Category Archives: cookies

Milestone Birthday Cakes

May was a big month for us. Brian had a birthday (but doesn’t eat cake), brother Tim turned 40, and my little man Ken turned ONE (And my niece Jade, but her cake won’t be made for another week)!!! As the official Ray Family Birthday Cake Chef, along with my Sous Chef mom, we had big plans!.

First was Tim’s cake. I wanted to really personalize it, so Brian and I came up with an idea based on his first tattoo, a koi with an “S” in waves behind it.

The base is a simple chocolate chip cookie cake. Ok, I threw in an extra bag of white chips too. The cake is from a cake pan shaped like a fish (an AWESOME garage sale find, thank you Brian!). We frosted him in yellow to start. I wanted the fish to have more texture, so the main part of his scales are made from cut pieces of candy orange slices. His tale was from peach rings. I really wanted to use orange colored licorice, but was wayyyy to lazy to visit multiple stores to find it.

See the resemblance?

The next weekend was also filled with a sugar coma, from Ken’s Birthday Cake. He’s a little guy, but he needed a big cake. So, four boxes and one batch of chocolate banana cake later, here’s what we got.

From far away, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. The family was a BIG help! Dad cut the dowels, Beckey, Tim and Brooke rolled and shaped the fondant, and Mom is an awesomesauce cake froster! But, here’s my critiques (on me, not my help!):
1. I WAY underestimated how much time it takes to build a cake. The cakes were all made and frozen the week before, as was the frosting (most of it anyways 🙂 ). But actually assembling the beast was a process.

2. Next time I will build the fondant shapes as I make the fondant. It took way to long to roll out (three colors!) that morning. I could have saved time and gotten it to the correct thickness (half of what it was) if I would have done it on the spot. Traveling back in time, I would have just stacked the shapes between layers of waxed paper.
On a positive note: My red and black were RED and BLACK. Yay!

3. Buttermilk makes a heavy cake. I cheated and used cake mixes. So sue me. But, I did sub buttermilk for water, which I blame for some of the heaviness. It doesn’t help that I had four layers on the bottom tier, three in the middle and so on. Those dowels and cardboard didn’t stand a chance.
Positive: Probly one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever made!

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Kumquat, Frolic, Onesies and Monster Cookie Cake

Finally had a chance to clean my living room, and halfway convince the weather to cooperate so I could get a few pictures of the freshly painted walls. A big Thank You to Beckey and Tim for painting over Easter weekend. I really appreciate it, and, my living room looks flipping awesome. 

Living Room

 

Vintage blue chair from my Grandma Drevs, in front of one green wall

 

A very happy Mr. Fish, enjoying his new home (but missing his Gma and Gpa).

For those of you playing the Sherwin Williams Home Game, the colors are

  • 6648 Kumquat (orange)
  • 6703 Frolic (green)

So, baby is arriving soon (not soon enough) and instead of playing games at the shower, I suggested that all of the guests decorate onesies for him to wear over the next year. And by “suggested” I mean, I didn’t let a few of the guests leave until they completed the task. They all turned out great, and baby is so excited to start wearing his new clothes!

Click on the image to see them up-close

Tomorrow is Brian’s birthday! He’s doesn’t eat cake, so I couldn’t make him some fun fancy birthday cake. I decided on making him a giant Monster Cookie Cake, since he loves monster cookies. I did a little research and found out that you can use any cookie recipe, just make sure to cut back on the heat, and cook it a little longer. Also, leave the cookie on the pan while it cools – it will continue to cook. I cooked this on a pizza pan (was going to go the pizza stone route, but it would have taken at least two stones). 

Happy Birthday, Brian, I love you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbs white syrup (or more, whatever, I never measure, I just pour.)
  • 1 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 c oatmeal (or more, depending on if you use the correct amount of peanut butter)
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of M&Ms

Directions for Cookie Cake

  • Cream butter and sugar. Add other ingredients one at a time. Mix well!
  • Spread evenly on pizza pan. Make sure the middle isn’t thicker than the outside, that’s the toughest part to cook. If your dough is already to the edge of your pan, you might want to consider taking some of it off. Cookies spread, you don’t want to waste cookie by feeding it to the oven floor. I cooked mine at 250 for… maybe 25 minutes. I could tell the bottom was just brown, but none of the edges were burnt. These cookies normally cook at 350 for … however you like them done. 

Spring Tunic, Sports Cakes and a Pot of Gold

This is my latest maternity top. I’m so excited about this! The white fabric is from one of my husband’s old work shirts. Again, I added an extra four or so inches on each size to accommodate my growing belly. This should last through the end of May! Unlike the one I made two weeks ago, I added the pocket back on to this one. 

I do apologize that you don’t get the full effect of a maternity top on a mannequin – but at least I know it will look acceptable post-baby. 

So, why the ruffles?

That is why the ruffles. Ok, working in radio had a few perks – free crap shirts. Mostly t-shirts, but I scored a few tank tops along the way as well. This particular red beauty is one of those ribbed tanks that only looks good on you if you have 3% body fat and you’re petite. I’ve never worn it. Since I want to wear this tunic to work, this… logo was just not working for me. Funny how you cannot get this iron-on stuff off when you need/want it gone. So, I opted to cover it with ruffles. Knits are funny, I had another ruffle design in mind, but with the way the fabric stretches just didn’t make sense. 

I’m pretty excited to wear this. Yay spring!

This tunic was this weekend’s project – last weekend I made a football cake with my Big Top Cupcake pans, as well as two baseball cupcakes. Michelle’s twins turned one this week, and she wanted extra messy cakes for photos. The football is half white and half chocolate, filled with vanilla filling. The cupcakes are chocolate, filled with chocolate filling. Delicious!

I cannot tell you how much I love my Big Top Cupcake pans. Even Brian, who doesn’t eat cake, suggests ideas for cakes. This next one was his idea: Pot of Gold cake!

I used the BTC bottom with the filling insert (it creates a dip in the cake, where you would put filling etc), then used the remaining batter in a regular 8in pan. 

For gold, I used chocolate chips cookies and frosted them with yellow frosting. That wasn’t going to be enough, they needed to have some sort of  “gold coin” lure to them. Michaels had an excellent selection of cake embellishments – I thought about using one of those powders, but then I found a clear/gold/glitter gel that was perfect for detailing. The tip was a bit bigger than I was hoping, but I put fun swirls on each cookie. Unlike buttercream, the gel never dried, so it was kinda weird to stack them together. But it tasted delicious still.

A slightly closer look! Nice and sparkly!

New Year, New House, New Projects

So, January is half over?!

I took a slight break from updating during the holidays, but I am back and ready to be creative. It’s 2010, we just moved into our first house, and I’ve got a slew of projects in the que! 

New house… I’ve been living with my parents for a few years, so my potholder collection was slacking. I bought a few from the D-Tree, but they were completely useless. Might as well have just grabbed pans with a piece of cotton. I needed good, durable potholders. Mom and Dad’s kitchen has great ones. Mom did some Googling and found a pattern, and here is what we have so far:

Just like Grandma used to make! Make a chain of like 30, single crochet down the chain, on the last chain crochet three times. Keep crocheting, and when you hit the other end, crochet three on the last chain. Keep going around the circle. Fold the crocheted goodness so you have two points, keep crocheting until the two sides meet. Connect the sides. Take hot items out of the oven. Enjoy.

 

Before I can move my craft stuff into the room, I’ve got to finish painting. I picked out the colors last year to paint my bedroom, and then I never did. This awesome paint can’t just go to waste. Yellow, Green and Teal will be inspiring me for years to come 🙂 

I really haven't been slacking! Two walls painted, still need to do the last one. Please ignore the shotty corner job. Will be fixed once I get some more tape.

 

And today, drumroll please, I baked for the first time in my new kitchen! Dessert of choice: Monster Cookies!

This particular recipe comes from the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Waukee, circa 2006. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter or shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 t white syrup
  • 1 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 c oatmeal
  • 1/4 lb chocolate chips (ummm, or half a bag?)
  • 1/4 lb M&Ms (ummm, a full bag? And I used peanut…)

Directions:

  1. Cream sugars and butter, add eggs, soda, syrup and peanut butter (I just realized I forgot last half cup of peanut butter, still turned out fine, also explains why they aren’t as peanut buttery as usual). Get this all creamy – then add your oatmeal. Once you get the oatmeal mixed, add your chocolate chips and M&Ms. 
  2. Scoop on to the pan, try to flatten, and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. 350 for 10-12 is what the recipe said. I pushed mine back to about 300, and had to have them in for about 13-14 minutes. I’m still getting used to my oven.