pearl eyes above the nose, and a marshmallow tail at the opposite side of the cupcake. Use a small knife to make two slits in the top of the cupcakes behind the eyes and insert the end of an ear in each slit, broken edge facing out.

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our SHREDDED CANDY RABBITS!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Hoppy Easter!

Alan and Karen

MILANO BUNNIES FOR EASTER!

March 21, 2018

EASY MILANO BUNNIES FOR EASTER! We created these adorable cookies for the folks at Milano. Watch the video to see just how easy it is to make them!

  1. Use scissors to cut ears from Milano cookie cups.
  2. Dip one end of a Milano cookie in white candy melts. Attach the two paper ears to the back of each cookie, using the wet candy to adhere.  Add a jelly bean nose and two blue candy decors for the eyes. Refrigerate the cookies to set the candy.
  3. Use an edible pastry pen to add eyes and whiskers to the cookies.
  4. Cut mini marshmallows in half crosswise and use dots of melted candy to attach them for the feet.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our MILANO BUNNIES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Have a very Happy Easter!

Alan and Karen

 

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE!

March 19, 2018

MORE SUN = MORE FUN! We created this lemony YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE with GOLDEN RAYS crafted from Jolly Rancher Hard Candy in honor of the EQUINOX (March 20th!) You can use almost any brand hard fruit candy to make the rays, just be sure it is clear so the sun comes shining through! To give the frosting a SUNNY GLOW we painted it with a wash made from lemon extract. The rich color appears to SHINE from the inside! Here’s how we made it:

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE

1 lemon cake mix baked in a 9-inch springform (or deep round) pan

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Yellow food coloring(McCormick)

For the rays:

30 yellow and a mix of 25 red, orange, and yellow hard candies (Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy or store brand)

Vegetable cooking spray

For the vodka paint:

Yellow and red food coloring(McCormick)

1 tablespoon lemon extract (McCormick)

  1. Cut the cake in half crosswise to make 2 semi circles. Spread some of the vanilla frosting on the flat side of one half and sandwich together with the other half. Place the cake, cut side down, on a cardboard cut to fit. Give the entire cake a light skim coat of vanilla frosting and freeze the cake for 30 minutes to set. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting yellow with the food coloring (frosting does not need to be a saturated yellow because the vodka paint will make the color more vibrant) and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line several cookie sheets with foil. Place the unwrapped hard yellow candies in a zip top bag and use a small hammer or the back of a saucepan to break the candies into small pieces. Sprinkle the candy pieces in an even layer on the prepared cookie sheets. Spray a long smooth-bladed knife with cooking spray. Bake one cookie sheet at a time until the candies are just melted into a smooth pool. Transfer the cookie sheet to a wire rack. Immediately, using the sprayed knife blade, press the blade into the softened candy to score it with  long triangles roughly 2 inches wide by 5 inches long. (If the blade gets sticky quickly clean it, spray it again, and continue scoring the candy. If the candy hardens before it is all scored save the un-scored candy to reuse.) Let the scored candy stand until the candy has completely cooled, about 10 minutes. Carefully break apart the triangles, reserving any extra pieces to break up and melt into another sheet of candy. (You will need about 10 large yellow triangles.) Repeat with the mix of red, orange, and yellow candies to make 9 smaller triangles roughly 1-1/2 inch wide by 4 inches long. To get a stained glass effect, mix the crushed red, orange, and yellow candies together in a sheet.
  3. Spread an even layer of yellow frosting over the cake and make smooth. Return the cake to the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. Tint the vodka with the yellow and red food coloring to make a rich yellow color. Use a 1-inch pastry brush to coat the chilled cake with the vodka paint in overlapping horizontal strokes on the front and back and in long smooth strokes around the sides. Continue brushing to smooth any ridges in the chilled frosting and to intensify and vary the color at the edges.
  4. Using a small knife to make slits for insertion, insert the rays of sunshine into the curved side of the cake, placing them on a slight diagonal and alternating long and small triangles evenly spaced from one side to the other.

LET THE SUN SHINE IN!

Makes 12 servings

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy decorating, Sunshine!

Alan and Karen

DEMO & BOOK SIGNING!

March 18, 2018

COME TO AN EASTER CUPCAKE DECORATING EVENT AND BOOK SIGNING with our friends at SWEEETS in Larchmont, New York on Saturday March 24, 1 to 4 PM.

LIVE DEMO FROM 2 TO 3 PM EASTER CUPCAKES INSPIRED BY OUR NEWEST BOOK Make It Easy, Cupcake!

SWEEETS WILL BE SELLING OUR BOOKS AND YOU CAN STOCK UP ON ALL THE CANDY YOU WILL NEED TO CRAFT YOUR OWN EASTER CUPCAKES! (Already have copies of our books? Bring them so we can sign them for you!)

See the poster for more details about the event!

SWEETS IS LOCATED AT 1935a Palmer Ave, Larchmont, NY 10538

Phone: (914) 630-4400

See you there!

Alan and Karen

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