Written on October 16, 2013 at 8:00 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
Whether I’m cooking or baking, I love being in the kitchen.. When it comes down to it, however, I’m really a baker at heart. Being a huge fan of sweets, I’ve always found comfort in baking. I also think that baked goodies remind me of celebrations – cakes for birthdays and cookies for Christmas and so on. So when Better Homes and Gardens newest cookbook, Baking arrived at my door, I couldn’t have been more delighted.
Shortly after receiving Baking, I sat down with a cup of coffee and leafed through its five hundred plus pages. It was pure delight. With over 350 recipes, it certainly covers everything under the baking umbrella. While I want to make every recipe in this book, given the upcoming holiday, I decided to try my hand at the Halloween-inspired Ghost Cake. To up the cuteness level, I went with cupcakes instead of a cake.
I started off with the Classic Chocolate for the cake. The resulting cupcakes are light, fluffy, and delicious.
As they baked, I worked on crafting some chocolate trees. This was another reason I was thrilled about this recipe. I couldn’t wait to try making these cute little trees. They were so fun to do. I really liked the idea of sprinkling on jimmies to give them a little texture. I even found some fall colored jimmies to look like leaves. When you’re making your trees, be sure the chocolate is thick enough. Otherwise, they will be very fragile. A few of my trees turned into bushes. No harm done, though.
Once the trees were set and the cupcakes cooled, I made the Meringue Frosting. Growing up, my mom always referred to this as Seven-Minute Frosting. This frosting is made on the stove with a double boiler. Seven minutes is typically how long it takes to make the frosting. Hence, the name.
With the frosting ready, I gave my cupcakes a quick base coat. Since I didn’t have a pastry bag, to pipe the ghosts on, I just used a plastic baggie with the corner snipped off. Two round sprinkles for the eyes, the tree tucked into place, and my Ghost Cupcakes were complete.
Are they not the most adorable things you ever seen?
These would be such a sweet, yet slightly spooky touch for a Halloween party or fall get together. Despite the fact that everything was made from scratch, I was also really surprised how quickly they came together..
Well, I’m off to figure out which recipe I want to whip up next. You can find the recipe for Ghost Cake here. If you are looking to add Baking to your own cookbook collection, you can pick up a copy here.
Written on October 1, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Brenda Score is the creator of the food focused website, a farmgirl’s dabbles, and believes that deliciousness is meant to be shared. Her collection of tried-and-true recipes and inspiring stories combine the family traditions of her mom and grandmas, from Brenda’s life growing up on the farm, with fun twists from the modern food world.
Brenda is the busy mom of two young girls and the wife of an outstanding man who enjoys the backyard thrill of his grills. Together, they love to gather friends and family at the table to share an awesome meal, catch up on life, and play a few games.
Hello! I am thrilled to be posting here today on the BHG blog, Delish Dish! I have been a fan and avid reader of Better Homes and Gardens magazine for longer than I can remember. When I had the opportunity a couple years ago to tour Meredith Corporation in Des Moines, it felt a bit like a dream. To walk through the Better Homes and Gardens test kitchens and talk with the people who actually cooked, baked, taste tested, styled, and photographed all the wonderful food we see in their magazines each month…well, it was just plain amazing. And I’m so excited to now be sharing their Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies with you!
These cookies are the perfect sweet nibble for fall, and completely live up to their name. They are melt-in-your-mouth soft and tender, and warm with the flavors of pumpkin and spices.
The cookies are great on their own, but the little swirl of frosting, rich with butter and brown sugar, is a downright lovely addition. I changed the original recipe only slightly by adding another cup of powdered sugar to the frosting, and then sprinkling the frosting with some chopped toasted pecans and flaky sea salt. That little kick from the salt is fabulous!
True Story: I made these Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies right before we headed out on a road trip to stay with my in-laws. I thought they might enjoy the cookies as well, so I packed up a dozen to take with. As my mother-in-law finished her (first) cookie, she said, “They practically melt in your mouth”. I couldn’t help but laugh as I told her the cookie’s name. She agreed that the title was fitting, and wasted no time in snatching up cookie #2!
Written on August 9, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Hi! I’m Courtney Whitmore from Pizzazzerie.com! My site is devoted to all things entertaining from tablescapes to the party food! I’m also the author of Push-Up Pops, Candy Making for Kids, and Frostings. I’m super excited to share one of my favorite frosting techniques with the Delish Dish readers!
I used this buttercream frosting recipe which is the perfect consistency for creating an ombre look to your cake. The technique is easy and looks quite fancy when finished so it’s perfect for birthdays, showers, and other special celebration cakes! You’ll see the ombre look in my Frostings book which I’m super excited to give away to some lucky readers below!
Here are the steps to create this beautiful ombre frosting technique. First up, you will need a batch of buttercream frosting divided evenly into 3 bowls. Next, you will need your choice of color (I used Wilton’s Gel Color in Aqua), toothpicks, offset spatula, and of course – your cake! I used a vanilla pound cake. Frosting cake that is chilled or frozen is best because it helps avoid excess crumbs mixing into your frosting.
Here I have my unfrosted cake. I have 2 layers (taller cakes work best for an ombre technique). I have placed the cakes on small strips of wax paper so that I can avoid messing up my white cake stand. They can be gently removed when I’m finished.
With my buttercream frosting, I frost the top of one of the layers. Then top that with the second cake layer. You can certainly make additional layers if you would like! The frosting color you choose for the inside is purely a matter of choice. I chose white here.
The next step is a crumb coat! This thin coat of frosting helps seal in crumbs so they don’t come loose as you frost your cake. White is the best choice for your crumb coat since the top of your cake will ultimately be white for the ombre technique. A thin layer is fine and it doesn’t have to be perfectly covered.
With your frosting divided into three bowls, use a toothpick and your coloring (I recommend a gel food coloring) to create 2 shades and leave the last white. You can absolutely create additional shades of your color if you would like but at least 3 is necessary. Here I have a darker aqua, light aqua, and white. The colors create a really pretty ocean-like watercolor look to the cake.
Using your offset spatula, apply the darker color shade to the bottom of your cake. Because I have 3 colors, I apply the darker shade to the bottom third of the cake. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth here. Next, use your lighter shade to apply to the middle third of the cake in the same manner.
For the top third of the cake and the very top of the cake, use your white frosting to smooth over the crumb coat. Use your offset spatula to gently smooth between the shades of frosting. TIP: Dip your spatula in warm water and gently wipe off excess water before smoothing. You can also use cake decorating comb to create thin lines or other patterns on the frosting. For a more natural look, do not worry about perfectly smoothing down each frosting swirl. Lastly, gently pull out your strips of wax paper.
There you have it! It’s really simple and oh so pretty. I hope you’ll enjoy this frosting technique for an upcoming special celebration!
As I mentioned earlier, BHG and I are giving away a couple of copies of my Frostings books! To enter to win one of 5 copies of Frostings, tell us below: “What is your favorite thing to Frost?”. For another opportunity to win, connect with Better Homes and Gardens on Twitter and re-tweet the giveaway announcement tweet marked with the hashtag #Frostings. We’ll conduct a random drawing from the entries received to select the winners. See the official contest rules here.
Note: This contest has ended.
Our winners for the blog comments were Alaina who said “I love frosting layer cakes. Then of course cupcakes.” and Amy who said “Definitely cupcakes!” See our Twitter winners here.