HELLO CUPCAKE CLASSIC: CORN ON THE COB!!

May 20, 2015
Corn on the Cob-feature size

If we had to pick an absolute TOP TEN project from our years of decorating and bookmaking, our CORN ON THE COB CUPCAKES have to be right up there.

Call us CORNY but just seeing it reminds us of the early days. We can’t remember who had the original KERNEL of the idea, but it’s certainly proved to be one of our enduring projects—and truly one of our easiest (right up there with SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS, we would say).

JELLY BEANS are a key ingredient. And YELLOW FRUIT CHEWS serve as butter.

You can find the complete original recipe on page 24-5 of our first book HELLO, CUPCAKE!

Think of it as a harbinger of summer to come.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

A CHOCOLATE “SCALE CAKE” FOR DIETERS!!!

May 18, 2015
Scale-cake-correct-size2

We know that cake is not on most weight loss plans. But appropriately, our SCALE CAKE contains some good news for everyone who’s doing some summer dieting (including us). We’ve included a few clever strategies for keeping this cake LOW FAT and LOW CALORIE.

Start with a box of Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix—but to get a low fat cake prepare to make a few substitutions. The first strategy is to bake the low fat version of the recipe on the Duncan Hines box, using apple sauce in place of the oil. This will give you a nice moist cake which is lower in fat. The second strategy is to use an old dieter’s trick, and substitute 1 can diet coke for the liquid ingredients (oil, eggs, and water). Simply add the can of soda to the dry mix, stir well, and bake as directed. The resulting cake will have a different texture from a full fat cake, but is still a tasty treat.

Also plan to use low fat whipped topping to frost the cake. Cool Whip Free has a nice texture and is a tasty accompaniment to the cake. Making those adjustments are a wonderful way to have your cake and eat it, too. Even while you are dieting.

Here’s the complete recipe:

Ingredients

1 chocolate cake mix (Duncan Hines, plus ingredients called for on box, or the substitutions listed above)

1 tub low fat whipped topping (Cool Whip Free)

blue neon food coloring (McMormick)

12 chocolate taffy chews (Tootsie Rolls)

cocoa powder (Hershey)

blue decorating sugar

blue stick gum (Wintergreen)

red stick gum (Big Red)

round necklace candy

1 tube chocolate decorating icing (Cake Mate)

 

Directions:

Bake chocolate cake in a 9 X 13 inch prepared pan. Cool and remove cake from the pan. Use a serrated knife to level the top of the cake. Place the cake in front of you, lengthwise, top to bottom. Remove a piece from each of the top corners about 1 1/2 inches wide by 5 inches high, leaving a rectangular shape at the top about 6 inches wide by five inches high. Round the corners of the rectangle to make the rounded numbers area for the scale. (See photo.) Starting at the top right side and then the top left side, remove a long narrow triangle from the sides about 8 inches high and 1 inch wide, to taper the shape to the bottom of the scale. (See photo.)

Place the cake on a cardboard cut to fit, trimmed side down, so you have the flat bottom of the cake on top. (This makes a flatter surface for decorating.) Place the cake on the cardboard in the freezer to chill.

Tint 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping pale blue using the food coloring, place in a freezer weight ziplock bag, and seal. Using the remaining whipped topping, frost the entire chilled cake, top and sides, and smooth. Place the cake in the freezer to chill.

Roll out the 12 Tootsie Rolls to make a large sheet of candy about 1/8 inch thick. Cut foot shapes from the candy sheet. Make one right foot, one left foot and ten toes ranging in size from big toes to pinkies. Cut a 4 inch circle from the candy sheet. Cut out the center of the circle to leave a 1/2 inch thick circular band of candy. (This is the border surrounding the scale’s needle.)

Cut the red stick of gum into a needle shape (see photo). Cut the blue stick of gum into a small rectangle shape about 1 inch high by 3/4 inches wide. Trim the two long sides of the rectangle to taper the blue rectangle slightly at the bottom. (See photo.)

Place 1/4 cup of the cocoa power on a sheet of waxed paper.Add about 3 tablespoons of water to the sheet and stir to make a slurry of the cocoa powder. (It should be thin but not too runny, about the texture of light cream.) Dip the flat side of a metal skewer into the cocoa slurry, pressing to pick up a good amount of the brown liquid. Press the flat side of the skewer onto the frosted cake to score the whipped topping with a chocolate diagonal mark. Continue making score marks in the same direction, about 1 inch apart. To create the diamond pattern, add score marks 1 inch apart, perpendicular to the first marks. Lightly sprinkle the top of the cake with the blue decorating sugar.

Using the blue whipped topping, snip a medium size corner (about 1/2 inch) from the freezer weight ziplock bag, and pipe a blue border all around the scale. Add the chocolate taffy feet and toes to the scale. Place the chocolate taffy circle in the rounded area at the top of the scale. Add the red needle, and the necklace candy to the base of the needle. Place the blue medallion at the top of the rounded area.

Using the tube of chocolate decorating icing, add custom numbers to the scale.

All in all, the cake serves 12.

You’ll notice that we’ve kept the candy decorations to a minimum, and even used low fat whipped topping for the frosting. All in the name of creating a sweet low calorie reward!

Of course, we all have to remember to exercise portion control. Like we’re always saying to ourselves: ONLY ONE SLICE!!

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

THUMBS UP TO ALL THE WINNERS!!!

May 17, 2015
The winners are...

It’s time to reveal all the winners of our PRE-ORDER CONTEST!! Along with Lucky, Karen and I want to say a BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Pre-orders are so important to a book’s launch because they get the word of mouth out early. If you’ve been watching the blog, you’ll know about the pre-order contest we’ve been running for CAKE MY DAY—with fantastic prizes from SweetWorks, OXO, and Sara Lee.

The grand prize winner will receive over $100 of Celebrations by SweetWorks decorating candy such as Sixlets and Pearls. We love the Celebrations line of candies because the colors are so gorgeous. We used them for projects throughout CAKE MY DAY!

The winner will also receive gift certificates for Sara Lee Pound Cake. We love Sara Lee Pound Cake so much we devoted an entire chapter of OUR NEW BOOK to using it. It not only tastes delicious, it is also really firm, perfect for decorating. And by using store bought cake you’ll get to the fun part (decorating) even faster!

The winner will also receive a selection of our favorite OXO baking tools. These tools are ergonomically designed to make baking easier. And we also love how nice they look in our kitchen! The Grand Prize package is worth over $250!

So without further ado, here is the WINNER:

MICHELLE FARR from Massachussetts.

CONGRATULATIONS MICHELLE!!! Michelle tells us she loves to bake and decorate, and already had two of the Hello, Cupcake! cupcaking books. She said, “I am so excited to get started making some of the many creative treats from CAKE MY DAY!”

We had three LUCKY RUNNERS-UP who will each receive over $50 worth of Celebrations by SweetWorks decorating candy.

DANITA SLANGAL from Georgia. Danita is an avid baker who owns and has made projects from ALL THREE cupcake books. Some of her favorites have been Sunflowers, Rabbit Holes, Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, String Monsters, Apple a Day, Rubber Ducky, and Making Waves. She tells us “I was amazed by the wonderfully creative cupcakes and all the candy, cookies, sprinkles, etc. that were used to create the very imaginative cupcakes.” We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks Danita!

CHRIS CARENA from Arizona. Chris loves to bake and decorate cakes. She has all three cupcake books on her bookshelves (including TWO SIGNED COPIES!!!). She loves to bake for her family and has made some crazy-good custom cupcakes in her day and can’t wait to get started decorating cakes from CAKE MY DAY!

LYNN S. from Pennsylvania. Lynn also has ALL THREE cupcake books and when we asked her if she was an avid baker she said, “Yup…bake a lot!” She took a decorating class with us at Sur La Table a while back and sent us some fantastic cookie photos to prove how much she loves decorating!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!!

We thought it would be fun to show a few of their cake designs, so here they are!

From Chris Carena

contest chris pizza

contest chris roe sailors

contest chris roe spaghetti

contest chris sushi

From Lynn S.

contest lynn strauss grilled cheese

contest Lynn Strauss Spaghetticontest lynn strauss mums

contest lynn shoes

We love seeing all that talent. And we hope we’ve provided a spark of inspiration! Thanks to all of you and…

Keep on decorating!

Alan and Karen

STRAWBERRY CAKE FOREVER!!!

May 12, 2015
Strawberry Cake-slice

A Strawberry Cake that looks like a strawberry!! What could be more CAKE MY DAY-ish!!!

Oddly enough, this project didn’t make it into the book. Can’t really say why. It’s just hard to fit everything in sometimes. But luckily we can share it with you on the blog. It’s one of our favorite projects. Sometimes we jokingly think of it as a STRAWBERRY RIGHT-SIDE-UP CAKE!

Here’s the entire recipe:

Ingredients

1 recipe strawberry cake mix (or your favorite scratch cake)

1 can (16 ounces) plus 1/2 cup vanilla frosting (or your favorite scratch buttercream frosting)

Red food coloring (McCormick)

9 spearmint leaves jelly candy (Ferrara, Farley’s and Sather’s)

1/2 cup green decorating sugar (Cake Mate)

1 tablespoon light corn syrup (Karo)

1 plain breadstick, cut to a 4 inch piece (Stella D’oro)

1 cup red decorating sugar (Cake Mate)

1/2 cup small pink shimmer jellybeans (Jelly Belly)

2 green licorice laces or sour straws

70 mini marshmallows

2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

7 yellow spice drops

Two 8-inch heart shaped cake pans (or two 9-inch round cake pans)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake cake according to recipe in 2 prepared 8-inch heart shaped pans (or 2 prepared 9-inch round cake pans) until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 23 to 29 minutes. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert, remove the pans and cool completely.
  2. Tint the vanilla frosting dark pink with the food coloring.
  3. Trim the top of 1 cake layer level. Place the cake, trimmed side up, on a cardboard cut to fit. Spread some of the pink frosting on top of the cake. Place the other layer on top, flat side down, pressing to make even. If using round cake pans, cut a 1 inch deep slice from one side of the cake. Starting at the end of the cut, remove a second 1-inch deep slice, to make a V-shaped point for the bottom of the strawberry. Position the point at the bottom, facing you. Trim the pointed bottom point slightly to round it. Cut a shallow V-shaped notch (about 3-inch wide and 1-inch deep) from the top of the cake (away from you) to complete the strawberry shape. Spread a thin crumb coating of the pink frosting over the cake, filling any gaps, to smooth. Freeze the cake until set, about 30 minutes.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. As you make the parts, transfer them to the waxed paper. To make the leaves, sprinkle some of the green decorating sugar on a work surface. Press 3 spearmint leaves together. Roll out the candies in the sugar, adding more green sugar as needed to prevent sticking, to a 1/8 inch thickness. Repeat process with the remaining spearmint leaves (3 at a time). Cut the rolled out spearmint leaves into long narrow leaf shapes (about 3 inches long by 1 inch wide).  To make the stem, place the remaining green sugar on a sheet of waxed paper. Heat the corn syrup in the microwave in a small bowl for about 5 seconds. Brush the warm corn syrup on the breadstick and roll it in the green sugar to coat. Set the coated breadstick on the waxed paper to harden.
  5. Place the red sugar in a large bowl. Spread the remaining pink frosting over the chilled cake and smooth. Hold the cake in one hand by the cardboard base, partially over the bowl of sugar, and using your other hand, gently press hands full of the sugar into the frosting to cover completely. Using a clean pastry brush, gently brush any excess sugar from the cake. Use the flat blade of an offset spatula to smooth the coating. (If any frosting becomes uncovered add a bit more sugar and press to smooth.) Transfer the cake to a serving platter.
  6. For the seeds, press the jelly beans into the sugar, oriented lengthwise top to bottom, about 1 inch apart all over the cake. For the stem, insert the cut end of the breadstick into the V notch at the top of the cake. For the calyx of green, pinch one end of the leaves and arrange them, pinched end against the stem, at the top of the strawberry.
  7. To make the strawberry flowers, line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Cut the mini marshmallows crosswise in half. Arrange the marshmallows, sticky-side down, in groups of 5 in the shape of a flower, on the waxed paper. Cut yellow spice drops in half crosswise, reserving the rounded end.
  8. Place the white chocolate chips in a ziplock bag (do not seal the bag). Microwave for 5 seconds, massage the bag, return to the microwave and repeat the process until the chocolate is smooth, about 20 seconds. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag. Pipe a small dot of white chocolate in the center of the marshmallow flowers and add the cut spice drop, cut side down. Repeat with the remaining candies. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes.
  9. Arrange the green licorice laces (or sour straws) on either side of the strawberry cake. Carefully peel the marshmallow flowers from the waxed paper and press onto the green laces.

And there you have it. This recipe makes 12 servings.

We think you’ll find it to be BERRY DELICIOUS!!

Happy Cake-making,

Alan and Karen

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!

May 10, 2015
DH Glazes-32-2

Here’s a fabulous cupcake bouquet for all you great moms out there!!

Moms are some of our biggest fans. And we want you to know: We’re your biggest fans too!!!!

You’re probably too busy today to create cupcakes of your own. But we did want to point out that this bouquet spotlights our “flooding” technique. And if you’ve never tried it before, it’s a technique worth mastering.

First you create a dam using frosting piped from a ziplock bag, and then you fill the dammed area with frosting that is melted so it flows freely into the open spaces. It creates smooth areas of bright color—which is especially useful if you love flowers—and flower cupcakes!

We’ll get back to you with a more detailed recipe on a less busy day.

But for now, have fun on your special holiday! We hope someone else is doing the cooking.

Karen and Alan

AARGH!! WE’VE GOT PIRATE CUPCAKES, MATEYS!!

May 9, 2015
punky pirate tattoo cupcakes

Ahoy, me hearties! Time for another CUPCAKE PARTY IDEA!! And this month, we’re thinking about PIRATES—those colorful desperados of the high seas!!

A Pirate theme can lead to lots of great decorating ideas: anchors, crossbones, skulls, flags (i.e. the ol’ Jolly Roger). All it really takes is some colored frosting and some licorice pastilles.

We originally created this project for PARENTS Magazine. And they incorporated our cupcake idea into a big theme party concept for your kids. You can check it all out by clicking here. There you’ll find the complete recipe.

So batten down the hatches. Shiver me timber. And lots of other pirate talk!

In other words, Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

LOVELY LADYBUG CUPCAKES!!

May 4, 2015
Lady Bug Cupcakes

For a recent event we thought it might be fun to TURN ONE OF OUR CAKES INTO A CUPCAKE.  So we took our LADYBUG CAKE (which you’ll find on page 166 of CAKE MY DAY!) and shrunk it down to jumbo cupcake size. Like we did in our book, we decorated the inside as well as the outside—and ended up with a cupcake that makes you say WOW twice!

Ingredients:

Pink Cake Batter (Duncan Hines Pink Velvet or your favorite scratch cake)

One box of unglazed chocolate cake doughnut holes (Dunkin Munchkins)

Vanilla frosting

Red or neon pink food coloring

Red decorating sugar

Chocolate frosting

Thin pretzel sticks

Chocolate cookie crumbs (crushed Oreos)

Smarties

Small round black candies (Pearls)

Round black candies (Sixlets) or chocolate cereal puffs (Cocoa Puffs)

Black licorice lace (or substitute thin pretzel sticks)

 

We began with a pink batter. We used Duncan Hines Pink Velvet cake mix with buttermilk added in place of water to make them really firm and tasty.

To get the surprise inside, spoon a small amount of batter into the bottom of each jumbo paper cupcake liner. Then add an unglazed chocolate cake doughnut hole to the cup.

ladybug batter dot

Finish filling the cups to cover the doughnut holes.

lady bug batter

 

 

Bake as directed on the box. (The addition of the doughnut hole will shorten your baking time a bit so check for doneness at the beginning of the cooking time range, not the end.)

ladybug out of oven

Let the cupcakes cool completely before decorating.

To decorate the Ladybugs, tint a batch of vanilla frosting pink using red or neon pink food coloring. (Canned frosting like Duncan Hines Creamy Homestyle works well for this, or use the Almost Homemade Buttercream Frosting recipe from any of our books. Steer clear of whipped frostings.)

Add a large dollop of the pink frosting to a cupcake and, using an offset spatula, shape it into a smooth mound. (Don’t be stingy with the frosting because we want our bugs to have nice rounded shapes on top.) Holding the cupcake on its side, gently roll the top in a bowl of red decorating sugar to coat. Once the frosting is coated you can use a clean offset spatula or your finger tips to smooth out any imperfections or bumps and make the tops perfectly round.

For the heads, we used more of the chocolate doughnut holes. Cut enough doughnut holes in half so that each of your Ladybugs will have a half for the head. To make the heads easier to coat, insert a pretzel stick into the flat side of each doughnut hole half. Holding the doughnut hole by the pretzel stick, frost the rounded side with chocolate frosting. Then roll the chocolate frosted doughnut in Oreo cookie crumbs.

To assemble the Ladybugs, pipe a line of chocolate frosting down the center of each sugar coated cupcake. Attach the head at one end of the line of frosting by pushing the pretzel stick into the cupcake. (If the pretzel is too long, just break off an inch or so before pushing it in. If the pretzel end shows at the top of the doughnut hole, just push it down and cover it with some of the crumbs.)

For the eyes, using frosting to secure, attach two Smarties candies with a black Pearl candy at the center. Press three spots to either side of the line of chocolate frosting using small round black candies like Sixlets or small round cereal pieces like Cocoa Puffs. Add 2 short pieces of licorice lace for the antennae. (You can also use the thin pretzel sticks for the antennae. Just snap them in half to shorten.)

And there you have it—a cupcake that looks like nature’s most popular bug, INSIDE AND OUT!

Ladybug Surprise Inside

If this project makes you curious about ladybug legend and lore, find out more by clicking here.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

A SIMPLE FLOWER CAKE—AND CUPCAKES!!!

May 3, 2015
Celebration Kooky Bananas-02

Here are a few more flowery projects for SPRING!! They’re super easy to make—and we think they’ll be perfect for our first outdoor gathering of the season, which is coming up.

We found an assortment of candies at Party City that really helped pull these projects off.

For the project at top, start with a pound cake and frost it white. Pipe petal shapes in your favorite colors on top of the cake. Then spread them smooth with an offset spatula. Outline each petal with color-coordinated Pearls. Add three Pearls and six banana candies in contrasting colors to the center of each flower. Place extra light and dark green banana candies between some of the petals, at their edges, for the leaves. Add blue banana candies end to end to the bottom edge of the cake. And there you have it. A Springy cake if we ever saw one!

Celebration Baby Tears-24

Secondly, we turned a couple of cupcakes into BLOSSOMS. This project is so simple. It’s what we like to call a PRESS AND PLAY project! The entire recipe is right there in the picture (above). Simply frost your cupcakes and apply your candies as shown. We used an assortment of Baby Face Tears, Pearls and larger Sixlets. We even created a butterfly using the same candies, we just added lines of chocolate frosting for the antennae. Of course, feel free to use whatever candies please your sweet tooth.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

A SWEET AND EASY BOUQUET FOR SPRING!!

May 1, 2015
Celebration Flowers-15

SPRING is busting out all over (finally). So to help celebrate our favorite time of year, we’ve thought we’d present some flower projects. Here’s a very simple Spring decorating idea we like to call POSIE POPS.

We began with a Vanilla Wafer. We covered the flat side with melted white chocolate. Then we pressed the top of a Popsicle stick into the white chocolate. We added a drop of melted white chocolate to the stick and pressed the flat side of a SECOND Vanilla Wafer against it, until it stuck. (The melted chocolate makes for a stronger bond than frosting would.) We added dots of white chocolate to the front of the cookie and attached Celebration flower candies to it. And now you’ve got a tasty Spring bouquet!

If you’d like, you can also pipe out little green leaves, as we’ve done here.

To display, we filled a small glass with Pearl candies and placed the pops within in.

We’ve got new ideas blooming all the time. So watch this space.

Happy Spring,

Alan and Karen

OUR WONDERFUL WINDMILL CAKE!!

April 27, 2015
Windmill Cake-25

Not every one of our crazy cake projects ended up in CAKE MY DAY! We always have more ideas than we can fit between the pages of a book. So it’s great that we can bring them to you on the blog.

We figure, since the tulips are up, it’s a great time to debut this particular cake-that-got-away: our Windmill Cake.

We forget what originally inspired us to create it. Perhaps we’d just gotten back from East Hampton (which has a famous windmill). Or maybe we were just listening to “Windmills of My Mind” (the Dusty Springfield version, of course).

This Windmill is one of our most ambitious projects—so, before you begin, hold onto your hats (and not just because it’s gonna get windy).

Here, for the first time anywhere, is the entire recipe:

 

INGREDIENTS

2 family size (16 ounces each) frozen pound cakes, thawed (Sara Lee)

1 can (16 ounces) plus 1/4 cup chocolate frosting

1 cup vanilla frosting

1 oatmeal cookie, 3 1/2-inches (Archway)

5 plain bread sticks, 5 inches long (Angonoa’s)

1 can (1.5 ounces) red decorating spray (Cake Mate, Wilton)

1/2 cup white candy melting wafers (Wilton)

2 rolls (.75 ounces each) red fruit leather (Fruit by the Foot)

1 vanilla chocolate filled sandwich cookie (Milano)

1/2 cup small assorted jelly beans in stone colors like tan, brown, and brick (Jelly Belly)

4 cups multi rice cereal (Chex)

1 small brown decor

1 red gum drop (Dot)

1 pretzel square (Snyder)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Spoon the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Place the pound cakes on a work surface. Spread some of the chocolate frosting on the bottom of one cake. Press the other cake, bottom side against the frosting, and sandwich them together. Place the stack vertically on a work surface, seam side facing you, and cut a 1 1/2 wide x 3-inch high triangle from opposite corners along the long sides to taper it. Bevel the four long corners to round the shape. Cut 1/2 inch from the top to make it level. Reserve the trimmed pieces of cake.
  2. Insert a drinking straw at an angle through both cakes. Repeat on the other side. (They will cross in an x-shape through the center of the cakes to stabilize them.) Trim the drinking straws to make them flush to the cake. Place the cake on a piece of cardboard cut to fit. Spread a thin crumb coating of the chocolate frosting on the cake, filling any gaps, to smooth. Transfer the cake to the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Cut 1 bread stick in half, crosswise. Place the reserved cake trimmings in a bowl and crumble. Mix the cake crumbs with 1/4 cup of the chocolate frosting. Press the cake mixture on top of the oatmeal cookie to make a dome shape. (This is the top of the windmill.) Insert one of the cut pieces of breadstick into the side of the dome, spinning it to loosen the hole, and remove the bread stick. (This will be the opening for the sail support.) Freeze until ready to use.
  4. Place the remaining 4 bread sticks on a piece of waxed paper. Spray the bread sticks with the red decorating color to coat.
  5. Place the white candy melts in a ziplock bag. (Do not seal the bag.) Microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Massage the candy in the bag, return to the microwave, and repeat the process until the candy is smooth. Press out the excess air and seal the bag.
  6. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the melted candy. Using the melted candy, pipe an outline of a sail shape on a clean sheet of waxed paper. (The sail should be about 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches at the widest end, and 1/2 inch at the narrow end. See photo.) Fill in the outline with more melted candy and smooth. While the candy is still melted, press a red coated bread stick on a long side of the sail shape. Repeat to make 4 sails, always positioning the breadstick on the same side. Transfer to the refrigerator to set, about 5 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the sails from the waxed paper. Arrange the sails on a clean sheet of waxed paper in an X shape, with the narrow ends coming together at the center. Reheat the candy melts in the microwave, massaging the bag, until smooth. Pipe some of the melted candy on top of the bread stick ends to connect them at the center of the X. Place the chocolate non pariel on top of the melted candy. Return to the refrigerator until set, about 5 minutes. Invert the assembly, reheat the melted candy as needed, and pipe a large dot of melted candy at the center where the bread sticks are attached. Press the cut end of the remaining bread stick upright into the melted candy, to secure. Hold the bread stick in position for a minute or two or until it stands in the upright position without support. (TIP: you can also use a crumpled ring of foil wrap to hold it in a stationary position while it sets.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
  8. To make the roof tiles, unroll the fruit leather, cut the length in half crosswise, and press the 2 strips together to get a double thickness. Cut the strip, crosswise, into 1 1/4-inch lengths. Using pinking shears, create a zig zag edge on each section of fruit leather.
  9. Remove one third of the sandwich cookie, crosswise, to create the door.
  10. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Transfer the chilled cake to a serving platter. Pipe a band of vanilla frosting 1 1/2-inches high around the base of the cake. Press 3 rows of jelly beans, lengthwise and close together, into the frosting to secure. Spread some chocolate frosting on the rest of the chilled cake and smooth. Attach the cookie door, cut side down, on the seam side of cake just above the rows of jelly beans. Starting at the bottom of the cake, adjacent to the door, press cereal squares close together in a row around the cake. Add a second overlapping row. Continue adding overlapping rows of cereal squares, to cover the sides of the cake, leaving the top of the cake plain.
  11. Spread some of the remaining chocolate frosting on top of the chilled oatmeal cookie/cake assembly and smooth. Starting at the base of the dome shape attach the red roof tiles, zigzag edge down, pressing into the frosting in overlapping rows, to cover the dome.
  12. Pipe a dot of vanilla frosting on the cookie door and attach the brown candy as the door knob.
  13. Place the dome on top of the cake, making sure the hole in the dome faces forward.
  14. Just before serving, carefully remove the sail structure from the waxed paper. Insert the end of the bread stick attached to the back of the assembly into the hole created in the side of the dome, securing with some of the chocolate frosting. Add the red gum drop on the top of the dome. Arrange the square pretzel on the platter in front of the door.

Makes 16 servings

We’d really love to see how your windmills turn out. So if you’re up for a challenge, make sure to post your results on our Facebook page.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

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