Monthly Archives: July 2012

Spritz Cookies

I decided to try making spritz cookies, so I bought a cookie press on ebay. When it arrived, I didn’t have the ingredients necessary to make a batch of dough, but I was too excited to wait. The instructions that came with the press said I could use ready-made sugar cookie dough, and luckily, I had some! They did warn, however, that cookies made with sugar dough wouldn’t hold their shape as well as cookies made with spritz dough, and that turned out to be quite true. They looked fine at first, but the shapes were definitely not very defined after baking.

Sugar cookie dough:

See how you can’t really make out the shapes? They were tasty, but boring to look at. Decorating them was a lot of fun though!

Not long after that, I was able to make the trip to the grocery store. I got the ingredients necessary for Fresh Orange Spritz Cookies. The dough was nice and soft, not too sticky, and it made a ton of cookies that held their shapes very well. I added maraschino cherry halves to some of the flower-shaped cookies before baking. As for taste, there was a perfect hint of orange that I figured would be great with chocolate, so I drizzled melted Wilton Candy Melts over some of them them. They were delicious!  Unfortunately, I was unable to get a very good picture of them before they were eaten and given away :/

I found that both batches of cookies were pretty hard on the first day, and I liked them a lot better the next day, after they’d softened a bit. The cookies with maraschino cherries were the best, and I plan to make an entire batch of those sometime in the near future. I’m also interested in using flavor oils and food dyes to make one batch of plain spritz cookies and split it into several flavors and colors.

I really enjoyed making these cookies and using the press. My advice to anyone trying them out for the first time: give yourself plenty of time to bake and decorate them. While they only bake for 10 minutes or so, it takes a long time to make so many, and an even longer time to decorate. By the end of the night, I was soooo tired, I was just drizzling chocolate without paying attention to how it looked. I’d rather make designs with the chocolate, so I’ll be starting much earlier in the day next time!

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Cake Hump Trifles

When you bake a cake with plans to decorate or even just frost it evenly, you have to level the cake. Some people do that with a knife, others with a cake leveler. After the cake is leveled, you’re left with not only a nice even cake, but leftover scraps of cake. I call those scraps “cake humps,” and sadly they are usually thrown away because I’m too busy with the cake to eat the scraps!

I asked my Wilton instructor what she does with the cake humps and she told me about trifles, which are amazing layered desserts. She said she freezes her cake scraps, and when she has enough, she uses them in a giant trifle which she then takes to a family or work function. I don’t have much room in my freezer, so I decided to make mini trifles out of just the scraps from the tiered cake I made last week.

Using wine glasses, I cut circles in the cake scraps. I layered the circles with the leftover whipped cream frosting and strawberry filling, and this is the finished product (please excuse the crap on the table):

 

You can create all sorts of delicious desserts this way. I’m excited to make more trifles with all the different flavors of my leftover cake scraps, fillings, and frostings. If I come up with any good combinations, I’ll be sure to post about them!

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My First Tiered Cake!

I took my first Wilton project class, Tall Cakes, in June. To be honest, I could have figured out how to make a tiered cake on my own at home, but I thought it was worth the $20 to see my Wilton instructor and classmates again because they are fun people.

Anyway, the class was great and I learned a lot. We had the option of either stacking two cakes or using pillars. I chose to stack my cakes because, well, I didn’t want to spend the extra money on pillars. Plus, pillars would make the whole thing taller and I was already unsure of how I’d fit a two-tier cake into my already-stuffed refrigerator.

I’m not going to get into exactly how it’s done, but if anyone is curious, please let me know and I’ll gladly post about the stacking (or pillar) process!

The class was held just three days before my 25th birthday, so of course I decided to make my it my birthday cake! Every time I make a cake, I think about the people I’m going to share it with and what they might like. This time, I chose everything I wanted, and it felt good, haha! I decided on a french vanilla cake with strawberry whipped cream filling and whipped cream frosting. As for decorations… it was ridiculously hot in the week leading up to the class and I didn’t feel at all like making decorations (or even baking the cake, but I had to do that!), so I decided to decorate the cake with fresh fruit and mint leaves. I think it turned out beautifully. It’s definitely the most elegant cake I’ve made and decorated so far, and very tasty.

On to the pictures!

 

 

 

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