Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Late night craving...

Okay...let me just tell you first off - these aren't cakes!

But they are stinkin' delicious!!

So, last night S and I are watching the Hell's Kitchen finale and of course, it made me hungry. Unfortunately this was about....10:30 or 11 pm! But, what can I say? I like food and if I'm hungry, I'm gonna eat!

I looked in the fridge to see what we had that could be made quickly and remembered I had some cream cheese and crescent rolls....mmmmm....Sopapilla Cheesecake came to mind!

But, true to fashion, I did not have enough of those ingredients....or a pan in the correct size (yes, my sink was full and I'll do them today, okay??)

That's when it hit me! Muffin tin!

So, here's what I came up with:

  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1 lid's worth of Mexican vanilla (sorry! this is how i frequently measure this!! It's about the size of a 20 oz. Coke bottle lid, FYI)
  • approx. 1 cup powdered sugar (approximate b/c I kept pouring in until it seemed spreadable and tasted good!)
  • --- mix first 3 ingredients and set aside - probably easier if my cream cheese had softened!
  • 2 heaping plastic spoonfuls of country crock, melted (note - change to butter!!!)
  • 1 can of crescent rolls
  • powdered sugar and cinnamon for dusting
Because I was working with limited ingredients I needed to make my 8 rolls fit my 6 muffin pan.
First I made a slice across 1/3 of the half that were laid out:

Then I took the 2/3 side (from the bottom half to make a square) and put it in the muffin tin. Easy to do for 4 of them. For the last two, I had to take the 1/3 'scraps' and put them together to make a square too.

Then I took 2 heaping plastic spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture (probably too much in hindsight but I was trying to split all that mix by 6!) and plopped them on top of the roll.

When filled, take the corners of the square and fold over the cream cheese mix and pinch together.

Then, take your butter spoon over each roll - mine ended up at about 1 1/2 spoonfuls each - basically you just want to make sure there's butter on top, and some butter in the bottom b/c you don't want this getting really crunchy.

Then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Throw it in your oven (pre-heated to 350) for anywhere from 10-14 minutes (depending on your oven - just watch them to make sure they don't over cook!)

I probably should have let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. But I didn't want to! So they were pretty tricky to get out without my heaping cream cheese mix spilling out. See?

I did a little magic with a spatula and tongs though.

Pay no attention to the little one in the center. That was leftover dough with some strawberry jelly thrown in there for the hubs. He's a fan of strawberries.

They are almost as good looking as they tasted!! 


(The only thing I'd change is using about 1/2 the amount of cream cheese b/c there just wasn't enough breading for the ratio I prefer. Oh, and butter. Butter is always a better flavor option, but we had about 1 tablespoon left.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

1st post-move cake!

I haven't made a cake since May! 

(might have something to do with the fact that this summer I drove through 16 states in 30 days and we moved halfway across the country)

So, I don't have a ginormous kitchen any more (although I'm thinking I actually have the same amount of counter space in this apartment...hmm....) but I was anxious to get back to baking!

My husband volunteered me (behind my back) to make a cake for a going away party at his work. 
For someone he's barely met. 
Because he didn't want to pay the $10 toward the party. 
(Does he know how much these cakes cost???)

Anyway...  my husband tells me that this person worked in HIV research and could I make an HIV cake for him? Well, sure! 

Here is my reference picture:

Of course while I'm counting how many circles and bars to make he's blabbing to me about how it doesn't have to be perfect. Um... death stare! Of course it should be exact!

(Later I realized that he meant this is a 2D pic of a 3D form and we're looking into the inside and there could be lots of little yellow 'trees' all over the outside of the form, not necessarily 13 of them or even these colors... but oh well, right?)
Okay...this time around I tried to do a little more photo documenting instead of just presenting a final product. 

Unfortunately, I didn't remember this until I had baked and covered the cake. 


It's a shame too, because I used a dome cake this time (thanks to my friend J for giving that pan set to me!) and it would have been neat to show how I had to fit it all together.

Maybe S will take a picture when they cut into it at the party?

So, I remembered to take pics right in the middle of my mess-making...
I, of course, always make a mess when I bake. 

You can see a small part of that constarch-y explosion with my little cut pieces:

Just imagine it all over the kitchen!

I got the base fondant layers on the cake:

No, those aren't two different cakes... I was trying out flash settings on my iphone. The second picture is a little more realistic of the actual colors.

Once I was able to focus on the details part of the decorating, I realized that my 'trees' were going to be way too big to put on a toothpick and still be supported in the cake. I almost taped toothpicks together to make it longer. (I was desperate!)

Then I remembered I had some lollipop sticks from some cake pops! Phew!

Cover with a little fondant rolled around the middle and they're all set!

Next up: add the yellow tops to the 'trees'. 

Maybe I should ask my husband what the 'trees' really are? naaaaah!

And then while those were setting, I got the orange and white balls and added them on.

My next step was going to be to get the last tiny bit of my buttercream frosting to pipe the little white lines and dots in the center of the image. 

But, I couldn't get my makeshift piping bag (ziplock) to pipe that small in a smooth line. 

Enter the fondant again!

I ended up painting the top of the little designs with some gel coloring b/c I was afraid it would take too long to color each part of the fondant the way I wanted (and make it in time for the party), but I'm actually really pleased with the painted look. 

It's kinda fun, and the white borders make them stand out!

Next, I added the 'trees'. 

Looks pretty, huh? I really like the bright colors against each other!

And, I like how the 'trees' give it a little more 3D awesomeness.

Okay, and just for a little comparison:

This was fun to make, and I'm happy to be baking again!


Got a text from S after I took it up to his work:

'Everyone loves it, by the way. Dr. Gillis identified it right when I walked in the door and she made Marc ID it before the party started. He had a great look on his face. Good job, babe.'