hobbyjunkie

Because crafts are like crack.

There’s a coven in my oven! October 11, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cricut — hobbyjunkie @ 6:31 pm

These timely treats were in fact not made in my oven. That would be a messy process and these were much easier than that. However, we have been experiencing some unseasonably warm weather here lately, making these treats especially appropriate. Well, actually I guess they would be most appropriate for rainy weather, but I have been craving some cooler, crisper days. Not appreciating our current blue skies and 80 degree temps probably makes me a bit of a witch.

Mom was again in town and we had both seen these on Pinterest, linked from Confessions of Cookbook Queen.

Our witches started as Wilton Candy Melts. A couple quick minutes in the microwave (follow the instructions on the back of the bag) got these good and goopy. We spooned the melted candy onto a cookie sheet covered in freezer paper. We made ours about 2-3 inches in diameter.

Each green circle then got a dot of melted milk chocolate swirled in and then refrigerated.

The brooms were made from halloween taffy and pretzel sticks. The taffy was difficult to work with, so we stuck a half dozen pieces in the microwave for 5 seconds.

Update: The original blog post we followed for this called for Laffy Taffy. We tried using this instead. We found all of our lines melted out of this pretty quickly, so I would not use it again.

We pressed out the taffy into a rectangle and wrapped it around the pretzel stick. The bristles were created using scissors to make indentations. It is a good idea to make several more brooms than you think you might need. We broke several of the pretzels in the assembly process and a broom without its stick is kind of pointless.

The witches hat is made from Oreo cookies and Hershey Kisses. My favorite part was twisting apart and separating the Oreo cookies as we all know that the most satisfying part of eating these cookies is disassembling them! Keep the half of the cookie with the filling part and discard the other part of the cookie. Actually don’t discard the other cookies. If you can’t think of anything to do with them, please feel free to mail them to my house.

Place the cookie filling side down. Dip an unwrapped Kiss in a bit of melted chocolate and stick to the center of the Oreo.

Assembly of the witches is fairly simple. The taffy retains its tackiness and the Oreo filling acts as a glue. Be gentle to prevent breakage.

We used 4×6 inch cellophane bags to package our treats. We secured the tops of the bags with a stapler. Our labels were made using the Cricut. The font came from dafont and was titled “October Crow”. We decorated the bags with small cut outs from the “Mini Monsters” and “A Child’s Year” cartridges. Using an assortment of Halloween scrapbook papers and bakers twine, I don’t think any two packages are the same.

Happy Halloween!

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Decorating Frosting September 25, 2011

Filed under: Baking — hobbyjunkie @ 12:33 pm

This is the recipe I learned from my first decorating class. It is a little different from anything else I could find on the internet, so I thought I would put it out there. Milk may be substituted for the water, but then it has to be refrigerated. This can theoretically sit out for quite a while.

 Decorating Frosting

  • two cups solid vegetable shortening
  • 2 lb bag confectioners sugar (8 cups)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla flavoring (clear for true colors)
  • 1 tsp butter and/or almond flavoring
  • dash of salt
  • extra liquid

1. Cream shortening until very smooth. Combine the flavorings in a measuring cup and add enough liquid (water or milk) until there is a total of 1/3 cup liquid.

2. Add salt and water, blending slowly.

3. Gradually add sugar using medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Blend an additional minute or so until creamy. AVOID OVERBEATING!

You want smooth, but not fluffy icing. If it is not too stiff, it will come off on your finger when touched. If it is not to thin, a spatula will stand up in it and it will stay divided when you run a spatula through it.

 

More Ovaltine, please! June 26, 2011

Filed under: Baking — hobbyjunkie @ 3:13 pm

For Mom’s birthday cake this year she requested “something chocolate”. That left a lot of open territory and an excuse to spend a lot of time trolling through Pinterest. Mom makes her likes and dislikes pretty well known and a chocolate malt is one of her favorite desserts. It would seem I couldn’t go wrong with a Triple Malt Chocolate Cake. Then I made a trip to the grocery store and couldn’t find malted milk powder anywhere. The closest substitute I could find was some Ovaltine classic malt. It seemed like too much work to find a new recipe while at the store so I made the decision to go with it. If all else failed, we could walk up to the ice cream store and get a real malt!

I thought the result was delicious and it sure was a crowd pleaser. I reduced the amount of butter in the frosting based on the comments on the original website, and I think I might reduce it even further. It was a little too rich even for me!

But most importantly, the birthday girl loved it. Happy Birthday Mom!

Triple Malt Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Ovaltine
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 recipe Malt Frosting (below)
  • 1 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange the rack in the middle. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with oil and flour, and tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. Combine the Ovaltine, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  3. Combine eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl, and whisk until combined and smooth. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and whisk until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the milk, and whisk until smooth. Continue with remaining flour mixture and milk, alternating between each and whisking until all ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pans, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. Remove cakes from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  6. To frost, place a cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round, a tart-pan bottom, or a cake plate. Evenly spread about 1/3 of the frosting over the top of the layer. Stack the second layer, and evenly spread another 1/3 of the frosting over the top and sides of the whole cake. (Don’t worry about looks at this point—this is just a basecoat, or crumb layer, and it will be covered up later.) Place in the refrigerator until frosting is set up and slightly hard, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, ensuring it’s as even as possible. Press malt balls into the frosting around the sides of the cake and serve.

Malt Frosting

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Ovaltine
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
  2. Increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and whipped, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and return to low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and continue whipping until frosting is evenly combined and light, about 3 minutes. Use to frost cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.