10 October


Ruffle Cake

Ruffle Cake

October 10: National Cake Decorating Day

Islander is a member of the local cake club where she learns different decorating techniques using buttercream or whipped frosting, royal icing, gum paste and rolled fondant. Although the latter produces pretty yet pricier results on a cake, Islander still likes buttercream better. But sometimes it gets boring, so she experiments with different decorating designs once in a while.

At one cake club meeting, Islander learned how to pipe ruffles vertically and horizontally on the sides and top of a cake. She simply used a petal tip (Wilton 104) two different ways to give a cake a textured look. With a little practice, even those who do not have much cake decorating experience may be able to do this project.

Make a cake go from boring to beautiful and try a ruffle technique on National Cake Decorating Day.

Recipe

For the vertical buttercream ruffle cake

  • 3-4 round cake layers, favorite flavor
  • Buttercream frosting (enough to cover the cakes)

Directions

Bake and cool the cakes. Smear a bit of buttercream on the bottom of a cake board as an adhesive. Place one of the cake layers on the cake board. Generously spread frosting on this layer allowing some to overflow to the side of the cake. Place another cake on top of this layer. Continue layering the cakes, then crumb-coating the sides and tops. Cool to set.

Ruffle Cake

Using a petal tip (Wilton 104), pipe down with the wider end in the back and the narrow end in front. Make a back and forth motion no larger than an inch, layering zigzags of buttercream from the bottom to the top of the side of the cake. Pipe another column of ruffles next to the first one. Continue piping columns of ruffles until the side of the cake is covered.

Ruffle Cake

On top of the cake, starting from the outside and working toward the center, with the wider end of the tip facing opposite of you and the narrow end of the tip facing toward you, loosely pipe in a back and forth motion while rotating the cake turntable in the opposite direction. Continue piping the top ruffles until you reach the center. Let set before placing decorations/silk flowers on top of the cake.

Ruffle Cake

For the horizontal buttercream ruffle cake

  • 2-3 round cake layers, favorite flavor
  • Buttercream frosting (enough to cover the cakes)

Ruffle Cake

Directions

As described above, crumb coat the cake.

Ruffle Cake

Using a petal tip (Wilton 104), start at the top edge of the cake with the wider end toward the bottom and the narrow end toward the top. Make a back and forth motion to make the ruffles while turning the cake in the opposite direction. Pipe another row of ruffles beneath it. Continue piping rows of ruffles until the side of the cake is covered.

Ruffle Cake

On top of the cake, starting from the outside and working toward the center, with the wider end of the tip at the bottom and narrow end at the top, pipe in a back and forth motion while rotating the cake in the opposite direction. Continue piping the top ruffles until you reach the center. Let set before placing decorations/ silk flowers on top of the cake.

Ruffle Cake

Notes

  • Thanks to Suzy Z., a Wilton cake decorating instructor and talented cake artist, for demonstrating how to do the horizontal ruffle technique.
  • Substitute buttercream with a stabilized whipped cream frosting for a lighter weight cake.
  • Taller cakes (at least triple layers) show off the buttercream ruffles better.
  • Search our blog for more tutorials on cake decorating.

Sausage-Cheese Spirals

Sausage-Cheese Spirals

October: National Sausage Month

Islander is SO not a morning person! When she and Highlander have overnight guests, she warns them not to expect anything fancy for their first meal the next day. But Highlander gets up early and makes coffee and sets the table with fruit and juice. The night before, if Islander baked a breakfast casserole (French toast), bacon-cheddar-scallion scones or sausage-cheese spirals, then he just reheats them in the oven so everyone can have a hot meal (otherwise, cold pastries or cereals will have to suffice).

Sausage-cheese spirals may be one of our breakfast menu items but they also make a good afternoon snack during National Sausage Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Cooking Light Quick Baking magazine)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces breakfast sausage (we used Jimmy Dean brand pork sausage)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 can (11 ounces) refrigerated French bread dough
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

In a skillet, crumble the sausage and cook until brown. Drain off any fat and let cool. Season with chopped sage and salt. Shred the Gruyere cheese.

Sausage-Cheese Spirals

On a clean, floured surface, unroll the French bread dough. Flatten with a rolling pin, cutting the dough and pressing the seams together if necessary, until it is a 13×8-inch rectangle. Leaving half an inch on all sides, brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle the sausage mixture.

Sausage-Cheese Spirals

Top with shredded Gruyere cheese. Carefully roll the long side and pinch the seams to seal well. With a sharp knife, slice into spirals and discard the ends of the dough. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet generously misted with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving tray. Serve hot.

Sausage-Cheese Spirals

Notes

  • Cooking Light named this recipe “Savory Sausage Breakfast Rolls” but they look more like spirals instead of bread-buns.
  • While this recipe was good, puff pastry would have been tastier than the French bread dough.
  • Make these sausage-cheese spirals during National Hot Breakfast Month in February and National Breakfast Month in September.

Pink Ribbon Cookies

Pink Ribbon Cookies

October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This post for pink ribbon cookies is dedicated to Islander’s cousin, Clara A. (1959-2013), who lost her fight against breast cancer late last year. A brilliant child and family attorney who practiced law in the Philippines and internationally, Clara endured chemotherapy and survived 17 years after first being diagnosed with breast cancer. We last saw her in 2007 during a family trip to the Philippines when her cancer was in remission. She looked happy and healthy—and that is the way we want to remember cousin Clara. May she rest in peace.

For a number of years now, we have been donating dollars and desserts (such as pink ribbon cookies) for bake sales of different charities that help fund research to find cures for cancer. Sometimes the best we can do is pray—pray for those who have cancer, for their families, for the health caregivers and for the researchers.

Although one month is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, it should be year-round. Take care of yourselves and get mammograms regularly. Participate and support the events and donate what you can to the cancer societies. Bake a batch of pink ribbon cookies. And please pray for a cure!!!

Recipe

(Adapted from Kitchen Lane

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (all purpose white)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pink fondant
  • powdered sugar for dusting the surface
  • clear piping gel or water 

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Gradually the flour mixture into the other ingredients and blend well to form a dough.

Pink Ribbon Cookies

Divide dough in thirds and roll into a ball. Then flatten each ball into a disc and place between sheets of waxed or parchment paper. Roll out to about ¼-inch thick (we used ¼-inch thick acrylic sticks as guides). Stack them on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm (about 30-45 minutes). They may also be frozen for 15-20 minutes. Take one stack of flattened dough out of the refrigerator or freezer. Peel away both front and back to loosen, leaving the dough on one sheet of the waxed or parchment paper. Cut out the pink ribbon shapes.

Pink Ribbon Cookies 

Place on foil-lined greased cookie pan about 1 ½ – 2 inches apart. Refrigerate the cookie pan. Re-roll scraps of dough and cut more shapes, refrigerating if the dough gets too soft. The dough needs to be cold and firm in order to retain its shape. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until the sides are very lightly browned. Remove from the oven when done and let sit on the pan for about five minutes. Transfer each cookie on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to decorate.

Pink Ribbon Cookies

Using the same pink ribbon-shaped cookie cutter, cut out shapes on pink fondant (roll out to 1/8-inch thickness on a clean surface that has been dusted with a bit of powdered sugar to prevent from sticking). Use a fondant impression mat, if adding decorative texture to the fondant is desired.

Pink Ribbon Cookies 

Brush water or piping gel on the cookie. Position the fondant on top of the pink ribbon cookie and smooth out the edges with warm fingers. Repeat for all cookies. Set aside to dry, making sure all cookies are dry before stacking. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Pink Ribbon Cookies 

Notes

 

 

 

http://hicookery.com/2011/10/16/chambord-macarons/

http://hicookery.com/2011/02/27/strawberry-macarons/

http://hicookery.com/2011/02/05/le-minni-di-sant’agata/

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

October 31: Halloween

Islander joined a local cake coven club so she could learn more about and practice witch sugar craft. At its monthly meeting every October, which has a Halloween theme, members bring in desserts to share decorating ideas.

For this particular post, we wanted to “hocus-focus” on a stereotypical witch’s most fashionable accessory—her pointy hat. Islander saw two styles at the Halloween meeting. One version included a candy-filled sugar cone sprayed with black color mist and set on a small, round chocolate cookie base. Another (easier) version featured Hershey’s Kisses on top of the backsides of Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies.

As a Blair witch project, Islander adapted the idea and used ice cream sugar cones and waffle cookies (same textures with a frillier-brimmed hat). The trick to making this treat is patience in “painting” with chocolate. The result is a festive food and decorative dessert for Halloween!

Recipe

Ingredients 

  • Round waffle cookies (Italian pizzelles)
  • Ice cream sugar cones
  • Semi-sweet chocolate, melted (or Wilton brand black candy melts)
  • Assorted lightweight Halloween-themed sweets (we used gummie worms, but feel free to fill the cones with candy corn, mini M&M’s, seasonal sprinkles or chocolate chips)
  • Yellow, orange, green or purple tube frosting
  • Pumpkin candies

Directions

On large baking sheets lined with waxed paper, place a dozen pizzelles spaced apart.  In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Dip the open end of the ice cream sugar cone in the melted chocolate. Carefully fill with a little candy.

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Position a pizzelle to cover the cone and invert it back on the baking sheet. Repeat with all the cones and let the chocolate set as a seal. Using a food safe brush, paint the chocolate on the cone and pizzelle. Cool completely to set.

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Use the tube frosting with a small decorating tip to make a hatband where the cone and pizzelle are attached. Add a little tube frosting to secure the pumpkin candy in place. Keep the witch hat cone cookies cool until ready to serve.

Witch Hat Cone Cookies

Notes

  • Search our blog for other Halloween recipes.
  • Happy Halloween to all our blog readers!

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

October 30: National Candy Corn Day

On the eve before All Hallow’s Eve, make a treat that is good to eat—sugar cookies simply embedded with a single candy corn. This tri-colored confection is most popular around the autumn harvest, as it resembles the kernel of a corn. Traditional colors are white, orange and yellow, but there are seasonal variants to the color scheme.

We usually bake a batch of both vanilla and chocolate sugar cookies and decorate them with candy corn for a color contrast on a tray. Kids (and kids-at-heart) enjoy eating them when we bring these desserts to different fall festivals and Halloween parties. Candy corn sugar cookies are especially appropriate on National Candy Corn Day, too!

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the vanilla candy corn sugar cookies

  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, large
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup flour
  • candy corn

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking powder and flour.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Roll out an inch round ball. Place two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm and the middle of the cookie is dry.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Remove from the oven. Press a candy corn in the center of each cookie.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 ½ dozen cookies.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

For the chocolate candy corn sugar cookies

  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, large
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • candy corn

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking powder, flour and cocoa powder. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Roll out an inch round ball.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Place two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm and the middle of the cookie is dry. Remove from the oven. Press a candy corn in the center of each cookie.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Notes

  • The chocolate candy corn sugar cookies yield fewer than the vanilla ones. The tops also need to be slightly flattened with the palm of the hand before baking. The cookies’ darker color contrasts well with the bright candy corn.
  • Candy corn sugar cookies are a nice Halloween and seasonal treat. Try using candy corn to decorate Oreo turkey cookies for Thanksgiving.

Petal Cake

Petal Cake

October 10: National Cake Decorating Day

Although Islander has taken cake decorating classes from the Wilton headquarters in Illinois, she does not consider herself an expert like the professionals in her local cake club in Texas. But she likes to learn new techniques from the more advanced members and decided to try making a petal cake herself for National Cake Decorating Day.

This blog post focuses not on a recipe but on a frosting technique. Islander baked a three-layered cake as a taller display works best to showcase the petals. After crumb-coating it, she used a large, round tip to pipe dots down the side of the cake. Then she got into a rhythm of using a spatula to swipe the petal design, piping dots and swiping with the spatula again and finishing the back of the cake with dots. She repeated this technique on the top of the cake, starting from the outside and working her way toward the center.

Frosting a layered cake in a petal design is a simple yet impressive way to decorate a cake. Try this technique for a birthday, anniversary or other special event and especially for National Cake Decorating Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 8-inch round cake layers (any flavor)
  • Whipped cream or buttercream frosting (enough to cover the cake)

Directions

Frost the cakes and stack the layers. Crumb coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set.

Petal Cake

Pipe some dots down the side of the cake using a large round tip. Gently use a spatula to swipe lightly in one direction, wiping the spatula blade clean each time so the frosting does not stick. Move about half an inch over and pipe more dots. Use the spatula to swipe in the same direction as the others. Repeat until the entire side of the cake is done.

Petal Cake

End the back of the petal sides with dots. Pipe the top of the cake in the same manner, beginning from the outer edge. Pipe a dot, swipe it with a spatula, repeat towards the center of the cake and end with a dot in the middle. Refrigerate to set the frosting. Garnish with fresh fruits or candles.

Petal Cake

Notes

  • For this particular post about our petal cake, we made a strawberry-and-whipped cream cake and topped it with a trio of fresh strawberries. We just used a boxed strawberry cake mix and Cool Whip frosting for something fast and fabulous.
  • For another frosting technique, try decorating a layered cake with rosettes. See our photo tutorial here.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cakes

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

October: National Apple Month

After seeing some fall foliage at Lost Maples Natural State Park in Vanderpool, Texas, we decided to have lunch with our friends in nearby Medina—the Apple Capital of Texas. We stopped in a cute café and ate hamburgers with applewood smoked bacon. For dessert, we chose from an array of apple-flavored treats, such as pie, dumplings, bread, cobblers, cookies and even ice cream! The “Apple Store” (not to be confused with the one that sells Macintosh computers, iPads, iPods and iPhones) has souvenirs, gift items and other products from Love Creek Orchards, such as jellies, jams and sauces and butters. We also walked around the grounds to see a variety of dwarf apple trees.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Celebrate the season with a recipe that includes the quintessential fall fruit—apples. Make mini applesauce spice bundt cakes during National Apple Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Southern Food)

For the applesauce spice mini bundts

  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspooon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the applesauce with the sugar and oil. Beat in the eggs. Add vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Gradually add this to the wet mixture and combine well. Fold in the raisins and walnuts.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Pour batter into a well-greased mini bundt pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from the oven. Carefully invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool the cakes completely.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

For the caramel glaze

(Adapted from Southern Food)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the pinch of salt. Stir in the brown sugar until cooked. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil over medium heat. Keep stirring until thickened (about two minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for about an hour.

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Line a lipped pan with foil. Place a wire rack with the mini bundts on top. Drizzle the caramel glaze on the cakes and let flow to the sides. Decorate the tops with fall-themed candy sprinkles (optional).

Applesauce Spice Mini Bundt Cake

Notes

  • We used Wilton brand jumbo leaves mix sprinkles to decorate each mini bundts for the fall season.
  • Some sources state that National Apple Months are from September until November. National Apple Week is the second week of August.
  • Learn more about apples from the U.S. Apple Association website at http://www.usapple.org/.
  • Search our blog for more apple recipes.

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